The AM3, a recent addition to the ZWO ASI mount series, features a small size but packs a punch, sure to impress.
As a product expert, the AM3 is part of the ZWO ASI mount family that you must have in your collection of astronomy tools. It provides incredible value with a slightly smaller design compared to the AM5.
This product features a sleek and modern design with advanced equatorial and alt-azimuth dual-mode capabilities, allowing for versatile use in both visual observation and astrophotography. Its weight is 3.9 kilograms, making it very lightweight for setup. It weighs 8 kilograms without a counterweight and 13 kilograms with a counterweight, which makes transportation easy. The custom-designed harmonic drive guarantees accurate control and dependable performance.
The AM3 maintains the user-friendly design of the AM5, and comes equipped with a rocker-style hand controller for easy and comfortable operation. Additionally, it includes a built-in WiFi hotspot for convenient wireless control. It enables control via a mobile app, offering flexibility, vital functions like Tonight’s best, GoTo, Sky Atlas, etc.
Furthermore, the AM3 implements Bluetooth control, eliminating the necessity for a physical controller to establish wireless connectivity.
So, what are the main differences between the AM3 and AM5?
Both AM3 and AM5 are harmonic equatorial mounts with similar structural designs. The core component of both mounts is the harmonic reducer. However, they differ in size and load capacity. AM3 utilizes a size 14 harmonic reducer, which is smaller in dimensions and load capacity, without significant differences in precision. The base still features a 3/8″ screw hole to accommodate most camera tripods. The base size remains the same as AM5 and is compatible with the TC40. AM3 has made some minor adjustments based on AM5, including:
①.Removal of the upper and lower locking handles. The tightness of the upper and lower structural components of the mount is achieved through four locking screws. This allows for lateral movement and provides a certain level of strength, eliminating the need for locking handles.
②.The latitude indicator has been relocated to the back for easier visibility during use.
③.The mount no longer comes with a pre-attached bubble level, but users can still choose to attach it according to their preferences.
④.The pitch of the altitude adjustment screws has been reduced, resulting in higher precision during altitude adjustments.
⑤.Bluetooth functionality has been added, allowing users to control the equatorial mount via a mobile phone without the need for a hand controller.
The AM3 is perfect for entry-level users, offering a portable design and ideal for astronomy observation and photography.
The AM5 is built for heavy-duty astronomy observation and photography, with a focus on high payload capacity, comparing AM3. It is a perfect match for a Celestron C11 or a ZWO FF130APO, providing effortless operation.
When using large-aperture telescopes, the AM5 is highly recommended due to its crucial load capacity. Higher payload capacity is generally preferred, and the use of harmonic drives reduces the mount’s weight, making transportation easier.
Investing in the AM5 is a comprehensive option, as high-quality tools often result in increased productivity.
If you’re on a limited budget, the AM3 is the perfect choice for novice astronomical photographers. It offers a portable, custom harmonic drive equatorial mount that will exceed your expectations.
What is causing the trend of lighter equatorial mounts?
ZWO simplified and optimized the internal structure of equatorial mounts while maintaining control precision to make the wonders of the night sky more accessible to astronomy enthusiasts. This ensures the AM3 meets the requirements of visual observation and astrophotography while streamlining costs. The outcome is the compact, light, counterweight-free AM3 equatorial mount, created for effortless setup and transport.
Why wait? Get the incredible AM3 harmonic drive equatorial mount now and see for yourself!