Re: Physical handling questions (AP1100)

Ben Lutch

Fwiw, I use JMI Wheeley Bars to move my AP1200 setup (which carries a 6" - 10" refractor depending on the season, so it's pretty loaded up) in and out and all set up with wiring, scope and all the fixings.  This is over pavers, maybe 20-30 ft.  I have been doing this for the last ~20 years w/no ill effects I could detect.  Just one data point, but fwiw....

On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 4:14 PM ap@... <ap@...> wrote:
OK, before I do something stupid.... 

I image in my back yard, about 70' or so travel, but it has to go in and out each night, nothing can be left set up.  This means hauling a lot of stuff in and out, and I try to minimize assembly.

With the CEM70G I had, I started using a customized handtruck -- wide plate at the bottom, padding on the back, lean the tripod + mount into it, strap it on, and take it out.  No mount removal/attachment, all the wires, etc.

With the AP1100 I hoped to do the same, and prepared a new handtruck, bigger low pressure tires (15") for smoother ride.  Then I read in the manual "Always disassemble the mount before moving it or transporting it". 

Yikes... kind of spoils that, especially since I hoped to keep the thru wiring zip tied to the dovetail..

But... this is not like putting it in the back of a truck and hauling it to a dark site up down a rough gravel road.  Is it?  There's one 5" step, 20' of pavers, the rest is level grass.

Photos below, to show how it rests when leaned back to move, and a bit wider view with it just sitting.

The very last thing I want to do is damage it, but it doesn't "feel" like this is a rough trip.   How fragile is it?   I realize it's hard to gauge without physically rolling it yourself, but... any insight to share? 

An alternative is to release the worm gears and leave the counterweight shaft on, basically let it float since it would be down-heavy I think.

On a related physical question: the advice to release the gearbox only in Park 3; is that just in case it's out of balance significantly?  Or is there some other reason?  I had tentatively planned to park and unpark from 2, and since I won't have a computer outside it's easier to just start the balance from there (I'll be darn close to DEC balanced when mounted, and RA bottom heavy). 

It's going to be cloudy tonight but might be enough sky to make it worth trying to take it outside, so this became relevant unexpectedly since it was supposed to be overcast. 

Any advice welcomed.  Not having to disassemble, with the cables and wire ties will save me 30-45 minutes at a guess, going each way.


Sorry for the angle on the leaning shot, no one around to help, so had to hold the cell off to one side and that's as far as I could stretch.

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