Re: 1200GTO as a portable mount?

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Dean,

I am going to have to be on the other side, it seems.

I was in your shoes earlier this spring, wanting an AP mount the 900
seemed right, but I kept seeing posts about a 4 year wait, and there was an
AP1200 available on our local mart. Since the delta in weight didn't seem that
great, I tried to put in a bid on the AP1200.

I can't express how happy I was NOT to have won that bid, when my AP900
came up, surprisingly sooner than expected - thanks to the newly expanded
production facilities at AP. I'm also a 180 lb guy - (never been in shape, and
now retired don't expect any improvements). I think my eyes were bigger than
my good sense at the time, but the AP900 is plenty heavy enough, for me.

I just figured that when taken apart, the RA half (26 lbs), is less than a
fully assembled G11 (my second choice), which I prematurely bought two weeks
earlier - so I know what I am talking about. What I didn't take into account
is the tiny bits that add on to the carrying weight of even half an AP900. The
Pelican 1620 case for the RA half - foamed, but empty - adds another equal 26
lbs. So, we're upto about 52lbs and you might want to toss in the 10 lb
counterweight "bar" (alone) into this first case, of two or more. Now the
thought of lifting the luggage out of the car, and begin the portage, begins
to take on a "back wrenching challenge".

As I said, I am reaaaaaally glad I got the AP900 - at 70 lbs of instrument
load, plenty of capacity for most portable OTA's - unless you think a 14" or
16" SCT and a few added 21 lb steel weights to balance it, is truly portable.

I was supported in my decision by seeing a few ads posted on Astromart,
owners looking to trade their AP1200 down for an AP900. Of course, with
astrographs now being so popular, there are some who are looking to trade down
to an AP Mach1, for use with a refractor instead of their old SCT.

Basic suggestion, get the best mount that will fit your needs, and you can
carry, with some margin. The heavier it gets, the less you feel like hauling
it to a dark site, especially when it is cold, or the mosquitoes and black
flies are in season :-)

Don't take the snap decision to switch to an AP1200 lightly (pun

Whichever mount you decide upon, know that you are getting the finest
mount available. Well designed, superbly made and the unsurpassed support from
Rolando, Marj, and their crew is incomparable. For me, it's the pinnacle, a
once in a lifetime choice.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean S" <dean@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:30 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] 1200GTO as a portable mount?

I am on the list for a 900GTO which should come up next run the first of '08.
But 1200's are available now I see.

I have an observatory with permanant pier, but I also go to several star
parties a year, is there really much of a difference in handling the
componets between these? I don't really need the extra capacity, now at
least, however the lower PE would always be a benefit. My main reason for
an AP mount is to be able to go well past the meridian during an imaging

My current mount weighs 36 & 28 lbs, the 1200 is 50 & 31 lbs. Not really
that much difference. I would have to upgrade piers which might add some
weight too.

Hmmm, just trying to see if I can talk myself into more mount than I really


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