Topics

Pre-owned 900GTO Questions


Chris White
 

Hello Everyone,

I'm looking to purchase a 900GTO that was built in 2009.  If I purchase it, I'm wondering if there is anything I should do maintenance-wise, such as grease the bearings or anything else?

I've also read that one needs to be careful with the clutch knobs as the little washers can get bent.  Is there anything else I should be aware of when operating this mount?

It has the CP4 which is good...   I'm an imager and really looking forward to this mount!  I will be using a GTX130 and an EDGE 925. 

Another thing I am wondering, is if anyone knows if there is an adapter to mount this on an iOptron Tri-Pier?  Don't laugh too hard... it's what I have right now.  (Upgrading from a CEM60).  I'm also considering getting a pier and bolting it to the floor of my raised observatory... but that would be a warm weather project.   So hoping to use the tripier for now.  iOptron makes an adapter to mount the Mach 1, but I think the base is bigger on the 900.  If so, is there anything I could get to adapt between the Mach1 mount and the 900?

Or should I just sell the tripier and get something else? 

Thanks in advance!


Bill Long
 

Once you get it, call AP and give them your serial number and order the AP Grease Kit. Its Roland's special mount magic. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way! The kit comes with greasing instructions, you will grease the wheel, the worm gear, and the reduction gears.

I know nothing about bent knobs, but there is a kit you can install that AP sells to upgrade the originals, IIRC. When you call, talk to George he is the master jedi.

If it has a CP4 you are in good company, just make sure to upgrade the firmware to the latest version from the AP site. It is easy (and you can give me a jingle if you need a hand). 

The iOptron Tri Pier is a bad knock off version of the incredible Eagle made by AP. At any rate, it is not really a suitable tripod for the AP900 (or the 1100). You would need to have a custom plate made, as AP would not sell one (as its not a good pier solution for the 900/1100). 

With that said, yes - sell the Tri Pier and either get the portable pier from AP or get the Losmandy HD Folding Tripod from AP and it will drop ship to you with everything you need to hook it up. I use that tripod with my 1100 and so does Tyrel. Its a great one. built like a tank.

-Bill



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of chris.white@... <chris.white@...>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2021 5:45 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions
 
Hello Everyone,

I'm looking to purchase a 900GTO that was built in 2009.  If I purchase it, I'm wondering if there is anything I should do maintenance-wise, such as grease the bearings or anything else?

I've also read that one needs to be careful with the clutch knobs as the little washers can get bent.  Is there anything else I should be aware of when operating this mount?

It has the CP4 which is good...   I'm an imager and really looking forward to this mount!  I will be using a GTX130 and an EDGE 925. 

Another thing I am wondering, is if anyone knows if there is an adapter to mount this on an iOptron Tri-Pier?  Don't laugh too hard... it's what I have right now.  (Upgrading from a CEM60).  I'm also considering getting a pier and bolting it to the floor of my raised observatory... but that would be a warm weather project.   So hoping to use the tripier for now.  iOptron makes an adapter to mount the Mach 1, but I think the base is bigger on the 900.  If so, is there anything I could get to adapt between the Mach1 mount and the 900?

Or should I just sell the tripier and get something else? 

Thanks in advance!


Jeffrey Wolff
 

Grease and keypad battery would be something to consider. If you have access to PemPro, you may consider redoing the PEM. You could check the software on the CP4 and probably do an update it the CP4 and keypad.

I bought a 900GTO in 2011 and it is still going strong with a few upgrades such as CP4, software, grease and battery over the years. Just put down a deposit on the 1100 with extended temp range absolute encoders. I am keeping the 900 also.


Bill Long
 

Jeff,

Good call on the PEMPro curve! :) 




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Jeffrey Wolff <jmw2800@...>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2021 6:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions
 
Grease and keypad battery would be something to consider. If you have access to PemPro, you may consider redoing the PEM. You could check the software on the CP4 and probably do an update it the CP4 and keypad.

I bought a 900GTO in 2011 and it is still going strong with a few upgrades such as CP4, software, grease and battery over the years. Just put down a deposit on the 1100 with extended temp range absolute encoders. I am keeping the 900 also.


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Fri, Feb 19, 2021 at 06:42 PM, <chris.white@...> wrote:
Or should I just sell the tripier and get something else? 
If you decide to get a new pier, I can recommend the Losmandy "Folding HD Tripod".  I used one for years with my 900.  I use it with my Mach2 now.  AP sells adapters that will connect your 900 to the Losmandy tripod.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Chris White
 

Woke up to some nice replies:

@Bill- Very helpful as always.  I did find that there is a replacement for the knobs where you can use a grub screw with allen key head (or insect key as my swedish friend calls it).  It seems this is more for a cleaner setup for better cable management... and I'm sure the little teflon washers or inserts or whatever they are are replaceable.  I'll follow-up on the grease kit as well.  I'm not sure exactly with how much use the mount has seen... but being from the northeast, I can only imagine that it is not worked hard like something at a DSW install might be.  But I certainly will look at getting the grease kit if I end up with this mount. 

@Jeff-  good call on confirming and modifying the PemPro curve if needed!  I do have PemPro, so not a big deal for me to do this.   If I do a greasing service I assume this would be required anyway.  I think another thing I will look into is biting the bullet and buying APCC so I can do some modeling.  Bill... have your cell phone turned on when I attempt this!  :-)

@Dean- Thanks for another nod to the HD.  I see that AP sells it with the adapter already.  It's pricey, but would be worth it.  I'd probably spend a couple hundred just to get the tripier to work and if I wasnt satisfied I would be pretty stuck with the adapter as I doubt many people are too interested in using a tripier with a 900.  If I get the mount, I'll probably place an order immediately for the tripod. 


weems@...
 

In addition to the Losmandy adapter, you would also need the 900 Standard Pier Adapter, which is no longer available.  The SPA has the bar that the azimuth adjuster screws press against. If your mount includes one, then you can easily go this route or get one of the AP piers. If not, then you might want to contact Dave’s Astro Shop. He makes custom pier adapters and already has the tri-pier among his base setups. Even if you do have an SPA (or the RPA), you can have him make a tri-pier adapter with a flat top, and drill it to take an AP flat surface adapter. 

Chip


Jeffrey Wolff
 

Do the grease job, then run PemPro. It needs to be done after greasing the gear boxes. Call Astro-Physics and buy the grease kit from them. It comes with instructions and two kinds of grease. You might want to order the battery replacement from Astro-Physics at the same time you buy the grease. 


W Hilmo
 

Since it already has the CP4, I might hold off on the keypad battery.

 

The CP4 is going to be getting an upgrade at some point (hopefully soon), where it gets new features originally developed for the Mach2.  If your existing keypad is past a certain version (I don’t remember which, but someone here does), then you can do a firmware update to it.  The update will repurpose a couple of the buttons, and they will no longer match the labels on the existing keys.  Astro-Physics will be offering an update service to replace the labels on the keypad, but you will need to send it back to them for that.

 

My keypad is vintage 2012, and I have never replaced the battery, so I am sure that it’s nearly ready to give up.  My plan is to hold off on doing anything to it until I can send it back to Astro-Physics to update it to the latest keypad, with the correct labels.  I’ll have them replace the battery at the same time.

 

-Wade

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeffrey Wolff
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2021 6:43 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions

 

Do the grease job, then run PemPro. It needs to be done after greasing the gear boxes. Call Astro-Physics and buy the grease kit from them. It comes with instructions and two kinds of grease. You might want to order the battery replacement from Astro-Physics at the same time you buy the grease. 


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 05:44 AM, <weems@...> wrote:
n addition to the Losmandy adapter, you would also need the 900 Standard Pier Adapter, which is no longer available.
I had forgotten about the Standard Pier Adapter.  The guy who bought my 900 had to find one used on Astromart.  I needed to keep mine because that is what the adapter for the Mach2 is bolted into.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 
Amateur Radio Call Sign - W6DBJ


Chris White
 

Thats interesting.  I did not realize this. I emailed Dave to see what it would take.  Thanks for the information. 


 

Hi, thought I’d offer my insight being I have a 2010 ap900 mount on an AP portable pier. I’m switching from my portable pier to a permanently mounted pier and all I need was the flat surface adapter (119FSA) whic I got a couple of weeks ago. Obviously your needs will vary depending on what equipment you have etc, but I think most of what you need you can still get from AP. Here is a link to their site where I searched (900 pier+adapter), it brought up all sorts of stuff, but I think you should still be able to get what you need. Good Luck!

On Feb 20, 2021, at 9:00 AM, chris.white@... wrote:

Thats interesting.  I did not realize this. I emailed Dave to see what it would take.  Thanks for the information. 


Elenillor
 

I got my keypad in 2007 with a Mach 1 and decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables. A year ago purchased a CP4 because the new keypad software was going to be coming out soon. While I can use Sky Safari with the CP4 I would am looking forward to the new features in the keypad.

John


On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 07:51 AM, W Hilmo wrote:

My keypad is vintage 2012, and I have never replaced the battery, so I am sure that it’s nearly ready to give up.  My plan is to hold off on doing anything to it until I can send it back to Astro-Physics to update it to the latest keypad, with the correct labels.  I’ll have them replace the battery at the same time.

 

-Wade

 


Chris White
 

Steve,

The 119FSA is available, and if you buy the HD Tripod through AP it's paired with it... but from what I gathered from earlier comments in this thread is that there is an adapter still needed so the mount can mount and use the azimuth adjustment.  I might have read it wrong...

Also, how do you quote someone on this forum?  Stupid question probably, but I'm new here and cant see a button for it. 


Karen Christen
 

Hi Chris,

 

>> Also, how do you quote someone on this forum? 

 

It depends on how you’re interacting with the forum.  For example, I’m using Outlook to respond to you.  I’ve included your message below, and I copied your question and pasted it above.  Both work equally as well.

 

If you’re reading and responding to messages on Groups.io, when you Reply, the original message is not automatically included.  In your reply message, look just to the left of Formats in the toolbar for the quote bubble.  Clicking that will quote the entire message to which you’re replying.  You can include or delete what you like from there.  Alternatively, if you highlight the portion of the original message you want to quote, then click Reply, the highlighted portion will be automatically included in your reply message.  This link also describes this process:  https://groups.io/helpcenter/membersmanual/1/working-with-group-messages/quoting-messages-you-are-replying-to

 

Welcome to the Astro-Nuts, Chris, and have fun with the new 900GTO.

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of chris.white@...
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2021 3:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions

 

Steve,

The 119FSA is available, and if you buy the HD Tripod through AP it's paired with it... but from what I gathered from earlier comments in this thread is that there is an adapter still needed so the mount can mount and use the azimuth adjustment.  I might have read it wrong...

Also, how do you quote someone on this forum?  Stupid question probably, but I'm new here and cant see a button for it. 


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Chris White
 

On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 04:47 PM, Karen Christen wrote:
Alternatively, if you highlight the portion of the original message you want to quote, then click Reply, the highlighted portion will be automatically included in your reply message.
Hey look at that!  Thank you Karen.  Appreciate the lesson!


Jeffrey Wolff
 

My 900 mount attaches to the 900RPA on top of my FSA. The 1100 base includes the equivalent of the 900RPA as part of the mount.

https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/900gto/900rpa-rot-pier-adap.pdf


sroberts84
 

Hello John,
What exactly did you mean by:: 

... "decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables." 

exactly? What optical cables are you referring to here? 

Thanks! 

S Roberts 

---
We've got fifteen minutes, Freddo, it's worse than I thought!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: 20 February 2021 13:21
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Pre-owned 900GTO Questions
 
I got my keypad in 2007 with a Mach 1 and decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables. A year ago purchased a CP4 because the new keypad software was going to be coming out soon. While I can use Sky Safari with the CP4 I would am looking forward to the new features in the keypad.

John


On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 07:51 AM, W Hilmo wrote:

My keypad is vintage 2012, and I have never replaced the battery, so I am sure that it’s nearly ready to give up.  My plan is to hold off on doing anything to it until I can send it back to Astro-Physics to update it to the latest keypad, with the correct labels.  I’ll have them replace the battery at the same time.

 

-Wade

 


Jeffrey Wolff
 

Plastic fiber optics is used to backlight the keypad. If you have your keypad handy and call Astro-Physics they will sell you the correct replacement battery kit with instructions.


Elenillor
 

S. Roberts,

If you look at the Keypad_Maintenance Instructions PDF on the AP website is shows how to replace the battery. In my version of the Keypad (pg 10) the display is relayed through a bunch of fiber optic cables that run over where the battery is. The instructions are very clear on how to avoid problems with them. Just need to be careful.


Hello John,
What exactly did you mean by:: 
 
... "decided to install a new battery in anticipation of the new software. I did that last month. Not difficult just have to be gentle around the optical cables." 
 
exactly? What optical cables are you referring to here? 
 
Thanks!