New member - advice on switching from G11 to AP900


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hello everyone,

As a new member, I am looking forward to scanning through more of
the posts in this forum, but in the short term, my decision time is
very short.

I recently acquired a used Losmandy G-11, and am on the learning,
but suddenly, well beyond my best expectations, an opportunity for an
AP900 GTO has come up, and wanted the advice from those of you who
have made the leap from a Losmandy G-11 Gemini to the Astro Physics
AP900 GTO. I suppose it might be like moving from perhaps the
Cadillac of computerized mounts - to the Rolles Royce. But before I
fully commit to a significant new expenditure, I would really be
oblidged to hear your own opinions, on the differences from using
your old G-11 and now your AP900.

For example:
One difference between the two that concerns me somewhat, is
switching the mount from the house, to a pier in the yard. With the G-
11, I can simply loosen 3 large aluminum pier knobs, and transfer the
entire mount to a field tripod - and back later. I wouldn't have to
redo any polar alignment, if I didn't readjust the polar elevation or
azimuth knobs. This saves a lot of time by skipping the COLD start,
and just doing a quick and simple WARM start.

However, looking at the "equivalent" AP900 take down items, it
doesn't seem quite as simple, just transfering from one pier
adapter "plate" to another. If I remove the RA assembly by detaching
the fork bolts (from the pier adapter), I no longer preserve the
polar
azimuth adjustment. The other alternative is to remove the 6 screws
from the pier adapter "plate" itself, and then remove the (entire) RA
assembly, fork, and pier adapter, as a unit - this would be
equivalent
to packing up the G-11 from it's tripod. The problem is that there
are
SIX of these smaller, black coloured, side-screws to handle in the
dark, which is just inviting Murphy to a star party!
The G-11 installation is so much easier - all you have to do is drop
the RA assembly into just 3 tripod slots, and give a quick turn
before tightening the 3 knobs - instead of searching for 6 screw
holes on the side, in the dark. Of course, I am talking about a
specific situation here rather than a permanent installation or a
full startup in the field.

You see my concern ... and that's just a handling issue, but what
about
the hopefully, MUCH improved performance of the AP900 over the pretty
good G-11? I would value your experienced opinions on that.

I still have some extensive reading of the AP900 manual to do, but
perhaps you could get me going.

Many thanks for any guidance, and reassurance.

Joe

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