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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5206706 - 05/05/12 03:11 AM

Good choice with AP. With the PMX, consider the limitation of needing a PC at hand, if you ever need to do visual.

I operate both a AP1200 and Paramount ME (MX's bigger brother). I love how simple and effective using the AP mount. I can get the stuff I need to do so much faster, just made for fun.

The PME sometimes gets in the way due to the the homing and other software rituals needed. With the AP, just turn on and Goto. Always aligned. The handbox is also sweet for visual work. Very robust mount, you wont regret it.


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5207065 - 05/05/12 11:37 AM

Hmm, I've emailed this to AP but I wanted to ask you guys since it's a weekend: Will Astro-physics support their mount where I live (Pakistan)?

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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5207108 - 05/05/12 12:04 PM

Quote:

Hmm, I've emailed this to AP but I wanted to ask you guys since it's a weekend: Will Astro-physics support their mount where I live (Pakistan)?




They support their mounts all over the world, including Antarctica and Alaska. I don't think they would have a problem with Pakistan.


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mchaser
super member


Reged: 12/22/04

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5207135 - 05/05/12 12:20 PM

I'm curious, why did OPT say they couldn't provide the mx mount?

Mike


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: mchaser]
      #5207153 - 05/05/12 12:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hmm, I've emailed this to AP but I wanted to ask you guys since it's a weekend: Will Astro-physics support their mount where I live (Pakistan)?




They support their mounts all over the world, including Antarctica and Alaska. I don't think they would have a problem with Pakistan.




Thanks Chris, that's very good to know.

Edited by saadabbasi (05/05/12 12:34 PM)


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5207194 - 05/05/12 12:57 PM

If you sign up for Yahoo AP-UG you will find a lot of interesting information. Lots of support activity for a mount in India right now.

BTW, Anacortes Wild Bird (Astromart) has a new AP900 in stock, if you can't wait ;-)

Good luck !

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Hmm, I've emailed this to AP but I wanted to ask you guys since it's a weekend: Will Astro-physics support their mount where I live (Pakistan)?




They support their mounts all over the world, including Antarctica and Alaska. I don't think they would have a problem with Pakistan.




Thanks Chris, that's very good to know.




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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: EddWen]
      #5207378 - 05/05/12 02:38 PM

I think A-P GTO Yahoo Group would be better because it's dedicated to A-P mounts. I would join both groups.

Peter


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Logan Tudor
member


Reged: 12/28/11

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5208303 - 05/06/12 04:16 AM

Any guesses or inside info on the timings for the 900's replacement, the 1000, 'The Grand' or whatever it's finally named?

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Logan Tudor
member


Reged: 12/28/11

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5208304 - 05/06/12 04:16 AM

Any guesses or inside info on the timings for the 900's replacement, the 1000, 'The Grand' or whatever it's finally named?

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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Logan Tudor]
      #5208722 - 05/06/12 12:25 PM

As I recall, AP made some mention that it would probably take a year.
I would figure they will finish this run of AP-900s and sell them. They will also finish the run on AP-1600's and Mach1s before they would have time to retool and begin a run of the AP-1000 or what ever the name turns out to be, would be my quess.
Blueman
Quote:

Any guesses or inside info on the timings for the 900's replacement, the 1000, 'The Grand' or whatever it's finally named?




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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: blueman]
      #5208800 - 05/06/12 01:20 PM

Quote:

As I recall, AP made some mention that it would probably take a year.
I would figure they will finish this run of AP-900s and sell them. They will also finish the run on AP-1600's and Mach1s before they would have time to retool and begin a run of the AP-1000 or what ever the name turns out to be, would be my quess.
Blueman
Quote:

Any guesses or inside info on the timings for the 900's replacement, the 1000, 'The Grand' or whatever it's finally named?







I think the current "run" is already over. They just have some AP900s left over from the production run. I think they also have some Mach 1s.

The next run is of the AP1600GTO and after that it's probably the Mach 1 again since it's a big seller. After that, I guess, the "the grand" would be produced. I hope they announce it before then though.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5208829 - 05/06/12 01:39 PM

Quote:

I think the current "run" is already over. They just have some AP900s left over from the production run.



I believe that the prices for used 1200s and 900s will come down significantly. The changes to the 1600 are rather cosmetic so the 1200 is as good as the 1600 and the 900 will be as good as the 1000. Why no to wait and pick up one of those mounts at a significant discount? In the meantime you can still enjoy your G11. BTW What's the reason for upgrade? Is there anything wrong with your G11? Despite all the hoopla surrounding AP mounts my eyes are on the Losmandy Titan.


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Alph]
      #5208849 - 05/06/12 01:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I think the current "run" is already over. They just have some AP900s left over from the production run.



I believe that the prices for used 1200s and 900s will come down significantly. The changes to the 1600 are rather cosmetic so the 1200 is as good as the 1600 and the 900 will be as good as the 1000. Why no to wait and pick up one of those mounts at a significant discount? In the meantime you can still enjoy your G11. BTW What's the reason for upgrade? Is the anything wrong with your G11?




That's a good point, Alph. However, I'm hoping the new mount will feature the same upgrades as the AP1600 did. I'd like the ability to upgrade to absolute encoders in the future and I very much want through-the-mount cabling. I'd also like slightly more capacity than the AP900 currently provides (but not so much as the AP1600).

There's nothing particularly wrong with my G11 but I've wanted a high-end mount for some time now. The G11, on the whole, has served me well. But it still loses subs without any apparent reason and Gemini can be frustrating to deal with as well.

I still hope we don't have to wait a year for the new AP mount. I'm hoping SB would get back to me before that but it doesn't look like it.

EDIT: I thought I remembered reading you were interested in a Paramount MX. Are you now looking at the Titan?

Edited by saadabbasi (05/06/12 01:52 PM)


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: saadabbasi]
      #5208902 - 05/06/12 02:18 PM

Quote:

I thought I remembered reading you were interested in a Paramount MX. Are you now looking at the Titan?



Yes I was and I am still interested in the Paramount MX but I am not so sure anymore if I am ready to pay $11k for the PMX and the tripod. The PMX is very portable in terms of weight but it is not portable when it comes to alignment. SB did nothing to improve anything in this regard. What makes sense in an observatory mount does not necessarily make sense in a portable mount. Those relatively young dudes from SB don't understand that.


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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Alph]
      #5209086 - 05/06/12 04:34 PM

Does anyone know if Rob Miller is still with SB and has had anything to do with design of the PMX? If Rob worked on that mount, the mechanics has to be great.

The umbilical cord to the computer for the mount operation, that seems like an idea from the "relatively young" and inexperienced on what really matters in a mount.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5209228 - 05/06/12 06:32 PM

I specifically asked the AP guys at NEAF if the one critical feature of the AP1600, the encoders, could be expected in the smaller mounts, later. They said not in the near term; the encoders need a fair amount of volume, and fitting them into the AP1600 has meant the mount is designed around them.

Note, there is a very real component to this- higher resolution needs distance. If it is resolving .1 arcseconds, the minimum to have control around .2 arcseconds, then that is 6,480,000 steps in a circle. A 150mm diameter encoder would need to be reading 1375 counts per millimeter to do this.

-Rich


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5209237 - 05/06/12 06:39 PM

What are the benefits for the optional encoders? Are they useful for portable setup? Do they require perfect polar alignment and pointing models before these encoders become useful? Are they more beneficial for permanent setup?

Thanks,
Peter


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5209291 - 05/06/12 07:08 PM

Quote:

The PMX is very portable in terms of weight but it is not portable when it comes to alignment.



Alph, sometimes I swear you just like to bash every mount in existence. You bash the excellent AP mounts, you bash the excellent SB mounts. Is there any mount you do like? Seriously, if there is a mount you like, I want to know.

I have extensive experience with Paramount mounts. I've been using them for over 12 years now. I take my Paramount into the field several times a year. It is very easy to polar align. It's so easy that I suspect anyone who says otherwise either doesn't actually own a Paramount or simply doesn't have much if any significant experience using one.

Quote:

SB did nothing to improve anything in this regard.



They added a polar alignment scope option for people who like to use polar alignment scopes. I get rough polar aligned just as easily without one, but the option is there for people who prefer it. Fine polar alignment is the same either way. I don't know why you think it's so hard to polar align a Paramount. It's easy.




Quote:

The umbilical cord to the computer for the mount operation, that seems like an idea from the "relatively young" and inexperienced on what really matters in a mount.



"Relatively young and inexperienced." That sounds like a talking point being passed around. If only it were true, which it isn't. Those Bisque guys are almost as old as I am. They've been developing astronomical software for over 20 years and selling high quality high end mounts for over 14 years.

In my own opinion the Paramount MX is primarily a portable robotic imaging mount hence the computer control and tight integration is an asset rather than a detriment. Many people are treating the MX as a less expensive (relative to the ME) observatory mount. It works well either way, so long as you're primarily doing imaging.

Quote:

Does anyone know if Rob Miller is still with SB and has had anything to do with design of the PMX?



Rob Miller has widely stated that he designed the ME. The MX is a descendent of the ME. Rob Miller also designed and currently sells mount tripods that are very good and comparatively inexpensive. I have one, use it in the field and I like it.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5209339 - 05/06/12 07:44 PM

I think that those who have some experience using better mounts would all agree that the AP and SB mounts are excellent, state of the art mounts.
Which one is better, well there is no direct answer to a question like this. It depends on what you are looking to do, what you prefer and whether you are wanting a stand alone Go-To system or not.
But, I think I can safely say, either mount would be a great choice.
Personally, I chose the AP-900, but that does not make it the better mount, but rather the mount that I preferred, after considering all my needs and demands.
Blueman


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? [Re: blueman]
      #5209637 - 05/07/12 12:18 AM

The AP1600 encoders are native to the special version of the GTO controller for that mount- if you have them, it uses them. The primary control for rate and position is via the motors. If the mount is equipped with the encoders, they are used to push corrections for both rate and position in real time. Note, this makes both PEC and autoguiding essentially irrelevant. AP still programs in a three-cycle average PEC routine.

-Rich


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