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AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question

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#1 Lew

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

I’m planning to acquire a new telescope(s) and a mount to do AP. Because not having anything weighing over about 35 pounds is very important to me, I’ve focused on the Ioptron EQ45. The telescopes I envisioned on this mount are a Celestron 11” SCT (mainly for visual – I understand you can only load a mount with about 2/3s of its rated weight) and a much lighter 100 to 120 mm APO refractor (mainly for AP). I’ve been getting comments on this setup in the Equipment forum and one suggestion is to buy the Astro Physics Mach 1 Go To mount. The thought was that the Mach 1 capacity rating is for AP and it could handle the C11 for AP and they suggested I post the capacity question in this forum. Can the AP Mach 1 GoTo handle a C11 for AP (which would mean the Mach 1 would be loaded up near its 45 lb. rated capacity)? Although from everything I’ve read the AP mounts are best in class, but if it’s capacity is the same, I’m hard pressed to see a cost justification for spending 3 or 4x more on the mount given how I plan to use it.

Lew
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

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#2 maknewtnut

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:31 PM

There is no standard in the industry from which payload ratings are derived. As a result, using just that spec for comparison to base a purchase decision will be a mistake.

#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:01 PM

Hi Mark:

From the OP's question, it sounds like he's trying to get the experienced opinions of people here in this forum rather than rely on the specs.

-Dan

#4 Footbag

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

I cannot comment from personal experience, but I did ask Howard at AP whether the Mach 1 could take a C11. He said it could without a problem.

#5 CounterWeight

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:01 PM

Hmmm -I own both... really no compare in the two beyond paper. Although the iEQ-45 much more modern in the hand control and great stuff included - tripod, counter weights, GPS, Polar scope, saddle plate (all you need to get started in the box)... it is not and never will be a mach-1GTO from a physical one on one.

Now if the C11 is Hyperstar and you are not going for real long images maybe the iEQ-45 may be the ticket? I think the iEQ might be a great mount to get started into it with, and depending - possibly keep going. But I have to ask why start imaging with a C11? That's definately jumping in on the deep end could be pretty challenging. Visual with a C11 and imaging with a 120 I could see...

Usually for imaging I'd come down on the side of get the best mount you possibly can afford, astro-physics reputation is in a very tough field. I may start imaging with my iOptron very soon - but will be using it with an 80mm scope and mini-guider. For visual with my FS-128 it's a champ ;)

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

Imaging is not just about the capacity or the smoothness of the periodic error (although the Mach1 has a huge advantage in both of these over the iEQ45).

It's also about slack in the gears, DEC and RA backlash, how fast the mount reverses when guiding, reliability (you don't want to have to adjust the worm in the middle of the night because it's loose).

Many people have taken great images with CGEM's, Atlas, iEQ45 - it can be done, you'll just have a tougher time of it.

So the question really is - how much is your dark sky time worth, and how much are you willing to pay.

If you are imaging in your backyard on a regular basis - I think it would be worthwhile to just try the iEQ45. You'll have lots of opportunities for imaging so some wasted hours due to the need to tinker with the mount wouldn't be too bad.

But if you get to image once a month (or once in two months) and have to drive hundreds of miles to do it - and if the price isn't a bother - I'd go with the Mach1, just to get rid of the uncertainty inherent with the China mounts.

#7 chboss

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:19 AM

Hi Lew

I use a long 155mm f9 Refractor visually on the iEQ45 which works well. However the long lever is pushing the mount already.
For planetary webcam work I use a C9.25 which is absolutely no problem.
A 60mm guide refractor and a 102mm refractor at 600mm focal length work well for long exposure AP with a DSLR.

Hope this gives an idea about the possible load on an iEQ45.
My feeling is that the MACH1 is more sturdy and can take a higher load in reality than the iEQ45.

best regards
Chris

#8 Starhawk

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:47 AM

I've been running a Mach 1 GTO with a C11 on it. It's effortless for the mount. My winter program this year is to see about some really deep imaging in that mode. I'll post how it goes.

-Rich

#9 RAKing

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:55 AM

Although from everything I’ve read the AP mounts are best in class, but if it’s capacity is the same, I’m hard pressed to see a cost justification for spending 3 or 4x more on the mount given how I plan to use it.


I don't want to suggest how you spend your money, but I can say that the money I spent on my Mach 1 four years ago is still the best investment I ever made in the hobby.

I have zero knowledge of the iOptron products and hope they work well. As you noted, the Mach 1 is listed with an imaging capacity of 45 pounds. If you ever set a Mach 1 next to a Losmandy G-11 you will see that the "real" capacity of the Mach 1 is closer to 60 pounds (or more!)

I bought my Mach 1 for visual astronomy because I was taught that the mount is the most important piece of gear you can own. I have used everything from a C11 to a 10 inch Newtonian to a 6 inch triplet refractor on it with no problems. I was told it can even handle a C14 if I want to go that route. I dabbled in imaging a couple years ago and your idea of a 100-120 apo is an excellent choice for starters. The Mach 1 can handle that with no sweat. :)

The Mach 1 is made in Illinois - spare parts, help, and expert advice are as close as your telephone. A-P stands behind their gear and that is worth the extra money to me.

Cheers,

Ron

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:07 PM

I have an ancient (15 year old) AP mount.

AP still supports it, will repair it, and has spares. I dinged the transfer gears on mine during my GoTo conversion, they sold me new ones. Cheap too.

Have been doing research on a premium mount. And by premium I mean something that has a flat guiding graph. May or may not be important to you.

In premium mounts, AP is actually a bargain.

Of course, that's like comparing a Mercedes E-class to a Toyota Corolla. Both of them do what they do, but some people buy Corollas and some people buy Mercs.

#11 Jared

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

Lew,

Welcome to Cloudynights!

The Mach1 GTO is definitely capable of carrying a C11 for imaging. I had pretty good luck with my AT10RC on a Mach1 which is roughly a 43 pound imaging load (counting rails, camera, etc.). I don't know about the iEQ45--never owned one.

I will echo other posters, though... Getting into imaging with a C11 at Cassegrain focus is going to be extremely challenging, no matter what the mount. Long focal length, moveable primary, heavy OTA--definitely a challenging scope to start with. I'd recommend something under 1,000mm focal length instead.

#12 Starhawk

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:30 AM

I've been using the C11 at f/2 with hyperstar. The new configuration I am going to be trying out is f/7.5 with the Starizona corrector- I just went over and picked it up from there yesterday, so that will be a new configuration for me.

-Rich

#13 BlueGrass

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:00 AM

Rich,
Many are interested in the performance of the Starizona FF/FR. Any hands-on report you can provide would be great!

#14 Starhawk

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:19 AM

My curiosity finally got the best of me- I'll make sure I post to cats about it.

-Rich

#15 10gauge

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:10 AM

Hi Lew, I've been looking into a GEM for a TEC140, with the prospect of adding a C11 or a C14 down the road. At the lower price extreme, I've been considering the Atlas and IEQ45 for 95% visual and 5% AP. I have doubts about their ability to guide on a flat curve below +- 10 arc-sec. The venerable Mach1 is on the other price extreme. I think that the G11 is the best of both worlds in terms of guiding accuracy, quality, and it is priced between the 2 extremes.

#16 Calypte

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:51 PM

I think that the G11 is the best of both worlds in terms of guiding accuracy, quality, and it is priced between the 2 extremes.

I have a non-Gemini G11 (2001) and a Mach1GTO (2010). There's no comparison in the quality of the tracking and capacity of the mounts. The Mach1GTO is far superior. Of course, you pay for it.

#17 10gauge

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:21 PM

I thought there were upgrades made on the G11 to the current version... Yet still, Losmandy charges $355 for a precision worm gear.

#18 Texas

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

The G11 with the Ovision setup could be a match for the Mach1 on tracking. I've read very good numbers on forums from people who took the leap of faith.

#19 t.r.

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:54 AM

...On tracking yes, but still not on capacity.

#20 orlyandico

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:17 AM

periodic error isn't everything.

i used to think it was, but actually more important is consistency when guiding, particularly in declination.

if the mount is sensitive to balance, doesn't guide well sometimes and guides well at other times.... then you risk losing subs.

my understanding is that these are all non-issues with the Mach1, whereas a G11 (even with Ovision worm) would be more susceptible.

#21 Starhawk

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:32 AM

Orly,

That's it in a nutshell.

If the PE isn't all that periodic, most of the available corrections will fail.

-Rich

#22 Calypte

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:30 AM

The G11 with the Ovision setup could be a match for the Mach1 on tracking. I've read very good numbers on forums from people who took the leap of faith.

I have the Ovision worm on my G11. It's worse than the Losmandy "high precision" worm. The G11 with Ovision is a recipe for frustration, not a substitute for a quality mount.

#23 Mantis707

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:10 PM

...On tracking yes, but still not on capacity.


Actually the G-11 has a higher Capacity than the Mach 1, unless I am reading the website incorrectly. (Mach 1 can hold 45 pounds, g-11 60 pounds)

#24 Peter in Reno

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

G-11 is not necessarily rated for imaging. A-P Mach1 is rated for imaging and you can almost double the capacity for visual observing.

Peter

#25 Mantis707

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:37 PM

Peter,

So if the g11 can't handle 45 pounds for astrophotos, how much can it handle? I am in the market for a mount also.

Thanks






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