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Serious Mount Question - Only for people with or with experience of these


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Okay, am involved in a project, and we have specced scopes/cams etc etc, but the choice of mount is still dividing people.

Options are

Losmandy Titan

AP1200 GTO

Paramount ME

And a few other more "esoteric" ones from abroad..

Now...the ME would seem like an obvious choice, but I know personally of three that have blown due to voltage anomalies with the boards, and this project will be located where mains stability is not 100%, so that's a concern

The mount must be GOTO, ideally easy to use from a laptop/or handbox is available, using simple software, and be able to take a 14 inch main scope (Not a C14 or Meade), along with one or two piggy back refractors for guide and other observing.

Personally I am erring on the AP1200, but there appears to be no UK main dealer for these (the project also needs a rapid turnaround if problems occur), I know Astrosource have them though. The Titan is also a good option...

I welcome feedback and input, and suggestions for other mounts (which must be available from a UK supplier with full warranty and support)

TIA

Nick

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AP1200 GTO is the best mount in my opinion -but only by a gnats [removed word], but they can be hard to get and I don;t know what backup is avaiable in the uK.

Titan's are crackin'! Avaialble from stock and I know someone who can look after them :D although obscure spares and bits have been known to take upto a year to arrive.

Don't really have an opinion on the Paramount, but I prefer the classic look of the other two and they don;t look like large mechano.

For practical perposes I would say Titan but I'm no expert.

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I don't have any experience of any so can't comment... but you can't stop me so... One significant consideration is whether you want robotic operation or not. I have seen a number of discussions on the newCCDastro forum suggestinig AP1200 unless robotic control is required.

That's it, I'll leave now :sad11:

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If it's your own money being spent, have a look at the Alter D6 with AWR drives (around £3700, 40 + kg capacity), or a Gemini G41 (similar price and load). They don't have the "flash value" of the ones you mention, but have a typically East European style and bomb-proof build quality. I know several folks with the D6/AWR set up with all manner of exotic stuff up top, these are people who have been around long enough and used enough kit to know a good mount when they see one.

If someone else is paying, the Takahashi EM-500 would be worth considering, if only for the fact that as it's Japanese it's not likely to ever go wrong.

Sounds like a fun project.

Regards, Dave

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We have a D6/AWR rig already. The UI is not as intuititive as it needs to be, some public outreach/education will be involved in this project, so the interfaces need to be very very simple..they are bomb proof though.

Ideally an EQ6 simplicity with a 70KG load capacity, the reliability of the G41/Titan and the style of the Paramount, with the AP3600 build quality would be the kicker!

Think we have some better ideas now on the best mount for the job.

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Hi Nick

Just a thought mate if you are concerned about your mains supply it may well be worth your time and money investing in a fully stabilized Switch mode Power supply for the kit you want to drive. If you get the right one it can handle both mains surge and power drop offs with ease ,and a lot of them nowdays come complete with an uninterruptable power supply Ive used this kit in the past on very expensive and very mains sensitive file server systems and neural networking gear the are expensive but worth every penny regards Pete

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Robotic not needed on this setup, so I think the trend here is AP vs Titan

Hello Nick. I went through exactly this choice a year ago. 1200GTO, no doubt, it's well worth the extra over the Titan - if there is an 'extra', mine was cheaper than a UK-sourced Titan and nobody in the USA could ship me one at the time. The 1200's an utterly flawless mount. So, as Martin says, the ME's the way to go if you want robotic operation, but the 1200's really the simplest of the three for 'usual' use and in my experience anybody can pick up the handset (which is superb, by the way) and just use it.

You (or your project pals) are of course welcome to come and have a play if you're ever down this way...!

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Personally I am erring on the AP1200, but there appears to be no UK main dealer for these (the project also needs a rapid turnaround if problems occur

Nick, looking again at this bit, you don't need a UK dealer for AP - their support is superb, by far the best i've ever dealt with. There's not much to go wrong with the mount in the first place, it is fundamentally a quite basic but superbly engineered GEM, but if you call them you'll get straight through to someone who knows the products inside and out and can talk you through how to fix anything short of broken glass (and will stay on the phone while you do it). AFAIK anything that could get damaged - e.g. gearbox, cables etc. - is easily swappable, the mount itself is all but indestructable, I know of one that was dropped out of the back of a cargo jet onto tarmac, the mount survived, the tarmac didn't...

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