Two distinct tools was(Re: [ap-gto] A "next mount" question for this group)


Dan_Paris
 

Roland,

what's great about my AP900 (and it certainly applies as well to the AP1100) is that it is both a wonderful mount for a permanent observatory, and a wonderful mount for mobile use. It is almost as easy to carry around as my former Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount thanks to its two-part design (just one more round trip to the house or to the car, not a big deal), and setting-up time is shorter (polar align is easier, and  no need to fuss with autoguiding parameters or perfect balance). Unless I need an airline-portable mount at some point, it will fill all my mount needs in the foreseeable future.


eastwd
 

I’ve wound up needing to mount about 250 pounds of gear so that I don’t have to keep taking heavy OTAs on and off of my permanent observatory setup, which becomes impractical and a bit scary the older I get. So unfortunately, I’ve outgrown my wonderful 1600GTO mount and was disappointed to find that the 3600GTO is unavailable, even on the used market. I’m now venturing into the unknown and awaiting the arrival of a GM4000. But I really wish I could’ve stuck with an AP mount. You folks make wonderful mounts and have phenomenal customer service.

Larry


weems@...
 

I think it’s interesting that AP has gone from mostly larger scopes (5 to 7 inch, f8 to f12) and mounts that were more portable (400, 600, 800), to more portable scopes (faster, 92, 110, 130) and larger mounts (Mach 2, 1100, 1600). There are, of course, many factors behind those changes that make sense. But at a superficial level, it seems counterintuitive, in comparison to mass market companies that try to sell complete packages. It says something about the AP customer base and the complexity of their applications of the products. 


Chip


Roland Christen
 

I can't say about the 3600 mount. We haven't had any interest in that size. Did sell some to universities, but very few to individuals.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: fernandorivera3 via groups.io <fernandorivera3@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Sep 28, 2022 3:19 pm
Subject: Re: Two distinct tools was(Re: [ap-gto] A "next mount" question for this group)

Roland, the 3600 GTO has been out of production for a while now. Any plans to bring it back??

Fernando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


fernandorivera3
 

Roland, the 3600 GTO has been out of production for a while now. Any plans to bring it back??

Fernando


Roland Christen
 


I've also packed my 135E with a scope and tripod in a single airline sized pelican case and taken it with me on a trip to New Mexico. I could have never done that with a larger mount.
There are many ways to enjoy this hobby, same as boating, fishing, off-road romping, etc. You wouldn't take a fly fishing rod to catch fish in the ocean. The vast majority of astro hobbyists are mainly interested in getting snapshots of deep sky objects in the easiest way possible. That's what these harmonic drive mounts are good at. It's like taking cell-phone images of daytime objects and people, images which are quite good really. The cellphone is super handy and does a great job, if you can live within the limitations of their cameras. these small portable mounts can also potentially take great images, if you can live within their limitations. The kind of mounts we have been concentrating on are aimed at a different user, and are ideally more for permanent setups. That allows us to concentrate on getting performance up to a high level, rather than trying to squeeze out the last ounce of weight.

For instance, I have several setups in my observatory, one has a 17" astrograph with 1600AE which I turn on and let run unattended without worrying about guiding, focusing, etc. It runs on a model and takes images all night long, perfectly focused with round stars. I don't have to worry about things like Dec backlash, periodic error and other mundane things. The other mount is a Mach2 which I use to test scopes, software and accessories. Again, the mount runs effortlessly with or without guiding, which allows me to concentrate on the task at hand, whether that's getting deep sky images or doing test runs on optics. I can't have mounts that require tuning or fussing to get results, and therefore a small portable mount isn't the right tool for my situation.

I gather that there are probably 10's of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of amateurs the world over who just want to take snapshots of sky wonders, or who want to transport their equipment to dark sites for imaging. Our little operation can't supply that market. We make essentially hand crafted mounts for precision applications, and are therefore limited in the number of mounts we can produce.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Burwell via groups.io <andrew_burwell@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Sep 28, 2022 1:21 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] A "next mount" question for this group

I've been using the 135E since it came out. And still do consider it the best travel mount out there. It's extremely compact, and light. I've used it with everything from a 135mm focal length refractor up to an EdgeHD 8" at 2032mm focal length, and it's the only one of these new mounts that can reliably keep the total RMS error under the pixel scale of the Edge at 2032mm/ASI2600 combo. 

Here's some images at this focal length with 5 minute subs. https://www.astrobin.com/lfljqt/ 

https://www.astrobin.com/93zr7o/

While I do have a 10Micron now, and a Mach 2 set to deliver next month, I plan on putting them in a remote observatory. I find I use my 135E most often because the setup procedure is to literally carry it outside and turn it on (often with the scope attached). Where as my 10Micron I have to disassemble, carry out piece by piece, and then rebuild it in the back yard to use it. I've also packed my 135E with a scope and tripod in a single airline sized pelican case and taken it with me on a trip to New Mexico. I could have never done that with a larger mount.

-Andrew

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Roland Christen
Astro-Physics