Time for a mount upgrade (3 to 4 months)
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:12 AM
So here are my priorities.
1) Price (yes, even buyers of premium mounts don't have bottomless wallets).
2) Imaging capability
3) I hate cable snags and messy wirring, with my current set up this is inevitable and I would like to do away with that.
4) Ease of field set up
5) Repeatable performance when permanently mounted on Pier. I would like to walk upstairs and roll of the roof of my observatory, power on the equipment and come back downstairs and operate it from the comfort of my TV room. I hate it when I have to go back upstairs to physically tweak something just because I hadn't use the mount for 2 weeks.
6) A company that is easy to deal with for support when living outside the US and Europe
The competitors are
1) Paramount MX
2) Mach 1 GTO
PLEASE DO NOT SUGGEST MEADE, CELESTRON OR ORION, FIRST OF ALL THEY ARE NOT IN THE CLASS I AM LOOKING AT AND SECOND, THEY DONT SELL TO COUNTRIES WHERE THEY DONT HAVE A DEALERSHIP. IF THEY DONT WANT TO SELL TO ME, I DONT WANT TO BUY FROM THEM.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:21 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:31 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:06 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:23 AM
PM MX is definately something that fits your bill. I'm quite happy with mine. What equipment are you going to put on that mount? How much weight?
Other options that come to mind:
ASA DDM65 (DDM85 is a lot more expensive)
AP1100 (or ap900 but that still has external cables)
Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:37 AM
Still if its a fixed installation PMX looks good for the price and the payload.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:35 AM
Used AP900. There's one on the mart for 5500 now. Same seller is also selling a Mach1 for 4500 and 1200 for 6500.
I second that option. Unless you want a brand new mount the AP900/1200s are going relatively cheap in the used market. I went down that route a month or so ago after agonising over a new mount. AP mounts have proven technology and mine has certainly not disappointed (PE 3.7" ptp raw - corrected to <1" with a few rounds of PEMPro).
Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:00 AM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 11:44 AM
I beleive it is between a AP 1100 or Paramount MX ( with an AP Mach 1 as a low end choice, no room to grow).
So , if it were me, I would base the decision on support, I would call each company and discuss support to your location with them. I know AP is very good at phone support, I am not sure about Bisque Bros? last time I had a problem with a software licence not renewing, it took three months and multiple e-mails to get anything done, even then it wasn't right.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 11:52 AM
The MX is a nicely made mount by not that light and it is one piece as I recall. Plus it is not a stand alone Go-To in case that is important to you. Alignment is time consuming if you set up each time, but not terrible.
The AP900 used is an excellent choice too if you can find one in your area. It is always nice to pick up a mount rather than ship it if you can. You get to see it and all before you buy. But shipping is not a deal breaker.
The Mach 1 is a great mount but it is small. I think you need more than that in case you decide to upgrade other things in the future.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:33 PM
I'm on the list for the AP1100 myself, its lighter, can be disassembled and transported easier and can run without a PC.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:45 PM
Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:55 PM
I would keep and eye out for a nice used AP900 GTO. Many folks with them are upgrading to the replacement, the AP1100, and the price on used AP900s is coming down as a result.
I recently bought an old AP900 QMD (pre-GOTO) and seeing the softening of the used AP900 GTO prices am already considering selling it and replacing it with an AP900 GTO.
Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:52 PM
I'm in Singapore and bought a 2nd hand Mach1. I'm even farther than Oman. So I wouldn't worry too much about support for 2nd-hand mounts.
AP will still sell you parts so long as you provide the serial number of the mount and controller.
I'd really go with a used 900GTO. The one on a-mart cost as much as the Mach1 I bought! (I feel a bit miffed, but not that miffed, because the 900 is more mount than I currently need - or will need in the mid-term future, and weight is a consideration because I don't have a permanent setup).
Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:02 PM
Since you are outside the US, have you also considered 10micron or ASA?
In any case, I second the suggestion that you call each company and ask about how support works for your area.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 03:34 AM
I saw that add, thing is I still haven't pulled together the cash. Second thing is he specifically says he will not sell outside the USA.
I'll look at the 10micron and ASA mounts, thing is there is limited exposure to about these mounts on the internet compared to the American products. You get a few reviews here and there but not enough to form a solid opinion.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 03:57 AM
Such companies certainly existed in my home country (Philippines) and they also exist where I currently live.. that's how I get around all the "CONUS only" ads.
Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:32 AM
Posted 31 August 2013 - 04:54 AM
Posted 31 August 2013 - 04:59 AM
Posted 31 August 2013 - 11:43 AM
Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:31 PM
Seems to me you have have fought the good fight with your G11. I am unsure if I will ever really know why I had so much trouble with mine and I remain unsure too that it was really the mount's fault. I am pretty sure it was NOT the fault of Gemini 2. I came to love Gemini 2!
I just this past week sent my 50% deposit off to A-P for the 1100. I can taste it's getting close now!
There were moments over the past several months when I regretted not getting a Mach 1. I could have had one off-the-shelf from A-P as late as late this March. I decided against it as I wanted the extra reassurance of the increased capacity of the 1100.
Then I dumped my AT8 (never used!) in favour of an AT10.
Then a 60lb 6" refractor and STL camera.
The 1100's capacity allowed me to do this. The Mach 1, debatably perhaps, would have been marginal.
It's been a long wait. I've lost an entire summer season and still have some waiting to do. But I'm glad I forwent the Mach 1 in favour of the 1100. The option of the encoders remains open too but they are so fiercely expensive, I doubt I will ever upgrade to them.
Good luck with whatever choice you make.
Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:04 PM
I had to make a choice. Dump the scope or dump the mount. I picked the mount since I like longer focal lengths.
Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:19 AM