Astrotrac 360

Started Oct 15, 2020 | Discussions thread
starman1969 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,422
Re: Astrotrac 360

Sittatunga wrote:

starman1969 wrote:

Thanks for giving us a detailed look at the Astrotrac 360. I bought the 2nd gen Astrotrac back in 2011, just a year after getting into astronomy and I loved it. I took it abroad several times to far off dark sites. I was always, however, plagued by the poor quality polar scope, which I replaced by another poor quality polar scope!

I also had a torrid time using the TW3100 wedge as I couldn't get my head around the locks and the adjustment knobs to polar align easily. In the end I gave up on the wedge as it was too difficult to use and I instead polar aligned with my Manfrotto 410 geared head.

The 360 looks way out of budget for me, and it doesn't really look much like a portable mount like the original was either, so it's not something I will be looking for.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like that wedge. While it's beautifully finished, the basic design is fundamentally flawed, with the very limited fine azimuth adjustment by two independent opposed screws, and the vertical adjustment affected by locking down the base in azimuth. I just wish the designer had seen a one-second theodolite, which can be adjusted and locked positively and without backlash very quickly over 360°, horizontally and vertically, to a precision of 1/3600th of a degree.

That wedge still gives me nightmares!

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