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It was finally time to bring the mount and telescope inside. The weather has been very poor. Rainy and very high humidity as of late. I finally pulled in the gear. It sat outside from July 25 - October 2, with 104 pounds of counterweights, 70 pounds of scope
and accessories, with an OTA 17" in height, and 45" in length at critical focus. On the AP Mach 2 graph this is 5 pounds into the RED.
The rig operated at seeing limited tracking and guiding at all times during the 60 day onslaught. Not once was there ever a problem with the mount in terms of the load, or in terms of its inability to meet the demands I placed on it. I want everyone reading
this to be mindful that the mount sat for 2 months on a set of 2x4 piece of wood suspended 2 stories in the air (aka my deck). The deck is old, the wood is worn, and in some places there are holes in the deck. (I do plan to get it replaced next week with
some better material). I would not be wrong if I assumed other people are imaging in much better environments than I. Still, even in this environment the mount did exactly what it was asked to do. Be invisible.
I did get some series of mild winds, roughly 4-5MPH sustained, with some 10MPH gusts. The guide graph did show some response to those conditions, but the images were just as good as those without the wind. So, in mild conditions, 2 stories in the air, the system
seems to work fine, even under the incredible load I put it under and some, mild winds trying to encroach.
So, in the end I think this mount punches significantly higher than its class would dictate. I have no intentions of posting this same review on CN, as I think it would get drowned out by people fan-boying 10 Micron mounts. That is not really a discussion I
want to have, nor want to see unfold. Rather, I would prefer this to be a tale to my friends here, of how I took AP's new hot mount and put it up against the odds I did not think were possible for it. I would also prefer this to be the time where people sat
back saying, wow -- that is a remarkable achievement for AP. Especially considering the big bet they put on selling every mount with encoders. I think that was a wise decision, and I hope others with the mount agree.
In closing, I am more than happy with my purchase. But more importantly, I am happy that the mount Roland really wanted to be the next big thing -- is the next big thing. There is no other mount in its class that comes close to it. I believe it to be the shining
jewel of A-P engineering, and while the wait list might be long -- trust me -- it is well worth the wait.
PS: I sent 10 micron a sales request asking if they would support the scope and stuff I used on the Mach 2, on their 1000 class mount (the Mach 2 competitor) once I hear back from them I will share it with you. I asked Roland the same question before I tested
this out, and he was confident the Mach 2 could do it. And, to no surprise, he was right!