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*** PENDING to Dave *** Paramount ME - used (USB comm inop - Serial Port works fine) - $4,500 in SoCal
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I’ve got a Software Bisque Paramount ME to sell, due to divorce.
I bought the mount in the Spring of 2021, from an eye-doctor in Florida. I believe that he was the 3rd owner. The ME has a 160-lb capacity, and I hoped to get into astro-photography with it; but, imaging kicked my butt, and while that was happening my wife filed for divorce. Sometimes, things just snowball…
The ME retailed, back in the day, for around $13-14,000. It’s been replaced by the ME-II, which carries 240lb.
This ME has the MKS4000 control system. The mount interfaces via your computer using either a serial connection, or USB.
The one issue with the mount, of which I am aware, is that the USB system is not working. That defect was known to the prior owner, who intended to take the mount over to the Bahamas for imaging. He had a change of plans regarding the scope with which he planned to image, and so – as far as I know – he did not pursue his project. He did state that the mount worked in all respects as it should, with the exception that the USB comm. System wasn’t usable. He stated that all capabilities were operable via the Serial port comm. System. I have used the mount via the serial port, but I cannot give concrete proof that everything works as it should because I have only used the mount in the manual mode.
What I would like to do, with the sale, is to open it to “local” buyers who can either pick it up from my location in Santa Clarita, CA; or, who can meet with me at a place within a 4-hour drive for me. Let’s call it a radius of about 250 miles from Santa Clarita.
The mount weighs about 70 lbs, without the counterweights, of which I have 2 that accompany the unit. There is a ScopeGuard Case for the mount, as well; plus, the remote hand controller, and the power supply and a serial port connector. The mount is in excellent cosmetic condition. I have 2 base plates for the mount. One of them is in use with the mount, attaching it to a Moog heavy duty tripod. The other adapter plate is one that I bought used.
I’m asking $4,500 for the ME, two 20-lb stainless Paramount counterweights (retail price of $340 each), the operating cords, remote, and power supply, the ScopeGuard case (retails for about $450), and both base plates (retail $219 each). On the ScopeGuard case, it shows some wear. There is a crack in the exterior surface material, shown in one of the photos. It doesn’t seem to be structural, just a bit of a blight in appearance. It’s a nice strong case…
The Software Bisque Paramount units require a registration fee, and then annual license purchases for full software support of the mount; so in addition to the mount purchase, there are an initial and then subsequent annual subscription fees required in order to use the full capabilities of the system. It would be best if you contact Software Bisque to inquire about the fees that would be encountered assuming that you plan to make full use of the mount. The last time I set up the software, there were several packages and variations that affected the total one would pay.
But, if you know that the ME would satisfy your needs, and your operating system has a serial port connection, this ME would be an economical way to get into the high-accuracy mount realm.
This is not an “as is” sale. The buyer does accept that the mount’s USB comm. system is faulty; but, if some other aspect of the mount’s capabilities are found to be sub-par, I will work with the buyer to find an acceptable solution. If you’re not happy with the mount, and we are unable to reach a satisfactory solution to get things set right, I will be amenable to refunding your purchase price and I’ll take the mount back. I’ve got a good collection of images and videos of the mount. If it is damaged while in the buyer’s possession, we’ll need to take that into account when conducting the refund. I just want to make clear that this isn’t a “you bought it, and now it’s your problem” sort of sale. I only used it for manual slewing, but it’s a work of art; and, in my eyes, a hell of a nice mount. If you would like to take a bit of risk of the unknown, I’ll offer the mount at $4,000 in cash on the “as-is” basis.
In these times when a meal with my daughter, at McDonald’s, costs about $50; the consideration of what $4,500 spent on a remarkable piece of machinery can do – generating essentially un-measurable tracking error – is a marvel to me. My main issues were being old, having two young children, and trying to work part-time while also trying to make progress in imaging… I just didn’t have the time and energy to devote to the imaging.
Drop me a note, if you’re interested. It would be nice to get the ME out of the ex’es garage, and back to doing what it was meant to do!
Thanks very much!