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selling a reliable, proven mount

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#1 gnowellsct



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Posted 19 August 2009 - 07:39 PM

The upgrade bug often seizes us, and so it is that we put on the 'mart one mount to get another.

I have found, though, that mounts are complicated pieces of equipment: you have to be "trained" in how they expect to be set up and handled. Often times, even with good quality mounts, there are significant quality control issues.

I had sold my first Super Polaris mount before my G11 arrived, and as a result I had significant down time. Then when the G11 DID arrive it took me about two weeks to build up confidence with it, and, I had to take it apart and adjust backlash and replace the nylon clutch pads, and so on.

So it made sense to me that I should have kept the Super Polaris mount. And indeed, I figured out that it is nice to have a less expensive less capable mount in some circumstances, the mount-before-your-current-love is often smaller and more amenable to being packed with camping gear and so on.

So after buying a SECOND super polaris to replace the one I sold in too much haste, I decided, when the time came to upgrade to a heavier duty mount for my C14+refractor, NOT to sell the G11 right away because I figured there would be some break-in issues. As it happens the first replacement mount I purchased was beyond my ken in terms of operating requirements and I had to resell it after a six month trip back to the manufacturer for some tweaking. So I was REAL GLAD I had that G11. I stayed operational. After I sold that mount my AP900QMD needed about two months of down time for upgrades at Astro-physics and some additional tweaking for the digital setting circles. So even though I now had a fabled AP mount, I STILL was glad that I had a G11.

Once I USED the AP900QMD in portable applications with the C14 and a 4 inch refractor, I came to appreciate that it was significantly more work to set up than my G11. And it dawned on me that the FS128, which rides very well on the G11, combined with the G11, would make a nice "alternative rig" which I use on nights when the moon is coming up, or when the forecast says things might go sour. Also, when it is sub-zero out, the G11 on its wood tripod with the refractor is significantly more manageable.

So I've learned a few lessons. One lesson is that when you go from one pretty good mount to an even better mount, it is wise to keep the pretty good mount for at least six months until you've broken in on the new combination and come to appreciate its strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you'll decide the set up time on the new rig is not worth the extra effort, for example.

And the second lesson is that you may discover that the Ol' Reliable has alternative uses. I have come to appreciate my non-go-to G11 for its absolutely rock solid dependability, excellent performance characteristics, and the fact that I after ten years of extensive use I have "gotten all my money out of it" ($200 a year! What a deal! And still going!) in terms of enjoyment, and it is still there and has still more to give and can be resold--but would that be crazy or what!!!!

The Super Polaris is still around and has its uses, and the AP900QMD is a pleasure to use. Arguably one should "get the money out of the equipment" and resell to finance. But if you are not operating on the absolute edge of what you can afford, I would advise against it. Keep ol' reliable at least six months, and make room in your agenda to keep it indefinitely. The new mount may be adding capabilities, but it may not be replacing the capabilities you appreciated in your old mount.

Greg N

#2 AlanT


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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:26 PM

I think good advice, and well said. I guess the trick is figuring out which pieces of old kit to keep, and which to sell.


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