An opportunity presented itself in early July 2003 and I couldn't pass it up. I bought an AP 180 EDT F/9 from a friend who has enjoyed it for many years. Its final resting place will be atop my AP1200GTO in the new observatory to be completed sometime in the 2004-2005 time frame.
|Can you guess which case is the AP180 ??||Here is the 180 f/9 next to my 155 f/7. As you can see, the AP180 is quite the APO.|
|1" doesn't sound like much, but the 180 is a good bit heftier than the 155.||It comes with a 2.7" focuser, and it is just as smooth as the new ones.|
|The AP180 even begins to make the Paramount ME look small.||My ST-10XME gives me about 0.86"/pix, which is usually oversampled for my skies, while the FSQ-106N uses my ST-237A and produces almost the same FOV, but 2.88"/pix.|
|The Tak FSQ-106N looks tiny riding on top as the guidescope.||Andy Homeyer's custom rings for the FSQ allow the center of the FSQ-106N to be the same as the center of the AP180.|
|Losmandy plates added to the front and rear of the Versa-Plate allow for easy balancing and support of the water cooling lines.||The combo requires 60lbs of counterweights, but the Paramount ME hardly knows they are there.|
|A custom made motorized focuser allows for precise focusing during the night.||It's even color coordinated to match the observatory !!.|
|Closing in on image time, and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful night.||Image quality is what you would expect from a classic AP refractor.|