Hi Alain, Thanks for responding, I like your postive attitude and I'm also a bit more optimistic after the last update. My previous post was written after my e-mails went unanswered for multiple weeks. No communication for weeks after a message the mounts will ship soon makes me nervous, so yes I was a bit cranky. The reason I posted in this topic is that indeed, the early birds like us are taking some risk, and I could not in good conscience stayed silent and have others place an orders without being aware of the risk that this is a product that is not yet shipping. None of this was meant as an attack on Mark, the rest of JTW, or the other early birds. Of course I accept risk on the project, I did sign up for the early bird after all, but I also think there is a responsibility for the manufacturer to be transparent and communicate frequently to the people who are essentially investing in this new product. Even if it's just a sign of life, an update that there hasn't been much progress for a week or two is better than radio silence. I also think expectations could have been managed better: if I get a message at the beginning of December that the mounts will ship soon, I get my hopes up and think I might have it before Christmas! I'm pretty confident the mount will be mechanically sound. I met Mark at his workshop last year, and although I'm not a mechanical engineer I really got the impression he knows what he's doing. I'm less confident about the controller though and will definitely opt for the SiTech controller if FreeGo2 is not ready in time. I found it a bit disappointing to learn that this controller is not open source as initially indicated. I think a modern open source mount controller would have been a great asset to the astrophotography community and I still wonder how much of a competitive advantage a proprietary controller really is. I hope at least the protocols on the wire are open so we're free to tinker with the drivers and controller software as needed. This is not a deal breaker for me though and I'm open to being pleasantly surprised. In the end it turns out these delays don't matter all that much to me: it's been cloudy for 2 months straight. I'm excited to exchange experiences with other users of the mounts as we receive them. Clear skies!
I ordered one of these mounts as an early bird. I have not received it yet, and communication on progress is bad. The last update was that they are almost ready for shipping, but that was over two weeks ago (December 4). I've not been successful in my attempts to reach out to them, so I don't know what the hold-up is. I currently consider this vaporware and have to recommend holding off on purchasing one until reports from satisfied users (such as hopefully myself!) start appearing on the message boards.