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AP 1200 "livability" questions...

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:46 PM

I have been kicking around for an AP 900 QMD for a bit, and have the opportunity to instead pick up an AP 1200 QMD for a reasonable price.

I have two observing buddies with AP 900s and have seen their transport, setup and takedown routines many times. I've only ever seen AP1200s under domes.

My question is this - given the modularity of the mount, how hard would life be if I had an A-P 1200 as a travel mount?

Thanks!

- Jim

#2 Footbag

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

What kind of OTA are you planning to put on it? Unless your OTA is pushing the 900's limits, I cannot thing of a reason to go with the 1200.

The heaviest single part of the 1200 is 50LBS. The entire 900 head is about that.

#3 mgwhittle

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:56 PM

Jim, I went through this recently and looked at a 900, a 1200 and the new 1600. I went with a 900 due to the ease of disassembly into two relatively lightweight pieces. Think about this, the 1200 RA assembly alone weighs as much as the 900 RA and Dec axis combined. Unless you really need that capacity, you are doubling the weight you have to lift and assemble by going with the 1200. My 175EDF rides very nicely on the 900. Are you planning on going larger than that?

Edit: Ha, I just noticed Adam and I wrote basically the samething. I guess I should have said "ditto".

#4 David Pavlich

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

Hey Jim...I don't think you're as old as I am, but you're pretty close. :grin: I used to lug a CGE and a 12" MeadeR around and decided that was just a bit too much for portable astrohardware. I now have a CG5-GT and a 10" Meade. Much more gooder for my pathetic shoulders.

Unless you're going to be using a fairly large scope, the 900 would be my choice. At 70lbs of imaging gear, that 900 is a very good portable mount.

David

#5 zawijava

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:50 PM

I had a 1200 QMD for about a year, tried to make it a portable but that lasted about a month. It ended up in a friends observatory for about 11 months of that year as a loaner while he rebuilt his mount. Then it went to a permanent pier in my Club's Observatory where it has been for 10 years now carrying a 8" f/15 Zeiss refractor. I also had a a AP 900 QMD and loved it's portability and stability.

I have been kicking around for an AP 900 QMD for a bit, and have the opportunity to instead pick up an AP 1200 QMD for a reasonable price.

I have two observing buddies with AP 900s and have seen their transport, setup and takedown routines many times. I've only ever seen AP1200s under domes.

My question is this - given the modularity of the mount, how hard would life be if I had an A-P 1200 as a travel mount?

Thanks!

- Jim



#6 Mike Clemens

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

Assured myself the AP1200 was going to be portable. It totally crushed my will to go out to casual Friday observing sessions and setup.

#7 Hilmi

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Mike. Ill send you a very portable vixen polarie if you send me your AP1200. Im so generous Ill even cover your shipping costs. I cant stand to see a fellow astronomer suffer while I have the means to relieve his paind allow him to go out and observe again on Fridays

#8 Felix Luciano

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Jim, my take since I was doing the same a few years ago (AP 900 or AP 1200). I purchased the AP 1200 back in 2006. I am 100% portable configuration (backyard or to the club's observing site). I was using a TOA 130 and now an AP 130. I have no regrets buying the larger mount. Good luck with your future purchase!

Felix

#9 JMW

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

I bought the 900 because I wanted a mount that I would still be willing to take to my star parties when I am much older. I am current 55 so wouldn't have any issues with the 1200 mount at this time. For remote setups I am unlikely to put more than one scope on the mount at a time so I don't know why I would want a 1200 in the field. At home for imaging I am currently set up for a C11 EdgeHD and a SV115T. I plan to keep this two scopes on the mount in my roll away shed until the GSSP this summer.

If I had a perfect dark site backyard observatory, I would buy the 1600 and load it up with 4 scopes at once. I would also buy it with the absolute position encoders. I would still leave my TEC 140 for portable viewing with my DM6.

#10 blueman

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:19 AM

Hi Jim,
I have helped to put up a few 1200 mounts. They are a bit bigger than my 900. The biggest thing is the weight of the two pieces and the size of the portable pier, 10". It is not really hard, but it is more difficult to pick the pieces up than the 900 for sure.
If you have larger scopes or plan on getting one then the 1200 would give you a lot of room to grow.
But if you have a hard time with picking things up, you will probably not like having to set up the 1200.
Most of those that I know that have the 1200 have gotten to where they take it out less. One is setting up a permanent observatory, because he said he was tired of setting the 1200 up. But he also has a very large 206mm refractor, so that is a part of the problem.
I chose the 900 because it was pretty easy to setup and was not too large either. It has a good capacity and more than I plan on using.
Blueman

I have been kicking around for an AP 900 QMD for a bit, and have the opportunity to instead pick up an AP 1200 QMD for a reasonable price.

I have two observing buddies with AP 900s and have seen their transport, setup and takedown routines many times. I've only ever seen AP1200s under domes.

My question is this - given the modularity of the mount, how hard would life be if I had an A-P 1200 as a travel mount?

Thanks!

- Jim



#11 jrbarnett

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:15 PM

Thanks everyone. This thread definitely has me leaning towards the A-P 900 for travel.

Regards,

Jim

#12 rszabo

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

But how cool would it be to add "I use an AP 1200 as my grab & go" to your sig?

#13 gillmj24

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

I'm surprised the most interesting astronomer in the universe can't get Roland to help lug and setup his new 1200 for him. OK maybe not Roland, maybe Howard or George though?

I have a 1200 for big stuff in the dome and a Mach 1 to move around with. Anything can be portable if you really want to- heck even pod domes are portable. But I've disassembled my 1200 only a handful of times, most recently last year before and after Irene and this year before and after sandy. If I had to have only 1 I would go for the 900. When its replacement debuts there will be some good deals on the newer goto versions too.

#14 gillmj24

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

Porting the 1200 would have to be for a very special occasion like cherry springs. I've lived in PA 8 years now and still haven't been there yet. So it would be a special occasion for me.






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