Date   

Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

W Hilmo
 

That's kind of my position on this.

When I think past my own desires and consider the market, it seems like a
very small mount, made to Astro-Physics standards, might not be a huge
seller. The biggest problem is that the scopes that such a mount would
carry would be really small. Smaller scopes are lots more forgiving of the
mount. Because of that, I would think that most people would think that the
current offerings are "good enough". Certainly, the "success" of the
RST-135 shows that there is a market for highly portable mounts (I have
"success" in quotes because I am basing it just on the discussion that I can
see as a user. I have no idea how many of these things they actually sell.)

The question then is, can Astro-Physics make a mount that is both price
competitive with the RST-135 and meet Astro-Physics quality standards?
Based on the conversation so far, I'm skeptical that's possible. Of course,
there are some people who would be happy to pay more for Astro-Physics
quality, but the "masses" are interested in good enough, at the lowest price
(again in quotes, because "masses" probably doesn't apply to part of the
amateur astronomy market...)

For my own part, I'm a bit disappointed that the Mach1 is no more. The
Mach2 is a vastly superior mount, to be sure. But for me, the Mach1 hit a
sweet spot in price to size to performance. The Mach2 exceeds my
requirements for a third mount by a wide margin - but it also exceeds my
budget for a third mount, and I don't think that it's any more portable than
my AP1100, since the axes don't separate. I'll probably keep my eyes open
for a nice used Mach1. But there is probably a 50/50 chance that I'll
eventually just buy a Mach2. So AP's marketing strategy will probably be
successful at extracting some more of my cash at some point, without
designing any new mounts...

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of richard
payne
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:41 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small AP Mount Ideas

The AP400GTO, a sweet mount and fairly small. The money is probably the
issue.
It would cost the same as a Mach 1 to manufacture.
Richard


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

richard payne
 

The AP400GTO, a sweet mount and fairly small. The money is probably the issue.
It would cost the same as a Mach 1 to manufacture.
Richard


Re: What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

Roland Christen
 

8 arc minutes is probably too small to mess with. What scope are you working with and what mount?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: mjb87 via groups.io <mjb87@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Apr 27, 2021 12:14 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

I have been getting squirrelly results from various APPM runs which could easily be attributed to a suboptimal camera setup (15x20 arc minute FOV, very low image scale) which I am in the process of correcting with a different camera, if USPS ever delivers it.

Some of those runs suggested a high degree of cone error, on the order of 3-5 degrees, which I found hard to believe. So I thought I'd check it out. I just ran Cone Sharp and it concluded my cone error was just over 8 arcminutes.

I assume that a proper APPM model will easily correct for that. Or should I mechanically shim first to reduce the cone error? I'd rather not attempt that.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

DFisch
 

Great analysis Howard, thanks for your wonderfully logical insight. 

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 09:40 Howard Hedlund <howard@...> wrote:
Hi Andrew and all of you other fine Gentlemen,
Please bear a few things in mind about a potential high performance mini-mount:
  • We can't just scale down a Mach 2 (or Mach1, even) to design this mount.  Engineering will be a significant cost.
  • Direct costs of a smaller mount are only reduced a small fraction by the reduction in raw materials.  Machining, finishing, assembly, documentation, and support time and labor will be little different from any of our other mounts all the way up to the 1600GTO.
  • We do not have an unlimited pool of manufacturing facilities, and our highly skilled machinists, finishers and assemblers were very hard to come by.  If we devote resources to building a small mount, it will take resources away from producing our other 3 mounts.  It's hard enough keeping up with current mount demand!
  • You are in competition with the other end of the mount spectrum.  For every loyal AP customer who wants a small travel mount, there is also a customer wanting us to build a bigger mount (a new version to replace the discontinued 3600GTO) for huge scopes in remote observatories.
  • Believe me when I say that all of us would like to produce a mini mount.  But it's a tough call to make.  I'm just glad that such decisions are above my pay grade!

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Jeff B
 

Great response Howard!  

Has anyone heard the name "Losmandy"?

Jeff

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 1:37 PM David Fischer <dkn.fischer@...> wrote:
Speaking as a user of both AP and iOptron mounts, I find my little CEM25 to be more than adequate for portable imaging.  I use it for 80mm refractor and smaller optics all the way down to simple camera lenses and get guided tracking good enough (1.1 arc-sec rms typical) that the mount is not the determining factor to image resolution.  The mount seems to be a practical choice. 

What would be the motivation for a customer to spend more money to handle a similar payload while having a similar carry weight for all the gear ? 

While Astro-Physics would certainly build a mount with even better tracking, how would the end user actually benefit ? 

How could A-P recoup the engineering costs without selling very large quantities of the mount ?  Would they not have to garner a major share of all the small mount users to make this work fiscally ?  Is that realistic when these iOptron (and other) mounts cost only $1000 new ?

I love A-P quality enough that I would not wish to see the health of the company hurt by pursuit of a market in which their strengths don't align with customer interests.

-- David F.

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 6:46 AM David via groups.io <phrosty5=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have asked for this several times as well.  Obviously there is a market for this.  The premium is being paid now by everyone that buys a RainbowAstro mount.  I bought mine due to the ridiculously small size for the capacity, and no counterweights.  With accessories it was over $4k.  The new one with an encoder is around $1k more.  People are already paying this premium for the sake of portability.  Just not quite getting AP quality.  There is a market.  Whether or not it’s profitable and worth the effort for AP is the question.

I was hoping for this when I got my Mach2.  The Mach2 is the best mount I’ve ever had.  But I’d still love one from AP that was 1/3 the weight and had a capacity of around 20-30 lbs.  That would be a game changer for portability.  Yes it can’t compete with a $2k iOptron, but there are many people that don’t care and will easily pay a premium to have better quality, and have something not Chinese made.  Right now there just isn’t an option.

David



On Apr 27, 2021, at 2:18 AM, eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker=me.com@groups.io> wrote:

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

David Fischer
 

Speaking as a user of both AP and iOptron mounts, I find my little CEM25 to be more than adequate for portable imaging.  I use it for 80mm refractor and smaller optics all the way down to simple camera lenses and get guided tracking good enough (1.1 arc-sec rms typical) that the mount is not the determining factor to image resolution.  The mount seems to be a practical choice. 

What would be the motivation for a customer to spend more money to handle a similar payload while having a similar carry weight for all the gear ? 

While Astro-Physics would certainly build a mount with even better tracking, how would the end user actually benefit ? 

How could A-P recoup the engineering costs without selling very large quantities of the mount ?  Would they not have to garner a major share of all the small mount users to make this work fiscally ?  Is that realistic when these iOptron (and other) mounts cost only $1000 new ?

I love A-P quality enough that I would not wish to see the health of the company hurt by pursuit of a market in which their strengths don't align with customer interests.

-- David F.

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 6:46 AM David via groups.io <phrosty5=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have asked for this several times as well.  Obviously there is a market for this.  The premium is being paid now by everyone that buys a RainbowAstro mount.  I bought mine due to the ridiculously small size for the capacity, and no counterweights.  With accessories it was over $4k.  The new one with an encoder is around $1k more.  People are already paying this premium for the sake of portability.  Just not quite getting AP quality.  There is a market.  Whether or not it’s profitable and worth the effort for AP is the question.

I was hoping for this when I got my Mach2.  The Mach2 is the best mount I’ve ever had.  But I’d still love one from AP that was 1/3 the weight and had a capacity of around 20-30 lbs.  That would be a game changer for portability.  Yes it can’t compete with a $2k iOptron, but there are many people that don’t care and will easily pay a premium to have better quality, and have something not Chinese made.  Right now there just isn’t an option.

David



On Apr 27, 2021, at 2:18 AM, eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker=me.com@groups.io> wrote:

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


What Level of Cone Error Requires Mechanical Adjustment?

mjb87@...
 

I have been getting squirrelly results from various APPM runs which could easily be attributed to a suboptimal camera setup (15x20 arc minute FOV, very low image scale) which I am in the process of correcting with a different camera, if USPS ever delivers it.

Some of those runs suggested a high degree of cone error, on the order of 3-5 degrees, which I found hard to believe. So I thought I'd check it out. I just ran Cone Sharp and it concluded my cone error was just over 8 arcminutes.

I assume that a proper APPM model will easily correct for that. Or should I mechanically shim first to reduce the cone error? I'd rather not attempt that.


Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

Hey, that’s interesting.

 

If APPM can run and start from the command line, that is probably sufficient to make it work with NINA as well.  If I can define the sample points and configuration ahead of time, and then kick it off from the command line, that would be fine.  The ability to specific sample points from a script would be a “nice to have”, but this looks like all that is really needed.

 

Thanks,

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 12:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

 

Voyager's Drag Script interface can be used to automate this and your imaging session, flats session, and ending processes in one script.

 

Ray added the ability to call and start APPM from the command line, which would be used in this case by Drag Script.

 

Bill

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Gralak <iogroups@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

 

Wade,

> For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10 years, now.  Having to be at the mount to
> start APPM, and then again to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step backwards.  I know that
> I could set the automation to start later in the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few
> plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the
> mount.

As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

> If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to pursue, that's fine.  I'll find a workflow that
> does what I need.  I did want to get my request out there, though.

Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray






Re: Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

W Hilmo
 

I've been running automated long enough now, that I have a pretty reliable system. The other day, I set up the automation and started it during the day, and then left for the weekend, leaving it to go on its own (the forecast was for "severe clear" well past the weekend). I pulled the data from it when I got home. That's not to say that I don't get periodic errors, but usually it just means that I don't get the data that I want. I've been doing this long enough that I just shrug it off, even if it happens at a dark sky site.

At star parties. I do check on things periodically when I'm nearby, but I am busiest with social activities in the early darkness hours. If I am working with the imaging rig early in the evening, it takes me much longer to get stuff done, because I am frequently interrupted. I also enjoy outreach, and frequently invite astronomy newbies, or people without scopes, to come to our site for some visual observing (I have multiple setups going, with a few visual scopes in addition to my imaging rig). I usually ask them to arrive just before dark so that I can show them the scopes, etc.

Thanks,
-Wade

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Gralak
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:48 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Interesting Behavior with APCC Pro and Pegasus Astro UPBv2

Wade,

For imaging, I've been set up for unattended operation for over 10
years, now. Having to be at the mount to start APPM, and then again
to start the automation after APPM is finished, is a big step
backwards. I know that I could set the automation to start later in
the evening, but if APPM runs longer than I expect (say, due to a few plate solve failures), things get confused quickly when two different pieces of software are trying to control the mount.
As I think you know, automation is not 100% reliable. Since you would be at a dark site, the value of good imaging results will be important, so I would be surprised if you didn't want to check progress occasionally!

But let's think this through. Say that APPM could be automated. That wouldn't prevent APPM from getting hung up on a bad plate-solve or other error. How would you detect this and delay your automated imaging session?

If this isn't something that neither you nor Astro-Physics, wants to
pursue, that's fine. I'll find a workflow that does what I need. I did want to get my request out there, though.
Understood, and thanks for posting your idea. I have put it on my list of potential future features.

-Ray


Question re: Checking RAPAS with initial Pempro Polar Align via drift

Jil Tardiff
 

Hi all,

About to do an initial drift align via Pempro V3 to check/adjust my RAPAS (assuming the clouds ever go away).  

For the life of me, I cannot sort out which scope to use for the drift align.  I normally use an OAG,  but prefer to polar align using a 50mm Stellarvue guidescope when I use Sharpcap. Then I guide with the OAG.  

This works fine on my non-AP mounts.  For this original polar align via drift on my AP1100GTO ,  however, obviously I want to use the best option and given the potential for flexure should I use my main scope for the Pempro Wizard?  I have an Esprit 80 that should do the trick.   Or am I over-thinking this (again) and just use the guidescope?

The goal is to get the best polar align possible to check and adjust my RAPAS if necessary .

Thanks for the input.

Jil


Re: GTOCP4 #WiFi Issues #WiFi

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Alex,

Do you have a "#" sign, "$" sign or a ":" in your main password?  The pound sign absolutely cannot work because it is the terminator for all AP commands.  In other words, if your password is:
12345#67890, when you try to tell this to the GTOCP4 or CP5 through the webpage, the command will terminate at the "#" sign.  The CP4/5 will take the password to be:  12345.  
The ":" and the "$" sign are how commands begin, so although the may work, they are best avoided in passwords.  All other letters, numbers and special characters are fine to use.

Howard 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

David
 

I have asked for this several times as well.  Obviously there is a market for this.  The premium is being paid now by everyone that buys a RainbowAstro mount.  I bought mine due to the ridiculously small size for the capacity, and no counterweights.  With accessories it was over $4k.  The new one with an encoder is around $1k more.  People are already paying this premium for the sake of portability.  Just not quite getting AP quality.  There is a market.  Whether or not it’s profitable and worth the effort for AP is the question.

I was hoping for this when I got my Mach2.  The Mach2 is the best mount I’ve ever had.  But I’d still love one from AP that was 1/3 the weight and had a capacity of around 20-30 lbs.  That would be a game changer for portability.  Yes it can’t compete with a $2k iOptron, but there are many people that don’t care and will easily pay a premium to have better quality, and have something not Chinese made.  Right now there just isn’t an option.

David



On Apr 27, 2021, at 2:18 AM, eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker@...> wrote:

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

dvjbaja
 

 A new small mount from AP would be great.  Sadly, there are not enough weeks remaining in my life to wait for one.  Just the whisper of a notification list at a conference would get 300 people on it instantly, and the long wait and production release thereafter.  And then the endless capacity questions.... "will it carry a TEC 180?"   ;-)   I think the Mach 2 is THE mount right now. Leave the super portable stuff to the rest of the world to figure out.  

Clear skies to all. 

-jg


On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 12:18 AM eckhard.voelcker via groups.io <eckhard.voelcker=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Howard Hedlund
 

Hi Andrew and all of you other fine Gentlemen,
Please bear a few things in mind about a potential high performance mini-mount:
  • We can't just scale down a Mach 2 (or Mach1, even) to design this mount.  Engineering will be a significant cost.
  • Direct costs of a smaller mount are only reduced a small fraction by the reduction in raw materials.  Machining, finishing, assembly, documentation, and support time and labor will be little different from any of our other mounts all the way up to the 1600GTO.
  • We do not have an unlimited pool of manufacturing facilities, and our highly skilled machinists, finishers and assemblers were very hard to come by.  If we devote resources to building a small mount, it will take resources away from producing our other 3 mounts.  It's hard enough keeping up with current mount demand!
  • You are in competition with the other end of the mount spectrum.  For every loyal AP customer who wants a small travel mount, there is also a customer wanting us to build a bigger mount (a new version to replace the discontinued 3600GTO) for huge scopes in remote observatories.
  • Believe me when I say that all of us would like to produce a mini mount.  But it's a tough call to make.  I'm just glad that such decisions are above my pay grade!


Re: GTOCP4 #WiFi Issues #WiFi

midmoastro
 

Hi Alex,
I have not had that issue but my Google Nest WiFi password is not that long. I think its only 10 characters. Mine connects without issue.
Todd


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

eckhard.voelcker@...
 

A small AP mount for a Stowaway or a similar sized refractor would be fantastic. 
Put me on the waiting list.


Eckhard 


GTOCP4 #WiFi Issues #WiFi

Alex
 
Edited

I just received my new 1100GTO today, and I'm getting it setup in my backyard observatory.  It's a very impressive piece of equipment.  I think the counterweight bar weighs more than my first mount.

My preference for now is to control it via WiFi as I always seem to have bad luck with USB, and Ethernet is currently tricky to run to the mount for the time being, though that's probably the long term solution once I can run a cable cleanly to the mount. I've jury rigged an ethernet cable in order to set it up. It was easy to determine the IP address it got assigned from my router's admin screen and no problem connecting to the CP4's embedded web server.  When I try to configure the WiFi, it displays mine (and my neighbors) networks no problem, but when I try to connect it to my home network, it just displays "Connecting..." and never updates.  I'm positive I'm using the correct password.  

With my WiFi setup, I can create additional networks, so I tried creating an open network with no password, and the CP4 connects to it just fine, so I know it can connect with my equipment.  My main network has a password that's a 20+ characters long phrase, using mixed case with numbers and punctuation.  Figuring that may be the issue, I then created a network with a shorter, simpler password, and the CP4 connects to it just fine.  So it appears that the CP4 doesn't connect to WiFi networks with long/complex passwords.  Anyone else have this issue?

My home network is all Ubiquiti UniFI stuff, and I have multiple WiFi access points, including one in the observatory.

Alex


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

DFisch
 

+1 andrew, could no have stated it better

On Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 21:30 Andrew Arai <andrewarai@...> wrote:
There have been a couple of threads recently about a "small AP mount" that fills a niche. Having recently driven from the East coast to Arizona with a Mach1, Eagle Pier, AP 130 EDFGT, Cameras, Batteries, computer, eyepieces, table, chair, and everything else needed for serious astrophotography, I know that combination does not make for most people's idea of travel by plane. 

While many have asked for specific features, I'd propose an alternative way of approaching the concept. My starting point would be:
1. A mount and tripod that fit airline luggage requirements (~50 pounds including a case like a Pelican Air 1615 or 1637 or rough equivalent).
2. Aimed at dual axis guiding or unguided performance adequate for a Stowaway (subarc second performance). If you could handle a AP 130 EDFGT, all the better but that seems too greedy to me.
3. Option for removing counterweights and exchanging for widefield cameras.
4. I'd plan on carrying the telescope, camera, and computer as carry-on luggage.
5. It would probably take another suitcase to carry some of the other equipment and enough cold weather clothes to survive 5-8 hours on a mountain somewhere dark and usually cold.

A mount like that would work well for a much wider range of serious astrophotography at remote sites than the inexpensive tracking mounts that many use for widefield astrophotography.

I could see using such a mount almost anywhere in the world. Eclipses would be well supported. Widefield should be easy. 5 minute high resolution imaging would be the distinguishing factor. I suspect many would pay the AP premium for a mount that could take them to remote, dark skies that can make the telescope sing.

I'd leave it up to the experts at AP to see what technology they choose to use to make such a mount.

Just a thought. Let me know if you firm up any plans for a mount smaller than a Mach1 or Mach2 as I would sign up for a small AP mount and wait in gracious anticipation of your next great contribution to the field.

Andrew
 

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Small AP Mount Ideas

Christopher Erickson
 

I have been begging Roland for this for years. And I know for a fact that I have really annoyed him at times about it. LOL.

My RST-135 plus CF tripod plus half-pier, counterweight, batts, hand controller, other mounts bits, all in a Pelican 1535 wheeled Air case comes to 38 pounds.

And the 1535 case is the same case as the 1525, just with wheels and a telescoping handle. And a 1525 comes with the Stowaway. In fact the two cases stack nicely and can even be strapped together and hauled around with the wheels on the 1535.
 
"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


Virus-free. www.avg.com


On Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 3:30 PM Andrew Arai <andrewarai@...> wrote:
There have been a couple of threads recently about a "small AP mount" that fills a niche. Having recently driven from the East coast to Arizona with a Mach1, Eagle Pier, AP 130 EDFGT, Cameras, Batteries, computer, eyepieces, table, chair, and everything else needed for serious astrophotography, I know that combination does not make for most people's idea of travel by plane. 

While many have asked for specific features, I'd propose an alternative way of approaching the concept. My starting point would be:
1. A mount and tripod that fit airline luggage requirements (~50 pounds including a case like a Pelican Air 1615 or 1637 or rough equivalent).
2. Aimed at dual axis guiding or unguided performance adequate for a Stowaway (subarc second performance). If you could handle a AP 130 EDFGT, all the better but that seems too greedy to me.
3. Option for removing counterweights and exchanging for widefield cameras.
4. I'd plan on carrying the telescope, camera, and computer as carry-on luggage.
5. It would probably take another suitcase to carry some of the other equipment and enough cold weather clothes to survive 5-8 hours on a mountain somewhere dark and usually cold.

A mount like that would work well for a much wider range of serious astrophotography at remote sites than the inexpensive tracking mounts that many use for widefield astrophotography.

I could see using such a mount almost anywhere in the world. Eclipses would be well supported. Widefield should be easy. 5 minute high resolution imaging would be the distinguishing factor. I suspect many would pay the AP premium for a mount that could take them to remote, dark skies that can make the telescope sing.

I'd leave it up to the experts at AP to see what technology they choose to use to make such a mount.

Just a thought. Let me know if you firm up any plans for a mount smaller than a Mach1 or Mach2 as I would sign up for a small AP mount and wait in gracious anticipation of your next great contribution to the field.

Andrew
 


Small AP Mount Ideas

Andrew Arai
 

There have been a couple of threads recently about a "small AP mount" that fills a niche. Having recently driven from the East coast to Arizona with a Mach1, Eagle Pier, AP 130 EDFGT, Cameras, Batteries, computer, eyepieces, table, chair, and everything else needed for serious astrophotography, I know that combination does not make for most people's idea of travel by plane. 

While many have asked for specific features, I'd propose an alternative way of approaching the concept. My starting point would be:
1. A mount and tripod that fit airline luggage requirements (~50 pounds including a case like a Pelican Air 1615 or 1637 or rough equivalent).
2. Aimed at dual axis guiding or unguided performance adequate for a Stowaway (subarc second performance). If you could handle a AP 130 EDFGT, all the better but that seems too greedy to me.
3. Option for removing counterweights and exchanging for widefield cameras.
4. I'd plan on carrying the telescope, camera, and computer as carry-on luggage.
5. It would probably take another suitcase to carry some of the other equipment and enough cold weather clothes to survive 5-8 hours on a mountain somewhere dark and usually cold.

A mount like that would work well for a much wider range of serious astrophotography at remote sites than the inexpensive tracking mounts that many use for widefield astrophotography.

I could see using such a mount almost anywhere in the world. Eclipses would be well supported. Widefield should be easy. 5 minute high resolution imaging would be the distinguishing factor. I suspect many would pay the AP premium for a mount that could take them to remote, dark skies that can make the telescope sing.

I'd leave it up to the experts at AP to see what technology they choose to use to make such a mount.

Just a thought. Let me know if you firm up any plans for a mount smaller than a Mach1 or Mach2 as I would sign up for a small AP mount and wait in gracious anticipation of your next great contribution to the field.

Andrew
 

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