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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: MX discount... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5667468 - 02/07/13 04:51 PM

Well, a tripod or pier, counterweights, and a polar scope if you believe in such things. Course these are "optional" with the APs, too...

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: MX discount... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5667549 - 02/07/13 05:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:



So where are we. My math shows an A-P 900 coming in over $9k to get to where the SB PMX is at it's sale price of $7k. Vastly different offerings and at least a $2k price difference.




SB website is listing this mount at $7995....am I missing something ?




Have you ever been married? My wife does it all the time.


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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

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Re: MX discount... new [Re: Alph]
      #5667855 - 02/07/13 08:59 PM

Sedat- Sorry I got that wrong! will correct it's only $1000-(USD) off Sale!

Rod - I believe the PMX ships with "(2) 20 lb (9kg) counterweights "

equivelent accys from A-P...
(2) 18lb cw's would be an aditional $380.
Saddle plate and dovetail plate maybe another $250? (? depending)

One other thing I don't think you can buy yet from A-P is the built in USB 2.0 interface on the PMX, though in all fairness the A-P provides a serial cable for theirs and the cost of the USB/serial dongle isn't much at all these days.

TheSkyX pro I think is $350 -

Sorry about my typos and poor math.

Edited by CounterWeight (02/07/13 09:00 PM)


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: MX discount... new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #5667976 - 02/07/13 10:25 PM

Quote:

Hi Ray,

As I see it, the advantage of running Macs is that you get both UNIX and nice hardware and a pretty good mix of free and commercial software. And in my opinion you actually get way more choices in very powerful astronomy apps with the Mac, because the whole world of hard-to-use but insanely powerful free professional astronomy apps is opened up to you.

Just one example:

Right now my colleague at Yale and I have put together a project to use a remotely operated Paramount ME in New Mexico atop of which is sitting a bank of Canon lenses feeding a bunch of CCD cameras. Data taking is fully automated and works using 3 Mac minis (which are pretty cheap) that sit in the observatory which talk to each other using a client-server model that I hacked together using Perl and Python and Bash scripts. This was comparatively easy because networking and scripting is so straightforward in UNIX and there's so much pre-existing code knocking around. The data analysis pipeline (real-time reduction of data from 4 cameras now, and 9 cameras soon) uses Python and IRAF scripts.... also UNIX-specific, because these in turn call tools only available on a UNIX-based OS. For example, plate solves and image stacking also use tools like SCAMP and SWarp which are pretty awesome and UNIX-specific (check out http://www.astromatic.net/software if you're not familiar with them). The same Mac that's running TheSkyX and controlling our mount in New Mexico is running a bespoke TCP/IP server that communicates a bunch of data to the other machines on the network. I guess I could have written a server on a Windows machine but it was pretty easy to just hack it together in an afternoon on the Mac since as I'm sure you know UNIX is pretty good for that kind of thing.

Anyway, that's just one example. My institute also operates a remote 0.5m telesope on an AP3600 for research... also a very heavy reliance on UNIX. The world of professional astronomy is totally dominated by UNIX (hence Mac OS X and Linux boxes outnumber PCs running Windows by 10:1, except perhaps amongst the admin staff) and if you use a Mac all the same software I use to deal with HST and Gemini data is available to you. Mac mini's are fairly cheap these days so the buy-in isn't too bad.

Admittedly though much of this software is not very easy to use... for example there is nothing out there that I am aware of that lets you polar align as easily as PEMPro. And scope control has always been a weak point because most professional telescopes have had custom control software (a lot of which, frankly, is lousier than TheSkyX + T-point) which you can't use to control a high-end amateur mount.

Anyway, now that high-end amateur mounts like the AP3600 and the Paramounts can easily support 0.5m+ telescopes (the bread and butter of Universities) having TheSkyX running on Macs which are common around these parts is turning out to be a pretty good thing.

Bob




Hi Bob,

I've done a lot of UNIX and LINUX programming over the years (I have almost 35 years of software development experience). In many cases I've been able to compile and run unix code on a Windows PC with just a few tweaks by using CygWin. I've also used LINUX as a VMWare guest operating system on Windows.

But I don't think that many people would do the types of programming projects that you have done. Regarding commercial astronomy applications I just haven't seen the *need* to have Mac O/S when there are so many application and hardware choices under Windows.

-Ray


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: MX discount... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5667997 - 02/07/13 10:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If you go by that definition then the MX is not ASCOM compatible out of the box (because you need a third party "add on"). The Bisque software had to be included with the Paramounts otherwise they wouldn't be very useful at all. So, I think it's pretty silly to exclude all the software one can use, or, in this case, *has* to be used if the mount is to do useful work.

-Ray





Ray, I am not excluding anything - and your misunderstanding of my point here needs clearing up.

What we started talking about was the SB PMX sale/discount beaing a great deal $ wise. Last I checked the equivelent capacity A-P mount is something like $8,750 by itself 'as delivered'. But you need to buy a few things to get your scope on it and going - this is not even talking about provided software capability(here I refer to counterweight(s), saddle plate), which increases the cost. You know this.

ASCOM is free for anything so that economic common denominator drops out. You understand this.

To give the A-P mount the TheSkyX and/or it's add ons, increasing the cost further. You know it's not freeware.

It is the capability and fuctionality of this last item the A-P mount clearly lacks out of the box, the reality is the functionality and planetarium software (and TheSkyX with it's plug in's is really nice software that I'd hope you could appreciate if possible)... 'it is not there in the A-P mount box', and as delivered, it isn't.

So where are we. My math shows an A-P 900 coming in over $9k to get to where the SB PMX is at it's sale price of Correction $8k. Vastly different offerings and at least a Correction $1k price difference.

Unless you can show me somehow that you can get the same capability and functionality at the same price point - I'll point the 'silly' back to you.

Thanks for catching my error(s) Sedat!




Well, unless something has changed, you don't get a computer with a paramount mx, do you? So, literally I think that all you can do for $8K is slew with a joystick (correct me if I'm wrong at that?). The AP comes with a hand controller so you are ready to go. The hand controller itself is very expensive (about $1K) because it is ruggedized to withstand most impacts and temperature extremes that most laptops could not operate under.

Besides, I understand this is a moot point because there probably will be no more 900's made. If true, I would wonder what cool features and improved specifications there might be in its replacement.

-Ray


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: MX discount... new [Re: rmollise]
      #5668015 - 02/07/13 10:44 PM

Quote:

Well, a tripod or pier, counterweights, and a polar scope if you believe in such things. Course these are "optional" with the APs...




Fortunately all Paramounts come with a very nice saddle plate (the so called Versaplate), a counterweight shaft and a pair of counterweights. But regardless of which Paramount you purchase, chances are you'll need (or want) at least one more counterweight.

Too bad Rob is no longer making his tripods. He was selling them for half the price of the Bisque tripod. The Bisque tripod is just plain overpriced. I think the 10" diameter Astro-Physics portable pier is a good deal. In the case of a Bisque mount, all it needs is a simple adapter plate that any reliable local machine shop can make for cheap.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: MX discount... new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5668060 - 02/07/13 11:03 PM

No, Sedat, you didn't miss anything. It's 1K off the regular price. In my book, that's the best 90lb capacity mount deal at the moment when you consider its capability. And as mentioned already, get it all set up on your pier, load the software, plop your scope on it and it's good to go.

David


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5668215 - 02/08/13 01:02 AM

Quote:



But I don't think that many people would do the types of programming projects that you have done. Regarding commercial astronomy applications I just haven't seen the *need* to have Mac O/S when there are so many application and hardware choices under Windows.

-Ray




Hi Ray,

Yeah, fair enough, the project I described does have unusual requirements, though at least in this particular case I'd argue the Mac seems the better choice for technical reasons, and my colleagues and students and I do these kinds of weird projects pretty often. And I guess that kind of drives me in the direction of the Paramount (speaking only for myself of course... everybody has different needs of course).

Probably at the end of the day I see this Mac/Linux vs. Windows thing coming from an environment where Windows machines are rare and go against the grain, so I'd need to see a pretty good reason for using Windows before rolling that way. Back before TheSkyX + T-point I think there was such a reason, but nowadays... not so much. In fact at this point about the only Windows software I really miss on the Mac is PEMPro... so if you ever decide to port it you'll have at least one customer! And if I was running Windows mainly I'd sure miss a lot more than one program (swarp, scamp, IRAF, etc etc).

Actually, given the prevailing trends, I suppose if I were a developer I'd think seriously about blowing off both Windows and MacOSX and consider writing new things for iOS or Android (only for apps that don't require heavy lifting of course... I don't see PCs going away anytime soon).

Regards,

Bob

P.S. I used Cygwin a number of years ago by the way and found it OK in a pinch but non-optimal... as you know some pretty basic things a Unix person uses all the time (e.g. fork()) just don't exist on Windows. At least at the time I found the way Cygwin handled this missing but important POSIX system stuff to be slow and kludgy... I remember pulling my hair out trying to compile IRAF for example. This was quite a while ago so maybe things are better now, but back then I figured if I was going to do stuff in Windows I probably ought to bite the bullet and learn to use the Windows APIs... never did though.

P.P.S. Explaining my thinking on this stuff has been very helpful as it's made me critically examine what mount is right for me. I guess after all this self-justification I'd better order that Paramount MX now while they're still on sale.

Edited by Bob Abraham (02/08/13 01:26 AM)


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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #5668522 - 02/08/13 09:07 AM

Ray,
Quote:

Well, unless something has changed, you don't get a computer with a paramount mx, do you? So, literally I think that all you can do for $8K is slew with a joystick (correct me if I'm wrong at that?). The AP comes with a hand controller so you are ready to go. The hand controller itself is very expensive (about $1K) because it is ruggedized to withstand most impacts and temperature extremes that most laptops could not operate under.





Correct. No computer device supplied with the PMX - though I applaud their choice of USB interconx for that. And here I think is a good point as yes, what you get with an A-P is a very superior quality construction hand controller that has a decent object library and limited but useful utilities. My imaging /observing time in PNW extremely hobbled by cloudy nights since I bought mine, but the library is robust enough that I've only used the computer with either SkyTools3 or TheSky a few times total.

This in ways get to my comment about there is a difference in design concept. Most of us have laptops and most of those have a USB connect. Laptops aren't an expensive item and yet are not free either. But you do have a much larger screen and all the versatility that they bring to the party.

slightly OT lament->
I've also been a programmer since the appleII/trash80 days, built my first 'binary computer' from an edmunds kit in the 60's as a kid. So I'm one hails to before the personnel departments called folks hardware or software people. Push and pop, peek and poke... every bit mattered... and IMO still does though I think what folks refer to by programming these days in ways a far cry, and in cases where necc folks may try to figure out what the compiler is doing but few are capable. This as well as popping state analyzers onto chips to figure out what was really happening... remember those first 'mac's'? Pepsi Cola and locked architecture? Pascal, Modulo2, CPM, Fortran... 4D, Wingz, macNosey... oddities like SONBOL and LISP, RISC, and SCHNOC... Locked PGA's for the BMU and TSM? Anyway in the interval we've seen the kings new clothes many times over, though it seems so many don't know where we've been to get here.
end of slightly OT<-

I could digress into the interface / programming of devices, protocols, languages, intelligent and dumb controllers - but will just say that in this specific case / these two mounts the approach to control and manipulation is different enough to merit understanding.

Other than the greater rated imaging load capability for the PMX (and here I'd happily agree that A-P is 'conservative') and supplied items ofr PMX that are 'needed accesories' for the A-P - it is this issue of mount control that I am talking about. And here is where I think SB/PMX difference extraordinary. It's not like you have some little box that pops onto the screen, it's a fully fleshed environment that not only includes a great visual interactive planetarium program - it is integrated into the mount control / manipulation. I agree the A-P can be plugged into it, but would also require a computer.

So IMO that makes the difference noted by many. To have the capability of TheSky and it's plug ins either would require a laptop (I'm not a fan of small screens) and so that becomes a sort of common denominator.

If A-P wants the capability of the SB, then it needs SB, not the other way around. If a 'requirement' is the type of control that comes with the A-P, well then you buy an A-P. This is the 'out of box' product I'm trying to get at.

At times here I feel that to say something good about ASA or SB/Paramount is somehow interpreted as saying something bad about the A-P, or made to seem so by folks posts that follow on. In my case couldn't be farther from the truth. I own an A-P product and have nothing but great things to say about it, the support, the company.

I think it passes the reasonabless test to say these are different products from a systems engineering standpoint, and from that aspect the SB certainly IMO has a fantastic tooth to tail 'solution' for some folks, 'out of box' I am very impressed. For others it may be the requirements different and A-P can be entirely satisfactory once required accy's purchased. No better or worse IMO, but definately different animals within type.

Back to ideas relating to price, the SB/PMX at it's sale price (and OK, lets include a $500 laptop) I see a fantastic buy and well below the price for same system capabilty for the lower load rated A-P. If you already own a laptop, the $ difference even greater but that IMO a bit of hair splitting. IMO it's a case of more for your money if you need what it can do.

As always apology for all typos and length of the post here. I just want to be very clear that I am not saying anything bad about A-P 'system', while trying to say good things about the PMX 'system'.


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: MX discount... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5668636 - 02/08/13 10:06 AM

Quote:

Ray,
Quote:

Well, unless something has changed, you don't get a computer with a paramount mx, do you? So, literally I think that all you can do for $8K is slew with a joystick (correct me if I'm wrong at that?). The AP comes with a hand controller so you are ready to go. The hand controller itself is very expensive (about $1K) because it is ruggedized to withstand most impacts and temperature extremes that most laptops could not operate under.





Correct. No computer device supplied with the PMX - though I applaud their choice of USB interconx for that. And here I think is a good point as yes, what you get with an A-P is a very superior quality construction hand controller that has a decent object library and limited but useful utilities. My imaging /observing time in PNW extremely hobbled by cloudy nights since I bought mine, but the library is robust enough that I've only used the computer with either SkyTools3 or TheSky a few times total.

This in ways get to my comment about there is a difference in design concept. Most of us have laptops and most of those have a USB connect. Laptops aren't an expensive item and yet are not free either. But you do have a much larger screen and all the versatility that they bring to the party.

slightly OT lament->
I've also been a programmer since the appleII/trash80 days, built my first 'binary computer' from an edmunds kit in the 60's as a kid. So I'm one hails to before the personnel departments called folks hardware or software people. Push and pop, peek and poke... every bit mattered... and IMO still does though I think what folks refer to by programming these days in ways a far cry, and in cases where necc folks may try to figure out what the compiler is doing but few are capable. This as well as popping state analyzers onto chips to figure out what was really happening... remember those first 'mac's'? Pepsi Cola and locked architecture? Pascal, Modulo2, CPM, Fortran... 4D, Wingz, macNosey... oddities like SONBOL and LISP, RISC, and SCHNOC... Locked PGA's for the BMU and TSM? Anyway in the interval we've seen the kings new clothes many times over, though it seems so many don't know where we've been to get here.
end of slightly OT<-

I could digress into the interface / programming of devices, protocols, languages, intelligent and dumb controllers - but will just say that in this specific case / these two mounts the approach to control and manipulation is different enough to merit understanding.

Other than the greater rated imaging load capability for the PMX (and here I'd happily agree that A-P is 'conservative') and supplied items ofr PMX that are 'needed accesories' for the A-P - it is this issue of mount control that I am talking about. And here is where I think SB/PMX difference extraordinary. It's not like you have some little box that pops onto the screen, it's a fully fleshed environment that not only includes a great visual interactive planetarium program - it is integrated into the mount control / manipulation. I agree the A-P can be plugged into it, but would also require a computer.

So IMO that makes the difference noted by many. To have the capability of TheSky and it's plug ins either would require a laptop (I'm not a fan of small screens) and so that becomes a sort of common denominator.

If A-P wants the capability of the SB, then it needs SB, not the other way around. If a 'requirement' is the type of control that comes with the A-P, well then you buy an A-P. This is the 'out of box' product I'm trying to get at.

At times here I feel that to say something good about ASA or SB/Paramount is somehow interpreted as saying something bad about the A-P, or made to seem so by folks posts that follow on. In my case couldn't be farther from the truth. I own an A-P product and have nothing but great things to say about it, the support, the company.

I think it passes the reasonabless test to say these are different products from a systems engineering standpoint, and from that aspect the SB certainly IMO has a fantastic tooth to tail 'solution' for some folks, 'out of box' I am very impressed. For others it may be the requirements different and A-P can be entirely satisfactory once required accy's purchased. No better or worse IMO, but definately different animals within type.

Back to ideas relating to price, the SB/PMX at it's sale price (and OK, lets include a $500 laptop) I see a fantastic buy and well below the price for same system capabilty for the lower load rated A-P. If you already own a laptop, the $ difference even greater but that IMO a bit of hair splitting. IMO it's a case of more for your money if you need what it can do.

As always apology for all typos and length of the post here. I just want to be very clear that I am not saying anything bad about A-P 'system', while trying to say good things about the PMX 'system'.




My point was that the AP comes with a $1K handbox, explaining part of the difference. If AP decided to sell the mount without the hand controller the price would be about the same. Then if you want to include a $500 laptop then the user can load a free planetarium program (some are very nice) and the AP V2 ASCOM driver and Pulseguide. Between all of them the only thing missing is a pointing model, which the cheapest one would be MaxPoint for $150. So, the price is actually not that different. (And there are those who choose to image without a computer using just a DSLR camera).

As for USB, I think it is a worse option than a serial port. USB ports have proven to be way less robust than serial ports. IMO there's not much advantage using USB.

That said, you are comparing a rather new mount to a mount designed over 10 years ago and will likely no longer be produced. Have you considered that the price drop might be in anticipation of an AP900 replacement?

-Ray

Edited by Ray Gralak (02/08/13 10:15 AM)


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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: MX discount... new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #5668652 - 02/08/13 10:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:



But I don't think that many people would do the types of programming projects that you have done. Regarding commercial astronomy applications I just haven't seen the *need* to have Mac O/S when there are so many application and hardware choices under Windows.

-Ray




Hi Ray,

Yeah, fair enough, the project I described does have unusual requirements, though at least in this particular case I'd argue the Mac seems the better choice for technical reasons, and my colleagues and students and I do these kinds of weird projects pretty often. And I guess that kind of drives me in the direction of the Paramount (speaking only for myself of course... everybody has different needs of course).

Probably at the end of the day I see this Mac/Linux vs. Windows thing coming from an environment where Windows machines are rare and go against the grain, so I'd need to see a pretty good reason for using Windows before rolling that way. Back before TheSkyX + T-point I think there was such a reason, but nowadays... not so much. In fact at this point about the only Windows software I really miss on the Mac is PEMPro... so if you ever decide to port it you'll have at least one customer! And if I was running Windows mainly I'd sure miss a lot more than one program (swarp, scamp, IRAF, etc etc).

Actually, given the prevailing trends, I suppose if I were a developer I'd think seriously about blowing off both Windows and MacOSX and consider writing new things for iOS or Android (only for apps that don't require heavy lifting of course... I don't see PCs going away anytime soon).

Regards,

Bob

P.S. I used Cygwin a number of years ago by the way and found it OK in a pinch but non-optimal... as you know some pretty basic things a Unix person uses all the time (e.g. fork()) just don't exist on Windows. At least at the time I found the way Cygwin handled this missing but important POSIX system stuff to be slow and kludgy... I remember pulling my hair out trying to compile IRAF for example. This was quite a while ago so maybe things are better now, but back then I figured if I was going to do stuff in Windows I probably ought to bite the bullet and learn to use the Windows APIs... never did though.

P.P.S. Explaining my thinking on this stuff has been very helpful as it's made me critically examine what mount is right for me. I guess after all this self-justification I'd better order that Paramount MX now while they're still on sale.



Bob, as for using fork() that's why I sometimes run Linux Virtual Machines. VMWare has excellent device support on Windows for USB and other devices. It's great because I can simply copy the VM to another PC if I change out the PC. Good luck with your MX purchase. I'm sure it will be a fine mount.

-Ray


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5668777 - 02/08/13 11:28 AM

I have never heard of using an AP mount without the handbox.. didn't even know that was possible...

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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: MX discount... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5668899 - 02/08/13 12:23 PM

Quote:

I have never heard of using an AP mount without the handbox.. didn't even know that was possible...




It's not currently possible. I was just saying that if it was possible the mount's price might be less expensive.

-Ray


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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #5670571 - 02/09/13 11:38 AM

The A-P is already 'list price' less expesive because A-P does not include counterweights or an attachment plate. Not including the H/C would I'm sure affect the price but then the point that it works as such out of box sort of falls apart, an odd rabbit hole to go down. But that is not what this thread is about, though it seems to have been shoehorned in an odd way.

Ray, I guess my plea to you as a programmer missed. Am I correct you supply a product that is shipped by A-P with their mounts? I don't believe the same product is supplied out of box with the SB/PMX? You supply a product that ships with A-P mounts and you are here talking about what? Seems to me that A-P is also making at least some assumption that a computing platform might be availble? Where else would your software and the rest reside? It can't be put into the HC as far as I understand?

Am I mistaken and your product is somehow integrated into the SB suite? Then I could understand you're not violating vendor TOS here. I have flagged the mod's here and they don't respond, so I'm asking here.

How it's possible you could not compliment the efforts of SB in a systems software and integration and approach is baffling to me. And it is exactly here in the supplied software that SB has been and still is light years ahead of A-P which ships with your product. This is not to knock your part of the software A-P ships in their box at all.

The 'laptop' point you make, I have to ask then though it is not a requirement to use an A-P mount they do ship software that does need one, to run PulseGuide? (They do credit you by name on their site) What that software is capable of and what the SB suite is capable of are quite different and I give very high marks to what the SB folks have pioneered with their offering. The point about USB/serial I think moot as there is an industry using it and that is what the software resides on. Hardware vendors either get on the bus or you buy the dongle for whatever $ they are going for. That the SB software works very well with the A-P products is even more a reason to compliment them IMO.


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: MX discount... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5670673 - 02/09/13 12:44 PM

Hi Jim,

Obviously this kind of thing is up to the moderators, but in my opinion Ray has not been 'pushing' AP products in any way here. He's made some interesting points and thinking about these have helped me form my own opinions and ultimately helped clarify my thinking about whether or not to go for an MX (something I've been dithering over but which I now think I'm going to go ahead and do). My feeling is that it would be a shame to have his perspective moderated away.

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (02/09/13 12:50 PM)


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: MX discount... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5670679 - 02/09/13 12:48 PM

Counterweight:

Why would you flag the moderators??????

And why would Ray need to compliment SB on their software integration? They're a software company, one would hope their own software works well with their own mounts.

Edited by Paul G (02/09/13 12:50 PM)


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orlyandico
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Re: MX discount... new [Re: Paul G]
      #5670698 - 02/09/13 12:58 PM

IMHO: the SB software is great, etc. etc. But it is also necessary - SB would be in a heap of trouble if their software wasn't great, because their mount is completely struck dumb without it.

On the other hand, APCC may or may not be great in the same way. Does it try to provide functionality to AP mounts that has been in TSX for a long time? yes, certainly. In fact I would say that AP mounts would need APCC to get feature-parity with SB mounts.

But you don't need APCC. AP mounts work just fine without it. They don't have the fancy pointing model, etc. but they are functional. An SB mount is much less functional without its matching software suite.

I don't know if this is a canard or not.. but before I got my Mach1 I was looking at other 5k - 6k mounts and there was this Paramount GT1100s that kept popping up on the classifieds. For 5k at that. I must say I was sorely tempted, but at the end of the day the absolute requirement on a computer discouraged me. Of course the fact the SB mount was old and huge also were factors..


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: MX discount... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5670872 - 02/09/13 02:48 PM

Hi Orlyandico,

I see where you're coming from. My Mach 1 is a fabulous mount, and I'm glad it has some type of hand controller with a database even if I am not wild about its lack of some simple modelling. But on the other hand the SB mounts do come with a pretty nice joystick (with multiple speeds etc) which one can use to slew around without a computer so I think saying it's "struck dumb" without software is perhaps a bit harsh. Plus it seems like an iOS version of TheSkyX is around the corner, at which point you won't need a PC or Mac just an iPhone which I always have with me anyway. I know that the iOS version of TheSkyX isn't out yet but APCC isn't either... and since I don't think either are vapourware its only sensible to factor their existence into purchasing decisions.

Right now I want a mount that is super well integrated with a top-class first-class Mac OS X software to handle advanced tracking (so an MX + T-point + ProTrack sounds good) and would also welcome remote homing, so I think I know what I'm going to buy. But it's hard to go wrong with either AP or Bisque mounts I think...

Bob

Quote:

IMHO: the SB software is great, etc. etc. But it is also necessary - SB would be in a heap of trouble if their software wasn't great, because their mount is completely struck dumb without it.

On the other hand, APCC may or may not be great in the same way. Does it try to provide functionality to AP mounts that has been in TSX for a long time? yes, certainly. In fact I would say that AP mounts would need APCC to get feature-parity with SB mounts.

But you don't need APCC. AP mounts work just fine without it. They don't have the fancy pointing model, etc. but they are functional. An SB mount is much less functional without its matching software suite.

I don't know if this is a canard or not.. but before I got my Mach1 I was looking at other 5k - 6k mounts and there was this Paramount GT1100s that kept popping up on the classifieds. For 5k at that. I must say I was sorely tempted, but at the end of the day the absolute requirement on a computer discouraged me. Of course the fact the SB mount was old and huge also were factors..




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Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #5670918 - 02/09/13 03:28 PM

Quote:

But on the other hand the SB mounts do come with a pretty nice joystick (with multiple speeds etc) which one can use to slew around without a computer so I think saying it's "struck dumb" without software is perhaps a bit harsh.




Maybe a bit, but a mount that won't track the moon or the sun without a computer... Given the sophistication of the mounts they produce and the software they write, I find it odd that the hand controller they produced is so rudimentary in function.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: MX discount... new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #5670919 - 02/09/13 03:29 PM

Quote:

But it's hard to go wrong with either AP or Bisque mounts I think...




It is very easy to go wrong with both manufacturers if your expectations are too high. Those mounts are very good however they both fall short of what $10,000 should get you.


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