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Hypothetical AP Mount Poll

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#1 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:16 AM

Hello all,

I checked the entire terms of service, and polling the community is not listed as bad use of this service. If I misread or missed something, mods please gently let me know.

With that said, there has been some discussion about the premium mount market, especially with the deprecation of the Mach 1, and very little to fill its gap. I have a question for you all, a very simple one. I would love for you all the chime in on this, no matter what mount brand you have, have allegiance to, care about, etc.

My question has some bullet points (sorry) but bear with me. Would you think this hypothetical product would be alluring to you?
  • Imaging capacity of ~40lbs
  • Total mount weight of ~15-20lbs
  • Absolute encoders on both DEC and RA
  • No thru-mount cabling or pre-wired connections.
  • Made by Astro-Physics
  • Cost = $6000-7000
Let me know in the comments and responses below. Be verbose on why or why not.

Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 10:16 AM.


#2 chanrobi

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:24 AM

Unlimited imaging capacity

< $100

 

No need to guide

 

Don't care where it's made



#3 dhaval

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:25 AM

Bill -

I would say - not really. But that is because I am primarily set up in a remote observatory. I would much rather prefer capacity than portability. And, I have no intentions of going mobile. Skies within a 2 hour radius of where I live are just not worth it.

 

CS!


Edited by dhaval, 26 February 2021 - 01:25 AM.

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#4 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:29 AM

Unlimited imaging capacity

< $100

 

No need to guide

 

Don't care where it's made

Not the target market for sure. Also, not really sure what you are talking about.

 

Bill -

I would say - not really. But that is because I am primarily set up in a remote observatory. I would much rather prefer capacity than portability. And, I have no intentions of going mobile. Skies within a 2 hour radius of where I live are just not worth it.

 

CS!

I should have been more clear about my intent. It was not for you or me. It was for the market as a whole. 



#5 alan.dang

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:33 AM

Sounds reasonable if that $6K was all-in, as opposed to before counterweights, etc.  Would the total mount weight of 20 lbs actually work?  I am comparing to the Vixen AXJ which would be a competitor to that theoretical mount but with relative encoders.

 

I also would be interested in a Harmonic Drive design with absolute encoders for PEC.  That is, the gap between good 3-4K mounts and 10K mounts may end up being something different from a traditional EQ mount.



#6 premk19

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:37 AM

Hello all,

I checked the entire terms of service, and polling the community is not listed as bad use of this service. If I misread or missed something, mods please gently let me know.

With that said, there has been some discussion about the premium mount market, especially with the deprecation of the Mach 1, and very little to fill its gap. I have a question for you all, a very simple one. I would love for you all the chime in on this, no matter what mount brand you have, have allegiance to, care about, etc.

My question has some bullet points (sorry) but bear with me. Would you think this hypothetical product would be alluring to you?

  • Imaging capacity of 40lbs
  • Total mount weight of ~20lbs
  • Absolute encoders on both DEC and RA
  • No thru-mount cabling, but pre-wired for USB3 and Anderson PowerPoles (Mach 2 design)
  • Stepper motors, which are quiet but more error prone (fixed by encoders though)
  • Made in the USA
  • Cost = $6000-6500
Let me know in the comments and responses below. Be verbose on why or why not.

That's more or less my dream mount for portable use. Sign me up! (Please tell me you or someone you know is making it)
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#7 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:37 AM

Sounds reasonable if that $6K was all-in, as opposed to before counterweights, etc. Would the total mount weight of 20 lbs actually work? I am comparing to the Vixen AXJ which would be a competitor to that theoretical mount but with relative encoders.

I also would be interested in a Harmonic Drive design with absolute encoders for PEC. That is, the gap between good 3-4K mounts and 10K mounts may end up being something different from a traditional EQ mount.

This would be $6-7k without weights and all of that. Mount axis, power, cables, and bare min to get in the premium class with encoders.

The AP400 weighs 12lbs so 20 with some beefy add ons is not beyond the realm of possible, in fact it will probably weigh less than 20lbs.

Harmonic drives will not work with current absolute encoders. This is off topic and you are welcome to PM me for a deeper chat.

Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 09:32 AM.

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#8 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:38 AM

That's more or less my dream mount for portable use. Sign me up! (Please tell me you or someone you know is making it)

Perhaps someone is thinking about it... wink.gif

 

Source: https://ap-gto.group...n/message/76530

 

Relevant:

 

 

If we ever decide to design a smaller portable mount, what would be most desirable? What's missing in the panoply of mounts today? Before you answer, I have in my right hand a 400 mount that weighs 12lb without the base. It has a precision gear set and can be fitted with absolute encoders that would allow it to track at sub-arc sec levels. I daresay that this mount can easily swing a C11 or a 140 refractor. Is there a reason for such an animal?


Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 01:39 AM.

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#9 dswtan

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:25 AM

No it would not be alluring to me. I think my ceiling for this crazy hobby is 5k for the most expensive component. Beyond that, given all the other costs, I think I would go for one of the remote subscription services and get a much better rig, seeing, and maybe less hassle. I honestly don't enjoy the hassles of this affliction of ours. But maybe "premium" is hassle-free. Eyecrazy.gif



#10 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:30 AM

No it would not be alluring to me. I think my ceiling for this crazy hobby is 5k for the most expensive component. Beyond that, given all the other costs, I think I would go for one of the remote subscription services and get a much better rig, seeing, and maybe less hassle. I honestly don't enjoy the hassles of this affliction of ours. But maybe "premium" is hassle-free. Eyecrazy.gif

From a mount perspective, new, that is not even a MyT. Used that doesnt get you a Mach 1, AP900... so I agree you are not the target for this hypothetical product. 



#11 skybsd

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:34 AM

...

My question has some bullet points (sorry) but bear with me. Would you think this hypothetical product would be alluring to you?

...

  • Made in the USA

...

Why would anyone give a monkey's where the thing is made? 

 

skybsd 


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#12 dswtan

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:38 AM

Why would anyone give a monkey's where the thing is made?  

Servicing, timely customer support (often correlated with manufacturing location for this sort of product), and some of us like to support the “home team” — wherever it is one considers home to be. 


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#13 mmalik

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:54 AM

My take is...

 

...too many junk mounts are being created in the "middle" in the name of encoding, single axis or otherwise. Analogs in my opinion need to phase out. Mount industry needs a convergence in the middle around $5K with high (machining) quality & dual absolutes. Currently, 10K+ is the where (machining) quality and (dual encoding) precision lies. Regards
 
post-205769-0-55509400-1613922353.jpg



#14 skybsd

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 03:02 AM

Servicing, timely customer support (often correlated with manufacturing location for this sort of product), and some of us like to support the “home team” — wherever it is one considers home to be. 

Then I guess the OP's topic title should perhaps be::  "Hypothetical Mount that's made in the United States of America Poll" instead..,

 

skybsd 


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#15 yzhzhang

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 03:05 AM

Hello all,

 

I checked the entire terms of service, and polling the community is not listed as bad use of this service. If I misread or missed something, mods please gently let me know.

 

With that said, there has been some discussion about the premium mount market, especially with the deprecation of the Mach 1, and very little to fill its gap. I have a question for you all, a very simple one. I would love for you all the chime in on this, no matter what mount brand you have, have allegiance to, care about, etc.

 

My question has some bullet points (sorry) but bear with me. Would you think this hypothetical product would be alluring to you?

  • Imaging capacity of 40lbs
  • Total mount weight of ~20lbs
  • Absolute encoders on both DEC and RA
  • No thru-mount cabling, but pre-wired for USB3 and Anderson PowerPoles (Mach 2 design)
  • Stepper motors, which are quiet but more error prone (fixed by encoders though)
  • Made in the USA 
  • Cost = $6000-6500

Let me know in the comments and responses below. Be verbose on why or why not.

  • I think encoder is just a MUST for future premium mount. Glad that's checked.
  • Imaging capacity of 40lbs isn't really generous. That's pushing it if you have a 5" refractor or 10" RC I think. My 5"s (CFF & TOA) are right there around 40lbs; even my fully-loaded FSQ106 is close to 40lbs. I think you really want to enable 5" frac or 10-12" RC on such "portable" premium mount. Below that most mount handle it fine with guiding and I don't see too much benefit with encoders (of course once encodered you never look back...)
  • I don't really see the point of keeping it below 20lbs. Most people I suppose (with effort of couse) can handle a ~35lbs (?) piece alone, so I really think that would be the target for "portable" mount; You won't be hiking with this baby into mountains anyway; you probably just put it in the trunk and drive to your darksite. I really don't think weight matters that much as long as it's managable by 1 person. That's just me perhaps...
  • If that makes sense we are talking about a mount perhaps weight ~35lbs and carries ~55lbs. Basically an encodered Mach1 or MyT, or a cheaper (?) GM1000HPS grin.gif  

My 2 cents... That's just what I would need. We don't need anything smaller than what I have so I guess I am biased...


Edited by yzhzhang, 26 February 2021 - 03:07 AM.

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#16 Tapio

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 03:24 AM

Why would anyone give a monkey's where the thing is made? 

 

skybsd 

Agreed.

I don't mount if the dream mount would be made in Europe (and there are some pretty good mount makers here too).

 

CEM40 is nearly there (minus dual absolute encoders and PowerPoles - and Made in USA).


Edited by Tapio, 26 February 2021 - 03:28 AM.


#17 TxStars

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 04:03 AM

*Imaging capacity of 40lbs

Good for a lightweight portable rig
*Total mount weight of ~20lbs

EQ head alone this is ok
*Absolute encoders on both DEC and RA

Rather have nice smooth PE
*No thru-mount cabling, but pre-wired for USB3 and Anderson PowerPoles (Mach 2 design)

Does not matter
*Stepper motors, which are quiet but more error prone (fixed by encoders though)

closed loop steppers Ok this is good
*Made in the USA

People in the US can find you  Ok 
*Cost = $6000-6500

Is this with a good tripod?

 

So a redesigned G11 with encoders at twice the price...LoL


Edited by TxStars, 26 February 2021 - 04:13 AM.

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#18 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:33 AM

Why would anyone give a monkey's where the thing is made?

skybsd

It has to be made somewhere....

I changed the OP to "Made by Astro-Physics" instead.

Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 08:01 AM.

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#19 alan.dang

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:38 AM

This would be 6-6500 without weights and all of that. Mount axis, power, cables, and bare min to get in the premium class with encoders.

 

The AP400 weighs 12lbs so 20 with some beefy add ons is not beyond the realm of possible, in fact it will probably weigh less than 20lbs.

 

Harmonic drives will not work with current absolute encoders. This is off topic and you are welcome to PM me for a deeper chat. 

Hold on.  If this is a theoretical AP mount with their modeling software and post sales support, that’s more than just “Made in USA” and should be a bullet point.  
 

In my mind, I was assuming that this would be a brand new startup coming up with the mount at which pint I suggested a harmonic drive to differentiate itself.  If we are talking about AP, sign me up and take my money.  


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#20 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:55 AM

Hold on. If this is a theoretical AP mount with their modeling software and post sales support, that’s more than just “Made in USA” and should be a bullet point.

In my mind, I was assuming that this would be a brand new startup coming up with the mount at which pint I suggested a harmonic drive to differentiate itself. If we are talking about AP, sign me up and take my money.

Good point! Yes this dreamed up mount would be AP.

Upper scope limit would be something like a TEC140 or C11 Edge.

The question is mostly around, would this be appealing? I'd think so given the current market situation for entry level high precision premium mounts. There is a gap there today with limited product choices.

Basically this would be a mini Mach 2. You lose some capacity, it loses some weight, size, and puts less of a dent in your wallet. You still get A-P craftsmanship, support, familiar software, and it's designed with encoders only like the Mach 2.

Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 08:21 AM.


#21 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:18 AM

So basically, you want AP to come up with a direct competitor to the MyT only with encoders but no through mount cabling (and lower weight).


Edited by Jeff_Richards, 26 February 2021 - 09:19 AM.

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#22 dhaval

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:18 AM

I would think that a lot of people would want something in the 50lbs capacity. I don't think a lot of people are too worried about the weight of the mount itself - given the 50lbs capacity, you are bound to be on the lower side anyways. 

 

I think when A-P retired AP900, there was a gap created between 50-60lbs and 110lbs. The AP1200 with its 140lbs capacity found a true and better replacement with the AP1600 and the AP1100 is a class by itself - not quite AP1200, but also much beefier than an AP900. With Mach2, I think A-P filled two gaps - one was the capacity gap created by the retirement of AP900 and the other was the encoder gap as it relates to 10Micron.

 

In my mind, Mach2 is not a replacement for Mach1, so with the retirement of Mach1, that capacity gap still exists. In all of this, I am discounting the upgraded capacity of Mach1, which came much later - for the most part, people bought a Mach1 thinking the capacity was 50-55lbs, similar to MyT.

 

So, for me, the next A-P mount should plug the 50lbs capacity gap. At 40lbs, I think it misses the capacity mark ruling out scopes like C11 EdgeHD and a few 5-5.5in refractors.

 

The challenge with creating a new 50lbs capacity mount is, I am not sure if they retain Mach2 from a production overhead standpoint. I would bet that a lot of people would forego the Mach2 and get the "Mach1.5" or just jump the gun and get AP1100 with encoders. For me, I would think that A-P would be better off with retaining Mach2, let go of the lower capacity market and see if there is a way to reduce the Mach2 price by $1.5K or so - assuming that a lot of the price increase has come from tariffs and the pandemic. If they can go back to the original "advertised/suggested/call it whatever you want" price, then they will kill most of the competition in one fell swoop (in the lower capacity class). 

 

CS!


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#23 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:26 AM

At 40lbs you'd be fine with a 140mm triplet or a C11 Edge on an encoder mount. At that point you've covered significant amounts of imagers and the rest can buy a Mach 2, 1100, 1600 as their needs dictate.

You also greatly improve premium options for people that are nomadic imagers, or for folks that really need mounts to weigh less and perform exceptionally well.

I did have to update the OP again. Pre-wired connections through the mount were already ruled out last summer.

https://ap-gto.group...n/message/69880

Edited by rockstarbill, 26 February 2021 - 09:28 AM.


#24 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:34 AM

So basically, you want AP to come up with a direct competitor to the MyT only with encoders but no through mount cabling (and lower weight).


Roland has frequently mentioned reviving the AP400 with modern touches like encoders, etc. This is more of a discussion about the desire for that.
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#25 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:39 AM

Roland has frequently mentioned reviving the AP400 with modern touches like encoders, etc. This is more of a discussion about the desire for that.

Which is a more direct competitor to the MyT...




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