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A-P Mach 2: became too large and too expensive?

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#1 Traveler

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 05:36 AM

Here at the Baader site the new A-P Mach 2 mount price will be: 11.700 EURO. Without tripod, GTO Keypad etc. 

 

What is the point/what are the points of this A-P Mach 2 when you can buy an A-P 1100 mount for less: 10.400 euro (link).

 

 

I wonder if this new Mach got too big and too expensive...What are your thoughts on this?

 



#2 orlyandico

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 06:11 AM

The Mach2 has absolute encoders on both axes. An AP1100 with absolute encoders on both axes adds $5600 to the price (https://www.astro-physics.com/ae-kit) making it far more expensive than a Mach2.

 

How does the Mach2 compare to the GM1000HPS (which does have absolute encoders) price-wise?

 

The challenge is a lot of us probably don't need absolute encoders and for us the Mach1 was great but the Mach2 too expensive. I guess at the Mach1 price point the only option now is the Bisque MyT.


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#3 whwang

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 06:26 AM

I kind of wonder if it's possible for AP to come up with Mach2-lite, without the absolute encoders.  That probably will make the wait list 10x longer than standard Mach2's.


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#4 orlyandico

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 06:39 AM

I think AP has decided that there is no more future (and less margin) for non-encoder mounts, since the Chinese are producing better mid-range mounts.. in any case anyone who wants a "Mach2-lite" can always buy a used Mach1..


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#5 dr.who

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 09:27 AM

I would like to see them resurrect the Mach1. That way there is a mount in their lineup that is at the same price and performance as the MyT for those of us who don’t need/want absolute encoders but do need/want the performance of the Mach1.


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#6 joncox

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:29 AM

For that price you could buy a CEM120EC2 and take a nice vacation to Hawaii or pick up a used Harley. Or you could buy two CEM120EC2s just in case one breaks. If you are fashion conscious you could always paint the CEM120 white to impress your nerd buddies.
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#7 DeanS

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:36 AM

Or wait and pick up a used Mach1 or 900 once the new mounts start shipping.  Bet there will be plenty on the market then.  I am on the Mach2 list but just don't see me getting it as my 900's and 1200's do what I want.


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#8 Gleason

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:38 AM

Yes, the Mach 1 was a fine mount and certainly fit the needs of a customer segment. Sad to see it go.    I think the issue with AP is manufacturing capacity.  Small company, small staff, high cost of operation, and materials so hard to provide a Mach 1 plus a 2 me thinks.      I sold my Mach 1 for a standard 1100 and have not regretted it one bit.  The 1100 breaks apart into easily manageable parts, and assembles nearly as quickly as the Mach 1. Yet, it has greater load carrying capability.  If you don't need encoders and want a small mount, the MYT fills the gap along with a plethora of cheap Chinese imports.  You could argue that the MYT is better than the Mach 1 for remote operation.  Comes with saddle plate and 1 counterweight as standard.  TheSKY X is a very capable and powerful software suite that also comes standard.  



#9 SeymoreStars

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:38 AM

Here in the USA the price is $8,940.00 + $240 for shipping, which at today's rate is  8,324.42 Euro. Get angry at the VAT tax.


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#10 MHamburg

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:41 AM

Just love the AP900!!

 

Michael



#11 Dean J.

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:53 AM

Here at the Baader site the new A-P Mach 2 mount price will be: 11.700 EURO. Without tripod, GTO Keypad etc. 

 

What is the point/what are the points of this A-P Mach 2 when you can buy an A-P 1100 mount for less: 10.400 euro (link).

 

 

I wonder if this new Mach got too big and too expensive...What are your thoughts on this?

Expensive?  Yes.  Too expensive?  I guess it depends on your situation. 

 

I have one on order and the Mach2 weighs 15 pounds less than the AP 900 I am presently using and the Mach2's carrying capacity is 15 pounds greater than the AP 900.

 

Fortunately Astro-Physics mounts hold their value well so "trading-up" won't be that painful considering the improvements incorporated into the Mach2 - absolute encoders, through-the-mount power and USB, the modeling features of APCC-Pro (included in the price} and in the keypad. and the other features of the GTOCP5 controller vs. my 12 year old GTOCP3.

 

I have been using AP mounts for 17 years [ first a new 2003 AP 900 then upgraded to a new 2005 AP 1200 and then downsized to a 2008 model AP 900 in 2013 ] and I haven't had to spend any $$ on a mount in 15 years, so an investment in a new Mach2 for continued "AP goodness" seemed like the thing to do.

 

Definitely looking forward to it.

 

Edit:  One thing I forgot to mention is that in 17 years of imaging with AP mounts I haven't lost a single night of imaging due to any failure on the part of the mount.  I've forgotten things, had other things break, etc. but the AP mounts have performed perfectly... every single time.


Edited by Dean J., 29 February 2020 - 12:14 PM.

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#12 Michaeljhogan

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 01:20 PM

For just 1400 Euro more you can get the 10 Micron GM2000 HPS II which has payload of 130lbs in early brochures before cutting it down conservatively to 110lbs payload has built in mount modeling and of course absolute encoders.

The GM1000 HPS is just smaller with 55lb payload for 8700 Euro in other words AP mounts with Encoders in Europe are a total rip off full stop

#13 andysea

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:04 PM

I’m thinking that the mach2 could easily replace my 900 and my mach1.

#14 Gleason

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:07 PM

Expensive?  Yes.  Too expensive?  I guess it depends on your situation. 

 

I have one on order and the Mach2 weighs 15 pounds less than the AP 900 I am presently using and the Mach2's carrying capacity is 15 pounds greater than the AP 900.

 

 

Dean, Based on the published specs, the 900 mount head weight is 38 lb., the Mach 2 is 39 lb according to current posts. The mount head weight of the 1100 is 43.2 lb.  Not including CW bar and saddle plate.   The thread of course the lack of a lower cost Mach 1 in the line up.  I do agree it's a gap in their product roadmap. 



#15 chrisastro8

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:42 PM

Dean, Based on the published specs, the 900 mount head weight is 38 lb., the Mach 2 is 39 lb according to current posts. The mount head weight of the 1100 is 43.2 lb.  Not including CW bar and saddle plate.   The thread of course the lack of a lower cost Mach 1 in the line up.  I do agree it's a gap in their product roadmap. 

The Gap comment sums it up for me, and is highlighted by the fact that on the 7.1Lb Stowaway product description A-P recommends the Mach2GTO - there is unfortunately nothing else A-P to recommend.  

Still, it appears to be a fantastic no-fuss imaging mount for larger instruments and look forward to reading user reports.


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#16 Dean J.

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:43 PM

I’m thinking that the mach2 could easily replace my 900 and my mach1.

And the proceeds from the sale of the 900 and the Mach1 would probably get you most of the purchase price of the Mach2.

 

 

Dean, Based on the published specs, the 900 mount head weight is 38 lb., the Mach 2 is 39 lb according to current posts. The mount head weight of the 1100 is 43.2 lb.  Not including CW bar and saddle plate.   The thread of course the lack of a lower cost Mach 1 in the line up.  I do agree it's a gap in their product roadmap. 

I was talking about the assembled 900.  ;-)



#17 Dean J.

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:49 PM

The Gap comment sums it up for me, and is highlighted by the fact that on the 7.1Lb Stowaway product description A-P recommends the Mach2GTO - there is unfortunately nothing else A-P to recommend.  

Still, it appears to be a fantastic no-fuss imaging mount for larger instruments and look forward to reading user reports.

A used Mach1 would be a great choice for someone who doesn't need the capacity of the Mach2 or the AP 1100 and doesn't want to pay the price for those mounts.

 

I got my present AP 900 in a trade with someone 7 years ago and it was 5 years old at the time.  It has worked perfectly.  No failures, no problems. 

 

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used Mach1 if the Mach2 is just too much for what you need.


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#18 dr.who

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:44 PM

For that price you could buy a CEM120EC2 and take a nice vacation to Hawaii or pick up a used Harley. Or you could buy two CEM120EC2s just in case one breaks. If you are fashion conscious you could always paint the CEM120 white to impress your nerd buddies.

This makes the assumption that a) you get one or even two decent samples from a company who is notorious and infamous for their poor quality control as well as hit or miss (lately before it was universally bad) customer support  and b) that after seeing the problems people face in person and read about here you would still even consider them an option.

 

There are a few iOptron fans here who have been lucky enough to get a good sample and good support from them. There are many more including their previous most vocal advocate, Gotak, who did not and now will never buy from them again. If you have a good one that is great but I have seen too many people both in person and here who did not. I also got to experience first hand their lack of customer support when I tried to help friends with their mounts.

 

If someone is actually interested in a mount with the carrying capacity of the CEM120, good QC, excellent after purchase support, and a Renishaw relative (not absolute) encoder that has the problems with relative encoders causing oscillations at longer focal lengths fixed in software (I know this because I asked when I saw one) then spend the extra money and look into the Skywatcher USA EQ8. It is the far safer and better choice.


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#19 orlyandico

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 11:55 PM

This reminds me of a certain individual who used to tirelessly flog the Meade LXD850, but I hardly see posts from that person anymore.

 

It seems that the likes of Meade and iOptron are certainly capable of producing top-tier results, which gains them their fans, but they can't do it consistently. Heck, even AP and Bisque seem to let dogs out the door on occasion, but it is the exception rather than the rule.


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#20 whwang

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:10 AM

I wonder if there is a side-by-side comparison of Mach2 and 1100 in terms of their physical size.  From AP's specs, I see that they are of very similar weights.  I kind of wonder if their sizes are very different.



#21 DuncanM

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:21 PM

This makes the assumption that a) you get one or even two decent samples from a company who is notorious and infamous for their poor quality control as well as hit or miss (lately before it was universally bad) customer support  and b) that after seeing the problems people face in person and read about here you would still even consider them an option.

 

There are a few iOptron fans here who have been lucky enough to get a good sample and good support from them. There are many more including their previous most vocal advocate, Gotak, who did not and now will never buy from them again. If you have a good one that is great but I have seen too many people both in person and here who did not. I also got to experience first hand their lack of customer support when I tried to help friends with their mounts.

 

If someone is actually interested in a mount with the carrying capacity of the CEM120, good QC, excellent after purchase support, and a Renishaw relative (not absolute) encoder that has the problems with relative encoders causing oscillations at longer focal lengths fixed in software (I know this because I asked when I saw one) then spend the extra money and look into the Skywatcher USA EQ8. It is the far safer and better choice.

The Ioptron CEM120 and CEM60 are very well built and well designed mounts . The CEM60 has garnered widespread praise for it's consistently high performance and reliability. We have to remember that these are sold in large numbers and even a small number of problematic units might give the wrong impression:

 

Again, of 21 reviews, 20 were 5 star and one was 4 star:

 

https://www.astronom...out-tripod.html

 

The CEM120 performs very well. The EC versions of the CEM120 have had problems, but the current firmware seems to be resolving these issues.

 

The EQ8 is a solid design but it has a very large and glaring flaw in that it does't have floating worms with positive worm engagement. This leads to excessive backlash and/or motor stalls since the fixed worm is unable to engage the worm wheel consistently due to run-out in the RA and Dec shafts; worm/worm gear engagement is either too loose (backlash) or too tight (motor stalls). This is the same flaw that afflicts all mounts that have fixed worms and/or reduction gears in their motor to worm drive train. I have personal experience of this issue on an EQ8, which was only resolved after I assisted the owner in designing and installing a floating worm on the the Dec shaft.

 

The CEM60 and CEM120 have high precision worms and worm gears, belt drives between their stepper motors and worms and floating worms with positive worm engagement so their design is as optimal as a conventional worm wheel driven mount can be.


Edited by DuncanM, 01 March 2020 - 12:28 PM.

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#22 DuncanM

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:26 PM

I wonder if there is a side-by-side comparison of Mach2 and 1100 in terms of their physical size.  From AP's specs, I see that they are of very similar weights.  I kind of wonder if their sizes are very different.

My experience with the AP1100 is that it performs extremely well, and is currently a comparative bargain amongst the higher end mounts. It's hard to imagine that under real world skies that the Mach2 could consistently outperform an AP1100, which has had a careful PEC training.


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#23 Rocket Ron

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 01:44 PM

Well, one thing I know.  I'm holding onto my Mach 1. :)


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#24 rgsalinger

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 03:38 PM

Well, I only "know" personally two CEM120EC2 mounts and they both work perfectly. I can also compare mine directly with an AP1100 that sits 5 feet away and I can tell you that it works just as well or I could compare it to the MX+ that sits 8 feet away and tell you that it works just as well as that mount. Of course those mounts don't carry 70 pounds of equipment on them as the CEM120EC2 does. Still, they do guide just as well as it does without high resolution encoders. 

 

full_house_small.jpg

 

It's interesting to note that despite AP's claim that absolute encoders are in some vague way inherently more accurate both Planewave and ASA use incremental encoders, just as iOptron does. I remain extremely dubious of claims that the 120 has problems. I've offered to look at some other examples but no one seems to want to take me up on it. This leads me (confirmation bias) to think that there really aren't many out there. Of course, there surely must be one or two. 

 

The main difference that I see between an AP1100 and my CEM120EC2 is weight. I would not recommend the CEM to anyone who's going to set up night after night. It weighs 57 pounds and is awkward to carry. The 1100 comes apart in two pieces for ease of assembly. I think that the Mach 2 will work this way as well but I can't find a reference to being able to take it apart. 

 

I always have coffee and cookies available to visitors who want to see the MX+ and CEM120EC2 in action. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

 


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#25 cytan299

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:33 PM

I think the problem with iOptron and manufacturers of the same league are that they expect the user to fix problems even when the mount is bought brand new. I understand why us endusers hang on to the mount like I did, in the hope that the fix is simple because returning a mount is a real pain in the a*s. However, without this course of action, endusers who get a less than working mount can be left with an expensive doorstop or boat anchor with no recourse.

 

IMO, test as soon as you can, and if doesn't quite work, return it even if tech support tells you how easy it is for you to fix it. Then, you might actually get a "working" mount for and save $$$.

 

cytan


Edited by cytan299, 01 March 2020 - 04:56 PM.

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