Re: The Awesome 1200

John Gleason

I had a chance to see Ray Gralak's new goto 1200 mount this past Saturday
night. Most impressive in some respects, a little disappointing in
others. Supporting a small 5-inch f/8 refractor, why did it have a high
frequency dampening problem? I suspect the thin walled, hollow pier to be
the culprit. I have the same problem with my own QMD 1200, vintage 1997.
Anyone have any thougths on fixing this problem? Not that the mount isn't
stiff in the wind, but the vibration is noticeable during any focus
adjustment or slight tap on the telescope tube assembly. Clutch knobs
would also end up behind motor housings. I guess with goto this doesn't
matter much. Why such a big microphone for speech recognition? Wouldn't
a wireless mic be awesome?

On the positive side, the tracking and pointing accuracy were top notch.
Ray had no problem finding and centering objects. Two minute unassisted
exposures yielded sharp, round stars. Great improvements in the DC servo
motors vs. the DC steppers. I have always seen stepper bounce in my QMD,
none noticed here. The machine work is excellent, but the paint chips too

And here's the latest from Ray using the new 1200. About as good as it


John Gleason, dvj@...


From: markdambrosio@...
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] The Awesome 1200
Date: Thursday, October 07, 1999 10:29 PM

After being with Chuck, and Roland at the fest, and studying the mount,
i must say that both halves of the head are very compact
pieces,(Amazing engineering!) and i will consider making my own
inexpensive cases from foam lined Rubbermaid cases for them. (Hinged
lid, w/latch) Naturally, they are not suitable to ship the mount in,
but for transportation by car, they will be very suitable, extremely
light (A big plus) Will protect the mount adequately from any
damage/dings, and will save much dinero. Also one for the pier base.
For the pier tube, and legs, and pier rods, i will make naugahyde cases
with nylon strap handles/velcro closures. Total cost should be under
$100, and will be quite effective. I did this with the HGM-200 with
great results, and IMO the HGM is a much more bulky, oddly
shaped,unwieldy mount. K-mart, Wal-mart, and a few others carry cases
like this. Sometimes in the auto, or Garden section. Mark

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