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Astro-Physics 10" Mak-Cass

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#151 MDRP

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 10:30 AM

Thanks for the links to the Ting and Freeman reviews, but does anyone have fresh reports?

 

Regarding mounts, I already have a very capable Mach I and a DM-6. I threw in reference to the alt/az DM-6 because it would be a more interesting (provocative?) "light weight," portable, alternative set-up for a big Mak. Except at very high powers, the DM-6 might work better than anticipated.    



#152 Gleason

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 10:37 AM

Car enthusiasts are often broken-down into three groups: waxers, tuners, and racers. Many contributors to this topic seem to be "tuners," those most interested in tweeking performance, testing, and comparing. I have a question for the "racers," those more engaged in observing. Much has been said about the prowess of Mak-Cass scopes for planets, moon, and double stars, but what about superior views of deep sky objects with large aperture MC scopes, many examples of which can benefit from powers above 100x? Globulars, many open clusters, and most galaxies and planetaries fall into this category. Any good observing reports of the unique performance of M-C scopes? Flat field, coma-free, color-free, high contrast optics must have their rewards.   

 

How portable is the AP 10" MC? It weighs about 35 lbs, has an about 11" tube, and is only 29.5" long without dewcap. Thus, it's mount-friendly. AP says it can be mounted on a Mach I, their smallest mount. What about a DM-6 alt/az set up that disposes of counterweights? A 10" grab-and-go MC? Might do fine except when very high powers are desired. What about transport of Slowmax to dark sites in a padded bag instead of its big, rigid case? The padded bag (and DM-6 mount) has proved excellent for my AP 180mm Fastmax. 

 

Thoughts are invited, especially by owner/users of big aperture MC scopes. 

I can't say for an MC, but my remote trips with the 180 f/7 have always been with a large padded Tenba bag.  Much less bulk.  I am thinking that the new MC would carry nicely on that Panther, motorized Alt-Az mount.  Could be quite the portable system. The OTA mounts to the top vs. the side like the DiscMount.  Jay Freeman's MC 10 report is the one to read.  Clearly these instruments are impacted by seeing given the native high power. Observing reports do seem to very rare from the AP 10.   My observing experiences with the Questar 7 have not been that great.  The views always seemed contrasty, but dull for lack of a better word.  



#153 Gleason

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 12:21 PM

If you want a 7" version buy a TEC 7 Mak.   Optics built by the same person I believe, Yuri, that made them for the first round of AP 10" Maks.    They're around used, I bought one.  They're very well built and finished at f/15 have a 25% CO and the quartz optics are simply amazing. They're not cheap but they're not $22,000 either ..That being said I've always lusted after an AP 10" Mak  .... smile.gif

 

It appears that Roland once considered a much smaller and perhaps a more attractive MC.  

 

http://www.csun.edu/...n/tmb/tmb2.html


Edited by Gleason, 11 December 2018 - 12:21 PM.


#154 payner

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 02:46 PM

So how do you like your Mewlon 250 CRS?

I am pleased with the Mewlon 250CRS.  It could be a lifetime telescope for many, imo. The design of this version was well thought-out with the user in mind. For example, it has, similar to the first model, an electronic focuser that is precise in movement of the secondary to achieve critical focus; this unit can be employed as either manual focus (press buttons for focus), or active auto-focus. The variable speed focuser adjusts the rate of movement by how long one holds down on the in or out focus buttons. The primary mirror is cooled via three fans that are auto-on/off as required. That feature is controlled by three sensors, on the primary, inside the OTA and one outside. These sense constantly monitor the ambient temperature and control the fans. I appreciate the four vane arrangement. It provides a very sturdy fixture for the secondary housing and the associated baffling. The Takahashi finder scope is probably the best optical quality finder I have used, and on this series provides a sturdy handle to carry and assist in mounting the OTA.

Optically it is superb. The background is black in these scopes, scatter is fully controlled with quality of images well presented; details are only negatively affected by the seeing conditions. I can confidently say the low contrast features observed on Jupiter this current apparition, especially around opposition, were the most detailed seen by me. Festoons were incredible and presented as obvious large (relatively speaking) cloud top features. Color saturation was well presented, and the GRS, and intricacies around it, were well observed; the Jr (Oval BA) was seen. Transits of moons were pleasing and presented as well defined charcoal discs against the planet.

Do not discount this telescope for DSO.  Clusters, galaxies and planetary nebulae are only limited by the aperture. The well-baffled optics provide that high contrast gradient required for these objects, especially so for galaxies and many planetary nebulae. I also really enjoy this telescope for double star observing.

It is a fine telescope, and one with very smooth optics. I am certainly glad I was able to make this purchase.

 

Regards,
Randy


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#155 Peter Natscher

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 03:04 PM

My experience with mounting A-P 10" Mak-Cass is that it really requires a A-P 900 class mount for smooth, rigid and steady observing at the high powers it uses.  I don't believe going with 'minimum required' mounts is a good idea with any instrument that offers quality higher power views.  Have you ever fine focused a view with a telescope that wiggles while turning the focuser knob?

 

 

Car enthusiasts are often broken-down into three groups: waxers, tuners, and racers. Many contributors to this topic seem to be "tuners," those most interested in tweeking performance, testing, and comparing. I have a question for the "racers," those more engaged in observing. Much has been said about the prowess of Mak-Cass scopes for planets, moon, and double stars, but what about superior views of deep sky objects with large aperture MC scopes, many examples of which can benefit from powers above 100x? Globulars, many open clusters, and most galaxies and planetaries fall into this category. Any good observing reports of the unique performance of M-C scopes? Flat field, coma-free, color-free, high contrast optics must have their rewards.   

 

How portable is the AP 10" MC? It weighs about 35 lbs, has an about 11" tube, and is only 29.5" long without dewcap. Thus, it's mount-friendly. AP says it can be mounted on a Mach I, their smallest mount. What about a DM-6 alt/az set up that disposes of counterweights? A 10" grab-and-go MC? Might do fine except when very high powers are desired. What about transport of Slowmax to dark sites in a padded bag instead of its big, rigid case? The padded bag (and DM-6 mount) has proved excellent for my AP 180mm Fastmax. 

 

Thoughts are invited, especially by owner/users of big aperture MC scopes. 



#156 MDRP

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:02 PM

I agree with Peter that attempting to focus a jiggling image brings no joy and much frustration.  However, it's worth considering what minimal acceptable mount requirements are, including alt/az options. Also, pleasant observing experiences need not tap the MC's highest powers. I'm not arguing for an undermounted scope, but for an adequately mounted scope that may be more portable than often thought. This is a short, stubby MC of moderate weight, not a 10" Clarke. 



#157 Mel M

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:05 PM

Yes, and most of the scopes I have seen get the wiggles when the focus is adjusted. Only the scopes many would say are "over mounted" keep a solid image. A G11 was just large enough for a short 6". A G8 was too small but a patient man might think it was usable.


Edited by Mel M, 11 December 2018 - 04:07 PM.


#158 Paul G

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:41 PM

My experience with mounting A-P 10" Mak-Cass is that it really requires a A-P 900 class mount for smooth, rigid and steady observing at the high powers it uses.  I don't believe going with 'minimum required' mounts is a good idea with any instrument that offers quality higher power views.  Have you ever fine focused a view with a telescope that wiggles while turning the focuser knob?

It's rock stable on a 900 but I find observing quite satisfactory with a Mach1GTO.



#159 Gleason

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 12:28 AM

It's rock stable on a 900 but I find observing quite satisfactory with a Mach1GTO.

 

I could not imagine fudging on the mount with such a fine and expensive instrument.  You know Planewave now offers a beautiful single arm fork in both eq and alt/az form that would be spectacular.  What's another $20K amongst friends?  So that would push the total package over $40,000.  Roland told me a while back that the Mach 1 would be Ok to carry the Mak 10.  Looks like it needs at least 4, 9 lb weights on the standard bar.  The Mach 1 carries my 155 EDF f/7 just fine, with a tiny bit of high frequency vibration that dampens in under a second.  The moment arm is shorter on the Mak 10.  The AP 1100 would be the sweet spot of capability and portability.   



#160 chemisted

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:31 AM

For the last 18 years I have had an OGS RC-10 that I had constructed with magnesium to keep the weight as light as possible.  It's 29" long, native weight is 29 lbs and it comes in at 33 lbs with massive rings and dovetail plate.  I have the predecessor to the Mach 1, an AP 600E GTO and it is rock steady for visual use.  I am not an imager so I cannot comment on those more demanding requirements.  I have had the power pushed up to 560X on the very best nights and it is a joy to use.


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#161 Paul G

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:06 AM

I could not imagine fudging on the mount with such a fine and expensive instrument.  You know Planewave now offers a beautiful single arm fork in both eq and alt/az form that would be spectacular.  What's another $20K amongst friends?  So that would push the total package over $40,000.  Roland told me a while back that the Mach 1 would be Ok to carry the Mak 10.  Looks like it needs at least 4, 9 lb weights on the standard bar.  The Mach 1 carries my 155 EDF f/7 just fine, with a tiny bit of high frequency vibration that dampens in under a second.  The moment arm is shorter on the Mak 10.  The AP 1100 would be the sweet spot of capability and portability.   

I have both the standard and the alternative counterweight shafts for the Mach 1, another example of the functional elegance of AP equipment. I can use the 900's counterweights if needed for the 10" Mak or the 155 f7 on the Mach1, and the standard Mach1 counterweights for smaller scopes. You're right about the 1100 as a sweet spot, and I drool over it as an upgrade to my 900, but as a strictly visual observer the 900 holds even my 175 just fine so I'm not sure I really need it, but I definitely want it.

 

If I took beautiful astrophotos like you my needs might be different. That Planewave L350 looks pretty sweet, and at $10K is in the ballpark.



#162 Gleason

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:28 AM

I have both the standard and the alternative counterweight shafts for the Mach 1, another example of the functional elegance of AP equipment. I can use the 900's counterweights if needed for the 10" Mak or the 155 f7 on the Mach1, and the standard Mach1 counterweights for smaller scopes. You're right about the 1100 as a sweet spot, and I drool over it as an upgrade to my 900, but as a strictly visual observer the 900 holds even my 175 just fine so I'm not sure I really need it, but I definitely want it.

 

If I took beautiful astrophotos like you my needs might be different. That Planewave L350 looks pretty sweet, and at $10K is in the ballpark.

$10K? Wow. I was looking at the other model.  Ah, and as that mount is configured, one could put mount both the 155 EDF and Mak 10 easily on either side of the fork.  Oh my. 


Edited by Gleason, 12 December 2018 - 11:58 AM.

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#163 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:40 PM

I've got an evite (on the list since 1999) but am agonizing if I still want it after all these years. My AP175 has seen little use and I wonder if the Mak would see sufficient use or also languish. Decisions, decisions... arrrrrgh! 


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#164 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 01:55 AM

If you're not sure you'll use it, don't buy it just for the sake of having it. Let it go.

 

Also, the words "My AP175 has seen little use" make me cry.


Edited by Joe Bergeron, 21 December 2018 - 02:08 AM.

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#165 Paul G

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:50 AM

I've got an evite (on the list since 1999) but am agonizing if I still want it after all these years. My AP175 has seen little use and I wonder if the Mak would see sufficient use or also languish. Decisions, decisions... arrrrrgh! 

Never pass on an AP scope. The Mak will be far easier to set up so it should get used more often. And it will beat the 175 on the planets.



#166 Derek Wong

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 05:33 PM

Hi All,

 

I received my invite to purchase the new 10" Mak-Cas today. I said yes as others have

and am awaiting a deposit invoice. I also have been on the list since 1999.

 

I would appreciate any mount suggestions other than German Equatorials as I'm not an imager

and would prefer some sort of fork mounted Alt Az GoTo.

 

Hi John:

 

Nice to see your name after many years, I have taken a break from this site but I did get notice of this Mak yesterday.  FYI I have been on the list since October 1999, which was a bit late as I took a few months to decide.  They said Jan or Feb to ship, but knowing AP I will believe it when I see it.

 

I am planning to try the Mak on the panther TTS 160, which is the best alt az mount I have ever used:

https://trackthestar...elescope-mount/

 

Right now, I have a Royce Dall Kirkham 10" which weighs about the same as the AP Mak but is very rear heavy, resulting in a long length past the center of mass.  It holds the tube but there is a bit of vibration at high power.  I am hoping that the AP's more central mass will help stabilize the mount.  I will let you know after I try it.  I will fall back on the AP 1100 but that mount is more work to set up.

 

Derek


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#167 Graiche

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:30 PM

I joined the waiting list in 1999 and received an invitation to purchase yesterday. I slept on the decision and declined-heart said yes but brain said no. I hope that scope goes to a very good home! Happy observing to whoever gets it.
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#168 Paul G

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:18 PM

Hi John:

 

Nice to see your name after many years, I have taken a break from this site but I did get notice of this Mak yesterday.  FYI I have been on the list since October 1999, which was a bit late as I took a few months to decide.  They said Jan or Feb to ship, but knowing AP I will believe it when I see it.

 

I am planning to try the Mak on the panther TTS 160, which is the best alt az mount I have ever used:

https://trackthestar...elescope-mount/

 

Right now, I have a Royce Dall Kirkham 10" which weighs about the same as the AP Mak but is very rear heavy, resulting in a long length past the center of mass.  It holds the tube but there is a bit of vibration at high power.  I am hoping that the AP's more central mass will help stabilize the mount.  I will let you know after I try it.  I will fall back on the AP 1100 but that mount is more work to set up.

 

Derek

Congrats, Derek!



#169 John Vogt

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 05:51 AM

Hi John:

 

Nice to see your name after many years, I have taken a break from this site but I did get notice of this Mak yesterday.  FYI I have been on the list since October 1999, which was a bit late as I took a few months to decide.  They said Jan or Feb to ship, but knowing AP I will believe it when I see it.

 

I am planning to try the Mak on the panther TTS 160, which is the best alt az mount I have ever used:

https://trackthestar...elescope-mount/

 

Right now, I have a Royce Dall Kirkham 10" which weighs about the same as the AP Mak but is very rear heavy, resulting in a long length past the center of mass.  It holds the tube but there is a bit of vibration at high power.  I am hoping that the AP's more central mass will help stabilize the mount.  I will let you know after I try it.  I will fall back on the AP 1100 but that mount is more work to set up.

 

Derek

Hi Derek,

 

Good to hear from you!

 

I'm going to purchase a Panther TTS 160 for portable use, but am in a quandary in choosing between the pier that is sold for the Panther or an Avalon T 90 tripod. I want things to be as light as possible without sacrificing much stability.

When using the system at home the Panther will be attached to a concrete pier.

 

Decisions, decisions. I need to decide in the next few days as I understand the cost of the Panther is due to rise substantially Jan. 1.

 

John



#170 Don W

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 01:55 PM

Could we possibly veer back onto topic? If you guys want to talk about all these other scopes, start new threads!



#171 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 09:06 PM

Never pass on an AP scope. The Mak will be far easier to set up so it should get used more often. And it will beat the 175 on the planets.

Well, I was really torn but my dear wife said I MUST get it (love that woman... perhaps the new car and she-shed helped soften her).

 

I'd been disappointed since missing out on the earlier run, as I had been communicating with Valery D. who seemed all but certain that I was on Roland's list… alas it must have been ANOTHER  Paul, if something like that is even possible? scratchhead2.gif 


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#172 Gleason

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 09:47 PM

Could we possibly veer back onto topic? If you guys want to talk about all these other scopes, start new threads!

I do believe they are on topic. ???   Nice to see other's looking at the Panther 160 for mounting the Mak 10.  Looking forward to those reports.  That was my first consideration. Now,  I'm looking at the Planewave L350 to mount this beast. Although at 100lbs for the mount, not so portable. ;-(



#173 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 07:57 AM

If you're not sure you'll use it, don't buy it just for the sake of having it. Let it go.

 

Also, the words "My AP175 has seen little use" make me cry.

 

I am fortunate to also have an AP160, which is much easier to set up on the Mach 1 than the 175 on the 900 and is quite adequate on most nights. Rest assured though, the AP175 occasionally makes it to some shared viewing sessions. I may pass along the larger refractor after getting the Mak... I'm not too old and frail yet, but getting there! gramps.gif

 

PS: Merry Christmas, All!


Edited by Paul Hyndman, 25 December 2018 - 07:59 AM.

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#174 Derek Wong

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 11:06 AM

Hi Derek,

 

Good to hear from you!

 

I'm going to purchase a Panther TTS 160 for portable use, but am in a quandary in choosing between the pier that is sold for the Panther or an Avalon T 90 tripod. I want things to be as light as possible without sacrificing much stability.

When using the system at home the Panther will be attached to a concrete pier.

 

Decisions, decisions. I need to decide in the next few days as I understand the cost of the Panther is due to rise substantially Jan. 1.

 

John

Hi John:

 

I love the Panther TTS pier for the 160 - light, compact and strong.  It really packs up nicely.  The Avalon is lighter and looks even nicer, but it looks like the T-90 is for a lighter setup despite the stated carrying capacity (do you need a T-130)?  All I know is that the pier has been stable for all my setups.

 

Derek



#175 John Vogt

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 09:24 AM

Hi John:

 

I love the Panther TTS pier for the 160 - light, compact and strong.  It really packs up nicely.  The Avalon is lighter and looks even nicer, but it looks like the T-90 is for a lighter setup despite the stated carrying capacity (do you need a T-130)?  All I know is that the pier has been stable for all my setups.

 

Derek

Hi Derek,

 

One other concern I had, and this applies to both the Panther pier and the Avalon T- 110/130, is the height.

As the tube on the Mak 10 is so short I wanted to avoid a problem reaching the eyepiece when looking at low altitude objects.

 

The T-90 is only 22" with the legs fully retracted while both the Panther pier and the T-110 are 30".

 

John




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