Re: Should I select 900GTO or 1200GTO?

Ron Wodaski <ronw@...>

I used one of the mid-size Pelican cases for my AP 400 QMD. I have since
sold that mount in favor of a 600 GTO. I shipped the mount to the buyer in
the Pelican case, so I no longer have the number handy. The basic rule of
thumb I've used for holding equipment in Pelican cases (and I've used nearly
a dozen so far!) is to have at least 1" of space around items if I will be
hand-carrying them or transporting in my own car. If I plan to ship, I go to
2" as my minimum distance, or 3" if it is very heavy. Just measure the
longest dimensions of your item, add the extra space, and scan a Pelican
product list. This usually gives you at least a couple of cases to choose
from. As often as not, I go oversize and leave room for accessories.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: James Runsdorf [mailto:jrunsdor@...]
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2000 10:00 AM
To: Bob Luffel
Cc: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Should I select 900GTO or 1200GTO?

I hope you don't mind my piggy-backing on your question about a Pelican
case for the 600. I'm waiting for delivery of a 400GTO and was wondering
whether anyone uses a Pelican to transport this mount. At present A-P
doesn't have a case for the 400 in stock.

Thanks for your input,


On Fri, 17 Mar 2000, Bob Luffel wrote:

Hi Ron,

I would be interested in hearing what problems/fixes you had with your
600GTO (so that those of us with 600s know what to keep an eye out for).
The prior 600E QMD I owned worked flawlessly (and my new 600E GTO has been

I had a chance to use an EM200 mount this past Astrofest for the first
it will be interesting to hear your experienced comparison to the 600.

Which Pelican case do you pack your 600 into? (I have the A-P case, but
a padded pelican would probably be an even more convenient way to go).

Bob Luffel

The 600E is a very solid mount, and as you noted the 400 can carry a
heavier load than you expect. I've done successful astrophotography with
both mounts, and have done so with scopes that were well outside the
range of both mounts. And gotten swell pictures anyway. <g> I've used 8"
9" SCTs and Cassegrains on both the 400 and 600 with great results, and
those have been at some very long focal lengths (up to f/33 and 7000mm
planetary photography, and that was right out there at the edge of what
these fine mounts can do).

I had some problems with my 600 GTO, and it recently came back from AP
improved. It's now like a tank, and I think Roland has changed the specs
the 600 mounts so that they are more robust. With the changes, the 600
is very good photographic platform. I've taken some excellent images
with it
lately ( with my 5" refractor. I recently
acquired an
EM-200 mount, and will be doing some side-by-side comparisons between
two to see how they shape up.

The 600 GTO is extremely portable, which is its main attraction for me.
bought a large Pelican case into which I can fit all mount components,
and I
can transport and set up quickly.

Ron Wodaski

-----Original Message-----
From: John Gleason [mailto:dvj@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 7:32 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Should I select 900GTO or 1200GTO?

Don't rule out the AP goto 600 mount. If you are not too serious about
astrophotography and have the AP155 with the 2.7" focuser, I would
the 600 as a best all around mount for portability and support of the
I have used the entire AP QMD mount product line and was very surprised
see just how well the 600 supported even the 155 EDF for serious visual
observation. I mounted the AP 400 once to a standard Losmandy Pier and
even went as far to put the 155 EDF on it. Not recommended, but it did
support the telescope for visual work at my great surprise.

If on the otherhand you are obsessed with catching photons on film or
silicon, I wouldn't use anything less then the 900.

Happy choosing!

John Gleason, dvj@...

From: N. Foldager <nf@...>
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Should I select 900GTO or 1200GTO?
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000 8:32 AM

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.

Best regards,

Niels Foldager
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