New 400GTO Owner Question

Gregg Carter

OK, after a couple of years of saving money, and almost that much
time on the notification/order list, my new 400GTO was delivered a
week ago. I was able to get the wood tripod, a couple of counter
weights, and the dovetail plate. Alas, they did not have the sliding
bar I need. So, I still wait. My new Tele-Vue 101 waits anxiously
in its case.

However, I am patient (or I wouldn't have lasted this long). I am
told I will have the sliding bar in 2-3 weeks. So I figure I'll
learn the controller, software, etc. in the meantime, and continue
using my Pronto and Vixen SP with SkySensor 2000-PC until the sliding
bar arrives.

I learn about this site. I come here and read messages. I become
concerned when I hear about alignment problems. As mentioned above,
I use a SkySensor 2000 on the Vixen SP. Worked perfectly the first
night out. I do a simple 3-star alignment, with the telescope
oriented in any direction I want. Every object I select is very near
the center of the field-of-view every time.

I plan on mounting the Tele-Vue 101 to the Astro-Physics 400GTO. I
have heard great things about the AP mounts. Now I read that if the
scope "is not aligned" to the RA axis of the mount, well, forget
doing goto functions. I read about people cutting up pieces of pop
or beer cans to make this mount work. Is this for real that I pay
almost $5,000 for this setup only to find that I have to become a
telescope mount technician to get it to work? Am I missing

Please excuse me if I am over reacting, but I do not have a lot of
free time to observe, so it is important to me that I maximize what
time I do have. I am not interested in working on this mount to make
it do what it is advertised to do, nor am I interested in spending a
lot of time to accomplish the same. I assumed that I could mount the
Televue 101 to this mount, and it would perform as promised.

All that said, the mount and tripod are downright beautiful, and it
is obvious that Roland and company have taken a lot of pride, and
used a lot of TLC, to put this together. I really want this to work
for me when I go out with it the first time. I want to eventually to
upgrade to an AP-600 and a 130mm as my refractor setup. I want to
believe that I am over reacting, and that the mount is going to
provide goto capabilities at least as good as my SkySensor 2000, with
much better stability and less mount/drive jitter. I have a lot of
eggs in this basket.

Will I be pleased or disappointed?

Thanks, and clear and steady skies,

Gregg Carter

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