While my Altair Astro Sabre Mount is great for star hopping, the stiction in the bearings starts to become a problem when you add a heavier scope. The TMB80 wasn’t a problem, but with the long focal length 150mm RC, I was beginning to find that precisely centring the object would cause you to overshoot the target sometimes. The other problem is with this scope and the Van Slyke turret fitted, it was impossible to balance the scope sufficiently to allow the friction applied the altitude axis, to be free enough to be able to move the scope smoothly. While mildly annoying this wasn’t really a big problem, until I saw a picture of the Skywatcher Sky-Tee 2 mount. My problem was solved.
The SKYTEE-2 is a heavy duty alt-azimuth mount capable of holding two telescope tubes of up to 15Kg each in parallel. A Skywatcher/Vixen type dovetail saddle plate is included on each side of the mount. Precise manual slow motion controls are provided on each axis . A counterweight bar is also included that accepts Sky-Watcher counterweights. Compatible with the Sky-Watcher 1.75″ stainless steel tripod supplied with the EQ5 and HEQ5 Equatorial mounts.
It’s very nicely made, but the person who quality controlled mine before it was sent out, must have been off that day. Two of the three grubscrews that hold the vertical counterweighted side, were loose and the third that should have been there wasn’t. The whole cabbodle slipped on the shaft as soon as I fitted the 150mm RC on it. The grub screws just rely on their points digging into the shaft – which is pretty naff engineering, so I drilled three 2mm holes below the grubscrews to allow them to provide a hard mechanical fit.
Apart from these couple of niggles, I’m very happy with its performance. The clutches on both axes allow large slews across the sky and when locked down, the geared knobs allow precise control for moving short distances and centring. Being worm and gear drives, the scope can be quite a long way off balance, but the scope stays pointing exactly where its put.