Re: Selling my AP1200GTO for a ParamountME???

John Gleason

Dennis di Cicco carries the ME around on his shoulder with one hand. <G> I
fell out of my chair when I saw that photo in Sky and Telescope.

John Gleason,

Celestial Images Web Site:

Sky Shed Observatory

----- Original Message -----
From: "ben1t" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 6:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Selling my AP1200GTO for a ParamountME???

This is of course subjective, but I found the ME's 70lbs to be quite
hefty and would not put it in the "very light weight" category. There
are definitely those (like John!) for whom this is clearly not a big
deal, but it's good to know the weight before you commit to lugging it

--- In, john gleason <dvj@e...> wrote:
I own and use both the new ME and AP1200 goto.

My personal observations:

Both mounts can be set up to run remotely. I have not found any
advantage for either mount in this regard other than the ME cable
routing through the mount to prevent tangles.

Paramount ME requires 48vdc operation - not the best if you are
running on batteries in the field.

AP 1200 breaks apart for easy transport.

Paramount ME does not break apart, but is very light weight and can
be carried fairly easily from car to pier.

Paramount ME has hard stops in RA ~7 degrees beyond the meridian.
This is a real pain as I have come to discover. Although I have not
lost any images, the time to perform the mount flip, reenter,
reacquire the guidestar is a real drawback. Especially when you are
doing a sequence of very long multi-hour exposures. If it looks like
I am going to run into a hardstop before the end of an exposure, I
simply cover the telescope and let the exposure time out instead of
loosing it entirely.

Both the AP and ME mounts are very noisy during slewing. The AP
sounds like a coffee grinder in RA, the ME like a dentist drill. The
ME also has a continual high frequency RA motor pulse sound that can
be annoying after a long observing session.

Pointing accuracy with T-point modeling works equally well for both

Using the ME, Steve Lee has been able to get 30 minute exposures
with the 130mm f/6 without assisted guiding - nice round stars. He
spent considerable amount of time with the T-point terms but he also
pals with the AAT team that developed T-point for the 3.9M
Anglo-Australian telescope.

You can easily unlock the motor clutches on the ME for friction free
balancing in RA and DEC.

The AP has a self contained hand control, the ME comes with a manual
joystick. Automated functions must be driven by the Sky software. The
ME also comes with a full suite of software applications. There are a
lot of subtle tracking features I have yet to explore.

Would I give either mount an edge in performance? I give the 1200
the edge because it can go further beyond the meridian. I like the
internal cable routing of the ME but the meridian hardstop is another
unwanted thing to have to think about in the photography process. To
their credit, the Bisque's do graphically illustrate the meridian
limit in TheSky.

Both manufacturers have approached the design of their mounts from
different directions. But I might also add here that he guy that once
built mounts for Roland, now works for Software Bisque.

Anyway my $0.02 on the subject


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