Re: AP portable pier vs ATS portable pier
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I used a portable 10" ATS pier for a while with my AP1600GTO before moving to a permanent ATS pier in my observatory. I also have used the AP Pier in the past. (My portable 10" ATS Pier I will sell shortly)
The big difference as you observe is that the ATS Pier can be leveled much more easily as each of the legs is adjustable over a greater range. It is certainly quite transportable but it is very solid and robust as well. It is also quicker to setup as you don't need to assemble the legs and turnbuckles, you just swing out the legs and secure them. Once assembled you could probably anchor a ship to an ATS pier and it would not move. In general for extreme stability at long focal lengths I found the ATS pier a more robust portable solution compared to the AP pier. (Which is certainly adequate for most uses) I remember once when doing long focal length work observing a slight shift as the mount shifted weight distribution because the metal pads were sliding on my patio slightly. When I changed the pads from metal to the hard rubber pads the problem went away. That is an option (I believe) you have with the ATS pier you don't with the AP pier. In general, I think the ATS pier is worth the additional expense.
From: "Hemant Hariyani hemanthariyani@... [ap-gto]"
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:57:12 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP portable pier vs ATS portable pier
I am new to the group and this is my first post. I am also considering purchasing an AP 1600 and this will be my first AP product. I have heard a lot of good things and am looking forward to getting one myself. George at Astrophysics was extremely helpful in clarifying my questions regarding the mount and the AP customer service is the single biggest reason why I am opting for AP over other mounts.
I do know that an ATS portable pier would probably be the best portable pier that I can get for the mount but it is considerably more expensive than the AP pier. I was wondering if I could get some help comparing these two options? My setup would spend a lot of time in my backyard observatory with occasional trips to a dark site and long focal length astrophotography is what the mount would primarily be used for.
Does ATS offer any more stability than AP pier does for the max load capacity of the mount?
I understand that leveling the AP pier can be a problem? Can this be solved by providing some sort of a base/platform or modification? Concrete leveling blocks etc?
What about the ease of setup? How difficult is it to transport and setup an AP pier?
If AP solves the problem and provides just as much stability, I would rather go for it but at the same time, I would hate to buy something and then be left wanting more.
I will appreciate any help I can get here.