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I had the same problem. I wasn't ready to build an observatory
so I needed a portable mount. The 900 and 1200 are (were?)
close in price. Both can be used on similar type portable piers.
I went with the 900GTO. I don't do astrophotography. The 155EDFS
is very stable on the 900GTO and 48" pier.
On their respective portable piers I'm not sure how much more
stable the 1200 is vs the 900. I am guessing that on the difference
may not be as much as if both mounts were on rock solid, permanent
The two parts of the 1200 are quite a bit more heavy than those
of the 900. If you feel like the weight isn't a problem then it would
seem like the 1200 would give more bang for buck.
My thinking was, I'll enjoy using the 900 and by the time I feel like
building an little observatory I'll get a 1200. At that point I will make
up my mind to either keep or sell the 900.
I would like someday to purchase an AP 155 Starfire, but for
economical reasons I have to start with the mount, and wait with the
scope. (In the meantime, I will use a good, homebuilt 4" doublet).
But should I select a 900GTO or a GTO-1200 mount?
One big problem is that I am several thousands kilometers away from
the showrooms; so I need your help.
If I had a permanent observation site, I would undoubtly select the
GTO-1200. However, as for now, I do not have a permanent site. I hope
to get one within some years. Until then, I will have to transport
the equipment in my (compact) car every time.
Paul Gustafson has a 900GTO and kindly gave me some clues to this
problem. I would like, however, to supplement with the opinions from
other users; in particular 1200GTO owners who have to transport their
mount by car to the observation site.
Would you think that the 1200GTO is too big and heavy for me in the
situation described above?
If I purchase a 900GTO, will I regret that I did not select the
1200GTO the day where I have a permanent site and maybe want to add
another scope or more equipment?
Also, I understand that the 1200GTO needs a pier where the 900GTO can
do with a tripod. Right? That means that I have to include the weight
and volume drawbacks of a pier versus a tripod when I consider
portability of these two mounts.
I very much appreciate any comments on this.
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