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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: vahe]
      #4529097 - 04/19/11 12:51 PM

Quote:

Speaking of Mach 1 does anyone here have the Eagle Fording Pier designed specifically for this mount?
Impressions, comments, stability and anything else about this pier would be appreciated.

Vahe




Here is a thread from a couple months back from Bluegrass who bought a Mach-1/Eagle combination. He seemed pretty happy with it. I'm betting a PM to him would get the information you're after.


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Duncan Kitchin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/16/04

Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Footbag]
      #4529757 - 04/19/11 05:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The AP Pier is VERY stable but takes some breakdown and setp time. It also needs a pretty much level surface to setup on... Joe




That is the one with the cables right? I watched someone setup one and he had a bit of difficulty on an unlevel surface. That may pose a problem.




Thanks for that - I hadn't thought about the level surface issue. Does anybody have any impressions of the AP wooden tripod?

Regards & Clear Skies
Duncan


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RAKing
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: drksky]
      #4529775 - 04/19/11 05:30 PM

I also have an Eagle pier under my Mach 1 and it works as well as advertised.

I got my Mach 1 a couple years ago and used it on an A-P Portable Pier, then a Losmandy tripod. These worked fine and I never worried too much about the 'uneven' ground under the Pier. I finally saved enough pennies to get the Eagle early this year and it works as well as either of its predecessors. The Eagle is light, easy to move, easy to setup, and it's just as stable. I use it for visual astronomy under my C11 and it can easily handle a C8/AT6RC combo side by side with an AT72 on top.

I don't want to sound like an A-P fanboy, but everything I have ever purchased from them has looked great and worked well, right out of the box.

Ron


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: RAKing]
      #4529799 - 04/19/11 05:37 PM

Quote:

I don't want to sound like an A-P fanboy, but everything I have ever purchased from them has looked great and worked well, right out of the box.




No-one ever got called a fanboy for telling the truth, Ron

Regards,

skybsd


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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4529866 - 04/19/11 05:54 PM

How about eyepiece height using a refractor and the Eagle mount? Anyone have any experience with that?

Jim


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RAKing
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: JimP]
      #4529944 - 04/19/11 06:24 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Quote:

How about eyepiece height using a refractor and the Eagle mount? Anyone have any experience with that?

Jim




Yes - I have the 8 inch extension and it allows me to use the 6 inch f/8 achro with a minimum of kneeling and NO crawling.

Ron


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mewmartigan
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/02/08

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: RAKing]
      #4530003 - 04/19/11 06:51 PM

I drooled over the Mach1 at NEAF and it had the 8" extension on top of the Eagle. I think without the extension, its probably too low for comfortable visual use.

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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: mewmartigan]
      #4530379 - 04/19/11 09:50 PM

I'm usually taking the mach1 to remote dark-sky areas for visual use w/ 6 inch refractor. I like the Berlebach Planet wood tripod best for this sort of use.

It only weights about 20 pounds for transport, you can adjust the mounting height easily every time you set up the tripod, very easy to level on uneven ground as well. I found it to be more stable and better quality than the AP wood tripod. very user-friendly, has huge tray for eyepieces & keypads, etc.


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: vahe]
      #4530454 - 04/19/11 10:32 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

As Ron says, for visual you really do need the extension tube. The standard Eagle is fine for AP. After the startup alignment, not much need to look through an eyepiece anyway. There are a number of nice tripods and piers for the Mach1, most if not all of them, cheaper. The Eagle is strong, relatively light weight, adjustable and very stable. It was designed with some serious thought to its engineering and functionality. The various add-on trays simply slip on and off their attachment points. The servo controller attaches very quickly to its bracket. All in all, I can't think of anything I'd improve other than for the price, AP could have included the extension ... ... but that's just me ...

This is a quick setup picture taken before it got all messed up with cables, cameras, and stuff ...

Edited by BlueGrass (04/19/11 10:48 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4531152 - 04/20/11 09:43 AM

I love the prayer-rug ground cloth. It looks a lot better than a tarp from walmart.

-Rich


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Starhawk]
      #4531202 - 04/20/11 10:03 AM

I personally loved the look of the Eagle pier, and I think I'd go without the extension. I rarely use my setup visually, and I'd rather not lift any scope higher then I have to.

If all of the planets line up, I may try and pull the trigger for my birthday in June. It looks like the Mach1 on astromart sold.

LOL. I use an oriental rug under my setup as well.


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: RAKing]
      #4531355 - 04/20/11 11:32 AM

Quote:


I don't want to sound like an A-P fanboy, but everything I have ever purchased from them has looked great and worked well, right out of the box.

Ron




If that isn't a reason to be a fan then I don't know what is. I have a LOT of AP stuff. Yes, I AM an Astro-Physics zealot! I have been into astronomy for a long, long time and went through all the stages. For years I could never really understand the AP fans, right up until I started buying a few accessories such as quick release finder mounts, 2 inch adapters, extension tubes, etc in the late 90's to use on the Dobsonians I was using and building. One day I decided to convert my 16 to a Newtonian and put my name down for an AP1200 and I added my name shortly thereafter for an AP400 and AP600 as well. A couple of years later I received my AP1200. Magnificent. There are not enough words available to describe how it just disappears and works. Since then I have become far more than an AP fan.

The one item I never liked were the AP portable piers. While very effective, transportable and rigid, they just have far too many parts to keep track of when transporting.

Over the years I have been looking at tripods and piers and I have gone through a lot of them as well. Tiffen, Berlebach, Gitzo for the smaller lightweight gear, ATS, PWT Monolith for the heavyweight gear, but I was never overly happy. Some of the lightweight stuff is just way too lightweight and turns out to be shake and vibration prone. Some of the slightly medioum stuff such as the Berlebach was more rigid but at 22 plus pounds I was always looking for something lighter for my AP400 or Mach1.

The really heavy stuff was just that, really heavy, but the Monolith is a work of industrial art and is almost worth keeping just because of that. Shahin was going to make a lightweight tripod/pier and I waited for close to forever for a Pinnacle or Monolith LT from PWT but after 4 or 5 years, with delay after delay, re-design after re-design, I knew it just wasn't going to happen.

In the meantime, AP came out with their Eagle pier/tripod. I don't know why, but I never did like the looks of it (so much for being an AP zealot) so the search continued.

Just within the past year I have discovered Rob Miller's line-up of tripods. Now this is NICE stuff. I would strongly suggest looking into the TRIxxL where xx is the leg length in inches for the Mach1 or the TRIxxM for the Mach1 or AP900/1200. Incredibly lightweight, solid, they look great and work extremely well.

I have owned a TRI36L for about six months and use an AP400 or Mach1GTO with it; I have also had a TRI36M for about two months now and use the Mach1 or AP900 with it. Both are right up there with the absolute best there is. Two versions of the feet (a regular and a precision) are being made with the same foot design and size to fit on all three of the main mount types, the light, medium and heavy. The feet are essentially finished and off for anodizing as I write this and should be finished up and in my hands for review within a month. Pier extensions are designed and on the mill being made. I might have them at the same time or just a bit later than the feet. Rob does superb machining. Get in touch with him through the Catamount Systems website. He knows he has to get web pages up about all this but he is so busy designing, machining and building that he has no time for it. He wants to have the parts ready to go, off the shelf with a proper webpage ordering system before he does any more significant advertising. If you want one of the very best tripods there is available right now, check his stuff out! Did I mention how light these tripods are? The TRI36L is just over 9 pounds. The TRI36M is just over 13 pounds. I AM a fan! FANtastic gear at fantastic prices!


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #4531383 - 04/20/11 11:45 AM

Hello,
Just wanted to mention that I too am intrigued by Rob Miller's tripods..,

I've been in touch with him over the past few weeks and am planning on ordering one for my AP mount too.

The only thing I'm a little concerned about is the somewhat continuous development on the leveling feet designs.., I did also have a flag over the lack of a "proper" website for pricing and specification data, but I'm aware that he's super busy there - again with design and tripod builds.

Will hope to order from the next production run if he's got his designs and product lines set.

Which colour scheme(s) did you get for your AP mounts?

Regards,

skysbd


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4531417 - 04/20/11 12:00 PM

I found Rob Miller's tripods at:

http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/details.asp?classified_id=717189#photos

I can't figure out how to level their tripods on a uneven surface. It says it will accommodate up to 4" of uneven ground.

Peter


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coz
sage


Reged: 08/25/10

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4531461 - 04/20/11 12:15 PM

I think I'm going to try the PWT Pinnacle. I believe they are ready now and I like the design and strength.

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Footbag
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4531468 - 04/20/11 12:18 PM

Quote:

I found Rob Miller's tripods at:

http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/details.asp?classified_id=717189#photos

I can't figure out how to level their tripods on a uneven surface. It says it will accommodate up to 4" of uneven ground.

Peter




I was looking at the same thing. The price and weight is very tempting, but I cannot figure out how you would level it.

Maybe this?

Seems like it won't have as many increments of adjustment as would be necessary.

Edited by Footbag (04/20/11 12:26 PM)


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skybsd
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #4531477 - 04/20/11 12:20 PM

Hi Peter,

Quote:

I found Rob Miller's tripods at:

http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/details.asp?classified_id=717189#photos

I can't figure out how to level their tripods on a uneven surface. It says it will accommodate up to 4" of uneven ground.




I spoke to Rob at length about this tripods.., as I have a requirement for individual tripod leg height adjustability myself.

Basically, the native adjustment his tripod has is the ability to move the tripod legs closer / further away in order to accommodate uneven terrain.

As I'm not keen on this as a solution, we then moved onto his plans for the leg levelers of which there are two designs.

After my own experiences with PWTEC, I prefer to wait to actually see these products in general release before committing though, but you may want to reach out to him as he's quite accessible, really.

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #4531574 - 04/20/11 01:04 PM

Quote:

Really? How about an AP3600? 5 arc-sec peak to peak out of the box - mechanical precision - guaranteed. Add on the firmware PEC and it can easily get into the sub 1.5 arc-sec range or less.



I'd hope that a $60K mount would perform well. but as you admit ("Atmospheric refraction makes this [guiding] necessary."]. There a several factors that come into play in AP from optical tube flexure to wind pressure. Mount accuracy can't deal with these alone. Yes, SBIG will sell you a cam without a guiding chip, but that doen't mean they don't expect you to guide.

As for the AP1200, I'd be in line for one the 80 AP1200s now in production except I had to send half the price off to the IRS!


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mewmartigan
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/02/08

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: Geo.]
      #4531617 - 04/20/11 01:17 PM

I have also ordered a tripod from Rob Miller for my upcoming Mach1. The tripod fits very nicely between the AP portable pier and the Eagle for price and portability. I am expecting mine in the next few weeks.

For those of you that were at NEAF, I noticed that the Bisque guys had their Paramount MX on one of Rob's tripods.

Edited by mewmartigan (04/20/11 03:29 PM)


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: AP Mach1 and general GEM questions... new [Re: skybsd]
      #4531894 - 04/20/11 03:07 PM

Quote:

Hello,
Just wanted to mention that I too am intrigued by Rob Miller's tripods..,

I've been in touch with him over the past few weeks and am planning on ordering one for my AP mount too.

The only thing I'm a little concerned about is the somewhat continuous development on the leveling feet designs.., I did also have a flag over the lack of a "proper" website for pricing and specification data, but I'm aware that he's super busy there - again with design and tripod builds.

Will hope to order from the next production run if he's got his designs and product lines set.

Which colour scheme(s) did you get for your AP mounts?

Regards,

skysbd




I have an all black TRI36M and a two-tone black and silver TRI36L.

Rob is extremely busy. I have problems getting to speak with him as well so I tend not to bother him. He is busy building this new business and I really don't need to take up his time. Not a big deal though. I send him pictures, sketches, and thoughts via e-mail and he responds when he gets an opportunity - usually via a phone call, but sometimes with sketches, CAD drawings, and photos via e-mail when necessary. Rob said he is currently starting his second run of all three types, concentrating on the TRI36L and TRI36M to keep them in stock and building parts for custom height orders. He did a run of 60 total initially, 20 of each type which have been sold except for a couple of remaining TRI36H set up for the Bisque Paramount. He is working on some custom height models right now while designing and building the foot-pad leveling parts and the pier top extensions. Next run is for another 60 tripods primarily of the L and M models.

The design of the footpads has changed slightly from the first planned types as he figured out new and better ways to both make them and make them work. The extensions have also changed quite a bit from the first designs, and all for the better as far as I can see. Like he says though, he wants to do them right the first time so that he can just concentrate an getting them made and in stock. He doesn't want to have a bunch of slightly different modifications to have to deal with in the future. Right now I can tell you that the leveling footpads look superb on paper.

As always, other things get in the way of plans too, so the timing has been delayed a bit here and there. Closure of a couple of the anodizing shops he was using and changes at the remaining shop are making for delays. What used to take as little as several hours now takes 10 days or more. The weather isn't the best either. While he hasn't been hit with tornadoes, there have been some pretty vicious storms giving the area grief which impacts everything in some way.

Why am I pushing these tripods? Because they are the best innovation in the astro biz lately in my opinion. The design is not new, in fact they are quite old designs, see the Catamount web page; but they are newly executed with a lot of thought into how to make it work properly and yet be as light as a feather. When a portable pier is required, I don't really see that there is any real choice other than one of these.


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