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help me make a luxury decision

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#1 Wouter D'hoye

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:51 AM


I'm contemplating the purchase of a new mount for my observatory (and two or three trips to dark skies per year)

the contendors:
AP Mach1
10Mircon HPS1000
Bisque Paramount MX

Cost wise they are not too far apart.

I like the PM-MX for heavuer weight capacity, internal cable routing including usb and power outlets and software integration.

10 micron has the absolute encoders but has lower capacity. And it has a full hand controll as oposed to the PM-Mx

The MACH1 has the lowest weight rating, but is very portable.

So what would you advice. I have to admit that I lean most to PM-MX

Thanks for your thoughts,


#2 saadabbasi



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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:46 AM

I would lean with the PMX or Mach 1 GTO simply because more people own it. If you need to figure out something, there would lots of people willing to help. Similar to how easy it is to find help for a G11 just on a somewhat smaller scale. For me, this is a big part of the decision.

Do you need the higher capacity of the PMX? If not, I'd stick with the Mach 1 GTO. It's a simpler mount (simple is good!), very easy to carry around and is actually quite conservatively rated. No need for a PC either.

The PMX is a very sophisticated mount (but most of the sophistication is in the software) - this isn't a bad thing, it's just that you'll need to some spend time learning how to use TheSkyX (and TPoint, ProTrack etc.).It's as precisely made as the Mach 1 GTO or any AP mount. If you take a look over at the Bisque forum, you'll note that Bisque replies and helps out every customer with a problem.

One huge advantage of the PMX that I love is the Versa-plate - it has a 2 port USB hub built-in and a 5V and a 12V out and a EXT. Power Port which can power your cameras/focuser etc. It is very convienent to use these ports and it ensures you won't have cable snag. If you intend to put the Mount on wheels, these connectors are even more useful as it means you don't have to disconnect any wires going to the camera etc. Just drag everything into the garage - the cables you'll disconnect are the power cable to the mount, USB cable connecting the mount to the PC etc.

The PMX comes included with the software, 2 counterweights, shaft and even a power supply! A lot of folks consider the 48V to be inconvenient and sure, you can't plug it into a car but an inverter can fill this role quite easily.

You might also want to wait for the AP 1100-GTO.

#3 CounterWeight



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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:40 AM

I love my Mach1, and in ways think it's the ideal imaging/visual portable mount for the scopes I have these days. If the goal is primarily imaging and the increased load capacity is important, I'd say go with the PMX - that is what I look at as my next imaging mount. Why don't I have the PMX? It's the simplcity and utility and muscle/size of the Mach1 that make it unique... if I sold it the only replacement for that would be another Mach1 so I keep waffling.

#4 darbyvet


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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:21 PM

I would get the PMX.The learning curve on theskyx and tpoint is not bad and the SB forums are very responsive to questions

#5 blueman


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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:34 PM

AP will respond immediately too, either on the forum or just call and talk to someone that will answer your question.
Need parts, no problem. Want Go-To with a handcontroller, no problem. What portability, no problem.

That said, the PMX is a beauty and I liked a bit about it. But when I set up an AP900 and another fellow set up the PMX next to me, I was up and imaging while he was still running the alignment routine.

#6 Wouter D'hoye

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:38 AM

Thanks for the input guys, Though I belive the odds are most in favour for the PM-MX, the AP being a close second. It's unfortunate that not that much is known about the 10Micron. It's tempting but maybe a bit too new to be sure it's really good. Though I don't belive that at that price point you can buy rubbish..


#7 frolinmod


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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:30 AM

...if I sold it the only replacement for that would be another Mach1 so I keep waffling.

I hate to tell you this, but the inexorable solution to that dilemma is that you will purchase one of each.

#8 orlyandico


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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:54 AM

If you are in the EU the AP and Bisque are way overpriced.

If it were me I'd go for the 10 Micron due to better cost. Or..... If you don't mind used... There was a Gemini G41 Observatory on a mart for 3000 EUR

Best buy ever. Bill Dean (ex Coronado) has two and speaks of them highly.

(I'm a current AP owner)

#9 darbyvet


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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

If you have a permanent set up for your mount you can run a 400-800 tpoint run and get pointing accuracy that will blow your socks off, but I agree if you are using the mount as a portable mount you do have run the alingment routine.having said that once you have 5 or six point manually centered you can image link and then the mount will automatically run the tpoint run so you can go and bug a few other astronomers while you wait for it to finish.
You can also do some amazing stuff with theskyx like track satellites and make moon mosaics.

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