I haven't tried the ATS pier but I have had the AP portable pier for 8 years. I can say that the AP pier is very easy and quick to set up and is solid as a rock. I opted for the 32" pier height since I was going to do primarily astrophotography with my AP900GOTO and the shorter the pier the more stable it would be. There is some latitude for adjustment for uneven ground but not a lot. However, based on what you say your usage would be, I can't see that being a problem. I leave my pier outside all the time under a plastic tarp. The quality of the finish is such that I have not had a problem with rust or any deterioration of any kind. If you do go for one, I would definitely get the precision adjust rotating pier adapter. That makes polar alignment much easier especially if you move around a lot. Bottom line Hemant, if you have the budget, sure it would be nice to have an ATS or even an Eagle pier. But in my case, I chose to spend the difference between the two on other astro equipment instead. Haven't regretted it a bit.
From: "Hemant Hariyani hemanthariyani@... [ap-gto]" To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:54 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.