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Model: zwo_am5_pkgPart Number: ZWO-AM5+TRIPOD
Harmonic Drive mounts offer several advantages over conventional German Equatorial Mounts.
Traditional Equatorial mounts require counterweighting. The AM5 can work at loads up to 13kg without counterweights, making it a much lighter and more portable option.
NOTE: The laser shown below is not included in AM5 mounts sold in the UK (local laws regarding lasers restrict their use).
The internal structure of the body is optimised with the Harmonic Drive Speed Reducer and Synchronous Belt, bringing more control and an amazing reduction Ratio of 300:1
Weight and Load Capacity
The mount head weighs only 5kg but has an outstanding load capacity of 13kg without counterweights and 20kg with counterweighting.
The AM5 Mount can be used in both Equatorial and Altazimuth Mode.
The AM5 has superb build quality. It marries with the ASair seemlessly. It is virtually silent, highly compact. Once fitted to tge tripod and connected to a telescope, two cameras and tge ASiair it is light enough to be moved yet robust enough to have confidence in its operation.
I purchased this mount about a month ago and initially I was delighted with it. It is easy to use and works well with my ASIair. However, when I came to remove my telescope from the mount one of the saddle clamps had stuck. It was very difficult to remove my scope and I ended up scratching my dovetail quite badly. FLO were good when I reported the problem and arranged to collect the mount promptly (for free). Unfortunately they were unable to fix the problem and they are now going to replace the mount. It is now over two weeks since I returned the mount and it looks like it will be a further two weeks before I get a replacement. So I have two criticisms of ZWO and one piece of advice.First why had ZWO shipped the mount without checking that the saddle clamp worked properly. Its not rocket science. Second, why do they not have a system for replacing faulty goods more quickly?My advice, if you buy one of these mounts, is to insert a wooden batten into the saddle and tighten and loosen the clamps a few times to make sure they release correctly. If they do stick, you will not damage your dovetail.Clear skies.
We are sorry you experienced a fault with your new mount, this is the first such fault we have seen on the AM5 mounts so this certainly isn't a common issue. Ordinarily if we had stock available this would have been replaced straightaway but due to the huge demand for these mounts we are currently out of stock and not due anymore until around a weeks time.
Iím new to Ďproperí astrophotography. I thought about getting a rig a couple of years ago, but Iím so glad I waited. The new harmonic mount is a game-changer for hobbyists like me. Naysayers speculated it would be terrible, but so far so good for me.I guide in near IR and have had no issues at 0.5 seconds. Iím under 0.7RMS, often 0.4. Itís light. The workflow with the ASIair is a delight and I canít think of a single negative. Being able to frame an object on an iPad or iPhone is lovely.Since July Iíve imaged every clear nightÖ which has been about 8 nights, thank you UK clouds! Considering I didnít know what I was doing, everything has been simple and I have some lovely images (LíExtreme also comes highly recommended for colour cameras).I bought a more sturdy tripod but havenít used it just as the card on fibre one seems fine for my WO 73III. No worries about tipping or flexing.
Bottom Line Up Front: As hobbyist astrophotographers and ASIair Pro owners, this is a perfect mount for us. We are really pleased, so far, with the AM5 it appears to be really well made and runs smoothly and quietly, and teamed up with the ASIair pro it has performed perfectly for the short period of time that we have used it. It is easy to use, and polar alignment was straightforward. We bought this mount with its lightweight tripod for several reasons; we wanted a new goto mount, we wanted a system that could handle moderate payloads and we were looking for a relatively light weight mount for transport in and out of the house and to dark sky locations; the AM5 perfectly fits all of these requirements. So far we havenít had much chance to test all of these but certainly we are amazed by how light weight it is but at the same time very sturdy.So this is an early review of the AM5 mount as we have only used it once for astrophotography, this was using a Redcat 51 as the OTA, a 120mm guide scope and ASIair pro as the control. We can say that even with a relatively poor polar alignment the mount performed really well and we were pleased with the 300s subs that were produced (from a Bortle 4-5 location with reasonable seeing conditions) using this relatively forgiving focal length. Indoors we have tested it with a Celestron 8SE, and it seems to be able to handle this without any issues but, of course, the real test will be when we get it outside and guiding with the larger OTAs.For us, so far, we cannot think of any negative aspects but we havenít tried driving it using the ASCOM driver on a PC, neither have we used the hand controller nor the AM5 specific App for any significant amount of time, although we have not encountered any issues during testing with these. Our main observation with the latter is that they are pretty basic and without doubt it is expected that you will be using a version of the ASIair to control the mount and get the best out of it.Based on our limited testing of the mount, we would definitely recommend it.
Bought the mount with the idea it'd help as part of a portable astroimaging rig so I could more easily get to darker skies, but I'm beginning to think it may see a lot more use than just trips out! The mount is lightweight at about 5Kgs, and the tripod is practically featherweight. Both look to be well made, though the mount in particular is very impressively put together. There's a soft case for the mount head that will protect it from the odd knock and adds to the portability. Setting up the mount was very, very simple. I've only had one night to use it and I had absolutely no issues with the mount and tripod. With a very, very approximate polar alignment, I was guiding in no time (once I finally got focus, but that's not the mount's fault!) with no issues holding a consistent track and no sudden spikes in RA/DEC. The one sequence I took of a random patch of sky near Sagitta (I was fighting focus issues with a camera and scope combination I'd never tried before) looked very nice with 40x30sec exposures all stacking neatly with the differences in x and y being down to dithering between pics. The mount comes with a plug-in hand controller that allows you to slew very handily. Might be a little fiddly with gloves, but will be instantly familiar to anyone who's been driving their mounts with a gamepad. I know it's not a *useful* feature, but the noise the mount makes when doing a high-speed slew is very musical. More usefully, it's very, very quiet when tracking, so the neighbours can get some sleep.All in all, I'm very pleased with the AM5. I've only had the chance to use it once, but so far it's been smooth sailing and its lived up to expectations.
Wow! I was going to leave it at that, but really I should add more words.This is my first 'goto' mount so I can't compare it to any other mount, and my previous mount was a SWSA 2i, so something very different.My first impressions when I first got the mount out was it is a quality product. It is just a work of art. Even the way it fits in the case when you have it adjusted to you latitude has been thought out, as the cutout in the padding is big enough - not needed but just shows they have thought of things. The mount fits to the tripod really easy and together they are a sturdy unit. I am using an ASIAir Plus as the controller and it links to the mount via WiFi (although it did take five minutes of head scratching to work out how to do it). Once connected the app and the mount work together brilliantly. I used the AM5 app initially to update the firmwear in the hand controller and mount itself, but otherwise the ASIAir is what I use.So far I have only been able to use it once, due to those clouds that escaped when I opened the box! I did the PA routine in the ASIAir and got a smiley face, but it was that good an alignment as if was my first time doing it. Previously I have only ever guided on the SWSA 2i on RA only, but this mount worked a dream...I was getting total error of 0.47" in my Bortle 8/9 sky. I think that is good!!! Slewing to the target in Sky Atlas was a dream and the mount isn't really loud when moving. I imaged NGC7000, North American Nebula, using a RedCat51 and a Canon EOS60D for 120s subs as I didn't want to push it any longer because of light pollution. All stars were perfectly round and no sign of trailing, so I guess the guiding was good. At the end of the session I took a single 180s sub of Andromeda Galaxy and the stars too were nice and round.The only problem I did have was the meridan flip. It came to the time, flipped okay but then failed to plate solve, it just kept trying over and over again. I cancelled out and when I took a test sub, NGC7000 was framed perfectly. I think it failed as I think the exposure setting for the plate solve was too low. I have since set this value higher in the ASIAir, and I think that will fix the issue. In my Bortle 8/9 sky the stars are very dim.Overall I am very happy with this mount. I was thinking about getting an HEQ5 mount, but I really liked the smallness of this mount, and it really doesn't weigh much. Plus it perfectly integrate with the ASIAir with no problems. I am glad of my choice of mount and can't wait to get it out to a darker sky.
Just received my mount and tripod today. It changed its specs over the months, due in part that its dangerous to allow astronomers the use of a laser, you need to buy a laser pen and add it on ? Although the product description is now accurate it is not mentioned that it comes in a zpped up black vinyl case, which saves the need to source a case. Not had chance to use yet as I became unwell with covid. Looking forward to putting through its paces.
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