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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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FaronD
sage


Reged: 03/25/10

Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: rmollise]
      #5465815 - 10/11/12 06:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I've had Losmandy mounts. Not a fan, though a non-Gemini G-11 would be a tolerable home-use mount. I'd not like traveling with it though, and hate having to continually adjust the worm gear mesh to control backlash.

Regards,

Jim




You should try to get a chance to try a Gemini II. Might change your mind.

As for "adjusting," you probably never would need to do a thing as a visual user. Hell, most imaging folks rarely have to mess with their mounts. It is a hell of a mount for a hell of a price, but, again, that is just me. If you are settled on an AP, good on you. As long as you realize the go-to performance with an SCT, especially, will be less than...uh..."stellar."




Hi Rod, I'm contemplating a similar setup as Jim however, my choice will be primarily for imaging. You caught my attention stating that the AP mounts will have "less than stellar" go-to performance. Would you care to elaborate on this please? Eventually I may purchase a C14 for visual use.

Thank
Faron


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Dan G
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/27/06

Loc: Minisink, NY, USA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: FaronD]
      #5466053 - 10/11/12 09:55 PM

Maybe it just me but I have no issue finding objects with my Mach1 and C11. Took them out in the field in June. Quick polar align and had objects in my eyepiece both nights without fail. To be fair my CGEM does this too but the AP mounts really do fade into the background during use.

Dan in NY


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: crow]
      #5466140 - 10/11/12 11:16 PM

It's actually having a mount that does NOT do what many CGEM's do that attracts me to the A-P mounts.

CGEM DX Clicking Sound, Antibacklash Set Above 30:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5450384/page/3/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM tracking issues:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5435834/page/5/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

Really Stumped!:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5441302/page/4/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM Response 17 Fix - DEC connection reseated:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5440409/page/6/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM help:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5434630/page/7/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM RA runaway advice:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5417399/page/7/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM DX dec balance issue:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5402024/page/10/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM Not Tracking:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5411099/page/10/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

CGEM RA motor making loud jolty noises -emergency:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5407324/page/10/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

Etc., etc.

I could find you many similar posts for my Atlas, CG5 and CGE. As stated in my original post, I want rock solid reliability in harsh environments. If I am going to drive 10-20 hours to a dark sky site for a week of off-the-grid observing, the last thing I want to do when I get back is post something like one of the posts linked above.

What can I say; quality costs.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5466152 - 10/11/12 11:26 PM

I detest backlash. Designs that do not resist backlash creeping into the system are deficient, IMO. It's pretty simple. When I push a slow-mo button to center an object, I like the mount to move when I press the button, not seconds later. The Losmandy mounts I've had have all needed backlash removed every couple of months. These are mounts that have been around for decades without major modification. They really should have addressed this issue long ago. I've never used Gemini II. Gemini I was enough to cure me of any interest in that particular firmware family. Notice that I did not state "Gemini II".

As a consequence, I'm not a fan. Is my negative opinion of these mounts based on the backlash issue and dislike for clunky, kludgy, inelegant Gemini I any less valid than your generalized "Losma-love"?

Somehow, I don't think so.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (10/11/12 11:29 PM)


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5466335 - 10/12/12 04:42 AM

Sounds like you've determined you need a high quality mount! When is your AP arriving?

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: FaronD]
      #5466450 - 10/12/12 07:42 AM

Quote:


Hi Rod, I'm contemplating a similar setup as Jim however, my choice will be primarily for imaging. You caught my attention stating that the AP mounts will have "less than stellar" go-to performance. Would you care to elaborate on this please? Eventually I may purchase a C14 for visual use.

Thank
Faron




Long focal length + mirror movement if not locked down = hard nut for the AP HC to crack.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: rmollise]
      #5466547 - 10/12/12 09:25 AM

Rod, if you're going to use a long focal length scope with mirror flop, couldn't you use syncing/platesolving to correct for any error in the initial point model?

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: Raginar]
      #5466832 - 10/12/12 12:32 PM

Hi Raginar.

That's just it. AP-900 or AP Mach 1 GTO?

I'm still a bit paralyzed by the pros and cons of each, but am leaning toward the Mach 1, (and also possibly later putting up a "want ad" for a used AP-900 QMD, though I'll probably wait until the AP-900 is obsoleted by a new AP mount (AP-1000?)).

Because I'm not a good "waiter", I'll probably order a tripod or pier from A-P to be able to use the mount upon arrival, but for travel I'm really considering one of those Rob Miller units.

Regards,

Jim


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: Raginar]
      #5466980 - 10/12/12 03:54 PM

Quote:

Rod, if you're going to use a long focal length scope with mirror flop, couldn't you use syncing/platesolving to correct for any error in the initial point model?





You can do any number of things with a cotton picking PC, but most visual oberservers--like the OP--probably don't want to.


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crow
sage
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: rmollise]
      #5467016 - 10/12/12 04:18 PM

The Mach 1 from all the reports can do it all. The weight of the thing is a big plus, there's nothing really in that class IMO. combined with a light weight tripod you'd be able to pick the whole thing up and move it easily if necessary. I know I'd be very happy with it but for now Ill hold off. I see the 10 micron in my future perhaps, just to be different...

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: crow]
      #5520128 - 11/14/12 08:50 PM

So...

I choked. I've sold off enough stuff generate funds sufficient for either a Mach 1 GTO or an A-P 900, but have shelved the idea of spending that kind of cash on a new mount. At least for now.

Though my Synta (Orion and Celestron liveried) mounts are battle-weary and threadbare in some cases, they work for what I use them for - visual observation with small and medium refractor and catadioptric OTAs. If it ain't broke...

Instead, I've put some of the dough raised in savings, left some in Paypal, and will instead finish downsizing on the mount, OTA and eyepiece front, and just enjoy what I keep for awhile. The intermediate term purchases I'm considering are a new, smaller "travel" Dob for multi-day dark sky trips (probably a Teeter again; I love Rob), and perhaps a swap of my old, very tired, abused, but steadfast Atlas for one of the new EQ6 AZs when they actually arrive and there are some user reports.

The only other plans that I have are (a) get a kayak (because I have a beautiful slough a mile from my house with easy put-ins, and 30+ miles of slough/river and shallow bay to explore) and (b) replace all of my cases for eyepieces and mount heads with Pelican cases.

I'm feeling like "I'm good" on the gear front, or will be when I finish shedding, and I'm really enjoying using the stuff for short mid-week sessions now that I have an unheated shed at my observing site.

I won't say "never" but I'm more likely to go for a used AP-900 QMD if one pops up than a new A-P mount. I like analog setting circles and paper observing lists with RA and Dec coordinates printed on them. It's not a race, after all.

Regards,

Jim


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delgado39
super member
*****

Reged: 11/13/07

Loc: Glen Ellen, California
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5522645 - 11/16/12 10:49 AM

Did you just pitch a "change up"? And just when I thought you were destined for a new mount. For a guy who loves the in's and out's with this hobby; I thought the AP was in the bag. You are challenging me to think (dare say re-evaluate) my spending habits.

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5523502 - 11/16/12 09:39 PM

Seems like you made your decision. However if you still want a good mount I can vouch for the Mach1. It just works and it's very light.
I use the PASILL4L and it seems to be accurate enough for precise goto's and for guided AP. I have only had the mount out once with my TAK scope. The TOA with all the accoutrements weights in at about 34lbs. Here is my first light http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyinsea/8184013748/
It seems like the Mach1 didn't have any trouble carrying the TOA.
For transport I use a Pelican 1600.

Andy


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5533731 - 11/22/12 10:52 AM

Quote:


I won't say "never" but I'm more likely to go for a used AP-900 QMD if one pops up than a new A-P mount. I like analog setting circles and paper observing lists with RA and Dec coordinates printed on them. It's not a race, after all.

Regards,

Jim



Jim, Have you checked with Astro-Physics to see if the 900 QMD is still serviceable? The reason I ask is that , as old technology, the parts (chips and such ) for the drive system may not be made any more or available and AP has said that the older QMD systems can not be upgraded to the newer drive systems, so if it breaks? I wonder if they can still fix it?
Rex


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: What would you do? (Mount Options) new [Re: tomcody]
      #5533902 - 11/22/12 12:46 PM

The 900QMD uses the AP 9000 quartz micro drive. Same one on my AP600QMD.

AP says they no longer have any stock but they have the older 8001 which works but doesn't micro-step hence the tracking is less smooth.

That said the 9000 QMD controller is fairly basic (I've cracked open mine to do some repairs). Wally from AP will repair it if it breaks, or basically most competent electronics guys can repair it.

The old 900QMD can have its declination axis upgraded so it becomes comparable to a 900GTO, but AP does this very rarely and only if enough QMDs come in for the service because it is a loss-leading service for them.

The 600QMD (and I imagine the 900QMD, since it uses the same controller) uses a very common Nippon Pulse stepper that is also used (with a different gear ratio - 120:1 instead of the 150:1 in the AP) in the Vixen MT-1 motor. So the thing is eminently serviceable.

In my case I put a German Littlefoot drive on my 600QMD, so I have GoTo. Had to replace the motors as well.

I was almost going to buy the AP900QMD that went for $3750 a month ago on the other site. That one was pristine, and drool-worthy. But... word is that the 900QMD without the declination upgrade is "similar" to the 600QMD in terms of DEC guiding performance - and I want to get away from that DEC guiding performance.

So.....


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