New from Astro Engineering AzRok portable pier for all Meade and Celestron SCTs.
This superb and unique British made fully portable system is 100% steel and breaks down in minutes to just 7 key parts all of which can be put in the boot of a car for easy transport.
Offering a third choice between field tripod and full observatory pier, the AzRok will out-perform all but the best anti-vibration observatory piers. Easily outperforming the heaviest field tripods for rigidity and freedom from head-buckle and flexing.
Out performs plain steel piers - plain pieces of pipe cemented into the ground. Why bother with plain piers when the AzRok can offer higher standards of rigidity with tripod like portable convenience?
Robust and unashamedly heavy, (if Isambard Kingdom Brunel was going to make a portable telescope pier, this is how it would look!) the AzRok has been designed to do the best job possible to support a heavy telescope (not just avoid expensive import shipping costs by the use of thin steel and aluminium!).
The AzRok can, like permanent piers, be left outside set-up and ready to be used at a moments notice. Just cover the top with a weather resistent bag and oil the tensioners now and then to keep the AzRok ready for action.
The top "Owl's nest" portion is removable allowing a switch between the altazimuth method of telescope mounting and equatorial using Meade, Celestron and Astro Engineering wedges.
What's so great about the AzRok?
First off - it works brilliantly - and will hold a 14" LX200R much more rigidly than the standard Meade field tripod supplied with the telescope. In fact, it will hold the telescope more rigidly than the common type of DIY pier (2 metre length of seven inch diameter steel gaspipe cast with half of the pipe stuck in a metre square block of concrete!).
Only a professionally made anti-vibration observatory pier that fastens to a flat concrete base with masonary anchors will beat the AzRok for rigidity and vibration free performance.
The AzRok was designed by Robert Dalby, one of the worlds most experienced telescope pier designers. The AzRok does not use any form of active or compression fasteners (nuts and bolts and the like) normally found on tripods. Instead it relies on a totally different principle and uses three balanced isometric tensioners to deliver an amazing standard of structural rigidity not found on currenly available tripods.
Although the AzRok is a truly portable mounting system, and can easily be assembled by one person, it is a very heavy product and it is not suitable for carrying any distance without a vehicle.
The only down-side that we can see with the AzRok is that, just like a tripod the it has legs and tensioner rods that can get in the way much as tripod legs do. However, the legs are much smaller and lower than would normally be found on a large field tripod for SCTs.
About the designer: born in Ilford in 1959, Robert J Dalby is well known to amateur astronomers as an exacting practitioner and populariser of CCD astro-imaging. He is co-inventor (with Dr Kunihiko Okano) of the LRGB image compositing method, and designer of over 600 astronomy accessories on sale under various brand names around the world. Robert has provided mountings for literally thousands of telescopes used by professional and self-funded astronomers (his preferred term for amateurs!). His high performance telescope mountings can be found from research installations in Moscow to the top of a volcano on La Palma! In 1989 Robert founded Astro Engineering - a UK manufacturer of some of the world´s finest astronomy accessories, many of which can be purchased from Pulsar Optical. When not at the AE works Robert lives under the dark skies of Norfolk with his wife and a lazy ginger cat named Boswell.