Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Raymond Lillard

I am on the wait list for a Mach2, but from recent communication with AP, it will be at least a year before my name comes up. My concern with the Mach2 is the weight. I have a Mach1 which I can muscle around when mobile and shooting with one of my big guns. When my name comes up I will need to think very carefully about its weight.

I also have an iOptron CEM25EC and a good collection of Nikon camera lenses, the longest focal length is 300mm. It is good enough to shoot 5 minute subs @300mm with the ASI2600MC. The stars are just barely oval at 7 minutes. This is UNGUIDED with a very precise polar alignment.

I'll omit the details of the mechanical modifications I had to make to get good polar alignment. Take my word for it, the machining is embarrassingly bad and I say the same about the software. I does work, not because of, but in-spite of...

I said all of that to make a point that I would love to have an similar offering from AP. I don't think it would not need to retail for more than $5k-ish as the tolerances for such wide-field work need not be as tight as for AP's big mounts.

What about the crazy idea of AP working with Losmandy to put encoders on a G11 ? I'd buy one right now. I'd even help with the firmware development for free. I am a semi-retired (sometimes just tired) engineer who has managed many development projects and written miles of code to control similar things.

I'm not sure how the Gemini thing would work in this scenario. Maybe it goes away, maybe not. A joint effort would not burden AP's overloaded factory and Losmandy would not need to build a software team.

I too like the feature that the Mach1 and the G11 axes can be separated.

I should have warned everyone at the top that I never know where my stream-of-consciousness posts will go when I get wound up.


On 4/27/21 4:06 PM, W Hilmo wrote:
Certainly, if you don't separate the AP1100 axes, it's bigger and heavier than the Mach2. I do separate them, though, for packing and transport. The bin in which I carry it would need to be much larger if I didn't separate them.
For what it's worth, I'm no stranger to using big mounts as "portable" mounts. I take my AP1600 into the field at least once per year, for Oregon Star Party. Occasionally, I take it to another event or two, but mostly I use the AP1100 as my portable imaging mount.
-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Jeffc
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

On Apr 27, 2021, at 1:13 PM, W Hilmo <> wrote:

and I don't think that it's any more portable than my AP1100, since
the axes don't separate.
Fwiw… I transport the 1100 (non AE version) with the axis mated.
It is easier/faster to setup this way given the Dec cable. The removable Dec/saddle plate is nice because then the whole mount fits in a decent size tub with the Dec plate + 16” saddle removed.
I’m finding the Mach2 definitely takes up less space in the vehicle than the 1100. The weight of the Mach2 (the part I need to carry off the tripod) is a tad bit less than the 1100 Ra+Dec.
But yes the Mach2 is surprisingly heavy.
Just another perspective: I prefer the Mach2 over the 1100 since the biggest OTA I’m using is a 12” ACF SCT. The Mach2 seems to carry it no problem. (Of course the 1100 I own is non-AE ; this also biases me to the Mach2.)
And for “portable” work , I don’t think I need the 1100 capacity (no observatory here until we move to a different location.)
Background: I acquired the 1100 to “downsize” from a 1200. Note: I still have the 1200 — it is a bit dated, but is also “portable” and imo a very nice mount.
I signed up for the “Mach 1 replacement” and was also surprised by the Mach2 size when I saw it at AIC. Now that I’m using the Mach2 for a bit I’m not at all disappointed by the larger size.

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