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Big mount or two mounts

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#1 George9

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:50 PM

I was happy with my Astro-Physics Mach1 mount as a wonderful portable mount, but then I started setting up two scopes side by side. Perhaps I should have gotten a second mount, something like an EM11 or a more modern counterpart, but I upgraded to an AP1100.

 

My theory was that an AP1100 is only slightly less portable than a Mach1 in the sense that you just carry one more 16 lbs component and easily attach it. I already had an ATS pier to try to steady the Mach1 with a double load (AP155EDF and Lunt LS80 DSII), so I did not need a new pier. In practice, though, now that you have a big mount, you start upsizing everything and it becomes a lot less portable. Like 90 lbs of weights plus the 10 lbs shaft.

 

My AP1100 is rock solid, it has zero backlash, and it has never needed to have the worm reseated (I got it just before the switch to the auto-adjusting worm mesh). Today I accidentally set up for double mounting but switched to single without removing the extra 40 lbs of weights. It slewed around without even a change in sound. I only remembered later on. Once I forgot to put any weights on (30 lbs 6" refractor). Again, I only noticed later when I saw the strange appearance without weights.

 

So now that I have the AP1100, I cannot bear to sell it. It's so nice to have something that just works. But an old Mach1, perhaps paired with something like an iOptron CEM25 or 40, might make sense. Although I found I had to rebalance my friend's CEM25 when I changed from a tiny eyepiece to a large eyepiece, and that will drive me crazy. (I also considered a future Mach2, but the Mach2 has features I won't need, and its heaviest component is significantly heavier than my AP1100's components.)

 

Is transporting, setting up, and maintaining two mounts more hassle than one bigger mount? Has anyone made the switch?

 

George



#2 orlyandico

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:39 AM

Two mounts allows you to image two targets. You can't do that with one mount.


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#3 George9

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:59 AM

That's funny, of course! I am doing mostly solar so the concept didn't occur to me.

George



#4 Esso2112

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:31 AM

Is transporting, setting up, and maintaining two mounts more hassle than one bigger mount? Has anyone made the switch?

 

 

George

 

The simple answer is yes. Transporting two mounts takes up a lot of cargo space. I regularly transport two mounts - Ap1200 and Mach1 (or Tak Em-400, or EM-11). Reason for this is one mount for imaging and one mount for visual while the camera is doing its thing. The AP and Tak mounts require little maintenance, so that really isn’t an issue. I even tried three mounts once at the Texas Star Party (2 imaging and 1 visual), but that was way too much work. 

 

If if I was just doing visual, I think I would go with a single mount with a short and long focal length scope. 


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#5 WadeH237

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:54 PM

Two mounts allows you to image two targets. You can't do that with one mount.

I tried that for a season and set up two systems.  It wasn't any fun, at least for me.

 

I would much prefer to have two systems, with one doing imaging and one visual.

 

I have given some thought to having multiple telescopes and cameras on the same mount.  Specifically, it seems like it would actually be practical to put multiple RASA 8 scopes on a big mount with a OSC camera and mutiple mono cameras.  You could build a 3 or 4 RASA arrangement for less money than an FSQ...


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