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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Dave M]
      #6057568 - 09/01/13 12:12 PM

Just another tiny detail to help the amateur astronomer: you can drive a DC focus motor directly from the GTO control box, under both keypad and LX200 control.

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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6057643 - 09/01/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

Just another tiny detail to help the amateur astronomer: you can drive a DC focus motor directly from the GTO control box, under both keypad and LX200 control.




And you can push the mount around if you have a power issue, like forgetting a cord

On the Mach 1, the RA and DEC gearbox/servo is a direct swap. Should something happen, a few screws will get you tracking in RA again.


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6057684 - 09/01/13 01:27 PM

Terry, The key difference between AP and SB mounts is that SB's are designed to be robotic from the start, that means they have dedicated hardware switches and homing points in the encoders that are designed to provide foolproof homing from an unknown position (this is needed if the mount is in a remote observatory and you loose the power or have a computer lockup and need to reboot remotely) all industrial robotics can do this, home systems, not so much. If you do not need this kind of foolproof homing? then the feature set of each determines which is best for you.
Rex


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: tomcody]
      #6057877 - 09/01/13 03:19 PM

I bought the AP 900 about 18 months ago after looking at it an the MX. I liked the 12 volt power on the 900 and it was available for immediate shipping. The MX had a significant wait. I like the simplicity of the AP900 with its stand alone controller.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: JMW]
      #6059342 - 09/02/13 01:58 PM

Stand alone controller.
Able to go way past the meridian.
More portable.


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6059412 - 09/02/13 02:28 PM

SP was the preferred ROBOTIC mount when I first was in a position of choosing. As I didn't (and still don't) use the mount remotely, I chose AP.

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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #6059755 - 09/02/13 06:02 PM

The reasons I chose an AP 900GTO:

* Build quality.
* Legendary customer support.
* Sophisticated hand controller, usable down to about -40C.
* Sophisticated ASCOM driver.
* 12VDC battery power.
* Swiss servo motors.
* Pointing precision.
* Tracking precision.
* Excellent rigidity yet light weight.
* Wide range of available accessories.
* All parts available for separate purchase.
* Modularity.
* Easily-removable electronics.
* Portability.
* Well-documented and universally-supported software commands.
* Beautiful engineering down to the smallest details.
* Planetarium agnostic.
* Imaging software agnostic.
* Control software agnostic.
* No yearly licensing fees.
* Comes with a copy of PemPRO.
* Dual serial ports, the universal denominator of interfaces.
* Worm position auto-save on power loss.
* Ability to image well-past the meridian.
* ST-4 Autoguider input.
* PAINLESS to polar-align.
* Support for latitudes from 20 to 68 degrees and with a few small mods, down to 18 degrees.
* The AP user community.
* Huge third-party support.

Edited by Chris Erickson (09/02/13 06:04 PM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6060185 - 09/02/13 10:48 PM

So tell us how you really feel, Chris.

David


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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6060302 - 09/03/13 12:04 AM

Hi Chris,

Of course many/most of the things you've noted apply to SB mounts too, particularly with the newer ME-II and MX which can track way past the meridian (a weakness of the old ME).

Both AP and SB make fantastic mounts. In my opinion, one of the more important things to consider when differentiating between AP and SB is the philosophical requirement for TheSkyX to drive the SB mounts. While AP mounts are indeed way more agnostic about software, I think that cuts both ways. A lot of the best stuff about the SB mounts comes from the tight integration between the hardware and software (e.g. Pro-Track, DirectGuide). I'd hate to give that up.

For example, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but to get something working at the level of sophistication of Pro-Track (e.g. incorporation of T-point flexure modelling in the tracking) on the AP mount requires AP Command Center, which means (1) you're no longer agnostic about software, and are even less agnostic about hardware, since you can only run it on a PC; and (2) AP Command Center isn't even out yet except to the beta testers, so I think it's just not possible to match the SB mount in this regard at the moment.

I'm kind of reminded of PC vs Mac, or Android vs. iOS arguments… the openness of one system is a good thing, but the tight coupling of the hardware and software on the other system is a good thing too. I can well understand why somebody might prefer one or the other depending on circumstances.

Anyway, in addition to an ME-II in New Mexico I have a Mach-1 GTO in my back yard and I really like both mounts.

Bob


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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6060388 - 09/03/13 01:37 AM

I simply responded to the OP about why I chose AP. I said nothing about SB or made any comparison to them. The OP didn't request a comparison.


Quote:

Hi Chris,

Of course many/most of the things you've noted apply to SB mounts too, particularly with the newer ME-II and MX which can track way past the meridian (a weakness of the old ME).

Both AP and SB make fantastic mounts. In my opinion, one of the more important things to consider when differentiating between AP and SB is the philosophical requirement for TheSkyX to drive the SB mounts. While AP mounts are indeed way more agnostic about software, I think that cuts both ways. A lot of the best stuff about the SB mounts comes from the tight integration between the hardware and software (e.g. Pro-Track, DirectGuide). I'd hate to give that up.

For example, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but to get something working at the level of sophistication of Pro-Track (e.g. incorporation of T-point flexure modelling in the tracking) on the AP mount requires AP Command Center, which means (1) you're no longer agnostic about software, and are even less agnostic about hardware, since you can only run it on a PC; and (2) AP Command Center isn't even out yet except to the beta testers, so I think it's just not possible to match the SB mount in this regard at the moment.

I'm kind of reminded of PC vs Mac, or Android vs. iOS arguments… the openness of one system is a good thing, but the tight coupling of the hardware and software on the other system is a good thing too. I can well understand why somebody might prefer one or the other depending on circumstances.

Anyway, in addition to an ME-II in New Mexico I have a Mach-1 GTO in my back yard and I really like both mounts.

Bob




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Bob Abraham
sage


Reged: 05/17/05

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6060416 - 09/03/13 02:12 AM

Hi Chris,

Quote:

I simply responded to the OP about why I chose AP. I said nothing about SB or made any comparison to them. The OP didn't request a comparison.




Well, fair enough, though the OP entitled the thread "AP vs SB". So I'm pretty sure the OP is requesting a comparison (or the "vs" wouldn't be in there) and the rationale behind picking one mount as opposed to another. But the title is pretty open ended so perhaps I'm misunderstanding what the OP is looking for.

Bob

Edited by Bob Abraham (09/03/13 02:18 AM)


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Bob Abraham]
      #6060437 - 09/03/13 03:17 AM

Quote:

I'm misunderstanding what the OP is looking for.



Entertainment. Why to bother to respond?


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: Alph]
      #6061032 - 09/03/13 01:14 PM

I chose the A-P Mach1 because it was the 'least expensive top quality' mount out there for what I need(ed) and the PMX wasn't out in production yet. if I had to do it over again I would likely go for the PMX for my obs setup.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #6061679 - 09/03/13 09:10 PM

If I had to do things over I'd probably bite the bullet and find a used 900 now that their prices are plummeting. It certainly is a lot heavier and less handy than the Mach1, but I may one day want to get a 12" RC...

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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Re: AP vs SB: Why did you choose what you did? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6064899 - 09/05/13 05:34 PM

I received my PMX a few weeks ago after ordering it earlier this spring. Here's a list of my reasons for choosing this mount in particular.

- The reputation of the PME
- Payload per $$
- Full integration of computer control / software suite
- Ability to 'home' the mount
- Ability to use 14" scopes (Excited about possibilities with the new Planewave 14")
- Still considered 'portable'
- Made & Supported in North America

*Note these aren't all PMX specific points, but just points in general


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