Date   

Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

Karen Christen
 

Thanks for the feedback, Pete and Scott!  It doesn’t hurt to keep us on our toes.  😉 

Karen

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Pete Mumbower
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 12:02 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

 

Same here Karen, thank you for the update and I totally understand the situation A-P is in. I too will continue to wait patiently for the my 1100GTO (I did order via a dealer/vendor). I find the cost/wait to still be very much worth it.


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

Pete Mumbower
 

Same here Karen, thank you for the update and I totally understand the situation A-P is in. I too will continue to wait patiently for the my 1100GTO (I did order via a dealer/vendor). I find the cost/wait to still be very much worth it.


Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

skester@...
 

Thank you Karen, I have shared this information on the relevant CN thread. I'm sure COVID has played havoc with your cost structure in general. Given I was purchasing the 1100GTO as my 'lifetime mount', I'm still onboard and patiently waiting mine.


Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

Robert Sinitiere <bobstar9@...>
 

Well folks, inflation is back!!  Just check the price of groceries and medications.  Roland and Marj, I’m sure have to pass along their materials and skills cost of doing business to the customer, or there would be no more Astro-Physics, Inc.  Perish the thought.
Bob Sinitiere


On Feb 16, 2021, at 11:16 AM, Karen Christen <karen@...> wrote:



Hello Tom and Astro-Nuts,

 

I apologize that we did not formally announce that notifications for the 1100GTO started last Friday.  As many of you know, the production run for this mount began about a year ago but was severely hampered by the pandemic and a resultant shutdown.  Even now we have 25% of our staff working from home, which we’ve discovered is incredibly inefficient and costly.  Still, we’re chugging along with production and expect to ship the first mounts in March.

 

The price of the 1100GTO has not changed for many years and we did not establish the new price until early last week, while also including APCC-PRO with all versions of the mount.  We did not accept any orders or deposits from anyone – including dealers/vendors – until last Friday.  We’re aware some vendors were requiring a deposit to secure a spot on their list, however this was not our policy and we strongly discourage this practice. 

 

With that said, we could have done a better job of signaling an upcoming price change by removing the old price from our website.  Our website platform does not allow us to remove the price unless we also remove the Notify Me button.  We want people to be able to put their name on the interest list, so this was not a viable option.  Last night we figured out a way to do this – you may notice the price of the 1600GTO shows $0, price to be determined.  In future we’ll be sure to be more transparent.  Again, I apologize for misleading folks. 

 

Lastly, we’re aware Cloudy Nights and other platforms are popular places to share information, and that they require express permission to quote someone else.  You have my permission to share any of this information verbatim on those platforms. 

 

The 1100GTO is a workhorse mount and is guaranteed to provide many years of trouble-free performance.  We hope those of you interested in this mount still consider it a good value.  

 

Karen Christen

AP

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:21 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

 

I thought we were supposed to hear about it here?
Well now we know.  It does seem though that a 21% price increase is a bit excessive no?
Yikes...


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

Karen Christen
 

Hello Tom and Astro-Nuts,

 

I apologize that we did not formally announce that notifications for the 1100GTO started last Friday.  As many of you know, the production run for this mount began about a year ago but was severely hampered by the pandemic and a resultant shutdown.  Even now we have 25% of our staff working from home, which we’ve discovered is incredibly inefficient and costly.  Still, we’re chugging along with production and expect to ship the first mounts in March.

 

The price of the 1100GTO has not changed for many years and we did not establish the new price until early last week, while also including APCC-PRO with all versions of the mount.  We did not accept any orders or deposits from anyone – including dealers/vendors – until last Friday.  We’re aware some vendors were requiring a deposit to secure a spot on their list, however this was not our policy and we strongly discourage this practice. 

 

With that said, we could have done a better job of signaling an upcoming price change by removing the old price from our website.  Our website platform does not allow us to remove the price unless we also remove the Notify Me button.  We want people to be able to put their name on the interest list, so this was not a viable option.  Last night we figured out a way to do this – you may notice the price of the 1600GTO shows $0, price to be determined.  In future we’ll be sure to be more transparent.  Again, I apologize for misleading folks. 

 

Lastly, we’re aware Cloudy Nights and other platforms are popular places to share information, and that they require express permission to quote someone else.  You have my permission to share any of this information verbatim on those platforms. 

 

The 1100GTO is a workhorse mount and is guaranteed to provide many years of trouble-free performance.  We hope those of you interested in this mount still consider it a good value.  

 

Karen Christen

AP

 

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 1:21 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

 

I thought we were supposed to hear about it here?
Well now we know.  It does seem though that a 21% price increase is a bit excessive no?
Yikes...


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

fernandorivera3
 

I too experienced "sticker shock" when I found out about it 😳


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

fernandorivera3
 

Easy solution,  yes when loading or removing the big scope while at the personal observatory.

Wait until it's time to head out to a dark sky site or star party <whenever they return back after COVID-19> now this engine hoist is a PITA to transport to distant locations so not very practical for carrying around [I travel alone to remote locations, not part of a group where each person does their share of lifting a massive OTA]


So, I hear that the 1100 notifications have began, along with a 21% price increase...

Tom Blahovici
 

I thought we were supposed to hear about it here?
Well now we know.  It does seem though that a 21% price increase is a bit excessive no?
Yikes...


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Peter Bresler
 

Again, Harborfreight tools has a cheap and easy solution, 1 ton engine hoist...$180.00.


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 07:51 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
I have standard encoders on my observatory mount.
Thanks Roland, and thanks for the guiding tips.
 --
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Roland Christen
 

I have standard encoders on my observatory mount.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 14, 2021 9:50 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 07:20 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
So it's now -11F outside and still dropping. Mount's tracking well, no issues with anything mechanical or electronics. Mach 2 is running smooth as butter. Guider scale is 1.16 arc sec per pixel with multi-star guiding, 5 seconds guide exposure.
Standard encoders or extended range encoders?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Roland Christen
 

Well, my night started off with .6 RMS error as the temperature plunged after sunset. But after a few hours, and especially close to midnight, the seeing steadied up and the stars went from 4 arc sec blobs to 1.8 arc sec. That's typical of the wide open spaces of the Midwest when we are under a high pressure dome like what's happening right now. Clear sky Clock can tell you pretty well what your seeing is going to be, and that's basically what you have to work with. Poor seeing = poor guiding results.

I do 5 second exposures with 2 second delay between exposures. I'm also now using multi-star guiding, but even that does not guarantee good guiding if the seeing is bad. You can always judge your seeing by looking at the Dec axis guide star fluctuations with corrections turned off. Since Dec stands perfectly still and does zero tracking, any fluctuations are totally due to the atmosphere. That will be your baseline which you cannot get better. PHD has a guide assistant that shows all the details. It's really a powerful program. MaximDL by comparison is rather basic.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 14, 2021 9:04 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Hi Roland, I was running my mach2 down to -6 on Friday night without issue.   And still getting 0.59", 0.24 pixel error. which is fine for my imaging scale.   I use PHD2 and this is typical for me.  I never see guiding graphs like you see, which makes me think  that Maxim DL graphs something different than PHD2.     My RMS error for RA was .37" (0.15 pix)  and my DEC error was .45" (0.18pix).    So I haven't found my mounts limit yet and suspect my limit may be hit before my mounts.  


Terri

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: safe way to load the OTA on the MACH2

Vito Rotondi
 

Just an idea. 


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Bill Long
 

Standard.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2021 7:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)
 
On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 07:20 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
So it's now -11F outside and still dropping. Mount's tracking well, no issues with anything mechanical or electronics. Mach 2 is running smooth as butter. Guider scale is 1.16 arc sec per pixel with multi-star guiding, 5 seconds guide exposure.
Standard encoders or extended range encoders?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 07:20 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
So it's now -11F outside and still dropping. Mount's tracking well, no issues with anything mechanical or electronics. Mach 2 is running smooth as butter. Guider scale is 1.16 arc sec per pixel with multi-star guiding, 5 seconds guide exposure.
Standard encoders or extended range encoders?
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Re: Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Terri Zittritsch
 

Hi Roland, I was running my mach2 down to -6 on Friday night without issue.   And still getting 0.59", 0.24 pixel error. which is fine for my imaging scale.   I use PHD2 and this is typical for me.  I never see guiding graphs like you see, which makes me think  that Maxim DL graphs something different than PHD2.     My RMS error for RA was .37" (0.15 pix)  and my DEC error was .45" (0.18pix).    So I haven't found my mounts limit yet and suspect my limit may be hit before my mounts.  


Terri


Screen shot on a coooold night (Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR)

Roland Christen
 

So it's now -11F outside and still dropping. Mount's tracking well, no issues with anything mechanical or electronics. Mach 2 is running smooth as butter. Guider scale is 1.16 arc sec per pixel with multi-star guiding, 5 seconds guide exposure.



-----Original Message-----
From: Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 8:44 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

The Mach2 balances easily regardless of temperature. It has clutches, so the one thing that is different from the Mach1 is that the clutch end is on needle bearings versus the Mach1 bushing. The Mach1 also allowed the user to back off the worm so that the axis could swing free. But this has a downside if the user inadvertently does this in the wrong place with a huge imbalance. You can run the tops of the teeth over each other and cause damage. The Mach2 does away with that. No chance that the gear teeth can ever be damaged. Clutchless mounts have no other way to allow the axis to swing free - they must allow backing the worm teeth off the worm wheel.

Rolando



--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Roland Christen
 

The Mach2 balances easily regardless of temperature. It has clutches, so the one thing that is different from the Mach1 is that the clutch end is on needle bearings versus the Mach1 bushing. The Mach1 also allowed the user to back off the worm so that the axis could swing free. But this has a downside if the user inadvertently does this in the wrong place with a huge imbalance. You can run the tops of the teeth over each other and cause damage. The Mach2 does away with that. No chance that the gear teeth can ever be damaged. Clutchless mounts have no other way to allow the axis to swing free - they must allow backing the worm teeth off the worm wheel.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Pete Mumbower <pmumbower@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 8:33 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Roland, how well do your mounts balance in such cold temps? My current mount's(CGE-Pro) grease gets "sticky/gummy" below freezing and it is impossible to balance. I really look forward to a new 1100GTO shortly btw.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Roland Christen
 

Since i am testing stuff, I need to be at the mount. things like belt tension, motor current, etc. If I were just imaging, i would run everything thru the Ethernet connection from the observatory to my nice warm office.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: dvjbaja <jpgleasonid@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 8:29 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Its fairly easy to set up chrome remote on your notebook at the telescope so you can operate all pc functions from the 2nd pc in the warm and comfortable home.  -jg


Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "Roland Christen via groups.io" <chris1011@...>
Date: 2/13/21 5:54 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

My joints don't work so good either. And sometimes my brain too. I set the exposures at 3 x 10 minutes and came inside. Guider was doing its job. After 30 minutes I went outside and no images! rats! I forgot to turn on Expose. So, first 30 min was wasted. But going good now.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Sinitiere <bobstar9@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 7:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Roland, You are ALL better and tougher men than am I.  Roland, you are perpetually a 25 year old lad.  I’m 71 now, and feeling it in my joints.  Bob
PS:  Clear skies, it is cloudy here.


On Feb 13, 2021, at 7:14 PM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Oh yeah! I'm well aware but have experienced colder in the past. 10 minutes working with the computer is about the limit, but I have nice warm tea inside. Right now mount and camera are working well. Transparency is super, seeing is horrid. We'll see what we get.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>; main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Feb 13, 2021 6:15 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Man, don’t get hypothermic or frostbite! Keep those fingers and toes warm. Good Luck!!

JimP 


From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2021 7:11:52 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>; main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR
 
I'm going to give it a try with my Mach2 in sub-zero F temps. It's brilliantly clear (YAY!) but below zero (Wahh!). I hope my laptop doesn't freeze up on me. Wish me luck.

Testing continues primarily to see where and if the normal temp encoders will fail to operate in sub-zero conditions. So far they work fine but we have not seen -20F yet. Maybe Sunday night - Monday morning. Coldest it's ever been in Northern Illinois is -32F, but haven't seen that in the last 10 years.

Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: [ap-ug] Gonna shoot tonight - it's clear and BRRRRR

Pete Mumbower
 

Roland, how well do your mounts balance in such cold temps? My current mount's(CGE-Pro) grease gets "sticky/gummy" below freezing and it is impossible to balance. I really look forward to a new 1100GTO shortly btw.

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