Date   

Re: Counterweights of Mach1 in the Mach2?

Roland Christen
 

The Mach2 comes standard with the larger diameter cwt shaft, but the smaller dia shaft also fits the Mach2. If you want to use your counterweights, you can buy the smaller dia. shaft and it will fit.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: marfig1970@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 3:01 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Counterweights of Mach1 in the Mach2?



I am thinking of replacing my Mach1 with the new Mach2, but I would like to be able to keep the counterweights. As I understand it, the counterweight shaft that comes with Mach2 does not allow you to use the original Mach1 counterweights.

However, I was wondering, if any of the counterweights shaft available on the AP website allow you to do the trick. 

Thanks,



Counterweights of Mach1 in the Mach2?

Marcelo Figueroa
 

I am thinking of replacing my Mach1 with the new Mach2, but I would like to be able to keep the counterweights. As I understand it, the counterweight shaft that comes with Mach2 does not allow you to use the original Mach1 counterweights.


However, I was wondering, if any of the counterweights shaft available on the AP website allow you to do the trick. 


Thanks,


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

robert@...
 

Disregard the last link. Here we go:



Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

robert@...
 

I modified the Q-KIT so it was attached all the time (what else am I going to use it with...a Mach 2?? :)).

http://www.greschke.com/~bob/science/20180901.html

(I don't know how to insert links...)

Bob


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...>
 

I have both the original Losamndy HD tripod as well as the newer style
folding tripod.  The only negative I can see with them is if weight is a consideration due to physical limitations.  Since I rarely move them more than 15 ft from the car when going to a dark site the weight really
doesn't matter to me.  I actually leave the non-folding one on a deck permanently with a tarp over it for imaging at home (it tends to stay
within 20 arcmin of polar alignment) and after 3 years I can see no real
rust or weathering.

I used to own a much pricier ATS pier which was amazingly light and had
better adjustments to level the tripod but in the end both solutions
held the mount nice and robustly so I went with the solution that was
fraction of the cost and saved enough for an ASI cooled camera.

Michael Fulbright


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Stelios
 

1) AP has a very easy way to mount the Mach1 on the T-110/T-130: ADATRI + CBAPT + Q6280Kit. 
4) The T-Pod is really a wonderful tripod--no other way to put it. Dual clamps on all legs. Great carrying bag, can fit with the ADATRI attached. ADATRI just screws on with three socket-head screws and never leaves again. Very solid brace. 

Also, very quick assembly (I disagree with the person who said it takes a lot of time to set it up--I just plop my Mach 1 on top, attach the Q6280Kit (one hand-screw) attach the CBAPT (screw that needs an allen wrench) and add the other two screws for the ADATRI. CP4 rests on the CBAPT with two top hand-screws (that only need one turn) for security. Overall, I would say less than 2 minutes for sure for the whole thing.

For visual the T-130 will probably be quite tall enough for you. For AP, I always retract the legs (at my height, the T-130 was entirely unnecessary). 


Re: APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail

Roland Christen
 

What can be even more off is the focal length of an SCT where the moving mirror focuser changes the focal ratio drastically. An F10 SCT can be anywhere from F10 to F14 depending on the position of the mirror and whether more back focus is needed for focal reducers and other equipment.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: mogollonobs@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 1:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail



Reducers or extenders can be off a little depending on spacing so you may want to run a file through astrometry to see what the true scale is.


Keith



Re: APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail

Ray Gralak
 

Manufacturer spec focal length is often just an estimate. What image scale is actually calculated from the plate solve image?

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ap-gto@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2019 10:54 AM
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail



Ray/Dale, yes. I am using an AP 0.67 Focal Reducer on a 14" RC scope. FL is 2848x0.67=1908mm.
Pixel size on the 16cTEC Mallincam camera is 3.8x3.8 microns. Thus giving me 0.41 "/pixel at 1x1 binning. I
believe this is correct. In SGP I input 1908mm focal length. In APPM I input 0.41 in the Plate Solve tab as it
requests the 'unbinned" X and Y arcsec/pixel. I'm shooting at 2.x 2 binning and I believe the SGP and APPM
takes that into account.
Am I missing something here?
Dui


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Ben Koltenbah
 

Wayne:

Earlier this year I invested in an ATS 8" portable pier.  It was by no means inexpensive, but I very much wanted something solid for heavier loads with easy leveling adjustments and a pier-type configuration for less interference than a full style tripod.  Around the same time I got an 1100 to run in parallel with my Mach1.  AP also recommended it because I described how some of my imaging locations weren't very level, and this would make setup easier.

The top plate of the portable pier is fitted to receive the adapters for both the Mach1 and 1100.  But I now use it only for my 1100 as I use the Mach1 concurrently with my older Berlebach tripod.  The Berlebach has been a good and trusty tripod, but I was able to observe and measure underdamped oscillations with heavier loads.  Additionally, I ran into more interference problems with the Berlebach when I wanted to image before or past the meridian.

Leveling is easy as each leg has a turnbuckle adjuster.  I want to be able to level it well as I use a RAPAS for polar alignment, which I finally just got around to dialing in to my 1100.  It works so well now that I (almost) don't need to do any further polar alignment before imaging.

Anyway, all the models already mentioned are good ones and you wouldn't go wrong with them, but I thought I'd chime in with what I considered and arrived at.  It's been a good performer for me so far.

Best Regards,
Ben


Re: APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail

mogollonobs
 

Reducers or extenders can be off a little depending on spacing so you may want to run a file through astrometry to see what the true scale is.


Keith


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Tyrel Smith
 

I have Mach 1 on an original iOptron Tri-Pier. Works great and very light. ADATRI bolts on with no adapter needed.

Ty Smith

On Sep 13, 2019, at 13:24, Ram Viswanathan ramviswanathan@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Does anyone know what happened to Rob Miller?

I’m so glad to have picked up his tripods when they were still available. 



On Sep 13, 2019, at 9:00 AM, cthomp97 cthomp97@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Terri, have you considered the AP portable pier?  I have the Eagle and the portable pier and like the both. Either one is quick and easy to assemble/take down and have easy attachment for the CP4. The Portable pier is much cheaper and I purchased one front someone in AstroMart for around $400 if I remember correctly. 

The only downside to the portable pier is getting it level. However, it doesn't need to be level, just polar aligned. 





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.

-------- Original message --------
From: "Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...>
Date: 9/13/19 10:16 AM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portable Tripod for Mach2

 

To continue discussion on a tripod for the Mach2.     I was originally going to buy the AP Eagle but the discussion here has convinced me that I should at least look at the alternatives.    I’ve narrowed my search down to the Losmandy folding HD tripod, the Planet wood tripod and the Avalon TPOD.   It seems that people have used all of these tripods with Mach1’s with success.     Part of the reason to look at alternatives is the cost, as the Eagle as-is, seems to need additional purchases to make it usable, or at least this is my impression.   I am almost 6’ tall and I’ll use my mach2 for both AP and visual, and my impression is that the Eagle is quite short and I’ll want the $400 8” pier extension.   My understanding is that the other tripods likely need extensions as well to make them usable for visual with long refractors, but in each case the tripod and extensions are about 1/2 the cost to acquire new.   

A few questions for the A-P astronuts:

1) If I buy a non-AP tripod, is this going to force me to cobble together a way to attach the CP4 control box and/or hand controller?   On that same vein, do the AP tripods provide this facility or do I have the same issue and have to cobble something together or buy another accessory?     I’d really like a solution that just bolts together and is neat and tidy.
2) I’ve read that the Losmandy HD folding tripod has a bunch of sharp edges that will destroy the interior of my car if I have to transport it.  Is this real or an exaggeration?  I am really more concerned with my hands than car.. as my trunk has a liner and in Vt we have a truck.    Roland seems to advocate the Losmandy which seems a good recommendation on build quality.     The other downside of the Losmandy seems to be weight at 35 pounds (without extension and adapter).  This is one beefy tripod!!   given the head is heavier than this, it’s not going to be the limiting weight..
3) On the Planet, I’ve not really heard downsides other than weight and some irrational concerns with using wood.   And weight is relative since it is lighter by 10 pounds than the Losmandy but some seem to have issues with the weight.  
4) On the TPOD, at 15 pounds without all the adapters, seems to be the lightest.   It seems very minimalist, but people have said it’s very stiff.   Is there any downside to the TPOD that anyone has found?   Has anyone built a setup with the mach1 here that includes extension and adapter, and can comment on experience?

I’m really looking for a solution I can just bolt together, have reasonable height for visual with a long refractor such as the tec140 and maybe tec160, and not have to make adapters, etc.   


thanks,
Terri











On Sep 12, 2019, at 7:40 PM, biker123@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

A third alternative is to get a Meade Giant Field Tripod. It uses 3" diameter legs and has a large flat round top. It is rock solid and works very well for solid vibration free mounting for larger AP mounts up to 1100. I mounted the flat surface AP adaptor that takes both my 900 and 1100 mounts. I support a 6" APO refractor w SBIG STL 6303 camera or alternating with a 11" SCT with Hyperstar. I needed a tripod that would put the mount high enough so I don't have to kneel in the weeds to get to the eyepiece of the 6" reftractor. I usually set it up so the height of the top of the tripod is around 44" for the refractor. If you aren't using a long refractor you could set the tripod up lower. It will require a bit of basic metal work such as drill and taping to take the mount. 


Meade uses that tripod with a lot of their heavier scopes and I suspect a lot of people bought it with their scope/mount and later upgraded to piers so you can often find these for sale on line. Note that some of the models came with extra long legs that were designed to work with their largest refractors. Make sure that you verify how long the legs are on any specific one you are buying.

Besides mine, two of my friends have one...in both cases I modified them to take their AP mount and in one case shortened the legs a bit as it was from one of the big Meade refractor versions and was too long even at the lowest height with a big SCT.

There is one safety tip I recommend though.....the spreaders are connected with steel drift pins into aluminum. They are notorious for backing out after extended opening and closing and could fall out causing the tripod to collapse. I pushed the drift pins out and replaced with stainless steel screws and lock nuts.

They work great with one caveat....since it is a true tripod (legs to all the way to the top) if you use it with a big refractor you MAY run into cases where the telescope and camera setup may get close to one leg when tracking close to zenith. You just need to watch for that in use. SCTS and shorter refractors will have no problems.

I have used mine for 17 years and no issues. 



Re: APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail

Dui
 

Ray/Dale, yes.  I am using an AP 0.67 Focal Reducer on a 14" RC scope.  FL is 2848x0.67=1908mm.
Pixel size on the 16cTEC Mallincam camera is 3.8x3.8 microns.  Thus giving me 0.41 "/pixel at 1x1 binning.  I believe this is correct. In SGP I input 1908mm focal length. In APPM I input 0.41 in the Plate Solve tab as it requests the 'unbinned" X and Y arcsec/pixel.    I'm shooting at 2.x 2 binning and I believe the SGP and APPM takes that into account.
Am I missing something here?
Dui


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Ram
 

Does anyone know what happened to Rob Miller?
I’m so glad to have picked up his tripods when they were still available. 



On Sep 13, 2019, at 9:00 AM, cthomp97 cthomp97@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 

Terri, have you considered the AP portable pier?  I have the Eagle and the portable pier and like the both. Either one is quick and easy to assemble/take down and have easy attachment for the CP4. The Portable pier is much cheaper and I purchased one front someone in AstroMart for around $400 if I remember correctly. 

The only downside to the portable pier is getting it level. However, it doesn't need to be level, just polar aligned. 





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.

-------- Original message --------
From: "Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...>
Date: 9/13/19 10:16 AM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portable Tripod for Mach2

 

To continue discussion on a tripod for the Mach2.     I was originally going to buy the AP Eagle but the discussion here has convinced me that I should at least look at the alternatives.    I’ve narrowed my search down to the Losmandy folding HD tripod, the Planet wood tripod and the Avalon TPOD.   It seems that people have used all of these tripods with Mach1’s with success.     Part of the reason to look at alternatives is the cost, as the Eagle as-is, seems to need additional purchases to make it usable, or at least this is my impression.   I am almost 6’ tall and I’ll use my mach2 for both AP and visual, and my impression is that the Eagle is quite short and I’ll want the $400 8” pier extension.   My understanding is that the other tripods likely need extensions as well to make them usable for visual with long refractors, but in each case the tripod and extensions are about 1/2 the cost to acquire new.   

A few questions for the A-P astronuts:

1) If I buy a non-AP tripod, is this going to force me to cobble together a way to attach the CP4 control box and/or hand controller?   On that same vein, do the AP tripods provide this facility or do I have the same issue and have to cobble something together or buy another accessory?     I’d really like a solution that just bolts together and is neat and tidy.
2) I’ve read that the Losmandy HD folding tripod has a bunch of sharp edges that will destroy the interior of my car if I have to transport it.  Is this real or an exaggeration?  I am really more concerned with my hands than car.. as my trunk has a liner and in Vt we have a truck.    Roland seems to advocate the Losmandy which seems a good recommendation on build quality.     The other downside of the Losmandy seems to be weight at 35 pounds (without extension and adapter).  This is one beefy tripod!!   given the head is heavier than this, it’s not going to be the limiting weight..
3) On the Planet, I’ve not really heard downsides other than weight and some irrational concerns with using wood.   And weight is relative since it is lighter by 10 pounds than the Losmandy but some seem to have issues with the weight.  
4) On the TPOD, at 15 pounds without all the adapters, seems to be the lightest.   It seems very minimalist, but people have said it’s very stiff.   Is there any downside to the TPOD that anyone has found?   Has anyone built a setup with the mach1 here that includes extension and adapter, and can comment on experience?

I’m really looking for a solution I can just bolt together, have reasonable height for visual with a long refractor such as the tec140 and maybe tec160, and not have to make adapters, etc.   


thanks,
Terri











On Sep 12, 2019, at 7:40 PM, biker123@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

A third alternative is to get a Meade Giant Field Tripod. It uses 3" diameter legs and has a large flat round top. It is rock solid and works very well for solid vibration free mounting for larger AP mounts up to 1100. I mounted the flat surface AP adaptor that takes both my 900 and 1100 mounts. I support a 6" APO refractor w SBIG STL 6303 camera or alternating with a 11" SCT with Hyperstar. I needed a tripod that would put the mount high enough so I don't have to kneel in the weeds to get to the eyepiece of the 6" reftractor. I usually set it up so the height of the top of the tripod is around 44" for the refractor. If you aren't using a long refractor you could set the tripod up lower. It will require a bit of basic metal work such as drill and taping to take the mount. 


Meade uses that tripod with a lot of their heavier scopes and I suspect a lot of people bought it with their scope/mount and later upgraded to piers so you can often find these for sale on line. Note that some of the models came with extra long legs that were designed to work with their largest refractors. Make sure that you verify how long the legs are on any specific one you are buying.

Besides mine, two of my friends have one...in both cases I modified them to take their AP mount and in one case shortened the legs a bit as it was from one of the big Meade refractor versions and was too long even at the lowest height with a big SCT.

There is one safety tip I recommend though.....the spreaders are connected with steel drift pins into aluminum. They are notorious for backing out after extended opening and closing and could fall out causing the tripod to collapse. I pushed the drift pins out and replaced with stainless steel screws and lock nuts.

They work great with one caveat....since it is a true tripod (legs to all the way to the top) if you use it with a big refractor you MAY run into cases where the telescope and camera setup may get close to one leg when tracking close to zenith. You just need to watch for that in use. SCTS and shorter refractors will have no problems.

I have used mine for 17 years and no issues. 



Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Charles Thompson
 

Terri, have you considered the AP portable pier?  I have the Eagle and the portable pier and like the both. Either one is quick and easy to assemble/take down and have easy attachment for the CP4. The Portable pier is much cheaper and I purchased one front someone in AstroMart for around $400 if I remember correctly. 

The only downside to the portable pier is getting it level. However, it doesn't need to be level, just polar aligned. 





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.

-------- Original message --------
From: "Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...>
Date: 9/13/19 10:16 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portable Tripod for Mach2

 

To continue discussion on a tripod for the Mach2.     I was originally going to buy the AP Eagle but the discussion here has convinced me that I should at least look at the alternatives.    I’ve narrowed my search down to the Losmandy folding HD tripod, the Planet wood tripod and the Avalon TPOD.   It seems that people have used all of these tripods with Mach1’s with success.     Part of the reason to look at alternatives is the cost, as the Eagle as-is, seems to need additional purchases to make it usable, or at least this is my impression.   I am almost 6’ tall and I’ll use my mach2 for both AP and visual, and my impression is that the Eagle is quite short and I’ll want the $400 8” pier extension.   My understanding is that the other tripods likely need extensions as well to make them usable for visual with long refractors, but in each case the tripod and extensions are about 1/2 the cost to acquire new.   

A few questions for the A-P astronuts:

1) If I buy a non-AP tripod, is this going to force me to cobble together a way to attach the CP4 control box and/or hand controller?   On that same vein, do the AP tripods provide this facility or do I have the same issue and have to cobble something together or buy another accessory?     I’d really like a solution that just bolts together and is neat and tidy.
2) I’ve read that the Losmandy HD folding tripod has a bunch of sharp edges that will destroy the interior of my car if I have to transport it.  Is this real or an exaggeration?  I am really more concerned with my hands than car.. as my trunk has a liner and in Vt we have a truck.    Roland seems to advocate the Losmandy which seems a good recommendation on build quality.     The other downside of the Losmandy seems to be weight at 35 pounds (without extension and adapter).  This is one beefy tripod!!   given the head is heavier than this, it’s not going to be the limiting weight..
3) On the Planet, I’ve not really heard downsides other than weight and some irrational concerns with using wood.   And weight is relative since it is lighter by 10 pounds than the Losmandy but some seem to have issues with the weight.  
4) On the TPOD, at 15 pounds without all the adapters, seems to be the lightest.   It seems very minimalist, but people have said it’s very stiff.   Is there any downside to the TPOD that anyone has found?   Has anyone built a setup with the mach1 here that includes extension and adapter, and can comment on experience?

I’m really looking for a solution I can just bolt together, have reasonable height for visual with a long refractor such as the tec140 and maybe tec160, and not have to make adapters, etc.   


thanks,
Terri











On Sep 12, 2019, at 7:40 PM, biker123@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

A third alternative is to get a Meade Giant Field Tripod. It uses 3" diameter legs and has a large flat round top. It is rock solid and works very well for solid vibration free mounting for larger AP mounts up to 1100. I mounted the flat surface AP adaptor that takes both my 900 and 1100 mounts. I support a 6" APO refractor w SBIG STL 6303 camera or alternating with a 11" SCT with Hyperstar. I needed a tripod that would put the mount high enough so I don't have to kneel in the weeds to get to the eyepiece of the 6" reftractor. I usually set it up so the height of the top of the tripod is around 44" for the refractor. If you aren't using a long refractor you could set the tripod up lower. It will require a bit of basic metal work such as drill and taping to take the mount. 


Meade uses that tripod with a lot of their heavier scopes and I suspect a lot of people bought it with their scope/mount and later upgraded to piers so you can often find these for sale on line. Note that some of the models came with extra long legs that were designed to work with their largest refractors. Make sure that you verify how long the legs are on any specific one you are buying.

Besides mine, two of my friends have one...in both cases I modified them to take their AP mount and in one case shortened the legs a bit as it was from one of the big Meade refractor versions and was too long even at the lowest height with a big SCT.

There is one safety tip I recommend though.....the spreaders are connected with steel drift pins into aluminum. They are notorious for backing out after extended opening and closing and could fall out causing the tripod to collapse. I pushed the drift pins out and replaced with stainless steel screws and lock nuts.

They work great with one caveat....since it is a true tripod (legs to all the way to the top) if you use it with a big refractor you MAY run into cases where the telescope and camera setup may get close to one leg when tracking close to zenith. You just need to watch for that in use. SCTS and shorter refractors will have no problems.

I have used mine for 17 years and no issues. 



Re: APPM/SGP PLATE Solve Fail

Dale Ghent
 

On Sep 13, 2019, at 11:02 AM, dnaaita@rogers.com [ap-gto] <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Thx Ray but I believe I have set both locations at 0.41 "/Pix.
see attached link for pic. Also I have the box you mentioned was already enabled. I'm confused.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/143686919@N04/48726831438/in/datetaken-public/
When calculating the pixel scale. which requires using your telescope's focal length, is the value you're using for the focal length also factoring in any devices which affect it, such as a reducer or a barlow?

/dale


Re: AP1100 backstop adjustment

Roland Christen
 

Then the next thing you want to do is to check the end play of the worm. The worm itself rides on two roller bearings. The bearings are held in place by end float nuts. One is fixed in place and is underneath the spur gear and so is not accessible or adjustable. The other end is accessible and can be seen if you unscrew the round cover knob that is right next to the spring lever area. That knob is about the size of a half dollar and may be either knurled or in later mounts would have two holes for use with a spanner wrench.

Underneath you will see a slotted nut that is used to hold the worm in place. If it is loose, the worm itself can move sideways back and forth when the counterweight shaft is moved. Tighten it with a spanner wrench (clockwise tightens) or if you don't have that, you can use two small drillbits - place the shanks into the holes and use a screwdriver for leverage. Tighten until no more movement is felt.

By the way, none of this will make a bit of difference in tracking or guiding since the RA gears are always driving in one direction and never have to reverse.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: gshaughnessy@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 10:20 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: AP1100 backstop adjustment



Thanks Roland for the response.  

I can confirm that the CW bar is all the way in, and there is motion detected if I put my finger on the interface between the RA axis and the base of the mount.  I'm using light finger pressure to move the CW bar.  

Gabe



Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Bill Long
 

I use the Losmandy HD tripod with my 1100. Seems overkill for the Mach 2. It's heavy, and I only went this route to cut down on the price of getting the mount up and running. 

Im currently in the market to replace it. Line i mentioned before, if you can go Eagle, it's a pretty awesome product. The ATS piers are nice as well. 

From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Terri Zittritsch theresamarie11@... [ap-gto] Sent: Friday, September 13, 2019 8:16 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Portable Tripod for Mach2
 
 

To continue discussion on a tripod for the Mach2.     I was originally going to buy the AP Eagle but the discussion here has convinced me that I should at least look at the alternatives.    I’ve narrowed my search down to the Losmandy folding HD tripod, the Planet wood tripod and the Avalon TPOD.   It seems that people have used all of these tripods with Mach1’s with success.     Part of the reason to look at alternatives is the cost, as the Eagle as-is, seems to need additional purchases to make it usable, or at least this is my impression.   I am almost 6’ tall and I’ll use my mach2 for both AP and visual, and my impression is that the Eagle is quite short and I’ll want the $400 8” pier extension.   My understanding is that the other tripods likely need extensions as well to make them usable for visual with long refractors, but in each case the tripod and extensions are about 1/2 the cost to acquire new.   

A few questions for the A-P astronuts:

1) If I buy a non-AP tripod, is this going to force me to cobble together a way to attach the CP4 control box and/or hand controller?   On that same vein, do the AP tripods provide this facility or do I have the same issue and have to cobble something together or buy another accessory?     I’d really like a solution that just bolts together and is neat and tidy.
2) I’ve read that the Losmandy HD folding tripod has a bunch of sharp edges that will destroy the interior of my car if I have to transport it.  Is this real or an exaggeration?  I am really more concerned with my hands than car.. as my trunk has a liner and in Vt we have a truck.    Roland seems to advocate the Losmandy which seems a good recommendation on build quality.     The other downside of the Losmandy seems to be weight at 35 pounds (without extension and adapter).  This is one beefy tripod!!   given the head is heavier than this, it’s not going to be the limiting weight..
3) On the Planet, I’ve not really heard downsides other than weight and some irrational concerns with using wood.   And weight is relative since it is lighter by 10 pounds than the Losmandy but some seem to have issues with the weight.  
4) On the TPOD, at 15 pounds without all the adapters, seems to be the lightest.   It seems very minimalist, but people have said it’s very stiff.   Is there any downside to the TPOD that anyone has found?   Has anyone built a setup with the mach1 here that includes extension and adapter, and can comment on experience?

I’m really looking for a solution I can just bolt together, have reasonable height for visual with a long refractor such as the tec140 and maybe tec160, and not have to make adapters, etc.   


thanks,
Terri











On Sep 12, 2019, at 7:40 PM, biker123@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

A third alternative is to get a Meade Giant Field Tripod. It uses 3" diameter legs and has a large flat round top. It is rock solid and works very well for solid vibration free mounting for larger AP mounts up to 1100. I mounted the flat surface AP adaptor that takes both my 900 and 1100 mounts. I support a 6" APO refractor w SBIG STL 6303 camera or alternating with a 11" SCT with Hyperstar. I needed a tripod that would put the mount high enough so I don't have to kneel in the weeds to get to the eyepiece of the 6" reftractor. I usually set it up so the height of the top of the tripod is around 44" for the refractor. If you aren't using a long refractor you could set the tripod up lower. It will require a bit of basic metal work such as drill and taping to take the mount. 


Meade uses that tripod with a lot of their heavier scopes and I suspect a lot of people bought it with their scope/mount and later upgraded to piers so you can often find these for sale on line. Note that some of the models came with extra long legs that were designed to work with their largest refractors. Make sure that you verify how long the legs are on any specific one you are buying.

Besides mine, two of my friends have one...in both cases I modified them to take their AP mount and in one case shortened the legs a bit as it was from one of the big Meade refractor versions and was too long even at the lowest height with a big SCT.

There is one safety tip I recommend though.....the spreaders are connected with steel drift pins into aluminum. They are notorious for backing out after extended opening and closing and could fall out causing the tripod to collapse. I pushed the drift pins out and replaced with stainless steel screws and lock nuts.

They work great with one caveat....since it is a true tripod (legs to all the way to the top) if you use it with a big refractor you MAY run into cases where the telescope and camera setup may get close to one leg when tracking close to zenith. You just need to watch for that in use. SCTS and shorter refractors will have no problems.

I have used mine for 17 years and no issues. 



Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Gabe Shaughnessy
 

BTW, I will say that the Eagle is by far the fastest to setup vs. the T-pod, if that's any consideration.

Gabe


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

Gabe Shaughnessy
 

I can provide a comment on the T-pod.  It is very stable and the Mach 1/2 is a drop in to that tripod, provided you have the ADATRI adapter, which bolts easily to the top face of the tripod.  The ADATRI, when installed does obstruct the view of the built-in bubble level, but you have one on the Mach1 (not sure of the Mach2). 

There is one caveat about the T-pod though, which is where to put the control box adapter.  I earlier had an AP 8" extension, so it was easy to mount the adapter to that, but have since sold it.  Instead, I'm using a Q6280KIT as a spacer to allow enough room to put the adapter for the CP4 on.  It works quite well.  


Re: Portable Tripod for Mach2

jon swanson
 

I really like the Eagle and how seamless it integrates with he Mach 1.  I also have the extension but remove it for imaging.  I also have the Planet and like it.  I am going to use it strictly for visual so my Eagle can be my imaging pier.  The Planet is a bit heavier than the Eagle which is why I have used the Eagle more I suspect.  But both work fine.  Just make sure you get the Planet with the Mach 1 plate on it if you go that route.

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