Re: questions from a possible 900GTO owner

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Mal,

It could be I might be over complicating my desires of "portability"

First, a correction, Gil and I are hoping to continue using our "Losmandy
tripod"; I introduced the Meade reference, because I intend to use the
Losmandy "MA" option - a Meade tripod adapter. This is normally used to
convert the Meade tripod , or for a permanent post in the ground. That is
convenient, saves making a special mount holder by hiring a machinist.

What I am also trying to avoid on the AP900 field use, is messing with:

(1) poking around with a flashlight to get the 4 screws into the fork base &
adapter, during setup
(2) removing the AP900 RA assembly, by unbolting 4 screws, completely during
take down
(3) risk losing one or more of these screws in the snow or grass
(4) saving time
(5) make it easier to work with cold hands and fingers

With the "reducing adapter" approach, the installation & removal of the
AP900 emulates the Losmandy G11 system:

(1) loosen, but not remove, 3 large bright aluminum, Losmandy optional knobs
(2) twist the RA assembly/"G11 reducing adapter", in the 3 notched holes, and
lift out

The G11 tripod adapter along with its 3 knobs, all still attached to the
original AP900 RA assembly (including AP900, with fork still bolted down to
its Rotating or Standard adapter, and azimuth/elevation settings untouched ),
is packed away for travel.

Reinstallation on the Losmandy G11 tripod, (or a permanent post with the
MA "G11 to Meade Tripod Adapter"), is a simple drop back down, twist to lock,
and snug up the 3 knobs.
Quick and easy - plus, for short trips between the dedicated back yard
observing spot (post, or pads), and the house, no change of site alignment is
required - quicker initialization.

In your Meade tripod setup, how do you pack up the AP900?
Since the AP pier adapter plate is permanently bolted to the Meade tripod, you
no longer have the option to put your Meade Wedge back on it, if desired, so
it is now a permanent AP900 tripod.
For travel, do you have to remove the 6 tiny button screws around the AP900
Flat Surface Adapter (FSA) plate, and then lift off the AP900 RA assembly? Not
much fun in the dark, and they WILL likely get lost.
Or, do you leave the AP900 "Rotating or Standard Adapter" plate screwed
down to the FSA, but remove the 4 bolts from the AP900 fork base, and pack
that away? Again, the hassle with the complete removal or insertion of those 4

Please correct me if I am misunderstanding something about the AP900
installation procedures.
I would do anything to simplify and speed up repeatable field setup
procedures, especially when it's very cold.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mal Speer" <mal@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 8:30 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: questions from a possible 900GTO owner

For the fellow with the Meade tripod: If you buy the AP mounting
plate all you have to do is drill and tap 4 -20 holes in the Meade
tripod top to match the 4 flat mounting holes in AP 900 mounting
plate. I used an AP 900 with a C14 on a Meade Giant field tripod and
it worked great.

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>

Hi Gil,

I did a few quick measurements of my Losmandy G11 mount
bottom, and saw
the dimension Drawing of the AP900 Pier Adapter Plate, and see it
is easy to
make a "reducing" adapter so that the top of this 2" or 3" tall
ring has the
shape and 6 small screw holes - as though this were the top of any
AP tripod -
to accept the AP900, then is cut inward, to the shape and
dimensions of the
Losmandy head base at the bottom.

Here is a direct link to the AP "Pier Adapter" dimensions
document, at
their Tech Support page, under the AP900 list of PDF documents
(consider this
the same as the bottom of your AP900, which drops into an AP tripod

900 Mount Base (Pier Adapter) Dimensions (05-17-00)

The bottom of this plate is the same as the bottom of the AP900
or Rotating Pier Adapter, which you would be already using on that
mount. Have
your machinist make the top 1/2 inch or so it accepts this base.
The bottom
of the reducing adapter is just a narrower cylinder with 3 holes to
screw in
the Losmandy G11 screws/knobs.
It's like a "gender changer" - female AP900 at the top (like the
pipe), and
G11 male at the bottom.

After that, you can treat the AP900 mount as though it were a
G11 mount -
for your Losmandy tripod - or with MA option, if you like using the
tripod legs (or any other heavy photographic tripod) with a
Losmandy MA bolted
on top of it.
This "reducing adapter" opens up both Losmandy and Meade tripods
compatibility for the AP900.

I assume you have purchased the optional Losmandy knobs - they
are so
convenient. You might buy an extra set for your G11 adapter. They
make it
soooo easy to just drop the heavy mount straight into it's pier,
knobs and
My plan is to make this "coupler as short as possible", so it
attached to the AP900 mount (pier adapter) permanently, just like
the AP900
actually had a Losmandy G11 mount base. That way, I can simply drop
the AP900
directly into my G11 tripod, or into my Losmandy Meade Pier Adapter
(MA) -
same thing.

The down side, is that the AP900 mount still needs to fit into
travelling case - you may have to remove a bit of foam since the
adapter remains screwed to the bottom of the AP mount with those 6
screws. Since I haven't received my AP900 yet, I can still search
for a
suitable case for it to fit this modified bottom shape.

If you buy a SCOPEGUARD case for the AP900, they use their own
standard AP900
shaped pre-cut foam insert, which won't be cut for that 2 or 3 inch
adapter -
and the case might even then be slightly too small (don't know). I
plan on
using a suitable Pelican case, and remove the foam cubes myself to
fit the end

Since at this point you are just a "possible 900GTO owner" as
you say,
then we are in the same boat. I won't start machining until it
arrives so the
result can be test fitted to both parts.

Meanwhile, show your friend your current G11 tripod, and give
him the
AP900 pier adapter plate dimension diagram, in preparation. It's so
simple, AP
should have done this a long time ago, since a lot of AP mount
owners are
current or former G11 owners as well. Makes VERY good marketing
sense. Heck,
it may even help Scott sell more of HIS tripods, for those like me
who don't
like the AP tripods. Then again ... maybe AP doesn't want to
customers buying Losmandy's tripods, and Losmandy doesn't want
people buying
AP's mounts instead of his own G11 etc :-)

I'll work on my own sketch for this soon, but I think there is
enough data
for your friend's advice already.

Good luck,

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