Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Bill Long

The RST135 really fits the airplane carry on portable need well. The revived 400AE mount would be really great for trips where space is at a premium in your vehicle. You really want that performance and precision, and you're heading out with your 5" refractor but you don't want the whole vehicle filled with big cases, large tripod, etc. You also want to take other humans with you. Maybe a dog as well. They like food, clothes, and their own stuff too. Once you're there you find a really great spot to set up, but you'll need to hike a mild amount to get there. The size, weight, and capacity enable that scenario well. 

From: <> on behalf of Frost David <frosty5@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.


On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.


Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.


The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.


I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.


As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.


On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

Join to automatically receive all group messages.