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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Lew
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Reged: 11/11/11

Loc: Pittsburgh
AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question
      #5419646 - 09/13/12 05:58 PM

Iím planning to acquire a new telescope(s) and a mount to do AP. Because not having anything weighing over about 35 pounds is very important to me, Iíve focused on the Ioptron EQ45. The telescopes I envisioned on this mount are a Celestron 11Ē SCT (mainly for visual Ė I understand you can only load a mount with about 2/3s of its rated weight) and a much lighter 100 to 120 mm APO refractor (mainly for AP). Iíve been getting comments on this setup in the Equipment forum and one suggestion is to buy the Astro Physics Mach 1 Go To mount. The thought was that the Mach 1 capacity rating is for AP and it could handle the C11 for AP and they suggested I post the capacity question in this forum. Can the AP Mach 1 GoTo handle a C11 for AP (which would mean the Mach 1 would be loaded up near its 45 lb. rated capacity)? Although from everything Iíve read the AP mounts are best in class, but if itís capacity is the same, Iím hard pressed to see a cost justification for spending 3 or 4x more on the mount given how I plan to use it.

Lew
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

________________________________________________
Meade ACF LS-6; ACF LX90; ETX 90PE. LX-90 wedge.
Meade 4000 plossl set & filters & various Celestron X-Cells.
Meade DSI II color camera; Orion Starshoot Deep Space Video camera.
Orion off-axis guider; Antares f/6.3 SCT Reducer;
Maxim DL v. 5 basic.


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maknewtnut
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Reged: 10/08/06

Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5419707 - 09/13/12 06:31 PM

There is no standard in the industry from which payload ratings are derived. As a result, using just that spec for comparison to base a purchase decision will be a mistake.

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Midnight Dan
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5419758 - 09/13/12 07:01 PM

Hi Mark:

From the OP's question, it sounds like he's trying to get the experienced opinions of people here in this forum rather than rely on the specs.

-Dan


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Footbag
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5419778 - 09/13/12 07:11 PM

I cannot comment from personal experience, but I did ask Howard at AP whether the Mach 1 could take a C11. He said it could without a problem.

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CounterWeight
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Footbag]
      #5419851 - 09/13/12 08:01 PM

Hmmm -I own both... really no compare in the two beyond paper. Although the iEQ-45 much more modern in the hand control and great stuff included - tripod, counter weights, GPS, Polar scope, saddle plate (all you need to get started in the box)... it is not and never will be a mach-1GTO from a physical one on one.

Now if the C11 is Hyperstar and you are not going for real long images maybe the iEQ-45 may be the ticket? I think the iEQ might be a great mount to get started into it with, and depending - possibly keep going. But I have to ask why start imaging with a C11? That's definately jumping in on the deep end could be pretty challenging. Visual with a C11 and imaging with a 120 I could see...

Usually for imaging I'd come down on the side of get the best mount you possibly can afford, astro-physics reputation is in a very tough field. I may start imaging with my iOptron very soon - but will be using it with an 80mm scope and mini-guider. For visual with my FS-128 it's a champ


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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5419994 - 09/13/12 09:24 PM

Imaging is not just about the capacity or the smoothness of the periodic error (although the Mach1 has a huge advantage in both of these over the iEQ45).

It's also about slack in the gears, DEC and RA backlash, how fast the mount reverses when guiding, reliability (you don't want to have to adjust the worm in the middle of the night because it's loose).

Many people have taken great images with CGEM's, Atlas, iEQ45 - it can be done, you'll just have a tougher time of it.

So the question really is - how much is your dark sky time worth, and how much are you willing to pay.

If you are imaging in your backyard on a regular basis - I think it would be worthwhile to just try the iEQ45. You'll have lots of opportunities for imaging so some wasted hours due to the need to tinker with the mount wouldn't be too bad.

But if you get to image once a month (or once in two months) and have to drive hundreds of miles to do it - and if the price isn't a bother - I'd go with the Mach1, just to get rid of the uncertainty inherent with the China mounts.


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chboss
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Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5420346 - 09/14/12 02:19 AM

Hi Lew

I use a long 155mm f9 Refractor visually on the iEQ45 which works well. However the long lever is pushing the mount already.
For planetary webcam work I use a C9.25 which is absolutely no problem.
A 60mm guide refractor and a 102mm refractor at 600mm focal length work well for long exposure AP with a DSLR.

Hope this gives an idea about the possible load on an iEQ45.
My feeling is that the MACH1 is more sturdy and can take a higher load in reality than the iEQ45.

best regards
Chris


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Starhawk
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: chboss]
      #5420360 - 09/14/12 02:47 AM

I've been running a Mach 1 GTO with a C11 on it. It's effortless for the mount. My winter program this year is to see about some really deep imaging in that mode. I'll post how it goes.

-Rich


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RAKing
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5420901 - 09/14/12 12:55 PM

Quote:

Although from everything Iíve read the AP mounts are best in class, but if itís capacity is the same, Iím hard pressed to see a cost justification for spending 3 or 4x more on the mount given how I plan to use it.




I don't want to suggest how you spend your money, but I can say that the money I spent on my Mach 1 four years ago is still the best investment I ever made in the hobby.

I have zero knowledge of the iOptron products and hope they work well. As you noted, the Mach 1 is listed with an imaging capacity of 45 pounds. If you ever set a Mach 1 next to a Losmandy G-11 you will see that the "real" capacity of the Mach 1 is closer to 60 pounds (or more!)

I bought my Mach 1 for visual astronomy because I was taught that the mount is the most important piece of gear you can own. I have used everything from a C11 to a 10 inch Newtonian to a 6 inch triplet refractor on it with no problems. I was told it can even handle a C14 if I want to go that route. I dabbled in imaging a couple years ago and your idea of a 100-120 apo is an excellent choice for starters. The Mach 1 can handle that with no sweat.

The Mach 1 is made in Illinois - spare parts, help, and expert advice are as close as your telephone. A-P stands behind their gear and that is worth the extra money to me.

Cheers,

Ron


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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: RAKing]
      #5420927 - 09/14/12 01:07 PM

I have an ancient (15 year old) AP mount.

AP still supports it, will repair it, and has spares. I dinged the transfer gears on mine during my GoTo conversion, they sold me new ones. Cheap too.

Have been doing research on a premium mount. And by premium I mean something that has a flat guiding graph. May or may not be important to you.

In premium mounts, AP is actually a bargain.

Of course, that's like comparing a Mercedes E-class to a Toyota Corolla. Both of them do what they do, but some people buy Corollas and some people buy Mercs.


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Jared
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5421092 - 09/14/12 03:04 PM

Lew,

Welcome to Cloudynights!

The Mach1 GTO is definitely capable of carrying a C11 for imaging. I had pretty good luck with my AT10RC on a Mach1 which is roughly a 43 pound imaging load (counting rails, camera, etc.). I don't know about the iEQ45--never owned one.

I will echo other posters, though... Getting into imaging with a C11 at Cassegrain focus is going to be extremely challenging, no matter what the mount. Long focal length, moveable primary, heavy OTA--definitely a challenging scope to start with. I'd recommend something under 1,000mm focal length instead.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Jared]
      #5423192 - 09/16/12 01:30 AM

I've been using the C11 at f/2 with hyperstar. The new configuration I am going to be trying out is f/7.5 with the Starizona corrector- I just went over and picked it up from there yesterday, so that will be a new configuration for me.

-Rich


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BlueGrass
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Reged: 07/25/09

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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5423465 - 09/16/12 10:00 AM

Rich,
Many are interested in the performance of the Starizona FF/FR. Any hands-on report you can provide would be great!


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5423569 - 09/16/12 11:19 AM

My curiosity finally got the best of me- I'll make sure I post to cats about it.

-Rich


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10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5423650 - 09/16/12 12:10 PM

Hi Lew, I've been looking into a GEM for a TEC140, with the prospect of adding a C11 or a C14 down the road. At the lower price extreme, I've been considering the Atlas and IEQ45 for 95% visual and 5% AP. I have doubts about their ability to guide on a flat curve below +- 10 arc-sec. The venerable Mach1 is on the other price extreme. I think that the G11 is the best of both worlds in terms of guiding accuracy, quality, and it is priced between the 2 extremes.

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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: 10gauge]
      #5424638 - 09/16/12 11:51 PM

Quote:

I think that the G11 is the best of both worlds in terms of guiding accuracy, quality, and it is priced between the 2 extremes.



I have a non-Gemini G11 (2001) and a Mach1GTO (2010). There's no comparison in the quality of the tracking and capacity of the mounts. The Mach1GTO is far superior. Of course, you pay for it.


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10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Calypte]
      #5424673 - 09/17/12 12:21 AM

I thought there were upgrades made on the G11 to the current version... Yet still, Losmandy charges $355 for a precision worm gear.

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Texas
super member


Reged: 01/14/08

Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Calypte]
      #5425087 - 09/17/12 09:44 AM

The G11 with the Ovision setup could be a match for the Mach1 on tracking. I've read very good numbers on forums from people who took the leap of faith.

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t.r.
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Texas]
      #5425099 - 09/17/12 09:54 AM

...On tracking yes, but still not on capacity.

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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: t.r.]
      #5425130 - 09/17/12 10:17 AM

periodic error isn't everything.

i used to think it was, but actually more important is consistency when guiding, particularly in declination.

if the mount is sensitive to balance, doesn't guide well sometimes and guides well at other times.... then you risk losing subs.

my understanding is that these are all non-issues with the Mach1, whereas a G11 (even with Ovision worm) would be more susceptible.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5425142 - 09/17/12 10:32 AM

Orly,

That's it in a nutshell.

If the PE isn't all that periodic, most of the available corrections will fail.

-Rich


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Texas]
      #5425243 - 09/17/12 11:30 AM

Quote:

The G11 with the Ovision setup could be a match for the Mach1 on tracking. I've read very good numbers on forums from people who took the leap of faith.



I have the Ovision worm on my G11. It's worse than the Losmandy "high precision" worm. The G11 with Ovision is a recipe for frustration, not a substitute for a quality mount.


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Mantis707
member


Reged: 08/14/12

Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: t.r.]
      #5426135 - 09/17/12 08:10 PM

Quote:

...On tracking yes, but still not on capacity.




Actually the G-11 has a higher Capacity than the Mach 1, unless I am reading the website incorrectly. (Mach 1 can hold 45 pounds, g-11 60 pounds)


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Peter in Reno
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Mantis707]
      #5426144 - 09/17/12 08:16 PM

G-11 is not necessarily rated for imaging. A-P Mach1 is rated for imaging and you can almost double the capacity for visual observing.

Peter


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Mantis707
member


Reged: 08/14/12

Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5426185 - 09/17/12 08:37 PM

Peter,

So if the g11 can't handle 45 pounds for astrophotos, how much can it handle? I am in the market for a mount also.

Thanks


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Peter in Reno
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Mantis707]
      #5426197 - 09/17/12 08:41 PM

I didn't mean to say the G11 can't handle 45lbs for imaging. I believe G11 rating of 60lbs is for visual use. It's very hard to determine imaging capacity and depends on how long the scope is. I believe both G11 and Mach1 imaging capacity rating are pretty close together. IMO, I think Mach1 is slightly higher.

Peter


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Mantis707
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Reged: 08/14/12

Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5426239 - 09/17/12 08:59 PM

Thanks for the quick response....it is very difficult to make a decision in this range...8-(

Seems like there is a huge jump /gap from sightly lower (say 30 pounds) to 45ish pounds.... tough decision...Its hard for me to part with money..Ha

Thanks for the clarification....


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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Mantis707]
      #5426283 - 09/17/12 09:18 PM

yes there is really a gap there. what i have seen is that with anything less than a Mach1, you are accepting certain compromises in performance.

these compromises can be worked around, i.e. i have discovered that i can overcome my DEC guiding issues by using MaximDL (instead of PhD) for guiding. but the work-arounds won't be perfect, and you either set your expectations lower or live with not-quite-round stars (which also can be worked around with FitsWork4) and thrown-away subs.

at the end of the day it's how much aggravation are you willing to tolerate VS how much money you are willing to pay. if you can afford it and you simply want to enjoy the hobby, the Mach1 makes that easier. (one of these days I'll walk the walk and get one )


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5426629 - 09/18/12 01:13 AM

"Mount capacity" is an unstandardized marketing term. The manufacturer can thrown out any number he likes. A-P's published capacities are conservative, and when Roland has been asked directly about specific scopes on specific A-P mounts, he usually answers forthrightly about whether it's a good match or not, at least to the extent that he has knowledge of the combination. Giving Scott Losmandy his due, that his published ratings reflect his honest opinion of the G11's capabilities, it's well to remember that the G11 was introduced more than two decades ago. Visual observing and imaging with film cameras and manual guiding were the norm. For such use, the G11 was "high end." Times have changed. Far more is expected of an imaging mount now than in 1990. "Capacity" that was acceptable then may be inadequate now. I'll say this: a friend had a G11/Gemini, much newer than mine, and he was able to achieve guiding that eluded my older non-Gemini G11. I understand the appeal of the G11. It costs lots less than any A-P mount, and there's a huge reservoir of experience with what's necessary to get good results. Just be prepared to sacrifice some beautiful evenings to tweaking the mount instead of imaging.

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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Calypte]
      #5426660 - 09/18/12 02:13 AM

This graph should say it all
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/mounts/mach1gto/performance

notice the flat guiding graph in MaximDL. i can get that figure - sometimes.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5427084 - 09/18/12 10:45 AM

On the price of a Mach1: after you use it, it won't cross your mind to wish you had bought something cheaper and tried to nurse it along to better performance.

-Rich


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Peter in Reno
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5427107 - 09/18/12 10:56 AM

See photo comparison between Mach1 and G11 at:

http://oc-aisig.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=2711

Hard to believe the Mach1 only weighs 32lbs. The G11 weighs 36lbs.

Note the photo of Mach1 is an older model. The Azimuth knobs have been relocated to opposite of Altitude knob like the G11.

Peter


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RAKing
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5427470 - 09/18/12 01:48 PM

Thanks for finding those photos, Peter. They are what I was alluding to in my original post. As mentioned at least one other time in this thread -- until you have seen a Mach 1 up close and personal, you won't realize just how sturdy and beautiful it is.

My wife lets me keep my Mach1 set up on the Eagle Pier in our family room between sessions. I have sold a couple already after guests have stopped by and seen it in person.


Quote:

On the price of a Mach1: after you use it, it won't cross your mind to wish you had bought something cheaper and tried to nurse it along to better performance.

-Rich




Well said!

Ron


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Lew
member


Reged: 11/11/11

Loc: Pittsburgh
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5435141 - 09/22/12 09:50 PM

Jim,

I've been going thru the responses to my question and thks. for your input from someone who owns both. I'm curious if you already had a Mach 1Gto, why acquire the Ioptron EQ45? It sounds to me like you have the Mach 1 somewhat permanently mounted - is there an issue with its portability?

Lew


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Lew
member


Reged: 11/11/11

Loc: Pittsburgh
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: RAKing]
      #5435161 - 09/22/12 10:10 PM

Thank you for the input. While I'm too new to this hobby to understand a lot of the technical jargon on the mounts, I do follow from you, Jared and others that the AP is built mechanically better and will perform far better. I also now grasp that even if I were to acquire the AP, I should still get the refractor for imaging. If I can convince the better half that I've made a slight upward revision in my astronomy budget, what tripod would you suggest I put it on? I use my current scopes either on my deck or in my yard depending upon which part of the sky I want to see. When I'm done they go back into the house. My yard's not level so it doesn't seem to me a pier would work. I looked at AP's website and the only tripod they have is wooden. Does that work or is there a steel tripod from someone else to consider? Thanks for the advice and if others have views please chime in.

Lew


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Peter in Reno
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5435165 - 09/22/12 10:14 PM

A-P sells this great portable adjustable folding pier and designed for Mach1.

http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/mounting_acc/eagle6

Peter


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Bowman
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Reged: 11/01/10

Loc: Michigan/Florida
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5435207 - 09/22/12 10:47 PM

Lew:

If I had to pick one tripod for my Mach 1, I would go with a Rob Miller TRI36L. It is light and solid and quick to set up and quick to put away. That being said, I also have an Eagle from AP and a Losmandy G 11 tripod. All are excellent. The Losmandy is the heaviest and is a little more work to put up and tear down, and tends to rattle around in the back of my minivan, getting nicked up a bit as it rolls. It is unbelievably solid. You would not go wrong with any of the three.

Larry Hoffman, M.D.


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orlyandico
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Bowman]
      #5435317 - 09/23/12 12:17 AM

Joe Castoro also makes some nice tripods. And if you get them without the fancy 360-degree table they are in the $600 range, which is the least expensive of the premium tripods.

The Rob Miller Tri36L is probably the best one though (even compared to the Eagle pier) as it's light, carries a lot, and costs less than the Eagle (about $1000).


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CounterWeight
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5435386 - 09/23/12 01:45 AM

Hi Lew,

I use my Mach1 near full time for imaging. I wanted something that could easily field my FS-128 (while imaging with the perm setup) so I can get some visual time in - and possibly use for imaging with my small scope(s). I'm really pleased with the iEQ-45, though I mainly go for planets from this white zone LP I live in. I haven't tried the 160 refractor on it yet, I may because I've been testing/using the widefield/miniguider setup on the Mach-1 ! I would need a bit more CW though - possibly too the extender.


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Lew
member


Reged: 11/11/11

Loc: Pittsburgh
Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5442070 - 09/26/12 05:30 PM

Jim & Everyone,

Greatly appreciate all of the advice. After thinking long and hard about it (and getting the boss' approval if I wanted an AP Mach 1), I decided to get the Ioptron first to see how my interest in AP develops. In 2 or 3 yrs. if I'm enjoying it, I'll make the Mach1GoTo (or whatever they then have for portable)and give the EQ 45 to one of my daughters (got 3 with grandkids thru 2 of them - I've already given one an older ETX 90 and am getting rid of the LS 6 to the second one; if the third gets married and has a grandson, she will get it). I also took the advice on needing to learn AP with smaller scopes so I added an 80mm refractor and got the 120 mm refractor. I was going to order closer to Xmas, but discovered that the EON 120 appears to be out of production and OPT had the C11 on sale for several hundred less than others. Thus, I've ordered everything but the CCD camera (first want to learn how to do AP with the cheap Meade DSI II - make it a Xmas item). Here is what I just ordered:
Ioptron IEQ 45 w/modified clutch
Orion ED80T CF 80mm Triplet Carbon Fiber
Orion EON 120mm APO
Celestron C11 CGE style
Orion Mini Guider Package
Orion 9x50 RA finder

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughtful comments.

Lew


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RAKing
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: Lew]
      #5442158 - 09/26/12 06:26 PM

Sounds like a great plan and a nice pile of cool gear coming your way.

I think it will keep you out of trouble for a while.

Enjoy,

Ron


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dvb
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: RAKing]
      #5442230 - 09/26/12 07:15 PM

Good plan, Lew!

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CounterWeight
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5442744 - 09/27/12 12:22 AM

Wow Lew - nice!! That is a wonderful / impressive list of gear to get used to. What a great way to see differences for yourself

Very much looking forward to hearing back from you about it all, have a great time!


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psandelle
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Re: AP Mach1 GoTo vs. Ioptron EQ45 Capacity Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5443186 - 09/27/12 09:51 AM

Lew - great early Xmas present for yourself! I did something similar, getting the iEQ30 (and an ES 152mm achro & 6" Baby PowerNewt) to wet my beak, as it were. There was enough learning curve for me to have a lot of fun with the iOptron mount, and now, when I do get the Mach1 for only imaging, I'll have the iEQ30 for visual while I'm taking pics.

Paul


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