Topics

Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN


Elenillor
 

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John


On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Frost David
 

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

David


On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Bill Long
 

The RST135 really fits the airplane carry on portable need well. The revived 400AE mount would be really great for trips where space is at a premium in your vehicle. You really want that performance and precision, and you're heading out with your 5" refractor but you don't want the whole vehicle filled with big cases, large tripod, etc. You also want to take other humans with you. Maybe a dog as well. They like food, clothes, and their own stuff too. Once you're there you find a really great spot to set up, but you'll need to hike a mild amount to get there. The size, weight, and capacity enable that scenario well. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Frost David <frosty5@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

David


On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


DFisch
 

Rolando, when you get those encoders to put on the 400 mount I have one that I would love to retrofit.  it is such a delight to use on small set ups and enables carefree observation Tom fischer INDY

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 08:38 Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando

--
TJF MOBILE


W Hilmo
 

I would be interested in a smaller Astro-Physics mount.

 

In terms of size, I would want to be able to carry my 130 GTX for imaging.  That would allow me to leave my big Astro-Physics mount at home when I travel to dark sky sites 4 or 5 times per year.  The smaller the mount, the better, as long as it meets this performance criteria.

 

In terms of price, I would want to see the mount, equipped for use with counterweights, pier, dovetail plates, etc., come in somewhere below a similarly equipped MyT.

 

In terms of features, I would love to have a baby Mach2, with identical features.  I just don’t think that’s possible at the price target above, due to the encoders, but I think that’s OK.  If you could build a 40lb capacity version of the Mach1, with performance to match the Mach1, I think that would be a sweet mount.  It would also be a logical entry for folks looking to step up into a premium mount.  I know that I’d be all over it.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Frost David
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

 

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

 

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

 

David

 



On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

 

Rolando


Bill Long
 

For visual use, wouldn't encoders be way overkill? 

For imaging mobile space is a serious concern, especially if you have a smaller car or when it is a family outing as well. Mount, counterweights, tripod, camera, wheel, guide accessories, imaging computer, cabling, backup supplies, tools, etc. Making the mount smaller and lighter helps a lot. Smaller and lighter tripod helps as well.

Taking imaging gear on a plane isn't really a need for me now, which is why the RST135 isn't in my gear herd yet. The AP400AE would be awesome and would work with all of my scopes except for the two big iDK scopes which I wouldn't likely take on a road trip anyhow.

For solo trips where the space is all mine to use, then my other mounts are fine. But boy would a nice light more compact mint be wonderful to have!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando


Bill Long
 

A 400AE mount would be incredible for use with the Stowaway and GTX. I'd be all over that and that would make driving over Snoqualmie Pass to get to better skies a much less labor intensive packing job!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 7:40 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

I would be interested in a smaller Astro-Physics mount.

 

In terms of size, I would want to be able to carry my 130 GTX for imaging.  That would allow me to leave my big Astro-Physics mount at home when I travel to dark sky sites 4 or 5 times per year.  The smaller the mount, the better, as long as it meets this performance criteria.

 

In terms of price, I would want to see the mount, equipped for use with counterweights, pier, dovetail plates, etc., come in somewhere below a similarly equipped MyT.

 

In terms of features, I would love to have a baby Mach2, with identical features.  I just don’t think that’s possible at the price target above, due to the encoders, but I think that’s OK.  If you could build a 40lb capacity version of the Mach1, with performance to match the Mach1, I think that would be a sweet mount.  It would also be a logical entry for folks looking to step up into a premium mount.  I know that I’d be all over it.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Frost David
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

 

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality.  It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly.  Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

 

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135.  It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes.  For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic.  But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount.  It physically can’t be.  But for short focal lengths it works.

 

A small lightweight AP mount like this with encoders that could carry a C11 would track great and be a game changer for small lightweight portable mounts.  150lbs of gear for the Mach2 (mount, counterweight, CW bar, pier, etc) is not exactly as portable though it does fit fine in a car.  If a 10-12lb mount could do the same job of carrying a 140mm refractor or a C11 just as accurately, that would be killer.  Just miniaturize the Mach2.

 

David

 



On Feb 26, 2021, at 7:38 AM, Elenillor <elenillor@...> wrote:



I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.

 

Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.

 

The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.

 

I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.

 

As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?

 

Rolando


Dale Ghent
 

On Feb 26, 2021, at 09:46, Frost David <frosty5@gmail.com> wrote:

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality. It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly. Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135. It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes. For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic. But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount. It physically can’t be. But for short focal lengths it works.
Yeah, I bought an RST-135 for mobile imaging on weekend trips and plane ride. I put a CFF 92mm f/6 frac on the top of it and it works exceedingly well, with the main parts of the setup split between a Nanuck roll-aboard hard case and ThinkTank Photo Shapeshifter backpack. On planes, the hard case with scope and imaging stuff goes in the overhead, the RST, laptop, and cables in the backpack go under the seat in front of me, and the tripod and power supply is in checked baggage. I haven't yet travelled to a place where there's no AC power for it and covid has nix'd travel for now, so I have some time to figure out a LiFePO4-based portable battery system that doesn't bust the airline rules regarding lithium batteries. The limit is watt-hours per battery, per person. It's me, my wife, and kid, so I can max out the usage by allotting everyone their own battery.

The thing that makes the RST-135 such a killer travel-friendly scope is its harmonic drive which obviates the need for counterweights for reasonable loads. As we know, counterweights can be half the mount's weight, or even more, so removing them from the picture makes airline transport such an easier task to contemplate.

So far I've taken the ensemble on 1 international flight (to central Mexico) and 1 US destination (SF bay area). The customs folks at QRO airport in Mexico were curious and amused by the gear, but I'm used to the exercise with customs officers having carried a lot of photo gear around the world.


Roland Christen
 

I'm thinking more along the lines of older people who can't lift 40lb of mount any more, but could set up a smaller mount that weighs between 10 and 20 lb. The idea of the encoders was to eliminate doing PE correction. With a high resolution small scope and the tiny pixel cameras that can record 1.5 arc sec stars, the last thing you want is to have tracking variations over short time periods that measure 10 to 20 arc seconds. Yes, you could guide at rapid fire rates, but that's just more gear to take along.

As an example, last night I shot a huge number of 30, 60, 90, 120  second exposures of the core of M42 with the Mach2 encoder mount. I did not guide or model, simply let it gather data over a 4 hour period. The mount was just polar aligned with my usual techniques. The average FWHM of the stars was between 1.5 and 1.8 arc seconds. Total drift was around 30 arc seconds for the entire period ( 0.13 arc sec per minute). Although I used my CCD camera, a modern CMOS camera with a 120 second exposure can capture a lot of data. Perfect for a fun weekend camping trip where you set up the scope, let it do its thing while you enjoy friends around a campfire.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 9:47 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

For visual use, wouldn't encoders be way overkill? 

For imaging mobile space is a serious concern, especially if you have a smaller car or when it is a family outing as well. Mount, counterweights, tripod, camera, wheel, guide accessories, imaging computer, cabling, backup supplies, tools, etc. Making the mount smaller and lighter helps a lot. Smaller and lighter tripod helps as well.

Taking imaging gear on a plane isn't really a need for me now, which is why the RST135 isn't in my gear herd yet. The AP400AE would be awesome and would work with all of my scopes except for the two big iDK scopes which I wouldn't likely take on a road trip anyhow.

For solo trips where the space is all mine to use, then my other mounts are fine. But boy would a nice light more compact mint be wonderful to have!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.
 
Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.
 
The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.
 
I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.
 
As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

Yes, that would be a very real use case for it. There is certainly an appetite for such a mount. 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 8:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I'm thinking more along the lines of older people who can't lift 40lb of mount any more, but could set up a smaller mount that weighs between 10 and 20 lb. The idea of the encoders was to eliminate doing PE correction. With a high resolution small scope and the tiny pixel cameras that can record 1.5 arc sec stars, the last thing you want is to have tracking variations over short time periods that measure 10 to 20 arc seconds. Yes, you could guide at rapid fire rates, but that's just more gear to take along.

As an example, last night I shot a huge number of 30, 60, 90, 120  second exposures of the core of M42 with the Mach2 encoder mount. I did not guide or model, simply let it gather data over a 4 hour period. The mount was just polar aligned with my usual techniques. The average FWHM of the stars was between 1.5 and 1.8 arc seconds. Total drift was around 30 arc seconds for the entire period ( 0.13 arc sec per minute). Although I used my CCD camera, a modern CMOS camera with a 120 second exposure can capture a lot of data. Perfect for a fun weekend camping trip where you set up the scope, let it do its thing while you enjoy friends around a campfire.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 9:47 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

For visual use, wouldn't encoders be way overkill? 

For imaging mobile space is a serious concern, especially if you have a smaller car or when it is a family outing as well. Mount, counterweights, tripod, camera, wheel, guide accessories, imaging computer, cabling, backup supplies, tools, etc. Making the mount smaller and lighter helps a lot. Smaller and lighter tripod helps as well.

Taking imaging gear on a plane isn't really a need for me now, which is why the RST135 isn't in my gear herd yet. The AP400AE would be awesome and would work with all of my scopes except for the two big iDK scopes which I wouldn't likely take on a road trip anyhow.

For solo trips where the space is all mine to use, then my other mounts are fine. But boy would a nice light more compact mint be wonderful to have!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.
 
Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.
 
The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.
 
I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.
 
As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


alan.dang@...
 

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.


Bob Benamati
 

As someone who's become very pysically limited by handicap over the recent years, this is exactly what I've been holding off and hoping for in order to get some observing "independence" and flexibility back! I would certainly be a buyer.

Un-mounting the main scope from the 900GTO just to run my FSQ, and/or tearing apart the 900 from the pier in the obs. in order to go offsite to image is just not possible for me anymore. 

And ~20lbs would be a perfect weight that I can actually manage and setup unassisted!

BB
 








Sent via Verizon Wireless

On Feb 26, 2021 11:57, "Roland Christen via groups.io" <chris1011@...> wrote:
I'm thinking more along the lines of older people who can't lift 40lb of mount any more, but could set up a smaller mount that weighs between 10 and 20 lb. The idea of the encoders was to eliminate doing PE correction. With a high resolution small scope and the tiny pixel cameras that can record 1.5 arc sec stars, the last thing you want is to have tracking variations over short time periods that measure 10 to 20 arc seconds. Yes, you could guide at rapid fire rates, but that's just more gear to take along.

As an example, last night I shot a huge number of 30, 60, 90, 120  second exposures of the core of M42 with the Mach2 encoder mount. I did not guide or model, simply let it gather data over a 4 hour period. The mount was just polar aligned with my usual techniques. The average FWHM of the stars was between 1.5 and 1.8 arc seconds. Total drift was around 30 arc seconds for the entire period ( 0.13 arc sec per minute). Although I used my CCD camera, a modern CMOS camera with a 120 second exposure can capture a lot of data. Perfect for a fun weekend camping trip where you set up the scope, let it do its thing while you enjoy friends around a campfire.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long <bill@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 9:47 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

For visual use, wouldn't encoders be way overkill? 

For imaging mobile space is a serious concern, especially if you have a smaller car or when it is a family outing as well. Mount, counterweights, tripod, camera, wheel, guide accessories, imaging computer, cabling, backup supplies, tools, etc. Making the mount smaller and lighter helps a lot. Smaller and lighter tripod helps as well.

Taking imaging gear on a plane isn't really a need for me now, which is why the RST135 isn't in my gear herd yet. The AP400AE would be awesome and would work with all of my scopes except for the two big iDK scopes which I wouldn't likely take on a road trip anyhow.

For solo trips where the space is all mine to use, then my other mounts are fine. But boy would a nice light more compact mint be wonderful to have!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Elenillor <elenillor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:38 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I will put in my 2 cents on this. Back in the day I put my name on the list for a 400 as I wanted a smaller mount to go with the 600E. I wound up with a Mach1 as the 400 was superseded by the larger mount and very glad I have it.
 
Still in the search for a smaller option I got a DM6 shortly after they were introduced. It was rarely used, and I eventually sold it.
 
The DM6 excursion taught me that the mount head is only a small part of the 'kit' that needs to be transported for portable observing. Having a small head really made no difference in ease of transport, setup or takedown. I am only visual, photographers have another whole set of 'kit' to deal with that is independent of the mount head. As a result I see no reason to make any tradeoff for a small head.
 
I assume an updated encodered 400 would be only a little less cost than and a Mach2. Would they sell in numbers big enough to justify it's development is a good question. That was apparently answered when the 400 was discontinued.
 
As an aside for grab and go I have a TEC110 F5.6 on a gear headed tripod. I take it in an out of the house almost daily for quick solar or night time viewing.  Also a SKY90 with a smaller tripod for suitcase travel.

John

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 08:16 PM, Roland Christen wrote:
If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?
 
Rolando

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Christopher Erickson
 

I bought a Rainbow Astro RST-135 because AP currently doesn't have a compact mount that matches the size and portability of my Stowaway.

My overriding passion is for solar eclipse travel and occultation travel, two activities that don't require long exposures and extreme tracking precision and my 1100GTO and Mach1 are just way too much hassle for me for airline travels. The RST-135 and Stowaway fit solar eclipses perfectly, and the RST-135 and C11 with Hyperstar fit occultation travel perfectly.

But I have to say that now I have the RST-135 I have learned the value of super-lightweight portability. It is so much easier to get out and go for casual stargazing with buddies than with my bigger setups. I may only be 63, very strong and in good health, but even my Mach1 is often more of a handful than I want to haul out for an evening's casual stargazing on short notice. The RST-135 is so lightweight and compact that my entire mount kit, plus Pelican case is only 35 lbs. And that even includes a carbon-fiber tripod.

I am really enjoying my RST-135 but I would sell it in a hot minute if I could buy a compact AP mount for my Stowaway instead.

Abs encoders would be cool but not required by my applications. However I wouldn't balk at the extra cost for them. Personally I would want servos over steppers for a whole-multitude of reasons, although I understand that steppers are quite a bit cheaper than precision servos. Servos have way lower power requirements and consequently give off way less heat. For me that also means less battery capacity to haul around.

Maybe call it the Mach-10, for how light and fast it will travel the world with me.

However my favorite name for it would be the AP Intrepid. Fearless, nimble traveller and adventurer.

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 10:46 AM <alan.dang@...> wrote:

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.


Christopher Erickson
 

For me, a super-compact, super-lightweight, super-rigid, super-tight, and super-accurate AP mount sporting strain wave gears and abs encoders would be the ultimate portable killer imaging mount.

And price wouldn't be a priority if it met all my requirements.

My name would be on the waiting list within seconds.
 
"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:37 AM Christopher Erickson via groups.io <christopher.k.erickson=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I bought a Rainbow Astro RST-135 because AP currently doesn't have a compact mount that matches the size and portability of my Stowaway.

My overriding passion is for solar eclipse travel and occultation travel, two activities that don't require long exposures and extreme tracking precision and my 1100GTO and Mach1 are just way too much hassle for me for airline travels. The RST-135 and Stowaway fit solar eclipses perfectly, and the RST-135 and C11 with Hyperstar fit occultation travel perfectly.

But I have to say that now I have the RST-135 I have learned the value of super-lightweight portability. It is so much easier to get out and go for casual stargazing with buddies than with my bigger setups. I may only be 63, very strong and in good health, but even my Mach1 is often more of a handful than I want to haul out for an evening's casual stargazing on short notice. The RST-135 is so lightweight and compact that my entire mount kit, plus Pelican case is only 35 lbs. And that even includes a carbon-fiber tripod.

I am really enjoying my RST-135 but I would sell it in a hot minute if I could buy a compact AP mount for my Stowaway instead.

Abs encoders would be cool but not required by my applications. However I wouldn't balk at the extra cost for them. Personally I would want servos over steppers for a whole-multitude of reasons, although I understand that steppers are quite a bit cheaper than precision servos. Servos have way lower power requirements and consequently give off way less heat. For me that also means less battery capacity to haul around.

Maybe call it the Mach-10, for how light and fast it will travel the world with me.

However my favorite name for it would be the AP Intrepid. Fearless, nimble traveller and adventurer.

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 10:46 AM <alan.dang@...> wrote:

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.


Roland Christen
 

I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

Pick any 3 out of 5.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


DFisch
 

1, low weight
2, Knows where it is at all times
3 High accuracy on both axes

TJF Mobile
please excuse grammar and spell errors


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:01:46 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

Pick any 3 out of 5.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Bill Long
 

Low weight, medium cost, dual absolute encoders.  🙂 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 2:01 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 
I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

Pick any 3 out of 5.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Christopher Erickson
 

High precision abs encoder on RA. For precise homing, pointing and tracking.
Lower resolution abs encoder on DEC. Much cheaper and perfectly suitable for precise homing and pointing.
Servo motors. For lowest voltage and current requirements.
Operable on 8-20VDC.
Strain wave gears with electric brakes. For zero backlash, no reverse-driving when power is lost, and size/weight savings.
Super-lightweight and compact overall.
No clutches needed. I haven't missed having clutches on my RST-135 at all.
Motor-current-measuring-based balancing function.
New, dedicated hand controller with integral GPS & Bluetooth, and optionally WiFi, serial, USB and Ethernet.
Maybe have an XBee socket or two in the hand controller. Let users pick their own wireless frequency and protocol options.
Mount setup procedure optimized and simplified for travel. OLED display good to -40F/C
Built-in base adapter to put it on a carbon-fiber Gitzo 85 (or clone 85mm head) tripod.
Optional hollow composite counterweight. Fill with water when in the field.
Lightweight counterweight shaft. I am a strong believer in counterweights for strain wave mounts, whenever possible. I don't care what Rainbow pushes in their ads.
Lightweight, telescoping, two-section, aluminum pier with 85mm socket head option for travel. More rigid than a Gitzo CF tripod.
Ability to operate in Alt-Az as well as polar mode. Alt-Az is great for visual, solar and occultation use.
Options for both electronic as well as optical polar scopes.
Give the electronics enough horsepower to add cool stuff in the future, like Slo-Mo all-sky tracker features and the like.
Bubble levels in mount and pier. Optional compass.
Multi-star alignments with software ortho compensation.
Voltage and current displayed continuously on the hand controller.
If possible, through the mount power and USB3/USB-C. Or put cable securing points on the DEC axis and base so a springy umbilical channel can be used.
Optional custom, lightweight, wheelie travel case. Maybe have a stroller or diaper bag camouflage kit for it. LOL

"My advice is always free and worth every penny!"

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 12:01 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
I guess if you need just an imaging mount with no clutches (no way to use manually without power), it can be very small and light weight.
A universal mount like the Mach2 or 10-Micron has more components than a non-clutched mount like the MYT or Rainbow mounts.
A non-clutched mount without encoders would be slightly less weight, and less cost, but will always require aggressive guiding.
A non-clutched mount with just an RA encoder to eliminate the periodic error would be medium cost and light weight.

There are a lot of permutations and possibilities, and it would depend on what you want to do with this mount. Some people just want a light weight mount that they can haul out from the basement to the driveway, put a scope on it, put an eyepiece on it and do a Moon Cruise or examine the planets. They don't need encoders or PE correction. Others want one as small as possible for airline travel and may or may not want to guide. Others want a precision universal mount that they can do anything with, but must have low weight because their back hurts. The possibilities are endless.

Low cost, medium or high cost. Medium weight low weight or ultra-low weight. Low tracking performance, medium or ultra-high performance. Clutched or non-clutched - universal or targeted. Single encoder or dual absolute encoders.

Pick any 3 out of 5.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: alan.dang@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

And not just older people, but young enthusiasts who just want a lighter no-fuss mount that more easily travels when going on a group road trip where you have limited space for the Astro gear along with clothes and other travel essentials.

A real question is what is the smallest mount that would work with a AP105 and have encoders?  You might not save production cost over a mount that handles a C11 or AP130EDT — but if the mount is dramatically smaller or lighter, it could be interesting.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


alan.dang@...
 
Edited

What can AP do that others cannot?
1. reliability/customer service
2. sophisticated pointing and tracking model
3. sophisticated polar alignment
4. user focused (understands needs of users).

So in terms of picking 3 out of the 5.

1) Tracking performance should be good enough to make having an advanced sky model worthwhile.  If the tracking performance is bad enough that a mount set at sidereal will give you the same result, it’s not taking advantage of the performance.

It is not clear to me how much guiding solves this.  My understanding is that a good model avoids the need for guiding.  

It is not clear to me how much clutches affect this target of performance.

it is not clear to me if corrections in DEC are needed after an AP model is created or if it’s just RA modifications.

I don’t know what pixel size to assume but I think 3-4 microns is a reasonable assumption.

2) You have hit it spot on that there are older hobbyists who would do better with lightweight mounts and there are plenty of young hobbyists who like to travel.

3) Make it as affordable as possible.  The Stowaway lets a lot more people enjoy your optics.  

Let’s call this the “AP Traveler GTO”.

4) if it is spec’d to meet the criteria of “good enough to benefit from a sky model” versus just tracking with the 92/6.65 versus the 130GTX, how does that change the price and size?

Maybe for the 92/6.65 “good enough to benefit from a sky model” it would still be “very good” with the overloaded 130GTX or C11 but not show the same benefits.


Bill Long
 

Whatever it is, speculating about this hypothetical mount has been pretty fun. Putting it on something like a Rob Miller tri36L (8lb tripod) with a e160 or the GTX at a nice remote dark site sounds like a dream team combo.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of alan.dang@... <alan.dang@...>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2021 4:14 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN
 

[Edited Message Follows]

What can AP do that others cannot?
1. reliability/customer service
2. sophisticated pointing and tracking model
3. sophisticated polar alignment
4. user focused (understands needs of users).

So in terms of picking 3 out of the 5.

1) Tracking performance should be good enough to make having an advanced sky model worthwhile.  If the tracking performance is bad enough that a mount set at sidereal will give you the same result, it’s not taking advantage of the performance.

It is not clear to me how much guiding solves this.  My understanding is that a good model avoids the need for guiding.  

It is not clear to me how much clutches affect this target of performance.

it is not clear to me if corrections in DEC are needed after an AP model is created or if it’s just RA modifications.

I don’t know what pixel size to assume but I think 3-4 microns is a reasonable assumption.

2) You have hit it spot on that there are older hobbyists who would do better with lightweight mounts and there are plenty of young hobbyists who like to travel.

3) Make it as affordable as possible.  The Stowaway lets a lot more people enjoy your optics.  

Let’s call this the “AP Traveler GTO”.

4) if it is spec’d to meet the criteria of “good enough to benefit from a sky model” versus just tracking with the 92/6.65 versus the 130GTX, how does that change the price and size?

Maybe for the 92/6.65 “good enough to benefit from a sky model” it would still be “very good” with the overloaded 130GTX or C11 but not show the same benefits.