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AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did?

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#26 Tom and Beth

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:28 PM

SP was the preferred ROBOTIC mount when I first was in a position of choosing. As I didn't (and still don't) use the mount remotely, I chose AP.

#27 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:02 PM

The reasons I chose an AP 900GTO:

* Build quality.
* Legendary customer support.
* Sophisticated hand controller, usable down to about -40C.
* Sophisticated ASCOM driver.
* 12VDC battery power.
* Swiss servo motors.
* Pointing precision.
* Tracking precision.
* Excellent rigidity yet light weight.
* Wide range of available accessories.
* All parts available for separate purchase.
* Modularity.
* Easily-removable electronics.
* Portability.
* Well-documented and universally-supported software commands.
* Beautiful engineering down to the smallest details.
* Planetarium agnostic.
* Imaging software agnostic.
* Control software agnostic.
* No yearly licensing fees.
* Comes with a copy of PemPRO.
* Dual serial ports, the universal denominator of interfaces.
* Worm position auto-save on power loss.
* Ability to image well-past the meridian.
* ST-4 Autoguider input.
* PAINLESS to polar-align.
* Support for latitudes from 20 to 68 degrees and with a few small mods, down to 18 degrees.
* The AP user community.
* Huge third-party support.

#28 David Pavlich

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:48 PM

So tell us how you really feel, Chris. :lol:

David

#29 Bob Abraham

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 11:04 PM

Hi Chris,

Of course many/most of the things you've noted apply to SB mounts too, particularly with the newer ME-II and MX which can track way past the meridian (a weakness of the old ME).

Both AP and SB make fantastic mounts. In my opinion, one of the more important things to consider when differentiating between AP and SB is the philosophical requirement for TheSkyX to drive the SB mounts. While AP mounts are indeed way more agnostic about software, I think that cuts both ways. A lot of the best stuff about the SB mounts comes from the tight integration between the hardware and software (e.g. Pro-Track, DirectGuide). I'd hate to give that up.

For example, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but to get something working at the level of sophistication of Pro-Track (e.g. incorporation of T-point flexure modelling in the tracking) on the AP mount requires AP Command Center, which means (1) you're no longer agnostic about software, and are even less agnostic about hardware, since you can only run it on a PC; and (2) AP Command Center isn't even out yet except to the beta testers, so I think it's just not possible to match the SB mount in this regard at the moment.

I'm kind of reminded of PC vs Mac, or Android vs. iOS arguments… the openness of one system is a good thing, but the tight coupling of the hardware and software on the other system is a good thing too. I can well understand why somebody might prefer one or the other depending on circumstances.

Anyway, in addition to an ME-II in New Mexico I have a Mach-1 GTO in my back yard and I really like both mounts.

Bob

#30 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:37 AM

I simply responded to the OP about why I chose AP. I said nothing about SB or made any comparison to them. The OP didn't request a comparison.


Hi Chris,

Of course many/most of the things you've noted apply to SB mounts too, particularly with the newer ME-II and MX which can track way past the meridian (a weakness of the old ME).

Both AP and SB make fantastic mounts. In my opinion, one of the more important things to consider when differentiating between AP and SB is the philosophical requirement for TheSkyX to drive the SB mounts. While AP mounts are indeed way more agnostic about software, I think that cuts both ways. A lot of the best stuff about the SB mounts comes from the tight integration between the hardware and software (e.g. Pro-Track, DirectGuide). I'd hate to give that up.

For example, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but to get something working at the level of sophistication of Pro-Track (e.g. incorporation of T-point flexure modelling in the tracking) on the AP mount requires AP Command Center, which means (1) you're no longer agnostic about software, and are even less agnostic about hardware, since you can only run it on a PC; and (2) AP Command Center isn't even out yet except to the beta testers, so I think it's just not possible to match the SB mount in this regard at the moment.

I'm kind of reminded of PC vs Mac, or Android vs. iOS arguments… the openness of one system is a good thing, but the tight coupling of the hardware and software on the other system is a good thing too. I can well understand why somebody might prefer one or the other depending on circumstances.

Anyway, in addition to an ME-II in New Mexico I have a Mach-1 GTO in my back yard and I really like both mounts.

Bob



#31 Bob Abraham

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:12 AM

Hi Chris,

I simply responded to the OP about why I chose AP. I said nothing about SB or made any comparison to them. The OP didn't request a comparison.


Well, fair enough, though the OP entitled the thread "AP vs SB". So I'm pretty sure the OP is requesting a comparison (or the "vs" wouldn't be in there) and the rationale behind picking one mount as opposed to another. But the title is pretty open ended so perhaps I'm misunderstanding what the OP is looking for.

Bob

#32 Alph

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:17 AM

I'm misunderstanding what the OP is looking for.


Entertainment. Why to bother to respond?

#33 CounterWeight

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:14 PM

I chose the A-P Mach1 because it was the 'least expensive top quality' mount out there for what I need(ed) and the PMX wasn't out in production yet. if I had to do it over again I would likely go for the PMX for my obs setup.

#34 orlyandico

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:10 PM

If I had to do things over I'd probably bite the bullet and find a used 900 now that their prices are plummeting. It certainly is a lot heavier and less handy than the Mach1, but I may one day want to get a 12" RC...

#35 Psyire

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:34 PM

I received my PMX a few weeks ago after ordering it earlier this spring. Here's a list of my reasons for choosing this mount in particular.

- The reputation of the PME
- Payload per $$
- Full integration of computer control / software suite
- Ability to 'home' the mount
- Ability to use 14" scopes (Excited about possibilities with the new Planewave 14")
- Still considered 'portable'
- Made & Supported in North America

*Note these aren't all PMX specific points, but just points in general






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