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+1 andrew, could no have stated it better
There have been a couple of threads recently about a "small AP mount" that fills a niche. Having recently driven from the East coast to Arizona with a Mach1, Eagle Pier, AP 130 EDFGT, Cameras, Batteries, computer, eyepieces, table, chair, and everything else needed for serious astrophotography, I know that combination does not make for most people's idea of travel by plane.
While many have asked for specific features, I'd propose an alternative way of approaching the concept. My starting point would be:
1. A mount and tripod that fit airline luggage requirements (~50 pounds including a case like a Pelican Air 1615 or 1637 or rough equivalent).
2. Aimed at dual axis guiding or unguided performance adequate for a Stowaway (subarc second performance). If you could handle a AP 130 EDFGT, all the better but that seems too greedy to me.
3. Option for removing counterweights and exchanging for widefield cameras.
4. I'd plan on carrying the telescope, camera, and computer as carry-on luggage.
5. It would probably take another suitcase to carry some of the other equipment and enough cold weather clothes to survive 5-8 hours on a mountain somewhere dark and usually cold.
A mount like that would work well for a much wider range of serious astrophotography at remote sites than the inexpensive tracking mounts that many use for widefield astrophotography.
I could see using such a mount almost anywhere in the world. Eclipses would be well supported. Widefield should be easy. 5 minute high resolution imaging would be the distinguishing factor. I suspect many would pay the AP premium for a mount that could take them to remote, dark skies that can make the telescope sing.
I'd leave it up to the experts at AP to see what technology they choose to use to make such a mount.
Just a thought. Let me know if you firm up any plans for a mount smaller than a Mach1 or Mach2 as I would sign up for a small AP mount and wait in gracious anticipation of your next great contribution to the field.