AP180EDT F/9

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.

Click on any thumbnail picture for the larger version
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.