Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO


heathkitguy <W3DX@...>
 

Hi All:

Currently, I'm using a Losmandy G11 Gemini mount, and want to make
upgrade my mount. I'm having trouble deciding between the Paramount
ME and the Astro-Physics 1200, and would appreciate any advice. I
would like for this upgrade to be my "last" upgrade, so I want this
upgrade to be superlative, not a stepping stone to my next mount.

I have a 10-foot Technical Innovations observatory, so the mount
would be permanently installed. Once it's polar aligned, I would
never move it and would never take the mount for portable
observing. (I use a little Nexstar 5i for portable use.) I
currently have a six-inch pier, but will be upgrading to an 8.25-
inch pier when I upgrade the mount.

My equipment is a 30 pound 10-inch RC, with a 4-pound SBIG research
camera plus accessories. I also plan to piggyback a Takahashi FSQ,
which will add another 16 pounds, and the FSQ would also have a
smaller CCD camera. Approximately 75% of my activity is CCD, but I
still enjoy about 25% visual astronomy.

I'm looking for superlative GOTO pointing accuracy and low periodic
error. I also want to have excess load capacity in case I ever
upgrade to a 12-inch RC. I realize that both mounts will give
excellent GOTO accuracy when using TPoint from the computer, but I
also hope to achieve excellent GOTO accuracy without TPoint when
using the hand controller (hopefully within 2 to 3 arcminutes.)

Both mounts look really outstanding, and I don't think there is a
wrong answer. But I was wondering if members of the list could
share any insights that might help me make a decision.

Clear skies,

Rob


Roy Uyematsu <roystarman@...>
 

I think the ME is a great permanent setup mount. The only issue is that you
must have a computer. The AP1200 has one built into the hand controller so
it can be used without one. I don't know how important this is in your
decision matrix but you did say something about using the hand controller.
Once the ME is setup, you can remove the hand controller and rarely use it
again. The AP 1200 gives the ability to operate without a computer. A friend
if mine actually has an old lap-top he bought for almost nothing and uses
that when he is in the observatory. When finished he uses a USB anywhere Hub
and a CAT 5 ethernet connection. The AP1200 will let you track past Zenith
more than the Paramount. However the Paramount is easier to work on and the
through the mount wiring really sells it for me as the best choice. The AP
can carry more but both can carry you forecasted needs.



Roy Uyematsu





roystarman@...

www.roystarman.com





_____

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
heathkitguy
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 7:34 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO



Hi All:

Currently, I'm using a Losmandy G11 Gemini mount, and want to make
upgrade my mount. I'm having trouble deciding between the Paramount
ME and the Astro-Physics 1200, and would appreciate any advice. I
would like for this upgrade to be my "last" upgrade, so I want this
upgrade to be superlative, not a stepping stone to my next mount.

I have a 10-foot Technical Innovations observatory, so the mount
would be permanently installed. Once it's polar aligned, I would
never move it and would never take the mount for portable
observing. (I use a little Nexstar 5i for portable use.) I
currently have a six-inch pier, but will be upgrading to an 8.25-
inch pier when I upgrade the mount.

My equipment is a 30 pound 10-inch RC, with a 4-pound SBIG research
camera plus accessories. I also plan to piggyback a Takahashi FSQ,
which will add another 16 pounds, and the FSQ would also have a
smaller CCD camera. Approximately 75% of my activity is CCD, but I
still enjoy about 25% visual astronomy.

I'm looking for superlative GOTO pointing accuracy and low periodic
error. I also want to have excess load capacity in case I ever
upgrade to a 12-inch RC. I realize that both mounts will give
excellent GOTO accuracy when using TPoint from the computer, but I
also hope to achieve excellent GOTO accuracy without TPoint when
using the hand controller (hopefully within 2 to 3 arcminutes.)

Both mounts look really outstanding, and I don't think there is a
wrong answer. But I was wondering if members of the list could
share any insights that might help me make a decision.

Clear skies,

Rob


jiprovi
 

Rob, I have used a paramount ME for couple of years and now am using a
new AP1200 GTO. As you pointed out in your post, either mount is an
excellent choice. In terms of GOTO and guiding performance, I really
can't tell any difference, both have <4 arcsec peak-peak PE and GOTO's
using TPoint (assuming like me you do not fuss with getting OTA
exactly orthogonal) can achieve <30arcsec pointing across entire sky.
Both mounts carry similar loads although the Paramount is rated a bit
more - but unless you are in the 20" SCT OTA range I would not worry
too much which one carry's more.

The AP does have an excellent hand controller that does a fine job
initializing/controlling the mount. You will have to make sure you
your OTA is orthogonal and you have good polar alignment if you want
all sky pointing accuracy without having to adjust pointing when you
cross meridian using the mount's RCAL function. There is a new
version of the hand controller software in the works and we are told
it will include a built-in mount modeling capability like what you are
used to in the G11. At that point, OTA orthogonality and precise polar
alignment will not be as needed to achieve all sky pointing when using
just the hand controller.

I can tell you that for visual work, I really hated the Paramount not
having a hand controller to select objects and having to go to where a
computer was - this is a big plus for me (however this is a don't care
for heavy remote users).

Another plus for AP1200, is working past meridian - you don't
appreciate how important this is until you spent a few years having to
always flip within a few minutes of the meridian when imaging. Even
with great programs like ACP and CCDAutopilot that deal with this
meridian flip, I learned it was just one more thing that can go wrong
in an imaging run. With AP1200, you will often be able to image past
the meridian for an hour or much longer based on your OTA/imaging
train. In skies where one needs to start imaging above 45-55 degrees,
working past the meridian for 1-2 hours is fantastic!

Plus for Paramount that folks point to is the in routing of cables
though the mount. I personally believe the benefits are over hyped.
My experience is that it takes quite a bit of time fussing with AC,
USB, and serial cables in routing through the Paramount (need to
ensure cables due not cause drag internal to mount) to really benefit
from this feature. Frankly if you have a permanent setup - one can
take as much time and make sure cables are nicely bundled and can spin
around the AP1200 scope.

In the end, I agree selection is mostly personal preferences. I have
AP1200 and my brother swears by his Paramount ME - neither of us will
ever give up our mounts.

James

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi All:

Currently, I'm using a Losmandy G11 Gemini mount, and want to make
upgrade my mount. I'm having trouble deciding between the Paramount
ME and the Astro-Physics 1200, and would appreciate any advice. I
would like for this upgrade to be my "last" upgrade, so I want this
upgrade to be superlative, not a stepping stone to my next mount.

I have a 10-foot Technical Innovations observatory, so the mount
would be permanently installed. Once it's polar aligned, I would
never move it and would never take the mount for portable
observing. (I use a little Nexstar 5i for portable use.) I
currently have a six-inch pier, but will be upgrading to an 8.25-
inch pier when I upgrade the mount.

My equipment is a 30 pound 10-inch RC, with a 4-pound SBIG research
camera plus accessories. I also plan to piggyback a Takahashi FSQ,
which will add another 16 pounds, and the FSQ would also have a
smaller CCD camera. Approximately 75% of my activity is CCD, but I
still enjoy about 25% visual astronomy.

I'm looking for superlative GOTO pointing accuracy and low periodic
error. I also want to have excess load capacity in case I ever
upgrade to a 12-inch RC. I realize that both mounts will give
excellent GOTO accuracy when using TPoint from the computer, but I
also hope to achieve excellent GOTO accuracy without TPoint when
using the hand controller (hopefully within 2 to 3 arcminutes.)

Both mounts look really outstanding, and I don't think there is a
wrong answer. But I was wondering if members of the list could
share any insights that might help me make a decision.

Clear skies,

Rob


sreilly <sreilly@...>
 

Hey Rob,

This is a loaded question much like the Ford/Chevy debate. Most feedback
will be biased on personal preference. I have seen both mounts operate
extremely well and in capable hands are excellent mounts with all the
excellent engineering and design. There are differences as has been pointed
out but most are not overwhelming. But what has failed to surface is the
ability to resolve any questions/issues that may arise. To this end I
suggest checking out the availability to call each vendor and see who will
take the time and effort to resolve any problems, with both older and new
mounts. Do either charge for this support? I would also suggest joining each
vendor's forums and do an extensive search on reported problems and then the
conclusion as to whether it's owner operator error or mount error. How long
did it take to resolve? Also look at the requirements to do the operations
you want and if there is any new software you need to learn. A big problem
I've considered is why do I have to pay for software I already own? When you
buy the ME, you are also paying for all the software that comes with it
regardless if you already own some or all of it.

Just a few more points......


Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
jiprovi
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 11:39 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO

<Snip>
In the end, I agree selection is mostly personal preferences. I have AP1200
and my brother swears by his Paramount ME - neither of us will ever give up
our mounts.

James


--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi All:
<Snip>

Both mounts look really outstanding, and I don't think there is a
wrong answer. But I was wondering if members of the list could share
any insights that might help me make a decision.

Clear skies,

Rob


Rick Thurmond
 

Don't forget that the AP1200 is quieter than the Paramount while tracking. For me the main thing is that the AP1200 doesn't need a computer. For me, astronomy is about being out in nature and computers and a whining mount disturb that. But those are my priorities which may not be yours.

Rick


heathkitguy <W3DX@...>
 

This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me with words
of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the AP
1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very fine
products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
astronomers.

Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last mount" that
most people intend to purchase.

Thank you again.

Clear skies,

Rob


Gedas
 

Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could share with us what your decision will be and why when the time does comes?
73, Gedas

----- Original Message -----
From: heathkitguy
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO


This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me with words
of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the AP
1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very fine
products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
astronomers.

Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last mount" that
most people intend to purchase.

Thank you again.

Clear skies,

Rob



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links


heathkitguy <W3DX@...>
 

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
Paramount ME for the principle reason that the Paramount is
available for purchase, while the AP1200 is still on back order. I
think that both mounts would be spectacular for my purposes, and
would give "observatory class" pointing accuracy and PEC, for a
backyard observatory. Both would handle big loads, and would meet
my needs to carry an RC with a piggyback refractor and some pretty
heavy accessories, including an SBIG STL-11000.

Pluses for the Paramount:
--It's available for purchase
--Control with The Sky Pocket Edition with TPoint Pocket Edition
enables me to get outstanding GOTO accuracy when operating in visual
mode without a computer. (Essentially the PDA is operating as the
hand controller.)
--Seemless integration with Software Bisque software products

Disadvantages for the Paramount:
--Absence of the hand controller makes dark adaption difficult when
using the PDA in visual mode.
--The mount is a behometh. Very large for my 10-foot Technical
Innovations observatory.
--Expensive.

Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support
--Legendary company history producing outstanding products
--Smaller size
--Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
pointing model in the mount.

If the AP-1200 were available for purchase and the pointing model
feature existed in the hand controller (so that I get 1 to 2
arcminute pointing accuracy with the hand controller), I'd be
leaning towards the AP-1200. I understand that AstroPhysics hopes
to offer the pointing model in the hand controller at some point in
the future.

Again, I don't think I could go wrong with either product, and that
either mount would be the last mount I would likely ever purchase.
Also, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who wrote to me.

Clear skies,

Rob



--- In ap-gto@..., "Gedas" <w8bya@...> wrote:

Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could share with us what your
decision will be and why when the time does comes?
73, Gedas

----- Original Message -----
From: heathkitguy
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO


This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me with
words
of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the AP
1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very fine
products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
astronomers.

Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last mount"
that
most people intend to purchase.

Thank you again.

Clear skies,

Rob



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




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


ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
<snip>


Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support
--Legendary company history producing outstanding products
--Smaller size
--Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
pointing model in the mount.
... or spend the $150 or so and purchase the TPoint software which
also works with the AP1200GTO ... and it will still cost you $3000
less overall (okay, deduct the $150 for the software). :-)

Anthony.


Gilles Grosgurin <gilles@...>
 

And these days the supply is much better from AP... You can post an ad
to various Astro-classified web sites and probably get an almost like
new 1200GTO mount for a lot less than a couple years ago. Also think of
the customer support you get.... Roland & crew are present on multiple
forums to answers multiple questions and tireless support. In my humble
opinion you rarely get this level of care from others... AP cares; they
are passionate about their mount and scopes...

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf
Of ayiomamitis
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:47 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
<snip>


Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support
--Legendary company history producing outstanding products
--Smaller size
--Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
pointing model in the mount.
... or spend the $150 or so and purchase the TPoint software which
also works with the AP1200GTO ... and it will still cost you $3000
less overall (okay, deduct the $150 for the software). :-)

Anthony.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities.
Links


sreilly <sreilly@...>
 

Forget the complexity of T-Point and you can use the excellent program
MaxPoint.

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
ayiomamitis
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:47 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
<snip>


Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support --Legendary
company history producing outstanding products --Smaller size --Hand
Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a pointing
model in the mount.
... or spend the $150 or so and purchase the TPoint software which also
works with the AP1200GTO ... and it will still cost you $3000 less overall
(okay, deduct the $150 for the software). :-)

Anthony.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list see
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities.
Links


William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Gilles Grosgurin wrote:
And these days the supply is much better from AP... You can post an ad
to various Astro-classified web sites and probably get an almost like
new 1200GTO mount for a lot less than a couple years ago. Also think of
the customer support you get.... Roland & crew are present on multiple
forums to answers multiple questions and tireless support. In my humble
opinion you rarely get this level of care from others... AP cares; they
are passionate about their mount and scopes...



This is a major reason to prefer an AP mount. Bisque doesn't even publish a phone number. And email support can be exasperating when tracking down really bizarre problems.

Regards

Bill

--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com


Christopher Go <rigel@...>
 

Hi Bill,

I wonder if you have checked their website. They have a phone number there.

Regards,

Chris

At 02:55 PM 2/22/07, you wrote:

This is a major reason to prefer an AP mount. Bisque doesn't even
publish a phone number. And email support can be exasperating when
tracking down really bizarre problems.

Regards

Bill

--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups - Join or create groups, clubs, forums &amp; communities. Links




jiprovi
 

Rob - I agree it is a difficult decision. The availablity of the Paramount is certainly a factor,
although I would think that waiting six months and saving $3000 is a significant
consideration. I would caution you on the benefits of the sky Pocket edition - it is doable,
but the controls and small screen really makes this method of telescope control not nearly
as nice as the AP hand controller. I tried it when I had the Paramount and went back to a
laptop computer even for visual work.

Regarding seamless integration with SoftwarBisque, products. I have had no issues with
using the AP1200. I have great success using The Sky6+TPOINT+CCDSoft+RealSky
+AutomapperII+CCDAutopilot as well as Sky6+Tpoint+MaxIMDL+PinPoint+CCDautopilot.
Actually another great beneift of AP mounts is that many other planetarium programs
support it directly while the only way to control Paramount is using The Sky6 and other
programs having to interface to the Sky6 (this has had issues in the past).

The lack of point model in the AP hand controller is being addressed and by all accounts
should be ready by the time your mount shows up in the next 6-8 months.

The real issue that I know many have a tough time is the wait - I know that drove my
brothers' and miine decision greatly regarding the Paramount ME purchase originally and
waiting 6-8months for many can feel like 6-8 years. Luckily - my name came up for
AP1200 year ago and I decided to get one and once it showed up I was hooked. Knowing
what I know now, I would wait the 6-8months, take the $3000 savings and purchase a
nice or nicer CCD camera or and $800 to it and add to your RC a nice 5" APO (TMB
signature series or William Opics).

James

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
Paramount ME for the principle reason that the Paramount is
available for purchase, while the AP1200 is still on back order. I
think that both mounts would be spectacular for my purposes, and
would give "observatory class" pointing accuracy and PEC, for a
backyard observatory. Both would handle big loads, and would meet
my needs to carry an RC with a piggyback refractor and some pretty
heavy accessories, including an SBIG STL-11000.

Pluses for the Paramount:
--It's available for purchase
--Control with The Sky Pocket Edition with TPoint Pocket Edition
enables me to get outstanding GOTO accuracy when operating in visual
mode without a computer. (Essentially the PDA is operating as the
hand controller.)
--Seemless integration with Software Bisque software products

Disadvantages for the Paramount:
--Absence of the hand controller makes dark adaption difficult when
using the PDA in visual mode.
--The mount is a behometh. Very large for my 10-foot Technical
Innovations observatory.
--Expensive.

Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support
--Legendary company history producing outstanding products
--Smaller size
--Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
pointing model in the mount.

If the AP-1200 were available for purchase and the pointing model
feature existed in the hand controller (so that I get 1 to 2
arcminute pointing accuracy with the hand controller), I'd be
leaning towards the AP-1200. I understand that AstroPhysics hopes
to offer the pointing model in the hand controller at some point in
the future.

Again, I don't think I could go wrong with either product, and that
either mount would be the last mount I would likely ever purchase.
Also, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who wrote to me.

Clear skies,

Rob



--- In ap-gto@..., "Gedas" <w8bya@> wrote:

Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could share with us what your
decision will be and why when the time does comes?
73, Gedas

----- Original Message -----
From: heathkitguy
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO


This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me with
words
of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the AP
1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very fine
products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
astronomers.

Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last mount"
that
most people intend to purchase.

Thank you again.

Clear skies,

Rob



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links






William R. Mattil <wrmattil@...>
 

Christopher Go wrote:
Hi Bill,

I wonder if you have checked their website. They have a phone number there.

Regards,

Chris
Try calling it :)

Bill

--

William R. Mattil : http://www.celestial-images.com


Herb York
 

Tell you what.
Buy an ME from ATWB now and we will ship it to you next week - if you
keep it AS NEW for 6 months I will buy it back from you and sell you
a brand new 1200 when they are available. I will let YOU try to sell
your ME on www.AstroMart.com for up to 3 weeks while you are waiting
for final delivery of the 1200. I will give you $10000 for the ME if
you can't get more for it in the 3 weeks. Accessories at 30% off
retail if as new.
Now you can buy the ME - try it - don't like it? - get the 1200
Thank you
Herb York
www.Binocs.com
www.BuyTelescopes.com
www.AstroMart.com

On Feb 22, 2007, at 3:54 AM, jiprovi wrote:

Rob - I agree it is a difficult decision. The availablity of the
Paramount is certainly a factor,
although I would think that waiting six months and saving $3000 is a
significant
consideration. I would caution you on the benefits of the sky Pocket
edition - it is doable,
but the controls and small screen really makes this method of
telescope control not nearly
as nice as the AP hand controller. I tried it when I had the
Paramount and went back to a
laptop computer even for visual work.

Regarding seamless integration with SoftwarBisque, products. I have
had no issues with
using the AP1200. I have great success using The Sky6+TPOINT+CCDSoft
+RealSky
+AutomapperII+CCDAutopilot as well as Sky6+Tpoint+MaxIMDL+PinPoint
+CCDautopilot.
Actually another great beneift of AP mounts is that many other
planetarium programs
support it directly while the only way to control Paramount is using
The Sky6 and other
programs having to interface to the Sky6 (this has had issues in the
past).

The lack of point model in the AP hand controller is being addressed
and by all accounts
should be ready by the time your mount shows up in the next 6-8 months.

The real issue that I know many have a tough time is the wait - I
know that drove my
brothers' and miine decision greatly regarding the Paramount ME
purchase originally and
waiting 6-8months for many can feel like 6-8 years. Luckily - my name
came up for
AP1200 year ago and I decided to get one and once it showed up I was
hooked. Knowing
what I know now, I would wait the 6-8months, take the $3000 savings
and purchase a
nice or nicer CCD camera or and $800 to it and add to your RC a nice
5" APO (TMB
signature series or William Opics).

James

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Gedas:
>
> Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
> Paramount ME for the principle reason that the Paramount is
> available for purchase, while the AP1200 is still on back order. I
> think that both mounts would be spectacular for my purposes, and
> would give "observatory class" pointing accuracy and PEC, for a
> backyard observatory. Both would handle big loads, and would meet
> my needs to carry an RC with a piggyback refractor and some pretty
> heavy accessories, including an SBIG STL-11000.
>
> Pluses for the Paramount:
> --It's available for purchase
> --Control with The Sky Pocket Edition with TPoint Pocket Edition
> enables me to get outstanding GOTO accuracy when operating in visual
> mode without a computer. (Essentially the PDA is operating as the
> hand controller.)
> --Seemless integration with Software Bisque software products
>
> Disadvantages for the Paramount:
> --Absence of the hand controller makes dark adaption difficult when
> using the PDA in visual mode.
> --The mount is a behometh. Very large for my 10-foot Technical
> Innovations observatory.
> --Expensive.
>
> Pluses for the AP-1200
> --Legendary product performance and technical support
> --Legendary company history producing outstanding products
> --Smaller size
> --Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
> visual mode
> --Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount
>
> Disadvantaes of AP-1200
> --Not available for purchase
> --Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model capability
> (yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
> pointing model in the mount.
>
> If the AP-1200 were available for purchase and the pointing model
> feature existed in the hand controller (so that I get 1 to 2
> arcminute pointing accuracy with the hand controller), I'd be
> leaning towards the AP-1200. I understand that AstroPhysics hopes
> to offer the pointing model in the hand controller at some point in
> the future.
>
> Again, I don't think I could go wrong with either product, and that
> either mount would be the last mount I would likely ever purchase.
> Also, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who wrote to me.
>
> Clear skies,
>
> Rob
>
>
>
> --- In ap-gto@..., "Gedas" <w8bya@> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could share with us what your
> decision will be and why when the time does comes?
> > 73, Gedas
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: heathkitguy
> > To: ap-gto@...
> > Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:32 PM
> > Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO
> >
> >
> > This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me with
> words
> > of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the AP
> > 1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very fine
> > products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
> > astronomers.
> >
> > Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last mount"
> that
> > most people intend to purchase.
> >
> > Thank you again.
> >
> > Clear skies,
> >
> > Rob
> >
> >
> >
> > To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
> > see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 2/22/2007 6:35:57 PM Central Standard Time, W3DX@...
writes:


If A-P had the product in stock and had the pointing model in the
hand controller, it would make this a very easy decision for me. I
already own/use TPoint from the computer, but having a pointing
model up and running on the hand controller would be great for
visual observing when the computer is turned off.
In an observatory situation you may never need a pointing model. You can set
up your scope to be quite orthogonal and well polar aligned, so the only error
would come from atmospheric refraction, and that is already compensated in
the keypad. In my own observatory I have set up a 10" F14.6 Mak-Cass
permanently, and I never fail to place objects in the field of a medium power eyepiece. I
don't ever use a pointing model and have never failed to find something right
off the bat. It is a simple thing to place a bright star on the crosshair at
the beginning of the session, press Rcal and then zoom around the area with
pretty high precision. When I go to any other area of the sky, I first go to a
bright star in the area, center it if it is off, and proceed to the object I
want to observe. It takes almost no time to do that. I have a green laser setup
on the scope, so I don't even have to look through the finder. The laser beam
is as accurate as any 1x finder system, and prevents craning my neck at odd
angles.
A pointing model is most useful for those mounts that need to be set up each
night fresh, but for a permanent setup it is not all that necessary (except
for those using teeny tiny chips with loooong scopes like C14s).

Rolando


**************************************
AOL now offers free email to
everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com.


heathkitguy <W3DX@...>
 

James:

Thanks so much for your advice, and thanks again to others on the
list who have written.

If A-P had the product in stock and had the pointing model in the
hand controller, it would make this a very easy decision for me. I
already own/use TPoint from the computer, but having a pointing
model up and running on the hand controller would be great for
visual observing when the computer is turned off. I think this is
one of the coolest features of the Losmandy G-11.

I may wind up waiting for the AP 1200 rather than purchasing the
Paramount. I am encouraged that the production run of 1200's is
starting soon, and it might be possible to obtain a mount mid year.

One gentlemen wrote and suggested that I purchase the ME, and then
swap it out when the 1200 is available. But the implementation is
more complex than it might seem on the surface. I currently have a
six-inch AstroPier, which mounts on three bolts set in about one ton
of concrete. Thus, it's essential that my next pier also has to be
an AstroPier. (I also happen to think that Le Seuer makes a great
pier.) The 1200 mounts on an 8.25-inch pier with a ten-inch ring
welded to the top. The ME mounts on an 8.25-inch pier with a custom-
made top plate fitted on top. The Paramount is about 4-inches
taller than the 1200 so the Paramount pier would be shorter than the
1200 pier. So the pier will have to be custom made to the choice of
mount.

Also, it's no picnic tearing apart an observatory down to the
footing for a pier, and rewiring everything, and then doing a
precise polar alignment. The last time I did this (when I upgraded
from the LX-200 to the Losmandy G-11) the observatory was out of
service for about four weeks.

By the way, if you would like to see my observatory, it's shown in
the July 2005 issue of Sky and Telescope. I wrote an article on how
to automate an observatory, and the article includes a photo of my
observatory.

Thank you again for your advice. I might hang in there and wait for
the 1200.

Clear skies,

Rob



--- In ap-gto@..., "jiprovi" <jiprovi@...> wrote:

Rob - I agree it is a difficult decision. The availablity of the
Paramount is certainly a factor,
although I would think that waiting six months and saving $3000 is
a significant
consideration. I would caution you on the benefits of the sky
Pocket edition - it is doable,
but the controls and small screen really makes this method of
telescope control not nearly
as nice as the AP hand controller. I tried it when I had the
Paramount and went back to a
laptop computer even for visual work.

Regarding seamless integration with SoftwarBisque, products. I
have had no issues with
using the AP1200. I have great success using The
Sky6+TPOINT+CCDSoft+RealSky
+AutomapperII+CCDAutopilot as well as
Sky6+Tpoint+MaxIMDL+PinPoint+CCDautopilot.
Actually another great beneift of AP mounts is that many other
planetarium programs
support it directly while the only way to control Paramount is
using The Sky6 and other
programs having to interface to the Sky6 (this has had issues in
the past).

The lack of point model in the AP hand controller is being
addressed and by all accounts
should be ready by the time your mount shows up in the next 6-8
months.

The real issue that I know many have a tough time is the wait - I
know that drove my
brothers' and miine decision greatly regarding the Paramount ME
purchase originally and
waiting 6-8months for many can feel like 6-8 years. Luckily - my
name came up for
AP1200 year ago and I decided to get one and once it showed up I
was hooked. Knowing
what I know now, I would wait the 6-8months, take the $3000
savings and purchase a
nice or nicer CCD camera or and $800 to it and add to your RC a
nice 5" APO (TMB
signature series or William Opics).

James

--- In ap-gto@..., "heathkitguy" <W3DX@> wrote:

Hi Gedas:

Well, it's a very hard question. But I'm leaning towards the
Paramount ME for the principle reason that the Paramount is
available for purchase, while the AP1200 is still on back
order. I
think that both mounts would be spectacular for my purposes, and
would give "observatory class" pointing accuracy and PEC, for a
backyard observatory. Both would handle big loads, and would
meet
my needs to carry an RC with a piggyback refractor and some
pretty
heavy accessories, including an SBIG STL-11000.

Pluses for the Paramount:
--It's available for purchase
--Control with The Sky Pocket Edition with TPoint Pocket Edition
enables me to get outstanding GOTO accuracy when operating in
visual
mode without a computer. (Essentially the PDA is operating as
the
hand controller.)
--Seemless integration with Software Bisque software products

Disadvantages for the Paramount:
--Absence of the hand controller makes dark adaption difficult
when
using the PDA in visual mode.
--The mount is a behometh. Very large for my 10-foot Technical
Innovations observatory.
--Expensive.

Pluses for the AP-1200
--Legendary product performance and technical support
--Legendary company history producing outstanding products
--Smaller size
--Hand Controller enables me to preserve dark adaptation when in
visual mode
--Costs $3,000 less than the Paramount

Disadvantaes of AP-1200
--Not available for purchase
--Hand controller does not have a built-in pointing model
capability
(yet). The Losmandy G11 (which I'm currently using) stores a
pointing model in the mount.

If the AP-1200 were available for purchase and the pointing
model
feature existed in the hand controller (so that I get 1 to 2
arcminute pointing accuracy with the hand controller), I'd be
leaning towards the AP-1200. I understand that AstroPhysics
hopes
to offer the pointing model in the hand controller at some point
in
the future.

Again, I don't think I could go wrong with either product, and
that
either mount would be the last mount I would likely ever
purchase.
Also, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who wrote to me.

Clear skies,

Rob



--- In ap-gto@..., "Gedas" <w8bya@> wrote:

Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could share with us what your
decision will be and why when the time does comes?
73, Gedas

----- Original Message -----
From: heathkitguy
To: ap-gto@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:32 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO


This is just a short note to thank everyone who wrote to me
with
words
of advice about the decision between the Paramount ME and the
AP
1200. There was one very clear consensus: these are two very
fine
products that provide observatory class performance to amateur
astronomers.

Both mounts seem to be in the category of being "the last
mount"
that
most people intend to purchase.

Thank you again.

Clear skies,

Rob



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links






ayiomamitis
 

--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

want to observe. It takes almost no time to do that. I have a green
laser setup
on the scope, so I don't even have to look through the finder. The
laser beam
is as accurate as any 1x finder system, and prevents craning my neck
at odd
angles.
THIS IS COOL!!! (caps on purpose and for emphasis)

Anthony.


Rolando


sreilly <sreilly@...>
 

Rob,

The last time I was at your observatory, granted some time ago, I remember
the mount being center of the dome. Regardless, it's a ten foot dome. If
perfect pointing in an issue and you don't want to use the computer with any
modeling, what Roland is suggesting is fast and simple. I'm not sure what Ed
may have shown you last week, but his Polar alignment was done by me using
PoleAlignMax , PEM was programmed by using the included PemPro using
multiple guider cycles. Earlier issues with pointing was corrected when I
had him check his location setup in his hand controller, TheSky, ACP and
other programs he was using and making then identical in all programs. His
pointing is great now.

If you are thinking ME, how can you not use the computer to have T-Point
model active? After having just set up your Gemini G11, what is the rush to
get another mount other than the obvious move up in mounts?

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
chris1011@...
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:24 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Paramount ME vs. AP 1200GTO

In a message dated 2/22/2007 6:35:57 PM Central Standard Time, W3DX@...
writes:


If A-P had the product in stock and had the pointing model in the
hand controller, it would make this a very easy decision for me. I
already own/use TPoint from the computer, but having a pointing
model up and running on the hand controller would be great for
visual observing when the computer is turned off.
In an observatory situation you may never need a pointing model. You can set

up your scope to be quite orthogonal and well polar aligned, so the only
error
would come from atmospheric refraction, and that is already compensated in
the keypad. In my own observatory I have set up a 10" F14.6 Mak-Cass
permanently, and I never fail to place objects in the field of a medium
power eyepiece. I
don't ever use a pointing model and have never failed to find something
right
off the bat. It is a simple thing to place a bright star on the crosshair at

the beginning of the session, press Rcal and then zoom around the area with
pretty high precision. When I go to any other area of the sky, I first go to
a
bright star in the area, center it if it is off, and proceed to the object I

want to observe. It takes almost no time to do that. I have a green laser
setup
on the scope, so I don't even have to look through the finder. The laser
beam
is as accurate as any 1x finder system, and prevents craning my neck at odd
angles.
A pointing model is most useful for those mounts that need to be set up each

night fresh, but for a permanent setup it is not all that necessary (except
for those using teeny tiny chips with loooong scopes like C14s).

Rolando


**************************************
AOL now offers free email to
everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com.






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