Interesting day yesterday. I had taken delivery of the AT 12 RC telescope a few weeks ago. It had been sitting in my living room floor, until yesterday when I finally got the time to install it. My trusty VC200L was unmounted, after 4 years of great service at Asteria observatory, with the peak being last year where I accumulated a rather large image backlog due to the nice weather from spring to fall. In total, I have owned that scope for 10 years. But I digress. Back to the AT 12.
Mounting and balance
Unpacking it I thought this this is huge and awkward to pick up or maneuver. Coming in at 49lbs., is a beast compared to my 8''. My dear daughter Rosie is a tennis athlete so she helped me carry and mount it (took a few tries). My mount is an Astrophysics 900 GTO, with a weight capacity of 75lbs. and has been tested up to 90lbs., so the 12'' is well within its weight limits. For those interested in the technical details, here is a photo walk through of the install.
Once I removed the AP 12" Vixen Dovetail Converter (SBD2V) holding the VC200L, I noticed that the 16" Easy-Balance Dovetail Saddle Plate (DOVELM162) had only 2 bolts holding it down. I was able to get 4 in there for the extra stability.
I then mounted the two Astrotech dovetails side by side. It is highly recommended to have two, which span 2ft 3'' from end-to-end, due to the length of the scope.
Then the rings got mounted, I didn't go the full length of the bar, as I don't like the ring being near the edge in the front. Instead, I put one in the back, and one towards the middle.