Mach2 Update?


Wayne Hixson
 

Hi guys! Don’t want to be too much of a nag, but any news on Mach2 shipment? The website still says shipping in January 2020 and, well, this is the last day of January. I have really been hoping to have it in time for the Moon/Mars occultation on the 18th. I sold my other mount back in September to afford the Mach2 and I’m getting kind of Astro-starved! 😉

Thanks, Wayne


Stacey Mills
 

Have you been notified that you're one of the lucky ones in the first batch?  Has anyone been notified?  


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 01:54 PM, Stacey Mills wrote:
Has anyone been notified?  
Yes, I was on the old Mach1 list and was notified back in September 2019.


Wayne Hixson
 

Yes, my dealer should be getting mine in the first batch. Fingers crossed! 


 

I was on the Mach1 list and notified in September too.  Later, it seemed that I was going to be in the second bi-monthly shipping group back in December.  Maybe now there will just be one shipment?   I'm guessing that at this point the hardware is not the delay, but possibly the various software feature upgrades that are vaguely mentioned.  All speculation, I'm just hoping for some good news soon!


Bill Long
 

Best things come to those who wait. AP fear is always worth is. Takes time to make things perfect. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jerome Allison <jallison@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:23 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?
 
I was on the Mach1 list and notified in September too.  Later, it seemed that I was going to be in the second bi-monthly shipping group back in December.  Maybe now there will just be one shipment?   I'm guessing that at this point the hardware is not the delay, but possibly the various software feature upgrades that are vaguely mentioned.  All speculation, I'm just hoping for some good news soon!


Bill Long
 

AP gear that is. Silly phones.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:35 AM
To: Jerome Allison <jallison@...>; main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?
 
Best things come to those who wait. AP fear is always worth is. Takes time to make things perfect. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jerome Allison <jallison@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 1, 2020 9:23 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?
 
I was on the Mach1 list and notified in September too.  Later, it seemed that I was going to be in the second bi-monthly shipping group back in December.  Maybe now there will just be one shipment?   I'm guessing that at this point the hardware is not the delay, but possibly the various software feature upgrades that are vaguely mentioned.  All speculation, I'm just hoping for some good news soon!


Terri Zittritsch
 

A-P has it very good with its customers.  I'm of the opinion that consumers should set the bar for suppliers, so will never be a fan-atic.   There are products I really like, and will say so, but it doesn't keep me from sharing an honest opinion when something isn't right.  There is no question A-P makes quality products, but then that's what we're paying for.   After all of the ala carte purchases, it'll cost about 6X my current mount.   After hearing in Sept that deliveries were in November, I purchased the remainder of my accessories, weights, tripod, etc, expecting a right-around-the-corner delivery.    So I remain disappointed with the lack of communications.   Customer support starts with the sales experience, and i ask my dealer about once a month, for a delivery update since early fall.  Most recently they have claim they're not getting responses.   I have planned 10d astronomy trip in 2 weeks and need to start packing up my old mount now.   I have no doubt the mach2 will be a nice mount, but I'm perplexed with the lack of any communications.


Bill Long
 

I've heard this before, and it's just whining. Products are ready when they are ready. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 1, 2020 10:58 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?
 
A-P has it very good with its customers.  I'm of the opinion that consumers should set the bar for suppliers, so will never be a fan-atic.   There are products I really like, and will say so, but it doesn't keep me from sharing an honest opinion when something isn't right.  There is no question A-P makes quality products, but then that's what we're paying for.   After all of the ala carte purchases, it'll cost about 6X my current mount.   After hearing in Sept that deliveries were in November, I purchased the remainder of my accessories, weights, tripod, etc, expecting a right-around-the-corner delivery.    So I remain disappointed with the lack of communications.   Customer support starts with the sales experience, and i ask my dealer about once a month, for a delivery update since early fall.  Most recently they have claim they're not getting responses.   I have planned 10d astronomy trip in 2 weeks and need to start packing up my old mount now.   I have no doubt the mach2 will be a nice mount, but I'm perplexed with the lack of any communications.


Dean Jacobsen
 

But Bill, now that we are about 2 1/2 months past the original ship date, and those who put their $4500 deposits down in September 2019 did so 4 1/2 or 5 months ago, don't you think it is reasonable for some to ask why we keep blowing through "expected ship dates" for the first batch?  In Terri's case I am guessing that a deposit was made prior to September 2019.


Roland Christen
 

I apologize to all who are waiting patiently for this mount.

Yes, it has taken longer than anticipated for us to finish the first batch. This mount is totally new and quite different in many ways from our previous versions, even our previous encoder mounts. Where we used servomotors and gears before, we use brushless microsteppers and belt drives in the Mach2. They react differently to loop commands and we have different software to control them. All this had to be tested thoroughly on the production mounts before I was fully satisfied with the performance.

Parallel to the mount development we also have new keypad software for the Mach2 because this computer mount has certain operations that are different from our previous encoder mounts. Some functions are now automatic and not settable by the customer - such as Resume from ParkX or Present Position etc. These and other annoyances have all been eliminated in this mount because it is now automatic, you don't have to remember anything because the mount always knows where it is.

We have also added new features to the keypad to make it far more usable and easier to operate. Things like modeling took a lot of time to develop and test, and our skies this winter prevented most testing for weeks at a time. Nevertheless we are finished with the mount portion and are doing final testing on the first batch. I am very picky about how the mounts are assembled and watching every step as our technicians put them together. I am personally doing the test protocol on every mount myself at this time, to make certain that every one of them meets spec. Last thing I want is for something to happen to a mount that was shipped and did not work correctly at the customer's location. When these first production units are done, we will automate our testing and be able to do it at a faster rate for future production.

I think you will find that the performance of the Mach2 is at a much higher level than other mounts of its size range. It was a personal dream of mine to produce a high precision imaging mount and it has taken a number of years from just paper sketches to Cad-Cam design to analysis to actual cutting of metal. It will track extremely accurately and won't require constant corrections in PHD2 at high guide rates to keep it on the straight and narrow. And of course it has excellent potential for unguided imaging with any focal length scope. In fact I plan to do just that with my 10" F14.6 Mak-Cass., weather permitting, and I will show you the resolution that is possible under reasonably good seeing.

Rolando







-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Feb 1, 2020 1:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?

But Bill, now that we are about 2 1/2 months past the original ship date, and those who put their $4500 deposits down in September 2019 did so 4 1/2 or 5 months ago, don't you think it is reasonable for some to ask why we keep blowing through "expected ship dates" for the first batch?  In Terri's case I am guessing that a deposit was made prior to September 2019.


Terri Zittritsch
 

Roland, thank you for the extensive Mach2 update and your continuing dedication to making some of the world's finest amateur and professional astronomy products.   I'm anxiously looking forward to owning and using my first A-P mount.   Please keep us up to date on your developments.


Dominique Durand
 

Roland, thank you for all these details, but as my seller told me this week that it should arrive in the coming days and that to read to you I have the impression that it may last a little longer, I have mixed feelings ... but I trust you to do what it takes to satisfy us the best. It is normal, however, that we are impatient to read what you promise us for this frame. To talk about it elsewhere, as well as all the other superb products that you put so much talent and energy with your teams, we plan, in our French-speaking world, to create a specific AP group on a site on which we exchange.


Dean Jacobsen
 

Yes, thank you for the update.  I am looking forward to your high resolution images with the Mach2.


Wayne Hixson
 

Thanks Roland, I’m sure it will be amazing. I appreciate your personal touch. Looking forward to unboxing and setting it up. In my mind I’ve gone through all the steps and initial testing a hundred times. 😂 Good luck with the rest of final testing. 

Wayne


W Hilmo
 

Wayne,

If you need a mount for the occultation, and don’t have the Mach2 yet, you are welcome to borrow my 1100.  I won’t be needing it until later in the spring.

-Wade

On Jan 31, 2020, at 9:15 AM, Wayne Hixson via Groups.Io <wayneh9026@...> wrote:

Hi guys! Don’t want to be too much of a nag, but any news on Mach2 shipment? The website still says shipping in January 2020 and, well, this is the last day of January. I have really been hoping to have it in time for the Moon/Mars occultation on the 18th. I sold my other mount back in September to afford the Mach2 and I’m getting kind of Astro-starved! 😉

Thanks, Wayne


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sat, Feb 1, 2020 at 01:01 PM, uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> wrote:
apologize to all who are waiting patiently for this mount.
 
Yes, it has taken longer than anticipated for us to finish the first batch. This mount is totally new and quite different in many ways from our previous versions, even our previous encoder mounts. Where we used servomotors and gears before, we use brushless microsteppers and belt drives in the Mach2. They react differently to loop commands and we have different software to control them. All this had to be tested thoroughly on the production mounts before I was fully satisfied with the performance.
 
Parallel to the mount development we also have new keypad software for the Mach2 because this computer mount has certain operations that are different from our previous encoder mounts. Some functions are now automatic and not settable by the customer - such as Resume from ParkX or Present Position etc. These and other annoyances have all been eliminated in this mount because it is now automatic, you don't have to remember anything because the mount always knows where it is.
 
We have also added new features to the keypad to make it far more usable and easier to operate. Things like modeling took a lot of time to develop and test, and our skies this winter prevented most testing for weeks at a time. Nevertheless we are finished with the mount portion and are doing final testing on the first batch. I am very picky about how the mounts are assembled and watching every step as our technicians put them together. I am personally doing the test protocol on every mount myself at this time, to make certain that every one of them meets spec. Last thing I want is for something to happen to a mount that was shipped and did not work correctly at the customer's location. When these first production units are done, we will automate our testing and be able to do it at a faster rate for future production.
 
I think you will find that the performance of the Mach2 is at a much higher level than other mounts of its size range. It was a personal dream of mine to produce a high precision imaging mount and it has taken a number of years from just paper sketches to Cad-Cam design to analysis to actual cutting of metal. It will track extremely accurately and won't require constant corrections in PHD2 at high guide rates to keep it on the straight and narrow. And of course it has excellent potential for unguided imaging with any focal length scope. In fact I plan to do just that with my 10" F14.6 Mak-Cass., weather permitting, and I will show you the resolution that is possible under reasonably good seeing.
 
Rolando
Hopefully those who will receive a Mach2 in the first group to ship will share their experiences with these great new features.  I have been watching for publication of the manual so I can start learning about the mount. 


Dominique Durand
 

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 05:03 PM, Dean Jacobsen wrote:
Hopefully those who will receive a Mach2 in the first group to ship will share their experiences with these great new features.  I have been watching for publication of the manual so I can start learning about the mount. 

I wish I could already study the Mach2 manual, but where do we find it?


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 09:24 AM, Dominique Durand wrote:
I wish I could already study the Mach2 manual, but where do we find it?
This is where AP publishes the manuals and docs for current products:

https://astro-physics.info/index.htm?tech_support/tech_support

I have been watching there for the Mach2 manual and also the GTOCP5 manual and the manual for the new keypad revision.


Roland Christen
 

George is working feverously to finish the manual.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Feb 19, 2020 11:54 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Update?

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 09:24 AM, Dominique Durand wrote:
I wish I could already study the Mach2 manual, but where do we find it?
This is where AP publishes the manuals and docs for current products:

https://astro-physics.info/index.htm?tech_support/tech_support

I have been watching there for the Mach2 manual and also the GTOCP5 manual and the manual for the new keypad revision.