Date   

Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Stelios
 

I vote for Mach0. There's precedent, the Avalon M-zero :). I might sell my Mach1 if such a mount became available (at a comparable price or less to the old Mach1), assuming the Mach0 was no heavier and hopefully lighter than a Mach1.

I understand Roland's points about why he built a mount that requires the Mach2's price point, but the observation I would like to make is that although all beginners *who are almost always mobile) can benefit from a Mach2 quality mount (if they can lift it...), most beginners would be unwilling to commit well north of $10,000 for an advantage they don't fully understand in a hobby they are not fully committed to.

Your market, I think, is not beginners, your market is intermediate and advanced imagers with deep pockets. 

Someone pointed out the group of people who stretched to a Mach1 after contemplating a Losmandy or CEM60. I was one of these people. I decided to pay another $4K or so to reach a Mach1, but I could not have managed an extra 7+ K. And from stories I read, I'm nowhere near alone. Many, many people opted for the Mach1 over the 10 Micron, even though the latter had encoders. 

So I think that regardless of the success of the Mach2, a Mach0 (or by any other name), priced at $4,999, would sell extremely well. A true 40-lb capacity (constrained by moment arm considerations) would be enough for most people. That's what the G11's and CEM60's will deliver in real life.

I hope you give it serious consideration.


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Eric M
 

It is what it is, but I felt the same as Ty. I was pretty excited about the
Mach2's initial estimated price, it was still a stretch as that's already a
quite large sum of money (for me). At $9k it was an instant hard no for me,
that's just too much. I've been happy with my Mach1, I don't get 0.2" RMS
but I can live with that. It's true you get what you pay for and I know the
Mach2 will perform as well as suggested, the barrier to entry is just that
much higher now. This seems to ring true with most equipment, smaller
increases get exponentially more expensive when the quality is already high.

This isn't criticism, I'm not suggesting AP takes a loss in the spirit of
"community service" and some members suggest even though no one here has
suggested anything of the sort. It's just feedback, hopefully it can be
seen as that without folks getting defensive. I understand I am no longer
their target market, nothing wrong with that and I wish them nothing but
success. I've had nothing but good experiences with my AP hardware and
working with the staff, I hope the Mach2 is a huge hit so I can buy a used
one in 10 years. ;)

On the bright side, I feel like the used value of my Mach1 just increased
quite a bit so that's a plus! I too would be interested in a smaller
capacity version, 40lbs is more than enough for me.

Eric

On Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 4:50 PM Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com
[ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



That’s funny.



You can call it whatever you want, I’m sure you can think of a good name.
I’ll be eagerly awaiting to hear what you come up with.





Miguel 8-)



.


------------------------------
*From:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of
chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Sent:* Friday, September 6, 2019 7:59:42 PM
*To:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Subject:* Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website



So should we call it the Roboat mount? as in Robotic and small? Or the
MachMini, or MiniMach as George would like to call it.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com [ap-gto] <
ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:49 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in
a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.

I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller
capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really
is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the
market.

Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of
us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed
addition to our options.


Miguel 8-)

.






------------------------------
*From:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill
Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Sent:* Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
*To:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Subject:* Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
------------------------------
*From:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of
chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Sent:* Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
*To:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Subject:* Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little
more comparable in price to the mighty M1.

The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved
all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more
portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders
because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that
bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so
prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but
capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest
40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and
length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep
things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount,
or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic.
Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that
purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of
the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite
often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software
Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most
budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next
step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium
mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably
produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in
this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of
the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now
(as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high
precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by
the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an
imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy,
Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch
the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite
possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web
board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford
their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1,
and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m
not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to
get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the
market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a
high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts
Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit
when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty
deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide
to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the
mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <
ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what
that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one
mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To
make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away,
leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using
castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very
precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be
eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast
mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by
leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and
eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts
must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would
certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an
astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no
sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not
necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most
entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low
levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to
require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice
imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt
looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop
in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of
mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding
software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch),
small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other
bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper
control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However,
that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions
simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging
equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3
micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales
that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel
CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do
anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out
all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools
can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a
premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like
hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And
that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much
improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.


We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully
disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially
engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb
the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and
thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped
accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the
need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and
does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the
encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a
novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed,
without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a
crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level.
RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur
gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for
our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is
smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous
mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power
supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup
(polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but
even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software
in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the
process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device
needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at
AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not
working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience
with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to
operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be
operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will
also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will
also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert
should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired,
along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of
the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people
stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium
portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for
these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP
for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP
closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <
ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were
not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However,
they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging -
it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced
for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original
target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <
ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced /
discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!














Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Tyrel Smith
 

I had a reply loaded up for this, but suffice to say you missed my point with this slightly condescending reply.

On Sep 6, 2019, at 18:47, 'Mike Shade' mshade@q.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

As an amateur astronomer for over 40 years using various telescopes, mounts, and accessories, it has remained consistently obvious that you get what you pay for. This goes for optics and mounts especially. Outstanding optical quality is not cheap, outstanding mechanical quality is also not cheap. I have owned three AP refractors through the years and they were outstanding optically (I still have two of them). I have had four AP mounts, I still have three in use constantly; first generation 1600, a 1200, and a Mach 1. The 1600 carries a 17 inch telescope used every clear night. It has done this for several years now. Other than a yearly PEC curve and some Aero Shell grease, it runs consistently every night. Same with the 1200. I have found AP's customer service to be outstanding (never a problem, just a "how do I do X?"). You actually talk to a person, you are not going to a discussion board or through e-mail. They seem to be constantly working on improving many of their products and the Mach 2 is a result of this. Improvements cost money, R&D costs money, people's time costs money as do materials, machining, CNC machines and so on. And AP is entitled to make a profit and while they are great folks, they are not a community service. This mount is not on the same level, or intended for the same market as some of the other mounts out there. If price point is people's criteria for an imaging system, or more specifically a mount then there are many options. If quality is people's criteria, then there seems to be one choice.

Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west. Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east? Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

International Dark Sky Association: <http://www.darksky.org/> www.darksky.org

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] 
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2019 2:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating.. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.

On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com> wrote:

One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip. 

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere.. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount? 

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs.. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts. 

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes. 

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities. 

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts. 

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount. 

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world.. The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount. 

Roland Christen

Astro-Physics Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@... [ap-gto] wrote:

We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto mailto:ap-gto@...> >
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@... [ap-gto] wrote:

The Mach1 is out of production.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@... <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com> >
To: ap-gto mailto:ap-gto@...> >
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.

I have a question Rolondo: 

I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?

rgds, & tnx!

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



Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Miguel Morales <miguelmjr14@...>
 

That’s funny.

You can call it whatever you want, I’m sure you can think of a good name. I’ll be eagerly awaiting to hear what you come up with.


Miguel 8-)

.

________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:59:42 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



So should we call it the Roboat mount? as in Robotic and small? Or the MachMini, or MiniMach as George would like to call it.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:49 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.

I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.

Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.


Miguel 8-)

.






________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Bill Long
 

Love my 1100. Even upgraded it with AE after a few years. Love it even more.
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Thomas Swann thomas@aperturefever.org [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 4:07 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Yes. The Mach2Gto is an exciting mount. I would probably have purchased one instead of my 1100GTO if it had been an option at the time, but I've been mourning the loss of the Mach1 because of its lighter weight and have been assuming I'd need to find a used Mach1. I'm glad to see Roland discussing something smaller than the Mach2 because it's just too heavy to replace the Mach1 for me.

On 9/6/2019 10:48 PM, Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com<mailto:miguelmjr14@outlook.com> [ap-gto] wrote:


If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.



I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.



Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.





Miguel 8-)



.













________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com<mailto:bill@outlook.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com><mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: <mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

David
 

The smaller mount, like a 400AE is what I was originally hoping for when the Mach2 was announced. 40 lb capacity would be great, and would bring the price point down a bit too. I love my 1100 GTO AE, but would love a little grab and go mount like the 400 size that is built to AP specs! Maybe next year?

David

On Sep 6, 2019, at 7:07 PM, Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


The Little Legend.
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:59 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



So should we call it the Roboat mount? as in Robotic and small? Or the MachMini, or MiniMach as George would like to call it.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com <mailto:miguelmjr14@outlook.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:49 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.

I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.

Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.


Miguel 8-)

.






From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com <mailto:bill@outlook.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net <mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!










Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Bill Long
 

The Little Legend.
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:59 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



So should we call it the Roboat mount? as in Robotic and small? Or the MachMini, or MiniMach as George would like to call it.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:49 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.

I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.

Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.


Miguel 8-)

.






________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Thomas Swann
 

Yes. The Mach2Gto is an exciting mount. I would probably have
purchased one instead of my 1100GTO if it had been an option at the
time, but I've been mourning the loss of the Mach1 because of its
lighter weight and have been assuming I'd need to find a used Mach1.
I'm glad to see Roland discussing something smaller than the Mach2
because it's just too heavy to replace the Mach1 for me.

On 9/6/2019 10:48 PM, Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com [ap-gto] wrote:


If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the
Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.



I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller
capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity
really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out
of the market.



Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many
of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very
welcomed addition to our options.





Miguel 8-)



.













------------------------------------------------------------------------
*From:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of
Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Sent:* Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
*To:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Subject:* Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website


I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*From:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of
chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Sent:* Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
*To:* ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
*Subject:* Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a
little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.

The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever
achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a
smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will
still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes
all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means
components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller
means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less,
probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity,
along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on
our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple,
but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new
mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be
fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win
for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning
of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is
quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics,
Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here,
being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is
frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated
by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget”
mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard
terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been
informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is
now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality
(premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market
that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while
making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the
$2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the
Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can
have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t
count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so
excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that
they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was
one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking
used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get
yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the
market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to
get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this
puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely
admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was
pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if
you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable
in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com
<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and
what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To
make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and
stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of
the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise
part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large
amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of
castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by
fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is
not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money
by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and
eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances.
Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit
would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad.
On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there
can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our
processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to
make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually.
Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for
imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry
Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the
opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting
backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting
worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing
the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff.
And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for
errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors
that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things
that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and
proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap.
However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful.
Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance
that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We
now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve
errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden
in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to
produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the
mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper
tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise
even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most
people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not
plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this
Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with
much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with
long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when
fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when
partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that
nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel
and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped
accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also
eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set
at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the
encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is
something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are
pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in
the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec
level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors
caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made
for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size.
Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than
any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt
power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper
setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in
APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there
is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for
on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only
the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and
we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that
something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we
have years of experience with mounts at various installations around
the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP
controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it
will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And
it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice
to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com
<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired,
along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end
of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases
of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter
the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a
different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced
by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable
mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com
<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that
were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost.
However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for
serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need
for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com
<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP
website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I
braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from
the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a
little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com
<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net
<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto]
<ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced
/ discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!





Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 

So should we call it the Roboat mount? as in Robotic and small? Or the MachMini, or MiniMach as George would like to call it.
Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Miguel Morales miguelmjr14@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:49 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

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<!-- #yiv9121910605 _filtered #yiv9121910605 {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;} _filtered #yiv9121910605 {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;} #yiv9121910605 #yiv9121910605 p.yiv9121910605MsoNormal, #yiv9121910605 li.yiv9121910605MsoNormal, #yiv9121910605 div.yiv9121910605MsoNormal {margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri", sans-serif;} #yiv9121910605 .yiv9121910605MsoChpDefault {} _filtered #yiv9121910605 { margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;} #yiv9121910605 div.yiv9121910605WordSection1 {} -->If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.   I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.   Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.     Miguel   8-)   .             From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website  I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂 From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website  

It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.
Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.
“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.
In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.
I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip. 

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount? 

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.
All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts. 

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:
We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes. 

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.
No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities. 

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts. 

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount. 

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount. 

Roland ChristenAstro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 
Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith
On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


 We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.
Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith
On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


 The Mach1 is out of production..
Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.I have a question Rolondo: I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 

So would I. Our staff sold the last one out from under me many years ago and I greatly miss it.
Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 5:35 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

#yiv1140912414 #yiv1140912414 -- #yiv1140912414 .yiv1140912414ygrp-photo-title{ clear:both;font-size:smaller;min-height:15px;overflow:hidden;text-align:center;width:75px;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414ygrp-photo{ background-position:center;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-color:white;border:1px solid black;min-height:62px;width:62px;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414photo-title a, #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414photo-title a:active, #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414photo-title a:hover, #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414photo-title a:visited { text-decoration:none; } #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414attach-table div.yiv1140912414attach-row { clear:both;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414attach-table div.yiv1140912414attach-row div { float:left;} #yiv1140912414 p { clear:both;padding:15px 0 3px 0;overflow:hidden;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414ygrp-file { width:30px;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414attach-table div.yiv1140912414attach-row div div a { text-decoration:none;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414attach-table div.yiv1140912414attach-row div div span { font-weight:normal;} #yiv1140912414 div.yiv1140912414ygrp-file-title { font-weight:bold;} #yiv1140912414 #yiv1140912414 #yiv1140912414 P {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;}

I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂 From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website  

It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.
Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.
“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.
In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.
I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47,chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip. 

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount? 

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.
All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts. 

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:
We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes. 

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.
No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities. 

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts. 

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount. 

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount. 

Roland ChristenAstro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 
Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith
On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


 We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.
Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith
On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


 The Mach1 is out of production..
Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.I have a question Rolondo: I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Miguel Morales <miguelmjr14@...>
 

If I could purchase a mount with all the tracking accuracy of the Mach2 in a smaller package and at a lower price I would without question.

I don’t (and many imagers don’t) have very heavy setups, a smaller capacity mount is just what I really need. The Mach2 weight capacity really is overkill for many of us and the associated price put us out of the market.

Making yachts to sail around the world is all well and good, but many of us are rowing on a pond and a really nice rowboat would be very welcomed addition to our options.


Miguel 8-)

.






________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Bill Long bill@outlook.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 7:34:20 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Mike Shade
 

As an amateur astronomer for over 40 years using various telescopes, mounts, and accessories, it has remained consistently obvious that you get what you pay for. This goes for optics and mounts especially. Outstanding optical quality is not cheap, outstanding mechanical quality is also not cheap. I have owned three AP refractors through the years and they were outstanding optically (I still have two of them). I have had four AP mounts, I still have three in use constantly; first generation 1600, a 1200, and a Mach 1. The 1600 carries a 17 inch telescope used every clear night. It has done this for several years now. Other than a yearly PEC curve and some Aero Shell grease, it runs consistently every night. Same with the 1200. I have found AP's customer service to be outstanding (never a problem, just a "how do I do X?"). You actually talk to a person, you are not going to a discussion board or through e-mail. They seem to be constantly working on improving many of their products and the Mach 2 is a result of this. Improvements cost money, R&D costs money, people's time costs money as do materials, machining, CNC machines and so on. And AP is entitled to make a profit and while they are great folks, they are not a community service. This mount is not on the same level, or intended for the same market as some of the other mounts out there. If price point is people's criteria for an imaging system, or more specifically a mount then there are many options. If quality is people's criteria, then there seems to be one choice.



Mike J. Shade: mshade@q.com

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com



In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west. Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east? Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights



International Dark Sky Association: <http://www.darksky.org/> www.darksky.org



From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2019 2:17 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website





I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.



“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.



In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.



I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.









On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:





One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.



All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.



The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.



Rolando







-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?



We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs.. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.



All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.



Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.



Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:



We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.



We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.



We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.



Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.



No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.



Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.



Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.



The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.



The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.



The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.



The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world.. The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.



If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.



Roland Christen

Astro-Physics Inc.











-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.



Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith


On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.



Rolando







-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith


On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:



The Mach1 is out of production.



Rolando







-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com> >
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.

I have a question Rolondo:

I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?

rgds, & tnx!















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


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Tyrel Smith
 

👍👍

On Sep 6, 2019, at 18:32, chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com <mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com <mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net <mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com <mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!







Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Bill Long
 

I would buy a 40lb capacity AP 400AE in a heartbeat. 🙂
________________________________
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of chris1011@aol.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 3:32 PM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks.

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@gmail.com<mailto:tysmith747@gmail.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@aol.com<mailto:chris1011@aol.com> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>> wrote:


The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net<mailto:mikestephens-milkeycorp@comcast.net> [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com<mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo:
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!


Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 


It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.
The Mach1 went thru several design iterations, none of them ever achieved all the things this new mount will. If we do come out with a smaller, more portable mount (probably more the 400 size), it will still have encoders because it finalizes our design progress and fixes all the issues that bedevil an entry level mount. Smaller means components will cost less, so prices can be more reasonable. Smaller means less weight to carry, but capacity will also be much less, probably more along the lines of an honest 40lb instrument capacity, along with the de-rating for tube diameter and length as we posted on our Mach2 spec graphics. No internal cabling to keep things simple, but no compromises on encoders and performance.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip. 

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount? 

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts. 

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes. 

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities. 

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts. 

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount. 

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world... The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount. 

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
The Mach1 is out of production..

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo: 
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!











Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 

Next time I visit Vermont, I'll seek one out. I haven't been to Stellafane in years, ever since we moved so far west from my home in NY.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 3:42 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Thank you for the thoughtful response.    I wrote my post while flying across country without internet so it was a bit out of order as you were posting some other thoughts on pricing and value. I never thought I’d spend $10k on a mount until I’ve spent a couple of winters fiddling with my Atlas mount in the deep freeze.   So adding another couple is not going to dissuade me.   


Terri

BTW. You should have a genuine Vermont teddy bear to hold for such events. 


On Sep 6, 2019, at 4:21 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We erred on the side of beefiness, improved stability over the original concept, more powerful motors and drive system that allows up to 20lb-ft of imbalance before stalling out the motors or slipping the clutches (you can change from a teeny Ortho to a TermiNagler and not have to move counterweights). In many cases when we originally had electronic and other component parts quoted, the prices increased significantly when we went to purchase them this year. We also added parts that were not on the mount at NEAF, in response to customer wishes for certain features such as thru-mount cabling that required more machined parts, more custom cables, connectors and internal components to keep everything nicely in place. We added APCC and a high capacity 24 volt regulated power supply as standard instead of optional.

Estimates were mine, so the pricing errors are also mine. I originally estimated based on simply adding encoders to the Mach1 with minimal other changes, but as the design progressed it became quickly apparent that it was not so easy to fit everything into that package without major changes. During the redesign of the internals we had some mission creep with suggestions by our staff to add this and that desirable feature, and by myself demanding to make things more and more precise as i was testing the various prototypes under sky conditions. Above all I wanted this mount to be able to carry a fairly large imaging system, which nowadays sometimes consists of two side-by-side scopes with cameras, computers, interface modules that do everything except make tea. At times we drove our chief design engineer nuts, but he persevered and came out with a superb final package that we all could love.

Meanwhile Marj spent every waking hour this summer trying to keep track of all the changes, getting suppliers lined up, and getting the best estimates on machining costs, overhead etc to come up with a final price. I myself did not know where it would come in, and when Karen and Marj sat me down yesterday to go over all the costs and present the final price, they first gave me a teddy-bear (actually Opus) to hold while they unveiled the price news.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 2:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Marj, I put my name on the list before it was announced, Mach 1 timeframe, so should I expect to be contacted?    I was also first to put a deposit on one at OPT who told me they were going to get a couple of first batch.   Should I expect you to be contacting them as well?

20% is quite a big uplift from what you said the target was at NEAF.    Can you say what  features were added that raised the price so much (referencing comment by Roland). Puts the whole package into the high 11’s to 12k+range.  Getting up there for your lowest end mount.  

Terri






On Sep 5, 2019, at 6:36 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We have some pretty long lists of people who are interested. We are presently notifying people who had signed up on the Mach1GTO list before it was closed..
 
Clear Skies,
 
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 4:31 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website
 
 
And it's ALREADY out of stock! :)
 
Very nice! Will have to pass this round, but maybe the next...unless I'm like 1000 on the list.
 





Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Tyrel Smith
 

I’m wasn’t trying to say anything disparaging at all about the new mount, or its value in the big scheme of things. It looks to be fantastic. Compared to other AE mount prices I’m sure it's a big win for those that purchase.

“Affordable” and “premium” are obviously subjective terms. The meaning of the term “premium” in this context is surely debatable, but it is quite often used to describe the mount offerings of Astro-Physics, Software Bisque, 10 Micron, and so on. Entry-level, as used here, being the most budget-friendly offerings of those companies. This is frequently the next step for someone having owned, and been frustrated by, a less than premium mount (frequently referred to as “budget” mounts) that was probably produced in Asia. There is no standard terminology for mount classes in this respect, but such have been informally adopted by a good portion of the on-line imaging community.

In this context I was simply trying to make the point that there is now (as perceived by my humble self) a gap in the high-quality (premium, high precision, whatever you want to call it) mount market that was filled by the Mach1. The consumer I was picturing while making my statement was an imager trying to decide whether to buy the $2500 - $3500 iOptron, Losmandy, Celestron. They could look at the Mach1 and think “If I can just stretch the budget a little more, I can have myself a mount that will quite possibly last a lifetime". I can’t count how many times I’ve read on a web board were someone was so excited that they were finally able to afford their Mach1, or that they decided to wait until they could afford a Mach1, and so on. I was one of these people myself. With the $5500 Mach1 gone (i’m not talking used stuff here), it is now much more of a budget stretch to get yourself into a new Astro-Physics mount. This so-called gap in the market leaves consumers to have to consider another manufacturer to get a high-end mount in the old Mach1 price range. In my opinion this puts Astro-Physics out of reach for most imagers out there.

I understand the teaser price was never set in stone, but I freely admit when I opened up the link to the Mach2 the sticker shock was pretty deflating. I had gotten my hopes too high. It would be cool if you decide to offer something in the future a little more comparable in price to the mighty M1.




On Sep 6, 2019, at 15:47, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:


One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip. 

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount? 

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts. 

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes. 

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities. 

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts. 

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount. 

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world.. The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount. 

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
The Mach1 is out of production.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo: 
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!









Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Terri Zittritsch
 

Thank you for the thoughtful response.    I wrote my post while flying across country without internet so it was a bit out of order as you were posting some other thoughts on pricing and value. I never thought I’d spend $10k on a mount until I’ve spent a couple of winters fiddling with my Atlas mount in the deep freeze.   So adding another couple is not going to dissuade me.   


Terri

BTW. You should have a genuine Vermont teddy bear to hold for such events. 


On Sep 6, 2019, at 4:21 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

We erred on the side of beefiness, improved stability over the original concept, more powerful motors and drive system that allows up to 20lb-ft of imbalance before stalling out the motors or slipping the clutches (you can change from a teeny Ortho to a TermiNagler and not have to move counterweights). In many cases when we originally had electronic and other component parts quoted, the prices increased significantly when we went to purchase them this year. We also added parts that were not on the mount at NEAF, in response to customer wishes for certain features such as thru-mount cabling that required more machined parts, more custom cables, connectors and internal components to keep everything nicely in place. We added APCC and a high capacity 24 volt regulated power supply as standard instead of optional.

Estimates were mine, so the pricing errors are also mine. I originally estimated based on simply adding encoders to the Mach1 with minimal other changes, but as the design progressed it became quickly apparent that it was not so easy to fit everything into that package without major changes. During the redesign of the internals we had some mission creep with suggestions by our staff to add this and that desirable feature, and by myself demanding to make things more and more precise as i was testing the various prototypes under sky conditions. Above all I wanted this mount to be able to carry a fairly large imaging system, which nowadays sometimes consists of two side-by-side scopes with cameras, computers, interface modules that do everything except make tea. At times we drove our chief design engineer nuts, but he persevered and came out with a superb final package that we all could love.

Meanwhile Marj spent every waking hour this summer trying to keep track of all the changes, getting suppliers lined up, and getting the best estimates on machining costs, overhead etc to come up with a final price. I myself did not know where it would come in, and when Karen and Marj sat me down yesterday to go over all the costs and present the final price, they first gave me a teddy-bear (actually Opus) to hold while they unveiled the price news.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 2:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Marj, I put my name on the list before it was announced, Mach 1 timeframe, so should I expect to be contacted?    I was also first to put a deposit on one at OPT who told me they were going to get a couple of first batch.   Should I expect you to be contacting them as well?

20% is quite a big uplift from what you said the target was at NEAF.    Can you say what  features were added that raised the price so much (referencing comment by Roland). Puts the whole package into the high 11’s to 12k+range.  Getting up there for your lowest end mount.  

Terri






On Sep 5, 2019, at 6:36 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We have some pretty long lists of people who are interested. We are presently notifying people who had signed up on the Mach1GTO list before it was closed..
 
Clear Skies,
 
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 4:31 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website
 
 
And it's ALREADY out of stock! :)
 
Very nice! Will have to pass this round, but maybe the next...unless I'm like 1000 on the list.
 



Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 

We erred on the side of beefiness, improved stability over the original concept, more powerful motors and drive system that allows up to 20lb-ft of imbalance before stalling out the motors or slipping the clutches (you can change from a teeny Ortho to a TermiNagler and not have to move counterweights). In many cases when we originally had electronic and other component parts quoted, the prices increased significantly when we went to purchase them this year. We also added parts that were not on the mount at NEAF, in response to customer wishes for certain features such as thru-mount cabling that required more machined parts, more custom cables, connectors and internal components to keep everything nicely in place. We added APCC and a high capacity 24 volt regulated power supply as standard instead of optional.

Estimates were mine, so the pricing errors are also mine. I originally estimated based on simply adding encoders to the Mach1 with minimal other changes, but as the design progressed it became quickly apparent that it was not so easy to fit everything into that package without major changes. During the redesign of the internals we had some mission creep with suggestions by our staff to add this and that desirable feature, and by myself demanding to make things more and more precise as i was testing the various prototypes under sky conditions. Above all I wanted this mount to be able to carry a fairly large imaging system, which nowadays sometimes consists of two side-by-side scopes with cameras, computers, interface modules that do everything except make tea. At times we drove our chief design engineer nuts, but he persevered and came out with a superb final package that we all could love.

Meanwhile Marj spent every waking hour this summer trying to keep track of all the changes, getting suppliers lined up, and getting the best estimates on machining costs, overhead etc to come up with a final price. I myself did not know where it would come in, and when Karen and Marj sat me down yesterday to go over all the costs and present the final price, they first gave me a teddy-bear (actually Opus) to hold while they unveiled the price news.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 2:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Marj, I put my name on the list before it was announced, Mach 1 timeframe, so should I expect to be contacted?    I was also first to put a deposit on one at OPT who told me they were going to get a couple of first batch.   Should I expect you to be contacting them as well?

20% is quite a big uplift from what you said the target was at NEAF.    Can you say what  features were added that raised the price so much (referencing comment by Roland). Puts the whole package into the high 11’s to 12k+range.  Getting up there for your lowest end mount.  

Terri






On Sep 5, 2019, at 6:36 PM, Marj marj@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We have some pretty long lists of people who are interested. We are presently notifying people who had signed up on the Mach1GTO list before it was closed..
 
Clear Skies,
 
Marj Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc
11250 Forest Hills Rd
Machesney Park, IL 61115
Phone: 815-282-1513
Fax: 815-282-9847
 
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 4:31 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website
 
 
And it's ALREADY out of stock! :)
 
Very nice! Will have to pass this round, but maybe the next...unless I'm like 1000 on the list.
 



Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

Roland Christen
 

One thing I forgot to mention is the construction of the parts and what that entails. The mount is completely machined from billet. To make one mount takes about 250 lb of high grade aluminum and stainless steel. To make the intricate parts, the vast majority of the metal is machined away, leaving a very strong and very precise part. A mount could be made by using castings and thus save a large amount of metal cost, however making a very precise part out of castings is very difficult. The cost savings would be eaten up by fixturing problems and rejects, plus pound for pound a cast mount is not as strong.

All parts are anodized, even the painted parts. We could save money by leaving out the anodizing but the paint won't adhere correctly and eventually the paint will chip.

The parts we make on our CNC machines have very tight tolerances. Shafts must fit bearings exactly, no wiggle room allowed. Loose fit would certainly speed up assembly, but the results will be very bad. On an astronomical mount where every arc second error counts, there can be no sloppy fit anywhere. We are constantly improving our processes, not necessarily to make the mounts cheaper, but always to make them better.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: chris1011 <chris1011@...>
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 12:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website

What exactly is an affordable entry level premium mount?

We make primarily imaging mounts which can also be used visually. Most entry level mounts are visual mounts that may be used for imaging at low levels of performance. Pretty much all the "Entry Level" mounts tend to require fiddle fussing, which is exactly the opposite of what a novice imager needs. By that I mean adjusting backlash (gears and or belt looseness), running a PE curve, adjusting worm mesh, adjusting the backstop in spring loaded mounts, balancing the scope by taking the mount out of mesh and a host of other stuff. And then there's setting up the guiding software to compensate for errors in mesh, backlash (or belt stretch), small but rapid PE errors that are hard to guide out and a host of other bewildering things that happen in these kind of mounts.

All those things go away with high resolution shaft encoders and proper control software in a premium mount - but that is not cheap. However, that's exactly what a novice needs to be successful. Non-encoder solutions simply cannot produce the type of performance that today's imaging equipment needs to produce excellent results. We now have cameras with 3 micron pixels, and smaller, that can resolve errors on sub-arc sec scales that would have been completely hidden in the old days of 9 micron pixel CCDs. Just about everyone wants to produce round stars and not have to do anything mechanical to the mount to fix the above issues. That leaves out all non-encoder mounts.

Yes, expert imagers who have mechanical skills and all the proper tools can compensate for all the snorts and sniggles that may arise even in a premium mount, and they may even enjoy doing so. But most people would like hassle-free imaging because clear skies are not plentiful for most. And that's where we aimed the development of this Mach2 encoder mount.

Here's what you get with the Mach2 mount that is improved over the Mach1:

We beefed up the lower end so it can easily carry a larger scope with much improved stability and much lower damping times when used with long scopes.

We have a proper clutch that allows you to achieve fine balance when fully disengaged, allows manual movement for visual astronomy when partially engaged, and can be fully locked for imaging so that nothing can disturb the alignment during an imaging run.

We have eliminated the need to disengage the worm from the worm wheel and thereby eliminated the chance that the gear teeth can be stripped accidentally by improper disengagement procedures. This also eliminates the need for user to set the backstop because that's set at the factory and does not ever need adjustment.

Worm mesh is automatic and Dec backlash delay is gone because of the encoder loop.

No need to ever do a PEM run or download a PE curve, which is something a novice inevitably gets wrong.

Encoders allow the mount itself to always know where the axes are pointed, without having to home if the motors miss a pulse or even in the event of a crash.

Scope motions are very precise in both axes down to the sub-arc sec level. RA tracking is extremely smooth without any periodic errors caused by spur gear, worm and bearing eccentricities.

The motors are not ordinary inexpensive stepper, they are custom made for our application and have the highest torque of their frame size. Slewing is smooth, quiet, and can be set to a faster top rate than any of our previous mounts.

The mount can be run from 12 to 24 volts and comes with a 24 volt power supply that can handle any size load you can put on the mount.

The mount has the capability to do unguided imaging with the proper setup (polar align and/or modeling). We have full-blown modeling in APCC Pro, but even for those who don't want to use a computer there is built-in software in the CP controllers now that allows for on-mount modeling. I am in the process of developing this with only the keypad or other pointing device needed.

The CP controller can be operated over the internet at any time, and we at AP can actually do tests on the system in the event that something is not working correctly. Remote operation is a snap - we have years of experience with mounts at various installations around the world. The ability to operate remotely is built-in to the CP controllers, and they can be operated with all ASCOM compatible software.

If we do come out with a smaller, lighter mount in the future, it will also have encoders, smaller of course but just as effective. And it will also be fiddle-free and produce the performance that novice to expert should have in a premium mount.

Roland Christen
Astro-Physics Inc.





-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 10:56 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



No doubt it will deliver the goods. But with the Mach1 being retired, along with its attractive $5500 price point, does this signal the end of the “affordable” entry-level premium mount? I’ve read many cases of people stretching their budget to get a Mach1 in order to enter the premium portable mount market. Stretching to $9k could be a different story for these folks. 

Will the 1100GTO, at $8k, now be the most affordable mount produced by AP for the time being? Any chance will will see another portable mount from AP closer to the Mach1 price point?

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 18:24, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
We added a number of features (per various customer requests) that were not originally in our design goals, and that impacted the cost. However, they add to the usability and functions of the mount for serious imaging - it may be the the last mount you will ever need for true high res imaging.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Tyrel Smith tysmith747@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



Well when you mentioned the trade war driving up material costs I braced for the other shoe to drop. Too bad it strayed so far from the original target price point. Will have to hold on to the Mach1 a little longer.

Ty Smith

On Sep 5, 2019, at 17:52, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
The Mach1 is out of production.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mikestephens-milkeycorp@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 5, 2019 4:44 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Mach2 price and specs are now on the AP website



wow, WoW, WOW...… Kudos to the AP Design Team.
I have a question Rolondo: 
I could not find the Mach1 on your web site...Is it being repriced / discontinued / ?
rgds, & tnx!






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