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AP 1200 vs AP1100

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#1 KD58


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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

There are a couple of used AP1200 mounts available on Astromart and I wonder how they compare to the AP 1100's. Furthermore, what features to look for in a used AP 1200 that would be essential if buying for AP use. Would appreciate any advice I can get.


#2 WadeH237



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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:24 AM

Without consideration to price, I would pick the 1100 over the 1200 unless you really need the extra capacity. The two big things for me are the through-the-mount cabling and the redesigned clutches.

Before I bought my 1600, I was on the notification list for the 1200. When they discontinued the 1200, I had to choose between the 1600 and the 900. The 1100 had not been announced yet. I ended up getting the 1600 and the biggest "I didn't know I needed that" feature was the through-the-mount cabling. Now that I have it, I could not imaging living without it. It makes cable management so much tidier (and less likely to get snagged on my automated setup).

The improvement to the clutches is also welcome. On the older 1200 and 900 mounts, the clutches have delrin tips that can become deformed if you tighten them down too much. Once this happens, you need to replace them. On the new mounts, the clutches can be fully locked without wear or damage.

In all honesty, if the 1100 had been announced before the 1600, I probably would have opted for it. I'm unlikely to ever need the full capacity of the 1600. The 1100 offers 110lb capacity in a 54lb mount (that easily separates into parts weight no more than 26lb). I think that it really hits a sweet spot.

That said, the 1200 is no slouch and you could not go wrong with one. When you look at used ones, pay attention to the control box version. If you want to do automation or have a permanent observatory setup, you probably want GTO CP3 (which is required for APCC). You can upgrade an older control box, but I believe that it's about $1000 to do so.

I hope that this helps,

#3 DeanS



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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:36 AM

I have both the 900 and 1200, latest CP3 and they do very well. I certainly would like the newer mounts but these work perfectly so no reason at this point to spend the extra thousands. If you need the encoders then the newer ones are the way to go. If you doing guided imaging there is nothing wrong with the early GOTO's.

#4 blueman


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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:44 AM

I saw a 1200 for sale recently for $5400, a CP3 model! For that price it would have been a VERY GOOD DEAL.
The older 900/1200 are great mounts with good accuracy and capacity. The newer 1100/1600 are just a step up but not necessary for good imaging.

#5 JMW


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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

I have an AP900GTO at home that I also pack up for remote sites. I have considered buying an AP1200 for the home observatory since they are available more often used at considerable discount. I already have a great collection of AP counterweights that can be used on both setups. The RAPAS can also be shared. Since the 900 and 1200 share the CP3 control box, they should continue to have a long supported life from Astro-Physics.

The only reason I am considering the AP1200 used is so I can buy a used C14 EdgeHD and pair it with my SV115T refractor and a Lunt solar scope on a permanent setup. The 140 pound capacity would carry the load very solidly. The AP900 and my C11 EdgeHD with Hyperstar would be my dark site setup.

I look at the astro classified sites daily. I have had great fortune buying more than half my gear used over the last several years. You just need to be patient enough for the right gear at the right price and/or location to become available. Living next to northern California a lot of gear becomes available within a half day drive.

#6 BKBrown



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Posted 08 July 2014 - 03:27 PM

With what you are planning I can't imagine you wouldn't be happy with the AP 1200. I bought mine with the intent of mounting a C14 Edge and TEC 140 side-by-side. I have my C11 Edge and TEC 140 on there now and it positively sings, it will easily handle the C14 in the future. No regrets whatsoever on this purchase :grin:

Clear Skies,

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#7 KD58


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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for all the information and advice. A few weeks ago I ordered the Paramount MX+. I chose it mainly because of availability compared to the AP1100. I intend to use it as my portable setup with my C11 Edge, one that I can take to dark sky sites. The relatively low priced used AP1200's compared to new AP1600's, are tempting for a more fixed setup. It's also tempting to buy a TOA 130 instead and I'm debating my way through this dilemma.


#8 ManuelJ


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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

Through-the-mount cabling was a great idea until entropy came into play and destroyed a lot of valuable cables and one sensor inside my mount.

Check your cables time to time, they tan tangle magically and cause great damage!.

#9 nemo129



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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

You know that "locally, entropy can be lowered by external action". Good advice to check your cables! :)

#10 GJJim



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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

Through-the-mount cabling was a great idea until entropy came into play and destroyed a lot of valuable cables and one sensor inside my mount.

Check your cables time to time, they tan tangle magically and cause great damage!.

I've been using through mount cables since 2005 and early on had some problems with cables bunching and tightening around the Dec axis. Here is my advise to avoid the noid:

1) Do you really need that wire? It's tempting to anticipate and plan for the future and run lots of wires. Run the minimum, and put voltage regulators and USB hubs on the saddle plate.

2) Use braided nylon cable wraps or buy cables with braided covers instead of the typical PVC. The braided covers slip across much easier and greatly reduce the chances for binding. If you have to use PVC or rubber-covered cables, spray them with a dry-film lubricant.

3) Mike Rice, the guy who maintains numerous high-end imaging rigs at New Mexico Skies, says it's too much bother and skips through-mount wiring entirely. Instead he runs cables in a flex wire channel up the Dec axis (along the counterweight shaft).

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