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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4331464 - 01/22/11 08:24 AM Attachment (157 downloads)

Again Mach1 and G11 front view... ready for the difference...?!

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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4331465 - 01/22/11 08:25 AM Attachment (168 downloads)

Now, THIS is the size difference between the Titan and the G11... I guess it speaks by itself...

Hope this was helpful,

-- Max


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Danno2006
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/25/06

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4331513 - 01/22/11 09:06 AM

Max - Awesome job on the side by sides ...drool.

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4331520 - 01/22/11 09:12 AM

Max: I am not the OP but one trying to decide on a replacement mount for my C11. Thanks for the useful info in your post and the revealing images. Still no doubt in my mind the AP900 is the prettiest and the best of the mounts I am considering but I had never seen side-by-side images of the contenders such as you posted.

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gdd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4331545 - 01/22/11 09:31 AM

Hi Max, great sid by sides!

Could you do one more? The Titan between the AP1200 and AP900?

Thanks,

Gale


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: gdd]
      #4331592 - 01/22/11 10:00 AM

Quote:

Could you do one more? The Titan between the AP1200 and AP900?



Yes Gale, and will do better than that: side by side of AP1200, AP900, AP600, Titan and JP-Z.

But you have to be patient a bit -- I am in town and, given the pouring rain, I am not planning to be back at the obs before one or two weeks... when there will do as you suggest.

-- Max

PS/ I'll check in my files but I rarely take pix of something that is not "classics" and "revamped"... so I'm not sure I have those ready. But never say never...


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dothead
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/13/08

Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4332137 - 01/22/11 01:39 PM

Max, do you think a Tak JP-Z (=NJP) will be sufficient for the APOMAX ?
How does the JP-Z compare in beefiness to the AP 900 ?

Regards,

Ralph


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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: dothead]
      #4332206 - 01/22/11 02:10 PM

Good lord Max, you have more value in your mounts than I do in my house.

I'm in the wrong hobby.


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gdd
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: drksky]
      #4332211 - 01/22/11 02:13 PM

I nominate this thread for "Best Threads in Mounts" because of the side by side photos.

Gale


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Ad Astra
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/12/10

Loc: Riverside Co., California
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: gdd]
      #4332430 - 01/22/11 03:51 PM

Hello Max!

You are indeed the gentleman I wanted to talk to - the fellow with experience with long refractors!

From what you suggest, the Losmandy Titan or the 900 would be the ideal mount for me. Visually, I expect that the Mach1 would do just as well, but photographically, perhaps not.

I must admit that I was very surprised (and a bit aghast!) at your description of the 'slap-test' for mount stability! That is SO FAR beyond the level of stability that I have now, it seems literally like science fiction. On the CGEM mount, I can observe (if the wind is low), but no one can come near the mount. I'm used to shouting at people, "Look, don't TOUCH!!!"

May I ask how high your pier or tripod is for your 180mm f/9 refractor? (before you put the EQ head or scope on it, of course!) I've used the CGEM at its maximum height (about 1.2m), and the eyepiece of the refractor is still very low when the scope is at Zenith - perhaps just 20 cm off the ground. Too low for comfort!

Thanks so much for your pictures, they have been a great help! One of the problems when looking at such things is that German mounts are rather like fractal objects - they look the same at any size - and without something to compare them to, it becomes very difficult to visualize my scope on a particular mount and compare to my CGEM experience.

I visited your refractorland site, too. Very nice! Your views from Italy look wonderful, rather more picturesque than the low desert that I live it!

Cheers!

Dan


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: gdd]
      #4332905 - 01/22/11 08:20 PM

Quote:

I nominate this thread for "Best Threads in Mounts" because of the side by side photos.

Gale




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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: dothead]
      #4333631 - 01/23/11 05:19 AM

Quote:

Max, do you think a Tak JP-Z (=NJP) will be sufficient for the APOMAX ?



Good morning Ralph,

Definitely Yes...!
This is actually where I am moving the AP152 f/12 Superplanetary after years of trusty service on top of the AP600/AP900.

Mind you though that the 152 Superplanetary is a light construction. I have no scale data with me but my arms know for sure that it is way lighter than, say, a 40lbs 180 f/9. Still it is some 10" longer... OTA w/dewshield is well beyond 2 meters... So I'd say its torque is roughly equivalent to the 5.2" 1600mm 40lbs APOMax OTA.


Quote:

How does the JP-Z compare in beefiness to the AP 900 ?



It's tough to talk about beefiness re the JP-Z which I personally find one of the most elegant mounts ever built...

It's as big as the AP900 and weights equally. BUT it does not come apart. So when you move it you are dealing with a chunk of brass, steel and aluminum that is heavier than the RA axis of the AP1200...!

JP-Z (NJP), again, has the same size of the AP900 but looks thinner and way more elegant. Although they are twenty years apart, they belong to two different centuries. The NJP/JP-Z is a piece of fine machinery conceived in the 70s and relying on the finest (also hand-made) mechanics available with no concern whatsoever for cost (and weight) reduction... I guess thirty years of uninterrupted production may tell something... OTOH, while being among the best mount on the planet, the AP900 speaks out loud "I am a modern computerized mount"... so their charm is quite different...

You could put the JP-Z/NJP with its pedestal into your living room beside some Art sculptures and it would not look inappropriate... So, yes heavy, but beefy definitely not...

Cheers,

-- Max


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: drksky]
      #4333633 - 01/23/11 05:23 AM

Quote:

Good lord Max, you have more value in your mounts than I do in my house.
I'm in the wrong hobby.



Hi Tony,

They're not necessarily all mine... and I guess you're definitely in the right one...

Cheers,
--Max


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Ad Astra]
      #4333653 - 01/23/11 05:50 AM Attachment (105 downloads)

Quote:

From what you suggest, the Losmandy Titan or the 900 would be the ideal mount for me. Visually, I expect that the Mach1 would do just as well, but photographically, perhaps not.



Hi Dan,

Visually would do. Not just as well, but it would definitely do.

If photographically is planetary video, would do as well. Small galaxies at f/12 or f/9 w/reducer, *maybe* if you build around a tent (or you have an obs) and not even a butterfly passes by... otherwise just forget it.

I have found some pix of the Superplanetary on the AP600 (hereunder) which is a bit lighter than the Mach1 -- it actually weights the same, but wheels are 4" instead of 6" so the torque is of course more difficult do get absorbed by the mount. It does work with the Baader/Zeiss and a bit better with the Giant Field Tripod, but it's everything but rock solid. Life's too short to wait for shaking scopes to settle down...


Quote:

I must admit that I was very surprised (and a bit aghast!) at your description of the 'slap-test' for mount stability! That is SO FAR beyond the level of stability that I have now, it seems literally like science fiction. On the CGEM mount, I can observe (if the wind is low), but no one can come near the mount. I'm used to shouting at people, "Look, don't TOUCH!!!"




Very many years ago, someone told me: "you just cannot over-mount a telescope".
I came to discover that this is one of the very few true things in Astronomy.


Quote:

May I ask how high your pier or tripod is for your 180mm f/9 refractor? (before you put the EQ head or scope on it, of coe!) I've used the CGEM at its maximum height (about 1.2m), and the eyepiece of the refractor is still very low when the scope is at Zenith - perhaps just 20 cm off the ground. Too low for comfort!




Ah, pier as much as you want. I use the 62" AP but I am having custom builded taller ones.
Tripod as low as possible. The Giant Field Tripod stays at about 42".

In am not much of a Zenith observer but, say, if I have to do M57 and I am with just the tripod, I just pull up the scope (when almost vertical the weight is distributed differently) and maybe add some rear weights. And that's it. Oh, well, yes sometimes I do sit very low... I had my time in Japan and don't mind at all being on the ground... also have some spare stools for tea ceremony and things like that...


Quote:

Thanks so much for your pictures, they have been a great help! One of the problems when looking at such things is that German mounts are rather like fractal objects - they look the same at any size - and without something to compare them to, it becomes very difficult to visualize my scope on a particular mount and compare to my CGEM experience.




Right. And, on top of that, companies and dealers are very good in putting forth lot of bla bla but never give you a plain side by side... so, if you don't experience by yourself you're lost in the midst of incomparable data... a bit like with mobile phone companies...


Quote:

I visited your refractorland site, too. Very nice! Your views from Italy look wonderful, rather more picturesque than the low desert that I live it!




It's just the distance -- I find your desert way more picturesque than our surroundings, trust me !

Cheers!

-- Max


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4333656 - 01/23/11 05:54 AM Attachment (121 downloads)

Perspective is different, but here you see it on the Giant Field Tripod.
Original Zeiss/Baader for comparison. Mind you, when stuck into the ground the Zeiss/Baader is ***steady***. The Giant is better, but not by much. OTOH is way more heavy and cumbersome. A bit overkill for the AP600 and more appropriate, as already suggested, for AP900/Titan.


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: gdd]
      #4333684 - 01/23/11 06:54 AM Attachment (142 downloads)

Quote:

Hi Max, great sid by sides!

Could you do one more? The Titan between the AP1200 and AP900?



Gale, Dan,

I did find a couple of shots that, although not side by side, might be of help. These are the setups I mentioned before. AP900 with 180 f/9 and Titan with 200 f/9. Tripod is the same.

To put things in perspective, in one case is a 8" dia. OTA, FL 1600mm of 35 lbs (bare OTA); in the other the dimensions are 9.2" FL 1800 and 50 lbs (bare OTA). As you may see, the ratio between the OTA and the mount is roughly the same. Also the shot of the Titan is taken from a bit more distance. You may also note that the tripod looks thinner under the Titan.

This is the best I can do at the moment.
Hope this helps,

-- Max


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Max Lattanzi
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/27/07

Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4333685 - 01/23/11 06:56 AM Attachment (128 downloads)

This is the Titan... just look at the CWs... 21lbs each...

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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Max Lattanzi]
      #4333945 - 01/23/11 10:35 AM

IMO there isn't much need to go beyond AP's advice, it was spot-on.

If you're on a limited budget the Mach1 is not a good choice at all. For a 42 pound long-tube refractor you need a seriously beefy mount. The torque exerted by the OTA will be much higher than a 30 pound 160mm f/8 refractor.

The Mach1 is very stable but it's a compromise product for portability and light weight. It costs top-dollar because of its sophistication for tracking & imaging. For the apomax you need a mount that focuses on brawn - I'd be looking for something like a used MI-250 which has massive parts and is equivalent to the AP 900 in capacity but much cheaper. Or better yet an older AP 900QMD, but those have become scarce.

As you start to look at the cost of a huge, quality GEM mount you start to realize why most of us get short-tube 5-inch apos. The cost of mounting a heavy long-tube is prohibitive & you end paying as much as you would for an f/8 on a smaller mount.


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Ad Astra
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/12/10

Loc: Riverside Co., California
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Scott99]
      #4335629 - 01/23/11 10:22 PM

Quote:

IMO there isn't much need to go beyond AP's advice, it was spot-on.

If you're on a limited budget the Mach1 is not a good choice at all.... As you start to look at the cost of a huge, quality GEM mount you start to realize why most of us get short-tube 5-inch apos. The cost of mounting a heavy long-tube is prohibitive & you end paying as much as you would for an f/8 on a smaller mount.




Scott99,
Yes, it's true. But I had a chance to buy the last ApoMax from the manufacturer - would you have passed it up and said,
"Nah... F/12 is TOO long! Way to expensive to mount properly!"... and then passed it by?

Or would you have looked at the beautiful optics, the monstrous brass focus knobs and green metal-flake paint and say to yourself:
"I can so mount this scope! It calls to me! We will do wonderful things together in the dark for years to come!!!!!"

Yeah, it was like that for me, too.
I took one look at the ApoMax, and I was sunk. I bought it, and I've been on the proverbial 'grail quest' to mount the dratted thing ever since.

The photos Max sent were perfect! I'm sure the Titan would be wonderful - not at all really portable, but wonderful all the same. I'd need help to move, set up, and take down the thing -- it would handle my scope, alright!

The AP900 looks like a wonderful solution, just down to can I afford it. All this depends on mythical bonus - announced in June. I have until then to dither about.

Dan


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Ad Astra
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 05/12/10

Loc: Riverside Co., California
Re: Mach1 GTO vs. A-P 900 mounts new [Re: Ad Astra]
      #4335682 - 01/23/11 10:46 PM

I'll link to a couple of photos here, so folks can see my scope. This is the ApoMax on a CGEM mount and 2.5" Celestron field tripod (came with C-11). ApoMax makes CGEM look spindly - strangely, it looks well in proportion for the C11. The ceiling in my living room is 10-ft, and yes, the galoot under the Stetson is your's truly.

Here is a typical Rural areathat we observe from. This is in the Hemet / San Jacinto area of Riverside County, California. Elevation here appx. 1100 ft (350 m). Rocky scrub, clear skies, lots of critters in the night. ie: Don't go out alone, bring the big dog with you, put the food away, stay near the car or the scope and don't wander off. Above all, in rattlesnake country, don't put your feet or hands where your eyes haven't already been!

The third is my front patio & observing deck. We have a very nice view of the N/E quadrant of the sky up to the zenith. The compass mosaic is accurately laser-aligned to within 0.2 degrees. I did the alignment, but I had to convince the installer that it was what I wanted, because the compass "didn't line up with the tile!"

There you go, Max! You and everyone else can see my under-mounted rig!

Dan


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