Jump to content


Photo

Mach 1 on the way - keep the GM8?

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:56 PM

With a few threads going on about Mach 1's at the moment I thought I'd ask for some advice. I've got one on the way (great - I'm happy about that :)) and so I'm thinking of whether or not to part with my trusty GM-8 (non-Gemini version). I could use the money but a quick survey on Amart suggests that I'll likely take a bath on it, in part because I've added just about every upgrade available including some nice shiny Robin Casady counterweights and saddle).

I use the GM-8 mostly for solar imaging and visual with a tandem bar set-up (Cak70 and TV76 w/SF70 h-alpha filters). I've not used it for dark sky imaging but I do use it for visual at night with a 105.

I hate having equipment lying around unused and I figure with the Mach 1 in house, the GM8 will be staying indoors a lot. She sure is pretty though and kind of like a "not so old" friend. Maybe I should just think of the GM8 as my solar mount and dedicate it to that (wouldn't want the anodizing to bleach on that Mach 1 ;)).

I'm torn though - what would you folks do? I know from seeing photos of some of your living rooms that some of your pads would qualify as scope/mount showrooms, LOL. I'm more in the Spartan camp and my spouse doesn't share the view that my gear is like industrial art.

Attached Files



#2 Rinaldo

Rinaldo

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1405
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Lawng-eye-lind - New York, USA

Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

Keep it for 6 months after the Mach 1 arrives and see how often you use it vs. how much you want the money you can get for it. Then ask yourself the question again.

#3 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:57 PM

Duh, that is actually great advice Rinaldo. I should have thought about it that way already. I've been selling off a lot of gear and that is part of the problem right now; worth taking a breather with the GM8 so I don't regret it later.

I don't suppose it is going to be worth any less in 6 months and maybe even slightly more if the economy doesn't tank further? Just seems like the resale value on the GM8 is worse than I might have expected but maybe no worse than any other (non AP or MI) GEM?

#4 Eric P

Eric P

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 489
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2005

Posted 28 March 2009 - 08:28 PM

I've not used it for dark sky imaging but I do use it for visual at night with a 105.


It's quite a capable imaging platform especially for wide field. I usually lug the GM8, along with my primary imaging mount, to star parties and mount an SLR (or two).

I'm more in the Spartan camp and my spouse doesn't share the view that my gear is like industrial art.



How about the GM8, encircled by a model train setup which is then encircled by slot car set up. Now that would be art.

#5 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 28 March 2009 - 08:31 PM

Beats a Christmas tree, I 'd say.

#6 Paul G

Paul G

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4980
  • Joined: 08 May 2003
  • Loc: Freedonia

Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:08 PM

Hanging on to it for a while is good advice. I already had an AP 400GTO and was anticipating that the Mach1GTO would replace it. But while the Mach1 is a very portable mount, the 400 is so much smaller that I decided to keep it for small scopes and solar observing.

#7 RAKing

RAKing

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6236
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2007
  • Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula

Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:48 AM

I would definitely keep it for a while.

I love my GM-8 (Gemini) and it was a difficult decision to part with my credit card for the hefty Mach1 purchase price. But I had passed once and figured I'm not getting any younger, so....

I plan to keep my GM-8. It's a trusty friend - and also a work of art! :) It's light enough it will probably take on the Grab and Go duties.

Ron

PS - Your GM-8 is very nice. :bow:

#8 NHRob

NHRob

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:53 AM

Doug,
Didn't you have a TEC140 once? Did you use the GM8 with that?
I've wondered if the GM8 would work well with a TEC140 .... given a good tripod.
Rob

#9 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 29 March 2009 - 08:35 AM

Rob,
I have an AP140 w/4" focuser and the GM8 has given it a ride but it is really pushing it as you can imagine. It is heavier than a TEC 140. The GM-8 is used mostly for solar (as in picture) and with the 105. You guys have definitely convinced me to hang onto it.
Doug

Attached Files



#10 hersey0308

hersey0308

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 102
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Ontario Canada

Posted 29 March 2009 - 11:15 AM

hi doug - i would find it hard to part with the "honey" set up pictured here. it's obvious you take very good care of your equipment. well done indeed!
david

#11 Paul G

Paul G

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4980
  • Joined: 08 May 2003
  • Loc: Freedonia

Posted 29 March 2009 - 11:33 AM

Rob,
I have an AP140 w/4" focuser and the GM8 has given it a ride but it is really pushing it as you can imagine. It is heavier than a TEC 140. The GM-8 is used mostly for solar (as in picture) and with the 105. You guys have definitely convinced me to hang onto it.
Doug


Sweet setup!

#12 Jared

Jared

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5036
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.

Posted 29 March 2009 - 05:10 PM

The idea of waiting for a while to see how much it is used is a good one. I can tell you that when I received my Mach1 I immediately sold my GM-8 and haven't looked back. In my case, it was an obvious choice. While the Mach1 is heavier, it isn't really any less portable--I use the same Pelican case for it as I did for the GM-8, and the Eagle pier fits in the same spot in the trunk as its predecessor. Neither mount is appropriate for 'grab 'n' go', so if I'm willing to make three trips up and down the stairs/out to the car to transport everything I'd rather have the more capable mount. Like you, I don't have anywhere to leave a gaggle of assembled telescopes.

#13 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 29 March 2009 - 05:28 PM

Jared, I have to admit I was using very similar logic when deciding on whether to keep the GM8. Perhaps one difference with yourself, however, is my intense interest in solar, which may justify having that second mount.

Thanks Gus and David - yeah your impressions are about right, it is a pretty sweet set-up so not sure why I'd want to let it go given the time, effort and expense that went into it for my solar rig.

#14 NHRob

NHRob

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:30 AM

Thanks Doug,
Yes, I had a AP130 EDFS on a GM8 years ago and felt it was marginal. However, that was years ago and looking back, I think the weak link was the tripod, not the GM8 mount head itself. Now I'm wondering if a GM8 on a better tripod might do the trick with the TEC140.

Rob

#15 RAKing

RAKing

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6236
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2007
  • Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula

Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:31 PM

I had a AP130 EDFS on a GM8 years ago and felt it was marginal. However, that was years ago and looking back, I think the weak link was the tripod, not the GM8 mount head itself. Now I'm wondering if a GM8 on a better tripod might do the trick with the TEC140.


Rob,

I am now using a 24 pound 8-inch Newtonian on my GM-8 and it works great. BUT.... my GM-8 sits on an A-P Portable Pier and I think that makes a difference when you start pushing the capacity. Settle times are measured in tenths of a second - BTW. The Losmandy GM-8 tripod is pretty sturdy considering the rated capacity of the mount, but I'll confess that I only use it for lighter Grab and Go setups. The Losmandy capacity is very conservative and there are numerous tripod/pier options.

If the scope is jiggling - it's an earthquake. :lol:

Ron

#16 NHRob

NHRob

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:02 PM

Ron,
Actually, the AP portable pier is something I am considering. It just seems a bit heavy and bulky. What height pier do you use?
I was thinking of a 6" pier, 48" high.

Rob

#17 RAKing

RAKing

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6236
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2007
  • Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula

Posted 31 March 2009 - 08:28 AM

Actually, the AP portable pier is something I am considering. It just seems a bit heavy and bulky. What height pier do you use?
I was thinking of a 6" pier, 48" high.


Rob,

These things are not as bad as you think. The legs can be a little tricky to maneuver through the doorway, but you can easily carry them by grabbing a strut. The whole unit weighs about 30 pounds.

I have a 6x42 for my smaller refractors. I think the 48 inch would be a good choice for a 140. I've attached a picture of the GM-8 with my TMB130.

Ron

Attached Files



#18 Doug D.

Doug D.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 31 March 2009 - 09:04 AM

very nice Ron - do you actually observe from the deck? On my deck the vibration is just too great.

#19 NHRob

NHRob

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 31 March 2009 - 09:54 AM

Ron,
That looks great. Hey, a TEC-140 isn't that much bulkier than your TMB130 I think. How does the GM8 on the pier handle it?
Rob

#20 RAKing

RAKing

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6236
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2007
  • Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula

Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:43 AM

very nice Ron - do you actually observe from the deck? On my deck the vibration is just too great.


My deck is quite solid. The deck frame and stringers are 2x12. The only vibrations come from my wonderful spouse when she walks out for a peek. Settle time on those is minimal. :roflmao:

Rob, The GM-8 was no sweat with the TMB130. Settle times were under a second. IIRC the TEC is almost the same weight as the TMB. I think the GM-8 can handle the load for visual work.

Ron

#21 ALCHEMIST1

ALCHEMIST1

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Home of the Aggies

Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:07 PM

With a few threads going on about Mach 1's at the moment I thought I'd ask for some advice. I've got one on the way (great - I'm happy about that :)) and so I'm thinking of whether or not to part with my trusty GM-8 (non-Gemini version).


I have the perfect solution for you. Keep the GM-8 and send the Mach 1 my way. :grin:

#22 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5507
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 02 April 2009 - 02:39 PM

I'd say hold on to it. Unless you really need the money, it's an asset you just can't replace for what you paid for it. If a year goes by and you literally never use it, then maybe selling isn't such a bad thing. But I have a Nexstar GPS in that boat and I know the little kid taking up my time is about to be a little bigger, and that scope is going to be fun for the kids at that point.

Best wishes,

-Rich






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics