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Yet Another EM200 vs Mach1 Question

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#1 orlyandico

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:12 AM

Hi all

I know this question has been asked a bazillion times before. I know the Mach1 is a more substantial mount, carries about 5-10lb more and does not require a PC or iPad for GoTo.

I also know that if buying new, the Mach1 is a no-brainer because the EM200 costs practically the same as the Mach1.

But my question is from the point of view of buying used. Tak resale values generally suffer far more than AP gear. You normally can get a used Mach1 for $5K to $5.5K which is about 15% to 20% depreciation.

However you can get an EM200 Temma2 for $3.5K to $4K which is a 35% to 40% whack.

I have a CGEM, bought an AP600 because "I finally can own something from AP!" but discovered that the AP600 isn't quite the mount-of-a-lifetime.

Will a used EM-200 be that mount-of-a-lifetime, or should I spare myself the headache, pony up the extra $1.5K, and get the Mach1?

#2 korborh

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:01 AM

Get the Mach1 if you can afford it. It is a more modern and feature packed mount than the EM200.

#3 Dwight J

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:25 AM

I bought an EM 200 but at that time it was cheaper by $800 than the Mach 1. The Mach 1 was also not quite ready for sale yet. Today, given the price parity, the Mach 1 would be my choice. My Tak mount has performed very well so I will be keeping it.

#4 psu_13

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:00 PM

I ended up getting a Mach 1 mostly for the documentation and support. The AP mounts come with extensive written and online documentation on most aspects of operation and troubleshooting. In addition the company is active in its user group mailing lists. The EM200 (say) user manual is a single PDF of xeroxed pages from a badly translated 10 page manual. The support from the Yahoo group is comparable.

It's surely the case that you can figure out how to use either piece of equipment without much trouble. But it's still nice to have the good manual.

I've never used the Tak mounts, but FWIW Mach-1 has been excellent in every way. Absolutely no complaints. If you have the cash there is no reason not to spend it. It's worth it.

#5 gillmj24

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

Is a mach1 really a big capacity step up from a 600?

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:01 PM

I'd say yes. The 600 is rated 25lb and the Mach1 is rated 45lb.

Also the 600 isn't in the same class as the Mach1 performance wise. Mine struggles to get round stars with a C9.25 (un-reduced) even with guiding. Which by the way is the maximum payload that Roland recommends for this mount.

It must be biased east-heavy or RA error goes down a hole (get spikes in the RA guiding graph - interestingly stars are still round). Declination guiding is a dicey affair with careful attention to balance needed otherwise the combination of DEC imbalance and the stiction from the sleeve bearings causes DEC to wander off causing egg stars.

Based on what others have said, I suspect the G11 is even more finicky, and the 600 is actually better-behaved. But it's not "fire and forget" like I expect the Mach1 to be.

As I mentioned before, when comparing new-to-new the Mach1 completely blows the EM200 away - the regular EM200 is $6690 and the low-latitude EM200 is $6200. It's when you compared used prices that you get a $1500 price differential and start thinking... :confused:

But I guess I should hold out for a Mach1. I'm not getting any younger..

#7 Scott99

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

AP's mount production has ramped up in recent years, I think there will be some good deals on used Mach1's soon. Once they're an off-the-shelf item the used price will have to be about $1,000 lower than new.

#8 DaveJ

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

AP's mount production has ramped up in recent years, I think there will be some good deals on used Mach1's soon. Once they're an off-the-shelf item the used price will have to be about $1,000 lower than new.


According to the A-P Website, they ARE "on the shelf." Let the used sales begin!

#9 Dan G

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

I have owned both and still have the Mach1. You mention the price difference but should add the price of the Tak hand controller to make it an apples to apples comparison.

They are both excellent mounts. If you do not have a permanent setup the Tak is a better choice as the polar scope is amazing. It is to use and gets within an arc min or two with a few minutes of effort. Amazing.

Are you primarily imaging and using a laptop? If yes the Tak is a fine choice as the lack of a hand controller is not an issue. If you intend to use this for visual astronomy then the Mach1 is a better choice unless you don't mind lugging a laptop along or purchase the newer hand controller - I have no idea how good the Tak hand controller is but remember it being rather pricey.

So my 2 cents. Both are excellent mounts. Imaging without a permanent setup - the Tak is fine. Permanent setup and/or much visual use then go with the Mach1. If you plan on increasing the payload - and face it who amongst us doesn't? - go with the mount with the most capacity possible.

Dan in NY

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:21 PM

The Tak polar scope is irrelevant to me as I cannot see Polaris. So it's always going to be a drift align... I think the Tak hand controller is $1000 but I don't even think it is available...

#11 andysea

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

Tak and AP are both obvious and excellent choices. I love the ease of use of my Tak. I can be accurately polar aligned in a few minutes, sync on a star and I'm ready to go to my target. Tracking is superb. The sand cast/machined aluminum body is a masterpiece of craftsmanship.
I can't comment yet on my new Mach1 but I suspect that it will be comparable to or better than the Tak.
The craftsmanship is excellent and it's obvious that a lot of thought went into it. I was really surprised by how substantial the Mach1 felt. It looks like it could carry way more than the advertised payload.
I do like the modular approach that AP adopted when designing the Mach1. One could even swap out the DEC and RA motors in case the latter might fail when out in the field imaging.
I think the choice comes down to whether the OP wants a more sophisticated and modern mount that doesn't require a PC for goto operation or if the need is just for a mount that does mainly one thing (tracking) but it also does it really well.
As pointed out before the AP tech support is second to none. Whenever I post a question on the user groups I get a reply, a lot of times within hours. And often times it's from Roland himself.
To answer the original question. I don't think the mount of a lifetime exist!.....or the scope of a lifetime for that matter.

Andy

#12 FaronD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

Hi all

I know this question has been asked a bazillion times before. I know the Mach1 is a more substantial mount, carries about 5-10lb more and does not require a PC or iPad for GoTo.

I also know that if buying new, the Mach1 is a no-brainer because the EM200 costs practically the same as the Mach1.

But my question is from the point of view of buying used. Tak resale values generally suffer far more than AP gear. You normally can get a used Mach1 for $5K to $5.5K which is about 15% to 20% depreciation.

However you can get an EM200 Temma2 for $3.5K to $4K which is a 35% to 40% whack.

I have a CGEM, bought an AP600 because "I finally can own something from AP!" but discovered that the AP600 isn't quite the mount-of-a-lifetime.

Will a used EM-200 be that mount-of-a-lifetime, or should I spare myself the headache, pony up the extra $1.5K, and get the Mach1?


I just went through the same dilemma except, I added a G11 with G2 to the mix. It sounds like you really want the Mach 1 so I would say go for it. I did and I'm happy about my decision. If you can afford it or even almost, just do it.

I was seriously considering the EM200 since I have a TOA130 scope. I just didn't want the chips on the counterweights etc. As careful as I was with my EQ6, the weights still had plenty of chips in it. I love quality and I didn't want anything painted. There is something to be said about a totally machined aluminum and stainless steel mount. Never mind the looks, the precision of the gears are exceptional and second to none at that size and price point. Even the connections are top rate.

Having said all that, I'm still waiting to use mine. I've had it for a week now.

Faron

#13 andysea

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:21 PM

I suspect that the Mach1 will be easier to setup and align than the Tak when polaris is not visible.
I agree on the paint comment. My Tak counterweights were pristine and free of chips only until I first actually used them! They also cost more than the AP SS ones!

#14 orlyandico

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:33 PM

Well I can use my existing counterweights on the Mach1. Another plus point so to speak... guess that answers my question.. and APCC will work on the Mach1 as well once it's out, making 30 minutes unguided possible.

#15 andysea

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

Well I can use my existing counterweights on the Mach1. Another plus point so to speak... guess that answers my question.. and APCC will work on the Mach1 as well once it's out, making 30 minutes unguided possible.

If you plan on using APCC on the Mach1 make sure to order the upgraded "S" chip, otherwise it won't work. They started offering that just as I ordered mine and so I was able to get the upgraded version.
I'm still not clear on what APCC will do. According to Roland I don't really need it since I don't have a permanent setup.

#16 FaronD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:46 PM

Yes you will need to purchase the S-chip, I just had that conversation with AP. I was told it will cost around $100.00.

Faron

#17 andysea

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:55 PM

I wonder if we need the new right angle polar scope. The Losmandy one is pretty cheesy. Even my skymemo has a better polar scope than that.

#18 FaronD

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:55 PM

Sorry to go off topic. Andy how much weight do you use to counter balance you TOA130? Don't say that about the Losmandy one, I just got it in the mail; The right angle polar scope looks like it has a great reticle.
Faron

#19 andysea

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:11 AM

Sorry to go off topic. Andy how much weight do you use to counter balance you TOA130? Don't say that about the Losmandy one, I just got it in the mail; The right angle polar scope looks like it has a great reticle.
Faron


Oops sorry!:) I actually don't know yet how much weight I will need. I will have my saddle plate tomorrow and then I will finally be able to put a scope on top of the Mach1. I know that my TOA weights in at 34lbs with rings camera and all the accouterments. That's pretty heavy!

#20 FaronD

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:19 AM

Well I have 3 weights and it's not enough. That is 2-9's and 1-6lb. I also have heavy Socal rings on my TOA. Well I'm going to leave this thread to Orly. If you care to discuss it further, I have a new Mach 1 thread started.

Faron






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