Re: Mach 1

jimhp29401us <thefamily111@...>

Wow you guys who do Deep Sky imaging must need Very accurate polar
alignment. You don't need to be that accurately alighned to use the
GOTO. You just center then Syn on objects (Go to bright objects
initially) and soon the mount compensates and takes you to whatever
you are looking for in that area of the sky. For webcam imaging of
the moon, sun and planets you do not need precise polar alignment
either, just slow motion controls in both axis that allow you to keep
the object on your laptop screen while imaging. It can roam all over
the screen as long as it stays on and you have no problem processing
in registax.

Jim Phillips


It takes me 5 minutes to cart my pier up out of the basement, out to
the sheltered spot I usually try to observe from and set it up.
Next 5
minutes is spent bringing out the Mach1 mount and attaching it,
back in and getting the counterweights, and shaft is another 5
minutes, bringing out the scope another 5, going back in for the
finder, diagonal and eyepiece case or a few eyepieces to use
another 5
minutes, going back in and getting whatever I forgot to get on one
the other trips another 5 minutes, all in all, about a 25 to 30
minutes before I am ready to go. If I want to have power and roughly
polar align using the PAS so that I can goto all over the sky it is
another 10 minutes to get the keypad, cables, power supply, power
cord, PAS and roughly polar align so that objects pretty much always
end up somewhere in a low power eyepiece view.

If I had a DM6 on the same pier and using the same scope it would
about 10 minutes less since there are no counterweights and there is
no need to polar align. A quick alignment on a couple of bright
and away you go. Of course one could get away with a lighter tripod
which means that there could be one less trip to make since tripod
head could be managed in one trip quite easily. It is all relative.
that reduction of 10 or 15 minutes worth spending another $2500 for
DM6 and rigid lightweight tripod for a very marginal "grab and go"
set-up on top of the purchase of the Mach1 and pier? I usually
the meaning of a "grab and go" as a complete unit, manageable in one
piece with two hands most of the time but one when necessary to open
doors. The DM6 nor the Mach1 nor any of their kinfolk need not apply
in my mind. This is the purview of a small 60 to 80mm lightweight
scope on a lightweight alt-az or GE on a lightweight tripod. Plunk
down and if a GE plunk it down with the polar axis pointing roughly
north. Since most of these small GE mounts use C or D cell battery
packs, flick the switch and you should be tracking. Use the optical
finder or unit finder or attached laser pointer to locate the
and look into the eyepiece.

In all fairness, I could use a really light scope and keep it on the
Mach1 with a really light tripod to hold everything and attempt to
it all out the door without damaging myself or anything else but I
just don't think it would be a very useful combination of parts. The
Mach1GTO is a high quality mount and I think it should be treated as
such. There are lots of capabilities built in and they are worth

For CCD imaging the time goes way up. At least 45 minutes to set up.
Another 30 minutes to polar align, focus, flat frame, etc. Another 5
to 15 minutes to get on the object, get a guide star, set up the
software to image. If I can actually, in practice, go from nothing
imaging in less than an hour and a half I usually consider it a

IF I had a permanent pier it would take less time. IF I had a
permanently aligned mount on that pier with all the doodads attached
it would take far less time. Then again taking it another level, IF
had an observatory it might only take as long as opening the
doors/roof, and powering up before I was ready to do the flats and
find a subject to image. It's all relative.

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@ wrote:

In a message dated 2/11/2008 5:54:37 PM Central Standard Time,
ivanong@ writes:

The Mach1GTO takes a while to set up and take down. Many things
screw and tighten- will take you about 40 min or so.
Really? Only takes me 5 minutes to set up my Mach 1. Plunk it into
the pier,
tighten 3 hand knobs, attach scope to the dovetail plate, insert
look. What am I missing?


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