1200 Mount Options, Upgrades and Spare Parts
Since the introduction of the 1200 German Equatorial in 1992, we have offered successive generations with improvements in both the mechanical construction and drive system. Since our design and production staff includes experienced CCD imagers, we are continually pushing the mounts to the limits of performance. Equally important, our customers have offered valuable feedback and suggestions throughout the years.
We are pleased to offer a variety of upgrades and spare parts so that you can obtain maximum performance from the 1200 mount that you own. Some of these upgrades are available for all 1200s and some are appropriate to particular models, but not others. Please check the product descriptions carefully to determine if a particular upgrade or component can be used with your mount. If you are confused by the DA, QMD, SMD and GTO designations of the 1200 mounts, please refer to a brief history of all 1200 models. If you require a spare part not listed below, please do not hesitate to call.
|The new pier adapter rotates on
a bearing surface for ultra-smooth operation.
This allows you to lock the mount down with no
need to loosen the base during azimuth adjustment.
This option is especially recommended for use
in the field. You may wish to purchase two or
more of these assemblies to install on separate
piers. Perhaps you have a permanent observatory
and a portable pier for traveling to dark sky
sites. The Standard 1200 Pier Adapter (1200SPA)
is another option to consider. More information and Instructions (PDF)
The Precision-Adjust Rotating Pier Adapter includes two machined plates, four machined aluminum lock knobs with 5/16 x 1.5"OD flat washers, azimuth adjuster block, six 5/16-18 x 5/8" socket buttonhead screws and 5/16 x 9/16"OD x 0.060" flat washers. All machined parts are black anodized and the fasteners are stainless steel. This adapter will mount directly into an Astro-Physics Portable Pier. The Precision Adjust Rotating Pier Adapter can also be used in conjunction with the 1200 Flat Surface Adapter (1200FSA) for installation with your own custom pier or with the 1200 Hi-Lo Latitude Wedge (1200WDG).
Mounts: All 1200 mount models (DA,
QMD, SMD and GTO) that have been produced.
The standard 1200 Pier Adapter was included with every mount shipped prior to 2003. Many people purchased an extra one to use on a second pier.
Beginning in 2004, we offer two choices for the pier adapter - the original standard version or the new Precision-Adjust Rotating Pier Adapter with Azimuth Bearing (1200RPA) as shown above.
The Standard Pier Adapter includes the machined
flat plate, four machined aluminum lock knobs
with 5/16 x 1.5"OD flat washers, azimuth adjuster
block, six 5/16-18 x 5/8" socket buttonhead screws and 5/16 x 9/16"OD x 0.060" flat washers.
All machined parts are black anodized and the fasteners are stainless steel.
Please refer to this illustration for important
Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope Adapter for 1200GTO (RAPAS-1200)
This adapter replaces the polar axis rear plate on the 1200 mount, allowing use of our Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope (RAPAS). The RAPAS can be used with all 1200 mounts (except the original black mounts). This adapter is push/pull adjustable for precise alignment. Once adjusted, it will retain its precision, allowing the polar alignment scope to be removed and re-inserted as needed. Please see this link for additional information.
Back to topPier Adapter Knob Kit for 1200 Mounts (12KBKIT)
This kit contains four machined and black anodized Pier Adapter Knobs and 5/16 " ID x 1.5" OD flat washers. If you do not purchase one of our pier adapters shown above, for instance, if you purchase the Monolith Pier from Particle Wave Technologies, you will need these knobs to attach your 1200 mount to the Monolith.
Back to topHeavy-Duty Azimuth Adjuster Upgrade Kit for 1200 Mounts (12AZKIT)
one-piece assembly makes azimuth adjustment
easier and more accurate for precise polar alignment
in your observatory or in the field. The heavy-duty
construction and integrated one-piece design
results in smooth control of the azimuth axis.
Large left and right adjuster knobs are graduated
for precise control of azimuth position angle.
The small graduations are 1.3 arc minutes per
graduation; long graduations are 6.5 arc minutes
per graduation. The size of the knobs makes
them easy to turn with very little torque required,
even with the mount fully loaded.
The kit includes a set of hardened washers for the four lock-down knobs. With these washers, the lock-down knobs can hold the mount down tight, while still allowing the axis to be easily adjusted with your fingers. This will eliminate minor shifts in the axis when you are tweaking your azimuth adjustment.
The adjuster block installs
easily on your base plate using the existing
hole pattern and screws. Simply remove the two
existing adjuster blocks and replace them with
the new unit. Place the four washers beneath
the lock-down knobs. The washers have a sharp
edged side and a rounded edge side. Place them
with the sharp edge of the washers facing up
toward the knob, rounded edge down onto the
painted surface of the base plate. Complete
instructions and tips for adjusting both the
azimuth and altitude axes are included in the
package. Installation takes only a few minutes,
but will result in significantly easier setup
the next time you are out under the stars.
If you purchase the Azimuth Adjuster
Assembly (12AZKIT), you may wish to consider
upgrading to the new taller Azimuth Adjuster
Block, as well. Although the original 1.1" block
will work effectively with the new adjuster
assembly, this new 1.2" version provides a better
connection for the opposing screws and looks
proportionate. This is a suggested, but not
The height was increased by 3/4" (19mm)
to allow more room for your hand when tightening the rear knob or adjusting
the altitude. We also eliminated the sharp corner to prevent the possibility
of the cords catching. It looks a bit spiffier as well. For future reference,
here are photos of the previous
polar fork assemblies and the new version.
Individuals who own the very earliest 1200 mounts may
want to consider upgrading to this more substantial altitude assembly.
For your reference, we provide photos of the
previous altitude adjuster assembly and the
new version. You may also consider purchasing just the Altitude
Adjustor Brace (12ALBKIT) described below.
Redesigned RA Motor Bracket with built-in spring-loaded action that will place the worm gear into mesh with adequate force to allow proper tracking, but not too much force to cause binding.
Includes: Our part# M12270-B, two F0009 shoulder bolts and Instructions.
Mounts: All GTO
and SMD 1200 mount models that have been produced.
Redesigned Declination Motor Bracket with built-in spring-loaded action that will place the worm gear into mesh with adequate force to allow proper tracking, but not too much force to cause binding.
Includes: Our part# M12560-B, two M12673 modified shoulder bolts and instructions.
Mounts that can be upgraded: All GTO
and SMD 1200 mount models that have been produced.
If you operate your mount remotely and are concerned about cables snagging on the RA clutch knobs, you may wish to remove them and substitute our modified set screws. Please do not attempt to install standard set screws, since they must be a particular length and profile to work properly. If you install the modified screws, you will have to use the 5/32" allen-head wrench from the set included with your mount to loosen and tighten them. Please tighten evenly with respect to the opposing clutch knob and do not over tighten. These set screws are only necessary for the side of the mount that has the cable. The normal clutch knobs will remain on the other side. Please note that each mount requires only 2 modified clutch set screws.
You can see a photo of this screw in place in the lower right-hand photograph under the DOVEKBREP product description.
To reduce the possibility of a cable snag while operating your mount remotely, you may wish to remove one of the dovetail knobs that secure the Dec axis to the R.A. axis, and substitute it with our replacement assembly. The assembly would only be needed for the side of the mount that has the cable. The standard dovetail knob will remain on the other side. You will only need to purchase one per mount.
WARNING: Do not over-tighten the knob replacement assembly!
Note that a small portion of the assembly will protrude from the side of the mount. This is normal and should not interfere with the mount cable during remote operation.
Please refer to the image at the right.
Back to top
Engraving on the name plate has been changed to "Astro-Physics
1200GTO Servo Drive". The original SMD
(servo motor drive, but not go-to) and GTO (servo motor drive with goto)
versions of the mount shared the same name plate "Astro-Physics 1200 Servo
Drive". Note that the GTO designation was not there. We decided to more
clearly identify the mount and offer the new name plates to prior GTO
owners, as well. You will need two name plates, one for either side of
the Dec. axis. Please note that they are priced each.
If you are upgrading your 1200GTO from the GTOCP1 Control Box, you will need this adapter kit. It features a dovetail attachment so that the GTOCP3 control box can be easily removed. Simply loosen the two thumbscrews and lift the control box from its position. We also provide two set screws if you prefer to use them.
Mounts: 1200GTO only. We will request the serial number of your mount when you order to ensure that this adapter can be used with your mount.
|This sight hole cover threads onto the back end of the Right Ascension axis of the following mounts:
One of these aluminum covers is included with all new mount purchases, but now they are available separately for anyone who needs one.
|The rear of the 900GTO R.A. axis was redesigned in October 2005 to be slightly larger than the 1200s, 400s and earlier versions of 900s. This change resulted in the need for a larger diameter cover.|
|If you are uncertain when your 900GTO shipped, please use the photos (right) as a reference for where to measure on your mount to determine the correct cover size. We used a 1200GTO since it was readily available; however, the measurement points are identical on older 900 mounts.|
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- All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified: January 26, 2015
11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL 61115, U.S.A.
Phone: 815-282-1513 Fax: 815-282-9847