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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
UPS Guy Just Left...
      #5569797 - 12/13/12 07:28 PM Attachment (168 downloads)

He dropped off these boxes from Machesney Park, IL.

More to come later...

-Wade


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5569848 - 12/13/12 08:03 PM

Not enough boxes!!

Paul


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: psandelle]
      #5569861 - 12/13/12 08:10 PM

Oh good! new astro gear in the NW, that makes for at least another couple of weeks of cloudy weather!!
That looks like some serious gear. Congrats!


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: andysea]
      #5569890 - 12/13/12 08:27 PM

Ok. What's in the boxes? Gotta be AP, but that's a lot of boxes. And the bottom two are throwing me off. Maybe the 1600 ships in two parts. Or the portable pier ships in four boxes. I may be way off, but this is kinda fun.

More to come you say? Maybe a 180?

Either way, you're gonna be clouded in for weeks.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5569977 - 12/13/12 09:24 PM

Ok, I've opened *most* of the boxes.

It's been a bit of a fun game to see if I can predict what will be in the box before I open it. There is a particular order that I'm going for here.

And oh yes, the northwest is going to be clouded out for months. There is a group of astronomy enthusiasts where I work, and they've already let me know that they are not happy that there won't be any observing until at least spring.

Anyway, back to the boxes.

First up is a long, skinny box. That one's got to be a counterweight shaft. Let's see...



Yup.

Next up, is a box that is square, thin and pretty heavy. I'm guessing counterweights:



I'm two for two. There is another box just like this one, which turns out to be more counterweights. I've got several different combinations of OTA/camera setups, so I got a variety of sizes:



Ok, I'm saving the best for last. Here's a box that looks like a pier:



My guessing accuracy is still 100%. Here's the contents of that box on the work bench:



Hmmm. There must be more to the pier. I'll try to find the legs next:



And on the work bench:



I'm not seeing how the legs attach to the pier. One of these boxes must be the base to the pier. Let's try this one:



Strange. I wouldn't expect the pier base to need packing peanuts. Digging into the box:



Definitely not the pier base. But it looks like there's lots of goodies in here.

Boxes within boxes:



A-Ha! It's the GTO control box. There's also that plastic piece on the left. It's the first thing I've unpacked that I can't identify. I suppose that I'll figure out that one later tonight.



Ultimately, that box has lots of interesting stuff.





Ok, time to try another box for the pier base.



Success. I've got all the parts for the pier - but I don't see any assembly instructions. Fortunately, this isn't the first time I've seen one put together:



Nifty. It went together very easily. I was pretty suprised how easy it is to level. I put a bubble level on top and tried adjusting the turnbuckles. It turns out that adjustments are very precise and smooth - easier than leveling the tripod legs on my CGEs.

So that's as far as I've gotten to this point. There are still two large and heavy boxes waiting to be opened. I've been saving them for last because I was pretty sure that they contain the really good stuff.

It was 14 months ago that I put my name on the list. It's time to go open them.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570063 - 12/13/12 10:21 PM

Hmmmmmmmmm.
Me thinks he is having WAY to much fun.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570065 - 12/13/12 10:23 PM

Hmmmmmmmmm.
Me thinks he is having WAY to much fun.

I just checked outside.... and it is ALL CLOUDY.
Checked the weather... and the entire West Coast area, clear into Arizona and beyond.... all cloudy!

He must have gotten something REALlY NICE !!


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570066 - 12/13/12 10:24 PM

No doubt your UPS driver had a few choice words for YOU

There's nothing like getting Astro Gear for Christmas.


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artcarter
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570099 - 12/13/12 10:48 PM

Wade,

I'm jealous. It looks like a great setup.

I'm waiting for my C6 SGT to be delivered and the weather change LOL

Art


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: artcarter]
      #5570111 - 12/13/12 10:55 PM

Oh my this is the worst stretch of bad weather in the 11 years that I lived in Seattle!! You guys with your astro purchases aren't helping!! LOL

Andy


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570141 - 12/13/12 11:14 PM

Finally, everything is unboxed.

As you've figured out by now, I got a new mount.

I started imaging back in 1998 with a Celestron Ultima 2000 and ST-237 camera. I tried it with Fastar, at F/6.7 and F/10. I wasn't very good at it.

In 2003, about the time I was getting a serious case of aperture fever, Celestron released the CGE. I made the jump to a CGE-1400 and was a very happy visual camper.

When I first got the CGE, I was thinking about stepping up my imaging game. After a couple of years of visual with the C14, I got serious about it. I ripped the C8 off of the Ultima 2000, switched to a Canon 10D and went for it again. The results were really promising, but I needed to get a guiding solution. The ST-237 worked perfectly as a guide camera.

Anyway, after a couple of years of this, I ended up with a couple of CGEs (one for imaging, while the other one carried the C14 for visual) and lots of other gear.

I discovered Astro-Physics while studying what other people were using. I decided then that I wanted one. Specifically, I wanted an AP1200.

Finally, after years of saying "someday", I put my name on the notification list in October last year, around the time of AIC.

Earlier this year, Astro-Physics pulled a fast one and discontinued the AP1200. I came very close to buying an AP900, but figured that it would be better to step up than to step down.

It took AP a while to switch over from the AP1200 to the AP1600 - and they seem to have lots of projects going on right now, which isn't making things quicker.

Anyway, back to those two boxes.

I opened the "smaller" of the two boxes first:



Of course, this was the declination axis, shown here on the bench:



This is the first time that I've ever kept photos of unboxing new equipment, and I almost got it done at every step. In my excitement to get it all unboxed, I forgot to get a picture of the RA axis packed in the box. Here it is on the bench:



And finally, all put together on the pier:



Everything made perfect sense in how it goes together. I made it almost all the way without consulting the manual. I say almost because the through the mount cabling threw me a bit. The cable for the declination drive runs through the RA axis and connects inside of the dec housing. I could not figure out how to get my hand into the dec axis to plug it in.

I got a bit concerned because when I opened the manual package, it said that the AP1600 manual is not ready yet, so they included the AP1200 manual, which does not have this cable routing. They are going to email me the new manual when it's ready and follow it up by sending me a bound manual. I had a bit of a panic at this, but it turns out that they did send an addendum that covers the key differences between the AP1200 and AP1600, including the cabling. It turns out that the end of the dec housing (the part where the counterweight shaft attaches) itself unscrews, leaving a large opening into the dec housing.

I've connected everything and powered it up. I went through many of the options in the keypad, sent it on some imaginary gotos, slewed around and such. I haven't actually found the off switch yet...

In the next couple of days, I am going to get everything installed on my laptop so that I can configure my automation software to work with it.

I'm hoping to get a first light someday, but between normal Seattle weather and new mount curse, it could be a while. Actually, it would be more cruel to have good weather over the weekend. AP did not have the dovetail mount that I ordered available to ship with the rest of the stuff. It will be coming in a separate shipment on Monday.

If you made it this far, I hope that you enjoyed sharing the fun of opening new toys.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: artcarter]
      #5570144 - 12/13/12 11:17 PM

Quote:

Wade,

I'm jealous. It looks like a great setup.

I'm waiting for my C6 SGT to be delivered and the weather change LOL

Art




The C6 SGT is a great setup as well. You are going to love it!


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rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570146 - 12/13/12 11:23 PM

That is a beauty! OK, how many of the rest of you out there scrolled to the bottom first to see what it was!! Actually I liked following the sequence!

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: rigel123]
      #5570200 - 12/14/12 12:24 AM

Beautiful mount!! Congrats!

Andy


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: andysea]
      #5570234 - 12/14/12 01:14 AM

Fantastic mount and nice thread i was going on like a tv series from post to post...

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5570300 - 12/14/12 04:21 AM

That is just plain gorgeous! Congratulations!

-- Chris


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Husbyggarn
super member


Reged: 12/12/08

Loc: Sweden
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: CJK]
      #5570343 - 12/14/12 05:48 AM

omg...
I think my HEQ5 is massive but i can't even begin to imagine how more massive this mount must be!
Congrats on your new mount, nice post!
Alexander


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Husbyggarn]
      #5570377 - 12/14/12 06:55 AM

Congratulations on the beautiful new 1600! Greats pics - thanks for sharing the experience. Will be looking forward to your impressions... lets see next July?!

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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5570525 - 12/14/12 09:34 AM

Congrats! I swear I had no idea what was in there when I guessed.

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570620 - 12/14/12 10:39 AM

Now that's a dandy piece of hardware!

David


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5570763 - 12/14/12 12:13 PM

If you were posting pictures within your post (aside from the first one), I'm not seeing any.

Reading your text in your long post it sounded like you were trying to embed pictures of each box opening.

Congrats anyway!


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: gillmj24]
      #5570780 - 12/14/12 12:30 PM

I am hosting these pictures on a server in my home. The server is beefy enough, but my bandwidth is being challenged this morning.

The pictures should load eventually.


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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570801 - 12/14/12 12:47 PM

You had me guessing for a while. I though it was an AstroTrac...

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SteveG
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Hikari]
      #5570825 - 12/14/12 12:59 PM

Love those st stl counterweights!

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Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Hikari]
      #5570827 - 12/14/12 01:00 PM

OMG, I think I just ruined the surprise. Now you can't place it under the tree for me to find in the morning...

I was going to get one of those for myself for Christmas but decided that the paperwork my wife would have me served with was not something I wanted. Oh well...

Congrats on getting a mount that you will likely never outgrow...


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Darenwh]
      #5570953 - 12/14/12 02:38 PM

I have a very understanding and supportive wife

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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5570980 - 12/14/12 02:56 PM

Quote:

I have a very understanding and supportive wife




I thought I did as well. So I bought myself a Mach 1 for my birthday last June. Since then, it's cost me as much in equivalent gifts and she still brings it up almost daily.

Ever wear a pair of $1k shoes? My wife did... once.

Oh and I get no credit at all for selling some of my other toys to pay for the mount originally.

Sorry for that rant.


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Footbag]
      #5572526 - 12/15/12 12:32 PM

OK I saw the pics. Very nice!

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Bill Barlow
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Overland Park KS
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5572744 - 12/15/12 03:14 PM

Congratulations on your new AP1600 mount. Is the weight manageable by breaking it down into smaller components? What is the heaviest part?

Bill


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skullpin
sage
*****

Reged: 03/13/09

Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #5572883 - 12/15/12 05:13 PM

Thanks for the detailed unboxing... really appreciated!

I am now inspired to photo document my new Borg 125SD due Monday or Tuesday. Without reading this post, I would greedily rip everything open like a kid on Christmas morning. Stay tuned in the refractor forum.

Keith


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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: skullpin]
      #5572987 - 12/15/12 06:40 PM

More photos !!

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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Bill Barlow]
      #5573137 - 12/15/12 08:20 PM

Quote:

Congratulations on your new AP1600 mount. Is the weight manageable by breaking it down into smaller components? What is the heaviest part?

Bill




Yes. The RA assembly and Dec assembly are easily separated. They connect via a dovetail arrangment with two lock knobs (you can optionally bolt them together). The RA assembly is the heaviest part at 58lb. I don't have the weight of the Dec assembly handy, but it is around 40lb.

My previous mount is a Celestron CGE. That mount does not come apart, and it is 50lb as a single unit. So I've upped the heaviest part of my setup by only 8 lb.

It takes me about 10 minutes to set up my CGE. I don't think that it took me over 30 minutes to set up the AP1600 the first time. I'm guessing that it will take me about 15 minutes (including pier assembly) to set up the AP, once I've done it a couple of times.

I hope that this helps.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: kevint1]
      #5573140 - 12/15/12 08:21 PM

Quote:

More photos !!




Is there anything in particular you'd like to see?


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frozen.kryo
super member


Reged: 01/28/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5573532 - 12/16/12 01:46 AM

How about a side by side with the CGE?
I have the CGE and am wondering about the size difference between the two.

Congrats on the new mount. Looks awesome!


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Beerologist
member


Reged: 07/29/11

Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: frozen.kryo]
      #5573560 - 12/16/12 02:30 AM

I never realized the AP mount CW bar threads in. I assumed it went all the way through as an integral part.

That kind of surprises me because I remember reading here at CN a while ago a 1200GTO owner bashing the heck out of ASA's DDM mounts for the same reason!

That's an awesome setup all the same.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Beerologist]
      #5574269 - 12/16/12 02:42 PM

Frozen.kryo request a picture of the AP1600 and the CGE side by side.

Here you go:



I often run my CGE from inside a Kendrick observatory tent. My goal was to get the AP1600 to fit in the tent in a similar spot. To do this, I ordered the shortest field pier that AP sells for this mount. It looks like I got it pretty close.

Oh, and the CGE is for sale. I listed it in the classifieds section here a while ago and also have it on AM. If you are interested in a very nice CGE, please PM me.


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Don Allen
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Charleston, SC
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5574343 - 12/16/12 03:26 PM

My 23 year old daughter just flew to Seattle to visit a friend for a week. Thanks for giving her bad weather.

Congrats on the mount however.


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frozen.kryo
super member


Reged: 01/28/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: Don Allen]
      #5575185 - 12/17/12 05:10 AM

Thanks for the side-by-side pic. It definitely makes the CGE look positively spindly, and the CGE ain't no slouch either.

Looks like you're all set for monster OTA's.


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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: frozen.kryo]
      #5576676 - 12/18/12 12:32 AM

Oh noos RC Airplanez for day time.
No sleep for you. Ha


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astroRoy
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/09/11

Loc: Southern Oregon
Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: TxStars]
      #5576906 - 12/18/12 07:58 AM

So I hope you relize you are at fault for the snow storm that his us in the PNW last night. With a mount like that, I figure it will be May before the sky clears again. Beautiful mount though. I don't blame you at all. Congratulations.

Roy


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fvandrog
member


Reged: 09/07/12

Re: UPS Guy Just Left... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5578530 - 12/19/12 08:13 AM

Quote:

Frozen.kryo request a picture of the AP1600 and the CGE side by side.




Those are both very nice mounts -- I always considered the CGE large, the the AP definitely beats it in volume

F.


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