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Pushing the Mach1's AP Limits...

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#26 bseltzer

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:43 PM

Keith,

I'm still in the "needles and pins" mode here. If you don't mind me asking, when did you place your order?

Just looking for a frame of reference...

Thanks,
Bert

#27 WirelessDude

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:04 PM

Here, here! I ordered mine last week and would like to know the same... :)

Clear skies!

#28 microstar

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 08:37 AM

If you don't mind me asking, when did you place your order?

Just looking for a frame of reference...

Thanks,
Bert


I placed my order on April 5th and it is scheduled to be delivered on Friday -- just under 4 weeks.
...Keith

#29 bseltzer

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 09:36 AM

Keith,

Thanks!

I ordered mine on the 20th, so I'd guess I've got a bit of waiting ahead of me. Still, 4 weeks for an A-P... that's pretty quick!

Regards,
Bert

#30 saadabbasi

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 01:08 AM

Still, 4 weeks for an A-P... that's pretty quick!

Regards,
Bert


Compared to their refractors, its faster than the speed of light.

#31 Scott99

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:52 AM

you guys are in for a treat, opening the Mach1 box was probably the biggest thrill of any equipment I've bought - it's so beautiful, seeing it in person! it's mechanical art - you'll see what I mean......let us know what you think!

I like it because with 4 screws it breaks down into 2 lightweight pieces, I can put everything I need for the mount (tube rings, keypad, cables, etc) inside these 2 Tenba soft cases and neither one weighs more than 22 pounds:

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#32 CounterWeight

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

I'd started a thread a while back about "AP Mach 1, no wait list" soon after the announcement went out. Mine took about 9 weeks to get to me, seems the wait is now much shorter. I posted some images in that thead. The build of the mount / control box / hand control / cables is 1st class all the way. Compared to their refractors (shipping time) it's not just faster than light, that's warp 9 !

I've been able to do very little since recieving the mount to test for load pushing with my 160 scope, typical late spring weather here seems like 99% clouds and or rain and clouds (this more true near and after sunset) I think the ~4hrs of use so far I've gotten more used to the H/C menuing and alignment routines - but still in the baby steps. I need a good long clear night to play! By the weather reports and CSC that might not be as soon as I'd like, so it goes.

#33 microstar

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

Just received the phone call from UPS. My mount is here a day early! That's under 4 weeks. I'm going to pick it up at lunch time. I'll post a picture when I get it set up on the pier (I don't think I'm going to have to drill any new holes). Happy days!
...Keith

#34 bseltzer

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 12:43 PM

Just received the phone call from UPS. My mount is here a day early! That's under 4 weeks. I'm going to pick it up at lunch time. I'll post a picture when I get it set up on the pier (I don't think I'm going to have to drill any new holes). Happy days!
...Keith


You guys are killing me here...:smashpc:

I'm only 10 days into the wait, and I'm about ready to climb the walls. I'm sure it'll be worth it, but in the meantime....

Just out of curiosity, what, if any, accessories did you order with your Mach1? I asked for the 1.875" CWS and a couple CW's to go with it, and the adapters to mount the Mach1 on my Losmandy HD tripod. I also have a saddle plate from Robin Casady on they way. Aside from that, I'm going through the manuals (over and over again) just to keep myself occupied. A lot of what I'm reading seems a bit disjointed, but I suspect it'll all make sense once I can connect the printed word with some hands-on experience.

As for the skies, well, we're still in that "if it isn't cloudy/raining, it must be a near full moon..." pattern the weather man seems so fond of lately. I just hope A-P does not pack up a bunch of clouds in the same box with the mount.

Regards,
Bert

#35 RAKing

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 05:35 PM

Your shopping list is identical to mine and the only additional thing I got was the polar scope. The A-P also uses a Losmandy reticle - I'm used to this and quite happy with the results. My mount and tripod have to be setup and broken down each night and I am only doing visual astronomy now. Since I travel, I also have a Star GPS and it handles the initial setup routine for me. I turn it on, wait a minute for the GPS to lock (it's fast :)), and start observing.

I use a Losmandy G-11 tripod and attached two A-P shelf brackets to the center post. I generally lay the hand control down on one of those during the night.

I've had my Mach1 almost a year and am celebrating my 100th observing session with it tonight. The more I use it, the more I like it - and the happier I am I bought it. :cool:

Cheers,

Ron

#36 bseltzer

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:15 PM

Ron,

I've been pretty happy with the ability of my Losmandy PA scope to get me pretty durn close as well, and I see that A-P has an adapter that allows the use of the Losmandy scope in their mounts or at least in the Mach1. So that's the route I took. I know it may seem silly to quibble over the cost of A-P's own PA scope when spending $6K for a mount. However, including it with the G-11 when I sold it wouldn't have added much to the selling price, and any little savings helps me make the case to the missus. :grin:

Regards,
Bert

#37 RAKing

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:27 AM

Ron,

I've been pretty happy with the ability of my Losmandy PA scope to get me pretty durn close as well, and I see that A-P has an adapter that allows the use of the Losmandy scope in their mounts or at least in the Mach1. So that's the route I took. I know it may seem silly to quibble over the cost of A-P's own PA scope when spending $6K for a mount. However, including it with the G-11 when I sold it wouldn't have added much to the selling price, and any little savings helps me make the case to the missus. :grin:

Regards,
Bert


:waytogo: :waytogo:

As near as I can tell, the PA scopes are identical. You did good. :lol:

Ron

#38 gillmj24

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:23 AM

How quiet is the Mach 1? Is it Atlas-quiet?

#39 bseltzer

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:56 AM

I don't recall the Atlas I had a couple years ago as being particularly "quiet" :grin: It wasn't what I would call objectionable either, but you knew when it was slewing.

One of my observing partners has an A-P 900. If the Mach1 is on a par with that, I'd be pleased.

Regards,
Bert

#40 CounterWeight

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:28 AM

Isn't mount noise also affected by the load?

#41 RAKing

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:47 PM

How quiet is the Mach 1? Is it Atlas-quiet?


No, it's a bit louder. As long as you balance the scope, it should have the same loading on the gears. I've used mine 100 times now, with everything from a C11 to a 10 inch Newt to a 6 inch achro and it sounds the same.

It emits a higher pitched whine when it moves. You can definitely hear it - but it's not too bad. I have a herd of deer who share the back yard with me during the night. They have never been spooked by my slewing - but I have been startled by them a few times. :roflmao:

Ron

#42 Mike Clemens

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:15 PM

My AP1200 sound varies with loading. I never rebalance the mount (as it flips meridian) and the mount sounds a little different as it passes through the meridian and then again as it takes on the load on the new size.

#43 Scott99

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:33 PM

How quiet is the Mach 1? Is it Atlas-quiet?


I wouldn't characterize it as a quiet goto, I think AP said the noise had to be fairly loud with the large motors from the 900/1200 series. you might want to join the AP yahoo group, the archives have more info from AP on questions like this.

I went with the 15-inch ribbed mounting plate, standard counterweight shaft. I did get the polar alignment scope, but I doubt I'll ever use it. If you level your tripod/pier and use the peephole in the mount to center Polaris while setting up you really don't need the scope. There are several different routines you can use that I think are faster than the scope.

for instance there is a routine you can use to polar align during the day based on the Sun. I was able to do this the first time I tried and it only took a couple iterations of the alignment process to get very close. (Afterward I was able to use goto to view Venus and Mercury during the day for the 1st time, very fun).

I got this to make it easier to take the mount apart & also attach my rings to the mounting plate, it really speeds things up:

http://www.toolfetch...116-10610.shtml

#44 gillmj24

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:55 PM

I consider my G11 fairly quiet, is the mach1 louder? I am considering making the switch though I haven't used the Gemini yet in the 4 months I have owned it; I do have some limited experience with the AP hand controller and it is probably just more my thing....

#45 microstar

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:54 PM

My modified signature says it all! :) The new mount is set up. It's beefier than I expected, which explains why people are able to put a 55lb imaging load on it.

At the risk of killing Bert off altogether, I'm posting links to a couple of pics:

http://www3.telus.ne...GO_Mach1GTO.jpg
http://www3.telus.ne...ch1GTO Gear.jpg

One surprise, I bought it with the 900/1200-compatible short counterweight shaft and 28lb of counterweights and estimated from the AP website that this would be enough to balance my 34lb imaging payload -- it wasn't -- good thing I bought a counterweight extension shaft for "future expansion" as I needed it right away. I bought the ICRON USB Ranger 2104 USB 2.0 Extender for remote control from the house via a Cat5e cable. It's pretty slick and controlled the scope while collecting images from my guide camera and QHY8. It will save my butt during mosquito season and the dead of winter.
...Keith

#46 WirelessDude

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:08 AM

Verrrry nice, Keith! I'd have to say that the general consensus says that 55 lbs is OK for imaging in refractor and SCT (and Newtonian! :grin: ) equipment configurations...

Thanks to each and every one of you for the overwhelming feedback!

Clear skies to all...

#47 CounterWeight

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:53 AM

Just thought I'd update my post on this about the Mach-1 and the TEC 160ED (with a piggyback Onyx80mm). Still haven't captured any photons with it. I'm only in the low 30lb's with it but the mount handles it well / easily. It makes about same level noise as my CGE did when slewing between objects with identical load. A bit of a reach (TEC 160ED) to do the PA without a diagonal (I don't use one) with the length of the OTA + 2" extender tube + eyepiece, but do-able. I tried with a single iteration and double iteration. Monitored tracking with a 12.5mm reticle ep and without guiding and it's rock solid. Did same using guidescope and stayed dead on. But visual isn't a good test - so all that I need is another clear night (and enough sleep beforehand to make use of it). I may eventually go for a slightly larger guidescope, something in the 90/100mm range, but I'll also need to do something for addt'l counterweight. The three 9 lb cw's are very near end of shaft. Really pushing it would be to mount the FS-128 as a guidescope, but I don't intend to go there.

The mount is 'working' with the load / moment arm, but doesn't seem as hard as the CGE had to. The slewing isn't 'quiet' but also not as loud as the CGE. I'd say the difference is small. Tracking or guided tracking is really pretty quiet, as was case with other mount. I used it on my permanent pier - 12" reinforced concrete and am happy no issues with scope at Zenith the 'woyks' still clear of the pier.

Anyone know of if there's an adaptor for the CGE tripod to the Mach-1?

#48 bseltzer

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:12 PM

Well, I've got my 10"X1.875" CWS and safety stop, my 10# CW, and my dov8 mounting plate from Robin Casady.

But.... Other than that, I'm still waiting as patiently as I can for the stuff that goes between the first two items and the 3rd. It's getting tougher by the minute.

-Bert






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