Date   

Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

st_armen2
 

OK,

From personal experience with my model3, get the Tesla you will love driving it! Sorry for the shameless plug. Use my referral code https://ts.la/stephen53463, you and I will get 1000 miles free supercharging.

-Steve


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

George Lutch
 

Anyone know if the Mach2 will use the same mounting hardware for attachment to tripods as the mach1?

George C. Lutch



On Sun, Apr 14, 2019 at 12:02 PM chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Nice!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: jallison@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 8:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



I have a Mustango too!  :)  A 2008 Bullitt I plan to enjoy driving every day until it dies as well.

Jerome



Re: Minimum # of data points for APCC-Pro for unguided imaging?

topboxman
 

Hi Wayne,

No hijack. I am interested in reading about this.


My biggest issue is I seem to image on the average of every 3 to 6 months and I hope the learning curve for APCC-Pro is not steep. All I want to use APCC-Pro is building pointing models and enable dual-axes tracking for unguided imaging. I am using SGPro. So from about 250 pages of APCC-Pro operating manual, which portions of the operating manual I need to read to learn how to operate in shortest possible time?

Thanks,
Peter


---In ap-gto@..., <wayneh9026@...> wrote :

Hi Bill, not to hijack the thread, but do you use Sky X Camera Add-On for your imaging? The reason I ask is I recently bought it because Richard Wright is adding a native driver for the FLI Kepler line that will handle the dual high-low gain image stream, which my current tools, SGP and MaximDL, do not. Just wondering if you have any thoughts to share. I think you have my email wayneh9026 (at) yahoo (dot) com to take it offline.

Wayne


Re: Minimum # of data points for APCC-Pro for unguided imaging?

Wayne Hixson
 

Hi Bill, not to hijack the thread, but do you use Sky X Camera Add-On for your imaging? The reason I ask is I recently bought it because Richard Wright is adding a native driver for the FLI Kepler line that will handle the dual high-low gain image stream, which my current tools, SGP and MaximDL, do not. Just wondering if you have any thoughts to share. I think you have my email wayneh9026 (at) yahoo (dot) com to take it offline.

Wayne


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

Nice!

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: jallison@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 8:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



I have a Mustango too!  :)  A 2008 Bullitt I plan to enjoy driving every day until it dies as well.

Jerome



Re: Minimum # of data points for APCC-Pro for unguided imaging?

Bill Long
 

While I have not tested AE (yet), I have tested performance with and without tracking models in APCC Pro and I can tell you that you will see much better results with the model on, vs no model at all. Ray recently made significant updates and improvements to APPM which is working incredibly well. Since you image on a refractor, you should get excellent results. I was able to image unguided without AE, on a 1150mm Newt. 

For the total # of points, I would say it varies, but I have used the same 80pt model without any issues. I can complete the whole run well before Astro Dark has started, which is great. For my set up (SkyX + Image Link) a model can be built in about 20-25 mins. Once you define the area of sky in APPM, and set up your gear, you just click start and walk away. 🙂 The mount will robot through the sky snapping photos and plate solving away. 

I prefer to image without guiding, since I dont have to wait on a guider to settle for dithers or focusing runs (since I use an OAG), which means more time getting data and less time sitting around waiting on things.


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of pnagy@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2019 9:32 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Minimum # of data points for APCC-Pro for unguided imaging?
 
 

Hello,


The APCC-Pro got me interested to think about unguided imaging. My seeing condition in my area is usually less than ideal and auto guiding under this kind of condition can be challenging (chasing the seeing). I am wondering if I create a good pointing model, would unguided imaging result better than auto guiding under less than ideal seeing condition? In other words, unguided imaging does not care whether the seeing condition is good or bad as long as dual axes tracking is good to excellent. My equipment:


A-P1100GTO with AE

TEC 160FL at 1120mm or 800mm with Quad TCC


I know that unguided imaging at 1120mm can be challenging. My question is what is the minimum number data points do you think I need to build a pointing model and get good unguided imaging for 800mm to 1120mm focal length?


My setup is always portable at my backyard so I would probably have to build pointing models each time I setup the equipment. How long does it take to build pointing models? Can it be done before astronomical darkness? I always tear down the setup after finishing each imaging session. I use SGPro for automation.


I am not really interested in many of the safety features of APCC like Meridian limits or other kinds of limits, I'll worry about that later. I probably setup one safety feature that automatically stops tracking when communication between the mount and computer gets disconnected. I kind of wish A-P offers a software package that only builds pointing models and dual axes tracking without APCC-Standard features. I have been imaging with A-P mounts using only with A-P V2 ASCOM driver for many years without issues and never worried about issues like pier collisions, etc.


Thanks,

Peter


Minimum # of data points for APCC-Pro for unguided imaging?

topboxman
 

Hello,


The APCC-Pro got me interested to think about unguided imaging. My seeing condition in my area is usually less than ideal and auto guiding under this kind of condition can be challenging (chasing the seeing). I am wondering if I create a good pointing model, would unguided imaging result better than auto guiding under less than ideal seeing condition? In other words, unguided imaging does not care whether the seeing condition is good or bad as long as dual axes tracking is good to excellent. My equipment:


A-P1100GTO with AE

TEC 160FL at 1120mm or 800mm with Quad TCC


I know that unguided imaging at 1120mm can be challenging. My question is what is the minimum number data points do you think I need to build a pointing model and get good unguided imaging for 800mm to 1120mm focal length?


My setup is always portable at my backyard so I would probably have to build pointing models each time I setup the equipment. How long does it take to build pointing models? Can it be done before astronomical darkness? I always tear down the setup after finishing each imaging session. I use SGPro for automation.


I am not really interested in many of the safety features of APCC like Meridian limits or other kinds of limits, I'll worry about that later. I probably setup one safety feature that automatically stops tracking when communication between the mount and computer gets disconnected. I kind of wish A-P offers a software package that only builds pointing models and dual axes tracking without APCC-Standard features. I have been imaging with A-P mounts using only with A-P V2 ASCOM driver for many years without issues and never worried about issues like pier collisions, etc.


Thanks,

Peter


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

 

I have a Mustango too!  :)  A 2008 Bullitt I plan to enjoy driving every day until it dies as well.

Jerome


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

Although I would love a Ferrari, my budget is more along a Pontiac Tempest. Actually I'm a fan of Tesla and will probably have one some day when my much loved Mustango dies of old age.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Rudny mkea13800@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 7:01 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



I’m thinking Rolando has a Ferrari 250GTO hidden some place.  Recent prices are $50 to $75 million.  The AP1100GTO was built in the same spirit.  Rolando is the Enzo of the EQ mount world.

Don


On Apr 13, 2019, at 8:25 AM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
Don,

Love it! After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 9:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Maybe, Gran Turismo Omologato.

Don Rudny

On Apr 12, 2019, at 9:13 PM, jallison@... <mailto:jallison@...> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> > wrote:

I've been on the waiting list for a Mach1 for about 5-6 months, was hoping and thought another production run was in progress. It sure was a pretty thing, with the black anodizing. I really wanted the through-the-mount wiring, but the advantages of reasonably priced encoders are looking like a much more attractive trade-off. Oh well, looks like another 6 months. Just hope my place in line hasn't been lost.

While I'm rambling, can someone please tell me what "GTO" in the name means? I have not been able to find this out.

Jerome

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Donald Rudny
 

I’m thinking Rolando has a Ferrari 250GTO hidden some place.  Recent prices are $50 to $75 million.  The AP1100GTO was built in the same spirit.  Rolando is the Enzo of the EQ mount world.

Don


On Apr 13, 2019, at 8:25 AM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Don,

Love it! After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 9:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Maybe, Gran Turismo Omologato.

Don Rudny

On Apr 12, 2019, at 9:13 PM, jallison@... <mailto:jallison@...> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> > wrote:

I've been on the waiting list for a Mach1 for about 5-6 months, was hoping and thought another production run was in progress. It sure was a pretty thing, with the black anodizing. I really wanted the through-the-mount wiring, but the advantages of reasonably priced encoders are looking like a much more attractive trade-off. Oh well, looks like another 6 months. Just hope my place in line hasn't been lost.

While I'm rambling, can someone please tell me what "GTO" in the name means? I have not been able to find this out.

Jerome




Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

We will be at AIC.

While i don't personally use internal cabling in our AP Observatory because I'm always changing scopes, cameras etc, we do have our remote Chile scope set up with all internal wiring. You have to make sure that the wiring is of the type that can remain flexible under the most extreme conditions that your observatory experiences. Below zero F, most ordinary cables become so stiff that they can impede the proper tracking/slewing of a mount. The type of power and communication cables we will use are rated to extreme low temps and will remain flexible. That type of wire is extremely expensive but in my opinion is required. The axes do have to move to a precision of sub-arc seconds which is on the order of fraction of wavelengths of light on the mechanical axes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: calypte@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 5:41 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



Rolando:

I look forward to the photos of your cabling with the Mach2.  

I have the Mach1.  I use the internal cabling.  The only times it has been a negative is when I decided to add an additional cable for a DSLR or replace a cable with a longer one, and those events required dismounting the scope (TEC140 plus Vario-Finder guidescope) and the usual procedure of poking things into the mount to fish through the cables.  Overall it's been a benefit, and as recently as when the Mach1 was on the A-P website, it was touted as a major advantage.  NM Skies has -- I assume -- situations where a user might call from, say, Europe to say that their scope isn't responding, and the support staff needs to be able to easily deal with the errant plug or cracked wiring.

I accept that it's a new world with the introduction of the Mach2.  But I really think the mount needs specific provisions for attaching cables or conduit to the exterior of the mount.  In any case, I look forward to seeing your photos.

Will you be at AIC in San Jose?



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

CurtisC
 

Rolando:

I look forward to the photos of your cabling with the Mach2.  

I have the Mach1.  I use the internal cabling.  The only times it has been a negative is when I decided to add an additional cable for a DSLR or replace a cable with a longer one, and those events required dismounting the scope (TEC140 plus Vario-Finder guidescope) and the usual procedure of poking things into the mount to fish through the cables.  Overall it's been a benefit, and as recently as when the Mach1 was on the A-P website, it was touted as a major advantage.  NM Skies has -- I assume -- situations where a user might call from, say, Europe to say that their scope isn't responding, and the support staff needs to be able to easily deal with the errant plug or cracked wiring.

I accept that it's a new world with the introduction of the Mach2.  But I really think the mount needs specific provisions for attaching cables or conduit to the exterior of the mount.  In any case, I look forward to seeing your photos.

Will you be at AIC in San Jose?


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Bill Long
 

Excellent! 

Yes, the 1100 has room for small children in it. I think it could double as a jungle gym. 😄


From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:52 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 

I just set up the NEAF mount in my observatory with my imaging rig. I will take pictures and perhaps a video of my setup showing the cable routing. In my setup a single bundle runs from the dovetail down to the pier and allows for complete motion of the scope from the most extreme positions on all sides. At hosting sites like New Mexico Skies they do not allow their client scopes to run internal cables on any of their mounts. In the past they have had numerous problems with internal cables, plus it makes their job of troubleshooting much more difficult.

However, for those who still must have internal cabling, we offer the following:

First the mounts will all have a 12 volt internal cable that runs from the back of the RA axis and has a connector at the edge of the Dec plate. It has 16 amp capability. This will come standard. You can run dew heaters and all kinds of camera/computer equipment that accepts 12 volts. Use one of those wifi gizzmos to send your data down to your laptop.

Second, we will offer an optional internal set of cables with connectors for Ethernet and USB. This will also be on the top Dec plate. You can attach these channels to a device on top of your scope that can multiply your connection options to whatever degree you need. More than that will be difficult or impossible to thread thru the small diameter shafts.

Please remember, this is a small mount with lots of built-in features that are much more important to achieving high resolution astro-images. With the dual absolute encoders I am able to get extremely good RMS tracking, much better than any similar sized mount under the same conditions. The mount responds to 1/10 arc sec commands to move in any direction on both axes, instantly. It is what every imager has dreamed of and makes guiding to sub-arc second levels a snap. With a suitable high grade optical system you can get 1 arc sec FWHM stars under good seeing. We get this level of resolution routinely from our remote observatory. Even in poor seeing there is a definite gain in guiding stability.

The internal hole size on the Mach2 is just over 1" diameter. You cannot just pack a number of cables thru the shaft willy-nilly. On the Mach1, you could do it because the Dec shaft stopped short before the RA shaft, and so you could go directly from one shaft hole to the other. On the Mach2 we have extended the Dec shaft beyond the center and placed the bearings and encoder assembly at the bottom. We did this to make the mount stronger and in part to decrease vibration. The result is that the natural damping time of the Mach2 is on the order of ~ 1/4 second versus 2 seconds for the Mach1. We feel that this is much more important than to have the capability to stuff enormous amounts of wiring down the axes.

Besides, once you see how easy it is to do external wiring, you will never miss the open shaft design of the Mach1. If it still is not your cuppa tea, consider the 1100 mount. Here you have two axes with enough room to stuff your arm into the shafts. You could probably run a broadcast cable up thru the axes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: calypte@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 2:49 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



"Thru-mount cabling - the Mach2 has internal cabling for the RA/Dec axis motors and encoders, but that is NOT the same thing as thru-mount cabling. For the Mach1 it was easy for the user to run cabling from their cameras, dew heaters and other stuff thru both axes and out the back. The shaft, bearing and encoder system on the Mach2 does not allow similar easy user-run cabling.

That being the case, you should provide some way of firmly attaching cables to the outside of the mount -- screw holes for plastic loops, holed flanges to loop Velcro ties -- something! -- something beyond whatever random protuberances the mount happens to have.  Do you?



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

I just set up the NEAF mount in my observatory with my imaging rig. I will take pictures and perhaps a video of my setup showing the cable routing. In my setup a single bundle runs from the dovetail down to the pier and allows for complete motion of the scope from the most extreme positions on all sides. At hosting sites like New Mexico Skies they do not allow their client scopes to run internal cables on any of their mounts. In the past they have had numerous problems with internal cables, plus it makes their job of troubleshooting much more difficult.

However, for those who still must have internal cabling, we offer the following:

First the mounts will all have a 12 volt internal cable that runs from the back of the RA axis and has a connector at the edge of the Dec plate. It has 16 amp capability. This will come standard. You can run dew heaters and all kinds of camera/computer equipment that accepts 12 volts. Use one of those wifi gizzmos to send your data down to your laptop.

Second, we will offer an optional internal set of cables with connectors for Ethernet and USB. This will also be on the top Dec plate. You can attach these channels to a device on top of your scope that can multiply your connection options to whatever degree you need. More than that will be difficult or impossible to thread thru the small diameter shafts.

Please remember, this is a small mount with lots of built-in features that are much more important to achieving high resolution astro-images. With the dual absolute encoders I am able to get extremely good RMS tracking, much better than any similar sized mount under the same conditions. The mount responds to 1/10 arc sec commands to move in any direction on both axes, instantly. It is what every imager has dreamed of and makes guiding to sub-arc second levels a snap. With a suitable high grade optical system you can get 1 arc sec FWHM stars under good seeing. We get this level of resolution routinely from our remote observatory. Even in poor seeing there is a definite gain in guiding stability.

The internal hole size on the Mach2 is just over 1" diameter. You cannot just pack a number of cables thru the shaft willy-nilly. On the Mach1, you could do it because the Dec shaft stopped short before the RA shaft, and so you could go directly from one shaft hole to the other. On the Mach2 we have extended the Dec shaft beyond the center and placed the bearings and encoder assembly at the bottom. We did this to make the mount stronger and in part to decrease vibration. The result is that the natural damping time of the Mach2 is on the order of ~ 1/4 second versus 2 seconds for the Mach1. We feel that this is much more important than to have the capability to stuff enormous amounts of wiring down the axes.

Besides, once you see how easy it is to do external wiring, you will never miss the open shaft design of the Mach1. If it still is not your cuppa tea, consider the 1100 mount. Here you have two axes with enough room to stuff your arm into the shafts. You could probably run a broadcast cable up thru the axes.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: calypte@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 2:49 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



"Thru-mount cabling - the Mach2 has internal cabling for the RA/Dec axis motors and encoders, but that is NOT the same thing as thru-mount cabling. For the Mach1 it was easy for the user to run cabling from their cameras, dew heaters and other stuff thru both axes and out the back. The shaft, bearing and encoder system on the Mach2 does not allow similar easy user-run cabling.

That being the case, you should provide some way of firmly attaching cables to the outside of the mount -- screw holes for plastic loops, holed flanges to loop Velcro ties -- something! -- something beyond whatever random protuberances the mount happens to have.  Do you?



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Roland Christen
 

Very good! I like that.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 2:09 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions



I think it stands for Go To Outerspace!
 
Miguel   8-)
 

From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 3:54:23 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 
Woody,
 
    I think your first guess is closer to what GTO stands for.
After all, besides his astronomy equipment, Rolando is also a “very serious”  sports car fan – so he probably added GTO to the absolutely  finest designed telescope mounts in the market. That makes more sense.
 
Joe Z.
 
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:25 PM
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
Don,

Love it!  After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody



Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

CurtisC
 

"Thru-mount cabling - the Mach2 has internal cabling for the RA/Dec axis motors and encoders, but that is NOT the same thing as thru-mount cabling. For the Mach1 it was easy for the user to run cabling from their cameras, dew heaters and other stuff thru both axes and out the back. The shaft, bearing and encoder system on the Mach2 does not allow similar easy user-run cabling.

That being the case, you should provide some way of firmly attaching cables to the outside of the mount -- screw holes for plastic loops, holed flanges to loop Velcro ties -- something! -- something beyond whatever random protuberances the mount happens to have.  Do you?


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Miguel Morales <miguelmjr14@...>
 

I think it stands for Go To Outerspace!

 

Miguel   8-)

 


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 3:54:23 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
 

Woody,
 
    I think your first guess is closer to what GTO stands for.
After all, besides his astronomy equipment, Rolando is also a “very serious”  sports car fan – so he probably added GTO to the absolutely  finest designed telescope mounts in the market. That makes more sense.
 
Joe Z.
 
From: 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:25 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
Don,

Love it!  After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Joe Zeglinski
 

Woody,
 
    I think your first guess is closer to what GTO stands for.
After all, besides his astronomy equipment, Rolando is also a “very serious”  sports car fan – so he probably added GTO to the absolutely  finest designed telescope mounts in the market. That makes more sense.
 
Joe Z.
 

From: 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:25 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions
 
Don,

Love it!  After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Wayne Hixson
 

I almost talked my parents into getting a used Pontiac GTO when I was in high school, until my mother saw the back seat....


On Apr 13, 2019, at 11:25 AM, 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Don,

Love it! After the old Ferrari and Pontiac Tempest GTO’s.

But seriously – I’m sure it’s for Go-To.

Woody

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2019 9:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Maybe, Gran Turismo Omologato.

Don Rudny

On Apr 12, 2019, at 9:13 PM, jallison@... <mailto:jallison@...> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@...> > wrote:

I've been on the waiting list for a Mach1 for about 5-6 months, was hoping and thought another production run was in progress. It sure was a pretty thing, with the black anodizing. I really wanted the through-the-mount wiring, but the advantages of reasonably priced encoders are looking like a much more attractive trade-off. Oh well, looks like another 6 months. Just hope my place in line hasn't been lost.

While I'm rambling, can someone please tell me what "GTO" in the name means? I have not been able to find this out.

Jerome

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Mach2 mount - answers to questions

Dale Ghent
 

On Apr 13, 2019, at 12:33 PM, pnagy@sbcglobal.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Probably short for "Go-To".
Probably that. The GTO controllers were the first to sport a RS232 serial connection for computer control, hence the name. Prior to the GTO generation of mounts, there were the QMD (Quartz Micro Drive) and SMD (Servo Micro Drive) mounts. Mounts sold as SMDs were later able to be upgraded with the GTO CP boxes, because the servo motors were common between the two generations, so in theory it's possible to run into a 900SMD from 1998 that's driven by a GTO CP4 controller from 2019.

The 600E, 900, and 1200 all had QMD, SMD, and then GTO flavors, with the 400 mount having only QMD before being offered as a GTO. The 400, 900 and 1200 are the predecessors of the Mach1GTO, 1100GTO, and 1600GTO respectively.

/dale

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