Re: Mach1 GTO vs 900


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Bjug,

I know exactly how you feel - I was in the same boat last year, when my AP-900 came up just two weeks after "settling for" a Losmandy G11/Gemini. No brainer, I sold the Gemini, and never regretted it. But that was before the Mach1 came out. I too live in a huge metropolis, travel is out of the question (there are no dark sites left among all the suburbs). The Mach1 is a beauty - but so are all of Roland's creations. Yes, the AP-900 isn't as light as a G11 or a Mach-1, but very close, especially since you can carry the AP-900 as two separate parts, RA and then DEC axle. That makes it much lighter. Heck, Carrying the 10 lb. counter weight bar can be work :-) not to mention the 18 lb weight itself. But it is all worth it!

I haven't checked, but do the Mach-1 axles come apart? If not, the carry weight of either half an AP-900 may be the same or lighter than a full Mach-1.

You should also consider the possibility that once the Mach-1 wets your appetite, you may want a larger scope, camera (an ST-11000 weights 4.5 lbs), etc. and take into account added wind force loading on a long OTA.

There is absolutely no way you can go wrong with choosing either mount, both are superb, so that decision is a load off your mind ... and maybe off your wallet as well. I continue to be extremely satisfied with my choice. I was going to go for an AP1200, which was available elsewhere while my name on the bottom of the AP-900 list was then quite recent. However, for my needs, and portability, I sure am glad I didn't go for the AP-1200, which remains an option if I build a back yard observatory, some day, and get a Light-Bucket.

You are evidently in the same predicament. My advice, look at your possible short term future scope upgrades. If the Mach-1 will give you some "loading buffer" for future purchases, then comparatively, I would think the Mach-1 is almost pocket (book) sized for your travel needs. If you travel by air to holiday at better dark sites, the Mach-1 will be easier to pack and carry as well, and the packing cases will be smaller. If you do occasionally get to a dark site, consider whether your vehicle has the space for the size of luggage involved. Pelican padded cases can be quite large and heavy, even empty. You will have to decide between adequate, and easy portability.

... but I really love my AP900, and when it is not being used in the back yard (on it's terrific, solid, Losmandy G11 tripod - consider that for Mach-1 or AP-900 too), I keep it set up in the den . It's such a work of art.

Good luck,
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bjug Borgundvaag" <bjug@sympatico.ca>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:35 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Mach1 GTO vs 900


I have been patiently waiting for my name to come up on either the Mach1 GTO or 900
lists, and am searching for some info comparing these two mounts. My name has recently
come up on the 900 list, and now I am being forced to make a choice.

I think I understand the design (ability to channel cables through the mount in the
Mach1), and payload capacity differences, but a key question I have relates to physical size
of each. I have seen a Mach1 in person, only once, and recall thinking that it was larger
than I expected (certainly compared to my puny GM-8). I have never seen a 900, and
wonder how much larger is it? There are dimension diagrams on the AP website for the
900, but not for the Mach1.

I live in a large city and have to travel by car to observe. I don't foresee this changing
anytime soon. I presently have an AP130 F6 (hoping for a 140 one day). So far, I have been
a strictly visual observer, but hope to try imaging in the future. I know that a Mach1 is
quite well suited to my set up, and I believe that it would be fine for imaging with my
present scope as well, but I don't know how long I am going to have to wait to see one.

Anyone have experience carrying both of these mounts to remote observing sites? Anyone
wishing that their 900 was a bit lighter to carry around and set up?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

Bjug


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