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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: RAKing]
      #4378426 - 02/11/11 09:29 AM

Ron,
Thanks for the insights on the PP. With a post extension, I'm sure it would probably fit my basic needs (APO & SCT).

My primary concerns are its range of adjustment for leveling and of course its fixed height. Depending on what AP setup I used, the ability to adjust the height as necessary is an important 'comfort' aspect. Not critical but I don't want to have to re-think my purchase later on wishing I had gone the adjustable tripod route. Although AP calls them portable, the design really looks best suited for a fixed or relatively flat, clean environment. I still have a few months to decide, so I'll keep them in mind.

The Eagle is a beautiful piece of engineering. Over in the Yahoo AP group, there are some pics, one of a Mach1 mounted on an Eagle.... very enticing ....

oh, and while you're over there checking it out, take a look at one of the tracking performance graphs posted ... if that was an EKG, I'd only say 'He's dead, Jim!' ...


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4378536 - 02/11/11 10:33 AM

how much load is going on the Mach1 and are you doing visual or imaging? I use a Berlebach Planet tripod, it's wood and not quite as stable as a metal pier like the Eagle but it only weighs about 20 pounds (without the wood tray attached), it should be enough for most visual telescope setups.

Berlebach will sell you the Planet pre-drilled to accept the standard AP mount adapter. It is made in Germany but don't forget Roland Christen also came from Germany.

also FWIW I do break down the Mach1 into 2 parts every time I observe, only 4 screws need to be taken out to separate it, takes about 1 minute. It really is just a smaller version of the 900.



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RAKing
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4378550 - 02/11/11 10:38 AM

George,

Unless you are setting up on the side of a hill, the leveling problem is not too bad. I've always been able to find a "reasonably flat" spot to set up. The fixed height is an issue if you have more than one style of scope. I currently have three different center posts - and have hacksawed more than one that was too long to bring it down to my height. The PP is very portable and breaks down quickly into easily manageable pieces. I stuffed all the parts into an Orion refractor bag when I traveled and never had any problems.

Having said all that, the Eagle is better. It's lighter and folds even faster.

How good do the Mach1 and the Eagle look? They look so good together that my wife lets me store mine in the living room.

BTW - those performance graphs are what enticed me to put my name on the Mach1 list four years ago. I had to wait 18 months to get it, but it has been worth every penny. I consider it one of the best purchases I ever made - period.

Cheers,

Ron


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: RAKing]
      #4378740 - 02/11/11 12:00 PM

Scott,

The Mach1 would be used mainly for AP. My CGEM is fine for visual and is really a fine mount in that respect. Once a 2+4 alignment is done, its gotos have been very accurate. The max load would be around 25lbs of AP gear without counter weights.

Ron,

I mainly image with my 106, lately with the AT65Q piggyback. A 4" / 5" APO would be the normal setup so the pier height would be based on that configuration. Currently with my CGEM and an Atlas pier extension, it's at 36" with legs completely retracted for stability. From my experience, for the times that I used it for visual only, it is just too short for comfort. If I used an astro chair, that would change things, but I like to stand. But again, its main role would be for AP, so portable pier height is not that critical. It helps not having to 'grovel' for an alignment star, but since that isn't done too often... it's OK... If I go the PP route, I'll have to do some testing to find out if a 42" works or if I'll need a 48".


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4381747 - 02/12/11 05:51 PM

Quote:

If I go the PP route, I'll have to do some testing to find out if a 42" works or if I'll need a 48".




Well don't feel bad if you need something "in between". It's easy enough to cut down a post that's too tall - it's more difficult to create aluminum for one that's too short.

If you go this route, I suggest you get the 48 incher.

Cheers,

Ron


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Best portable tripod for a Mach1 new [Re: RAKing]
      #4382455 - 02/13/11 01:32 AM

My thoughts exactly. A 48" would be just about right. Did some PEC training with the CGEM tonight, looking to improve its performance and also a few measurements with my typical refractor AP setup mounted.

Can't say I relish the idea of cutting down a new pier though ... a bit too tall is fine. Better to be too tall, then too short ... Thanks for your suggestions and insight Ron.


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