ZWO - AM3 Harmonic Equatorial Mount Head Only

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The ZWO AM3 Harmonic Equatorial Mount takes advantage of the flagship design of strain wave gearing to mount equipment without the need for counterweights.

ZWO AM3 Harmonic Equatorial Mount Head Only

For astrophotographers seeking a convenient and portable equatorial mount that excels in peak performance without the requirement of counterweights, ZWO offers an ideal solution! Traditional EQ mounts often pose challenges in maintaining balance in both RA and DEC directions, making them cumbersome to carry and store. The AM3 Harmonic Drive EQ mount, however, addresses these concerns effectively.

Boasting an impressive load capacity of 17.6 lb. (8kg) without the need for a counterweight and a substantial 28.6 lb. (13kg) with an optional counterweight (not included), the AM3 mount stands out as a versatile and lightweight option, weighing only 8.6 lb. (3.9kg). ZWO has skillfully achieved a harmonious balance between stability and portability with the AM3 mount, recognizing the crucial role stability plays in the operational success of astrophotography. This innovative mount provides astrophotographers with the optimal combination of convenience, performance, and functionality, ensuring an enhanced and enjoyable experience in capturing celestial wonders.

ZWO AM3 Harmonic Mount Head Features

  • The ZWO AM3 Harmonic Equatorial Mount takes advantage of the flagship design of strain wave gearing mount equipment without the need for counterweights. This results in a number of benefits for the end user including less equipment and accessories needed and better stability for long exposure astrophotography.
  • With a weight of 3.9 kg (8.6 pounds) and a payload limit of 8kg (17.6 pounds without counterweight) and 13kg (28.6 pounds with counterweight), it can accomodate equipment that far exceeds its own weight, thanks to the ZWO modified strain wave design!
  • Taking the original strain wave gearing and giving it a twist, the AM3 has improved functionality and stability with the synchronous belt that results in an impressive 300:1 reduction ratio.
  • Lightweight, stability and accurate tracking are not in any way compromised. It has low periodic error and high torque.
  • Functional in both equatorial mode for astrophotography purposes and altazimuth mode for amateur visual observers. It fits the best of both worlds!
  • The mount can be controlled via Wifi, Bluetooth or a hand controller connection.
  • Every mount is individually tested to make sure quality control meets expectations.
  • Hand controller firmware can be updated via the webpage.
  • Compatible with ZWO's flagship product the ASIAIR for wireless control! Use the app on a smartphone for wireless control of the mount and camera (if compatible).

Benefits of Harmonic Mounts

The ZWO AM3 is modeled after a harmonic mount design, also commonly referenced as strain wave gearing. These types of mounts have key advantages over other traditional mount types that are of great benefit to amateur observers and astrophotographers alike. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Vibration and the noise caused thereof are significantly curtailed, thus creating less noise and friction between the moving parts.
  • Due to fewer vibrations, tracking accuracy is elevated to support long-exposure astrophotography with a diminished risk of jolts causing star trails due to misalignment.
  • The nature of the design itself does not require a counterweight due to its self-stabilizing features. Some heavier equipment may require a counterweight due to its weight, but this isn't a requirement of the mount design itself, but rather the heavyweight equipment being mounted.

Periodic Error and Precision Performance

ZWO's commitment to precision in astrophotography is exemplified by the meticulously crafted strain wave gearing system incorporated into the design of the AM3 mount. Collaborating with renowned manufacturers, ZWO has engineered a system with astrophotographers' specific needs in mind. The ZWO AM3 mount boasts extraordinary features, with a focus on minimizing periodic errors, ensuring seamless gearing, and delivering high torque.

One standout feature of the ZWO AM3 mount is its exceptionally low periodic errors (PE). These errors, which can impact the accuracy of tracking celestial objects, have been meticulously minimized to enhance the precision of the mount. The gearing system operates smoothly, providing astrophotographers with a reliable platform for capturing crisp and detailed images of the night sky.

The ZWO team goes the extra mile to guarantee the performance of each AM3 mount. Before leaving the factory, every mount undergoes a meticulous measurement process, and ZWO equips it with an exclusive PE curve. This proactive approach ensures that astrophotographers receive a mount that not only meets but exceeds performance expectations.

ZWO's dedication to precision is embedded in the design and manufacturing process of the AM3 mount, making it an indispensable addition to any astrophotography setup. The focus on minimizing periodic errors, achieving smooth gearing, and providing high torque speaks volumes about ZWO's commitment to empowering astrophotographers with the tools they need to capture breathtaking images with unparalleled precision.

90 Degree Range

The ZWO AM3 mount is equipped with a latitude adjustment range spanning from 0 to 90 degrees. To optimize its versatility, users can make specific adjustments depending on their needs. For the first gear, fine-tune the pitch angle grip within the range of 0 to 60 degrees. If a broader adjustment is required, the second gear provides flexibility by allowing users to loosen the hex-head screw and adjust the pitch angle grip within the range of 45 to 90 degrees.

This not only facilitates the use of the AM3 mount in alt-azimuth mode, accommodating different observational preferences, but it also proves advantageous for astrophotographers situated in both low and high-latitude locations when operating the mount in equatorial mode. The customizable latitude adjustments ensure that the ZWO AM3 mount is adaptable to various celestial observation scenarios, enhancing its functionality for users across different geographical locations and astronomical applications.

Dual Mount Control

When operating the ZWO AM3 mount, astrophotographers have two primary methods of control at their disposal. The first option is the provided rocker-style hand controller, a user-friendly device that facilitates manual manipulation of the mount. Its ergonomic design ensures a comfortable grip, while the rocker-style interface enables effortless movement in various directions.

For a more modern and wireless approach, users can harness the power of the integrated WiFi functionality to control the ZWO AM3 mount remotely using a smartphone or tablet. The hand controller emits an integrated WiFi network, establishing a seamless connection with compatible devices. Through this wireless connection, astrophotographers gain access to a range of features, including Tonight's Target, GoTo, Live Preview, and more, enhancing the overall flexibility and convenience of the astrophotography experience.

It's important to note that to activate the WiFi capability, users need to connect the hand controller to a power source. Once powered, the hand controller emits the WiFi signal, enabling wireless communication with the ZWO AM3 mount.

In terms of device compatibility, the ZWO AM3 mount is specifically engineered to work with iPads running iOS 12 and later versions. This compatibility extends to a variety of iPad models, including iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. This ensures a wide range of options for users who prefer the Apple ecosystem for their astrophotography endeavors.

Moreover, to fully utilize the Sky Atlas app feature, it's recommended to use a device with a minimum of 6 GB of RAM. This ensures smooth operation and optimal performance when exploring the night sky through the advanced features offered by the ZWO AM3 mount. Whether opting for the tactile control of the hand controller or the wireless freedom afforded by the WiFi connection, the ZWO AM3 mount provides a versatile and user-friendly platform for capturing stunning celestial images.

ASIAIR Compatible

For an alternative wireless control option, the ZWO ASIair Plus (sold separately) provides an additional solution for managing the AM3 mount. This compact wireless module enables users to seamlessly control the mount using their smartphones or tablets. If you wish to include an ASIair Plus with your camera purchase, you can locate it in the recommended accessories section or simply click on the provided hyperlink. It's important to mention that this mount is compatible with all versions of the ASIAIR.

Mount Configuration Switch

The AM3 mount by ZWO is ingeniously designed to seamlessly transition between equatorial and alt-azimuth mount modes, offering users versatile functionality. This mode-switching capability can be easily accessed either through the provided hand controller or via the dedicated app on a smartphone or tablet.

To enhance user awareness, the mount's body incorporates a status light indicator, clearly signaling the operational mode at a glance. A red light signifies that the AM3 is in equatorial mode, optimizing it for precise tracking and imaging of celestial objects. Conversely, a green light indicates that the mount has entered alt-azimuth mode, making it particularly suitable for observational purposes.

This dual-mode feature empowers astronomers and astrophotographers with the flexibility to choose the most appropriate mode based on their specific needs. Whether pursuing detailed imaging of celestial wonders in equatorial mode or engaging in observation-oriented tasks in alt-azimuth mode, the ZWO AM3 mount seamlessly adapts to diverse astronomical applications.

Mount Specifications

More Information
Brand ZWO
Free Shipping Free Shipping Available
Case Included Yes
Mount Load Capacity 8kg without CW, 13kg with CW
Mount Head Weight 3.9kg
Power Requirements DC5.5-2.1(12V-3A) - 12V / 0.386A (Standby), 12V / 0.58A (Tracking) 12V / 1.7A (GOTO)
Slew Speeds 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 20x, 60x, 720x, 1440x
Includes Autoguide Port Yes
Periodic Error Correction Yes
Included Dovetail Dual
Operating Temperature -15°C - 40°C
In The Box
  • ZWO AM3 Mount Head
  • Case
  • 2m USB 2.0 Cable
  • Performance sheet
  • Quick Guide Brochure
  • Hand Controller
  • 2m Hand Controller Cable
  • M6 Allen key
  • M4 Allen key
  • ZWO AM3 Mount Head
  • Case
  • 2m USB 2.0 Cable
  • Performance sheet
  • Quick Guide Brochure
  • Hand Controller
  • 2m Hand Controller Cable
  • M6 Allen key
  • M4 Allen key
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