Re: 1200GTO as a portable mount?

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Dean,

One more thought to add to Rick's advice about cases, is that just as the
1.21x size scale increases going from an AP900 up to an AP1200, there is also
the additional weight scale, for the required cases - assuming you don't use
the AP shipping cartons.

To get the same level of protection for a 1200 that you would need for the
lighter 900, you need more foam. Then, cases such as a Pelican, don't scale in
their volume as easily, so the mass of the plastic case itself, escalates the
amount of weight you will have to lift out of the vehicle and carry to the
site. It could also be that the next incremental volume case, may be somewhat
larger than exactly what you require, so you then have excess case volume and
weight. Fortunately you might not need a trolley since you would be smart to
choose a case with wheels (perhaps a Pelican 1620 for the 900, and possibly a
Pelican 1650, for the 1200).

These would be fine, except in winter, when a short toboggan would perform
better in snow deeper than a few of inches. :-)
In the end, you have to consider if an observatory sized telescope is suitable
for field travel, and the choice of mount, or of two mounts, then follows.

The other thing to consider is that the AP mounts are well built, so the
load factors are conservative - I believe several people here have
satisfactorily exceeded the 70 lb limit on an AP900, but even an undersized
OTA load can become susceptible to wind gust loading. For that matter, even a
massive mount won't help if the wind flexes the OTA saddle attachment. It
really depends on your OTA choice at that point.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:24 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: 1200GTO as a portable mount?

Hi Dean,
I have one more thing to add here. I just want to make sure you
fully understand the pros and cons so that you are happy.
Many people here have discussed how the 1200 is only 50 lbs for the
heaviest component. That is very true. The EASIEST !!! part of the
setup is carrying the mount halves over to place on the pier. The
part that gets old is packing and unpacking the mount parts in their
cases. In the case, the RA section is fairly bulky and if you put it
in a pelican case or similar, then it weighs in the 80+ lbs range.
Lugging the cased parts and the larger pier around from your garage
or storage - to the truck - to your set up site - back to the truck -
back in storage is the part that gets very tiring...remember that
you have just been out for days with nearly zero sleep! That said, I
did just that at least once every month for three years. When I got
my observatory, I placed the 1200 in there and now carry the 900
every month to shoot wide fields while the larger scope operates in
the observatory. The 900 is exceptionally easy and if you use
Roland's original shipping boxes as your case, the 900 is very light
to carry around...even in the "case".

Since you indicated that it will be mostly in the observatory, I
would probably opt for the 1200 and get a 900 to compliment it ASAP!
You can't miss with either choice. Good luck.

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