Re: Mach2 Update?


Roland Christen
 

I apologize to all who are waiting patiently for this mount.

Yes, it has taken longer than anticipated for us to finish the first batch. This mount is totally new and quite different in many ways from our previous versions, even our previous encoder mounts. Where we used servomotors and gears before, we use brushless microsteppers and belt drives in the Mach2. They react differently to loop commands and we have different software to control them. All this had to be tested thoroughly on the production mounts before I was fully satisfied with the performance.

Parallel to the mount development we also have new keypad software for the Mach2 because this computer mount has certain operations that are different from our previous encoder mounts. Some functions are now automatic and not settable by the customer - such as Resume from ParkX or Present Position etc. These and other annoyances have all been eliminated in this mount because it is now automatic, you don't have to remember anything because the mount always knows where it is.

We have also added new features to the keypad to make it far more usable and easier to operate. Things like modeling took a lot of time to develop and test, and our skies this winter prevented most testing for weeks at a time. Nevertheless we are finished with the mount portion and are doing final testing on the first batch. I am very picky about how the mounts are assembled and watching every step as our technicians put them together. I am personally doing the test protocol on every mount myself at this time, to make certain that every one of them meets spec. Last thing I want is for something to happen to a mount that was shipped and did not work correctly at the customer's location. When these first production units are done, we will automate our testing and be able to do it at a faster rate for future production.

I think you will find that the performance of the Mach2 is at a much higher level than other mounts of its size range. It was a personal dream of mine to produce a high precision imaging mount and it has taken a number of years from just paper sketches to Cad-Cam design to analysis to actual cutting of metal. It will track extremely accurately and won't require constant corrections in PHD2 at high guide rates to keep it on the straight and narrow. And of course it has excellent potential for unguided imaging with any focal length scope. In fact I plan to do just that with my 10" F14.6 Mak-Cass., weather permitting, and I will show you the resolution that is possible under reasonably good seeing.

Rolando







-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Feb 1, 2020 1:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?

But Bill, now that we are about 2 1/2 months past the original ship date, and those who put their $4500 deposits down in September 2019 did so 4 1/2 or 5 months ago, don't you think it is reasonable for some to ask why we keep blowing through "expected ship dates" for the first batch?  In Terri's case I am guessing that a deposit was made prior to September 2019.

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