Losmandy G11 Equatorial Mount

The Losmandy G11 is one of the most successful and best selling medium sized mounts ever brought to the market.

We are delighted to be able to offer the latest G11 range with the new Gemini 2 mini controller.

When matched with the Gemini 2 mini controller the G11 offers superb build quality and engineering together with a modern high performance drive controller that permits Remote Robotic Astro Imaging whilst offering a very good load bearing performance, high precision pointing and autoguiding.

Included with the G11 is a Dovetail saddle-plate that fits both "D" Losmandy Style Dovetail or Vixen Style Dovetail. Allows for the interchanging of any tube assembly and reduces need for DEC. weights.

To ensure the tracking accuracy necessary for high resolution deep sky imaging the G11 includes a 5.625” diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear with 360 teeth and a dual supported, ball bearing housed ground High Precision Brass Worm.

The folding HD tripod is all machined aluminum and black anodized

Tripod height: Adjustable from 33” - 48”
Folding leg design for easy transporting.
Tripod weight 35 lb

The G11 is availabe with or without the HD Tripod and with either the Gemini 2 Mini Controller or Losmandy's dual axis drive system (non goto) as follows

G11 SLT - Dual Axis Drive No Tripod
G11 S - Dual Axis Drive HD Tripod Included
G11 GLT - Gemini 2 Mini Controller No Tripod
G11 G - Gemin 2 Min Controller HD Tripod Included

The Gemini 2 Mini Controller is highly recommended. It offers a huge range of functionality as befits a modern high performance drive controller.

It is internally powered by a battery and thus will not lose synchronisation on the sky in the event of a power cut.

Other features include:

Full Color Graphic Touch Screen clearly displays all functions
Auto color change from dawn to dusk
Classic four-button pattern for guiding, centering, moving and slewing on both the touch screen and a tactile membrane on the rear (Click for REAR VIEW)
1 star alignment
Multi star modeling for accurate pointing on both sides of meridian
30 arcsec all sky positional accuracy or better
For Losmandy GM8, G-11 & Titan mounts
Custom mount support using the Programmable Gear Rate function
Selectable GOTO, Slewing, Centering and Guiding Rate
GOTO rates up to 8 degs/sec (GM8)
DC Servos for improved accuracy with higher torque and smoother tracking than stepper motors
GPS-compatible with optional receiver
Stand-alone system. No PC required!
Ethernet 10/100 with full IP function permits operation from anywhere using a browser, ASCOM, or APP over the web or serial port
Non-Volatile Memory and Real-Time Clock
Internal Battery keeps settings and preferences stored between uses
English, French, Spanish & German displays
Over 40,000 objects
Two USB ports; Virtual COM to PC, ASCOM or planetarium program
Port F - multi-function serial; A/D I/O
Firmware upgrade via internet
Permanennt PEC correction
Auto-Guide port (TTL)
Auto switch tracking rates
User define Park function
Search function
Identify function
Polar Align Assist
Polar Axis Correction
User define limit stops
Permanent Dec Backlash compensation
Electronic Balance Graph
Sidereal, King, Lunar, Solar, Terrestrial, Closed loop and Comet/user defined tracking rates
Synchronize function
Coordinate input
Bookmark set for your favorite objects
All objects displayed on hand controller are visible

Click here to see Gemini 2 FAQ

Also included is a 21lb counterweight which fits to a 1.25" Stainless Steel counterweight shaft.

Check out the Losmandy YouTube channel with lots of instructional videos

Technical Specs:

SPECIFICATION: R.A. / DEC. AXIS

All machined aluminum and stainless steel, black anodized.
All stainless steel hardware.
One 3.750” diameter needle thrust bearing.
One 2.000” diameter needle thrust bearing.
Two 1.500” diameter needle bearings.
5.625” diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear, 360 tooth.
Dual supported, ball bearing housed ground High Precision Brass Worm.
Variable slip clutch, both axes. One knob per axis design.
Porter Slip Ring Design
1.250” diameter stainless steel shafts.
Through the axis polar scope mounting, works in Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Polar scope optional.
Instrument Weight Capacity 60 LBS
Equatorial head weight 33 lbs.

Losmandy GM8 Equatorial Mounting

The GM8 is the smallest of the Losmandy range of Equatorial mountings. It features the same high build quality as its larger brother the G11 but in a lighter and more portable form.

Like the G11 the GM8 is available with the Gemini 2 mini controller or Losmandy's dual axis drive (non goto) system.

The GM8 is ideal for customers wanting a high quality and well engineered portable GEM for both visual use and astrophotography.

The mount features a 2.812” diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear with 180 teeth.

The GM8 features a dual supported, ball bearing housed ground High Precision Brass Worm. 3.5” diameter laser engraved setting circles, 6 minute R.A. / 2 degrees DEC.

The R.A. circle is engraved for Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

The Dovetail saddle-plate fits both "D" Losmandy Style Dovetail or Vixen Style Dovetail. Allows for the interchanging of any tube assembly-reduces need for DEC. weights.

Includes a fully locking, unique tangent arm design altitude adjustment, 6-68 degrees with large knob for easy alignment.

Laser engraved latitude scale in 2 degree increments.

Also included is a removable stainless steel 1-1/4 inch diameter weight shaft w/safety knob and
7 lb counterweight.

11 lb and 21 lb extra counterweights available.

GM8 SLT - Dual Axis Drive No Tripod
GM8 S - Dual Axis Drive HD Tripod Included
GM8 GLT - Gemini 2 Mini Controller No Tripod
GM8 G - Gemini 2 Min Controller HD Tripod Included

The Gemini 2 Mini Controller is highly recommended. It offers a huge range of functionality as befits a modern high performance drive controller.

It is internally powered by a battery and thus will not lose synchronisation on the sky in the event of a power cut.

Other features include:

Full Color Graphic Touch Screen clearly displays all functions
Auto color change from dawn to dusk
Classic four-button pattern for guiding, centering, moving and slewing on both the touch screen and a tactile membrane on the rear (Click for REAR VIEW)
1 star alignment
Multi star modeling for accurate pointing on both sides of meridian
30 arcsec all sky positional accuracy or better
For Losmandy GM8, G-11 & Titan mounts
Custom mount support using the Programmable Gear Rate function
Selectable GOTO, Slewing, Centering and Guiding Rate
GOTO rates up to 8 degs/sec (GM8)
DC Servos for improved accuracy with higher torque and smoother tracking than stepper motors
GPS-compatible with optional receiver
Stand-alone system. No PC required!
Ethernet 10/100 with full IP function permits operation from anywhere using a browser, ASCOM, or APP over the web or serial port
Non-Volatile Memory and Real-Time Clock
Internal Battery keeps settings and preferences stored between uses
English, French, Spanish & German displays
Over 40,000 objects
Two USB ports; Virtual COM to PC, ASCOM or planetarium program
Port F - multi-function serial; A/D I/O
Firmware upgrade via internet
Permanennt PEC correction
Auto-Guide port (TTL)
Auto switch tracking rates
User define Park function
Search function
Identify function
Polar Align Assist
Polar Axis Correction
User define limit stops
Permanent Dec Backlash compensation
Electronic Balance Graph
Sidereal, King, Lunar, Solar, Terrestrial, Closed loop and Comet/user defined tracking rates
Synchronize function
Coordinate input
Bookmark set for your favorite objects
All objects displayed on hand controller are visible.

Click hereto see Gemini 2 FAQ

Check out the Losmandy Youtube channel with lots of instructional video's

Single knob azimuth control, bi-directional +/- 8.5 degree.

Technical Specs:

SPECIFICATION: R.A. / DEC. AXIS

All machined aluminum and stainless steel, black anodized.
All stainless steel hardware.
One 2.100” diameter needle thrust bearing.
One 2.000” diameter needle thrust bearing.
Two 1.500” diameter needle bearings.
2.812” diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear, 180 tooth.
Dual supported, ball bearing housed ground High Precision Brass Worm.
Variable slip clutch, both axes. One knob per axis design.
Porter Slip Ring Design
1.250” diameter aluminum shafts.
Through the axis polar scope mounting, works in Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Polar scope optional.
Instrument Weight Capacity 30 LBS
Equatorial head weight 21 lbs.

10 Micron GM 2000 HPS Mounting

The 10 Micron GM 2000 HPS is the bigger brother of the GM 1000 HPS mount and uses the same technology.

Click here to see recent review of GM1000 HPS Mount

Boosted by a high-accuracy absolute encoders on each axis the GM2000HPS provides absolute positioning, thus eliminating the need for homing or zeroing procedures.
You will not lose your alignment by moving the mount by hand, releasing the clutches, even when the mount is unpowered, for example in
case of power outages.
This means ease of use when operating in the field, since the setup procedure is much faster. This means also additionalal security for remote
operation, since there is absolutely no way you can lose your alignment, even in case of slippage.

The absolute encoder provides also high-accuracy,
sub‑arcsecond tracking feedback, eliminating the need for autoguiding in the vast majority of applications.

The dual axis tracking function ensures correct tracking in case of polar misalignment, and is able to correct for atmospheric refraction.

The GM2000HPS is able to point and track artificial
satellites thanks to its slew speed of 20 °/s.

In Summary the GM 2000 HPS offers the following

The GM2000 HPS features:

Absolute on-axis encoders in RA & Dec, featuring
more than 10 million increments (interpolated),
fully encapsulated and calibrated

•Provides up to 0.6“ RMS tracking accuracy - for long duration UNGUIDED imaging - even at long focal lengths

• Closed loop (encoder controlled) satellite
tracking

• speed - up to 20°/s

• Extremely low power consumption and miniature
format (20 x 15 x 8cm) electronics

• After an observing session, the entire
electronics Box (motor electronics with Linux computer) and HC can be easily detached and protected from premature aging and moisture
damage

• Service friendly design - electronics box and HC
can be easily exchanged for service, without returning the precisely adjusted HPS mount

• Automatic refraction correction function implemented –
the only way for perfect unguided tracking during long
exposures

• Intuitively operated V2 software and QSI motor control system, integrated into an onboard Linux computer – intelligence built-in

• No external PC or laptop mandatory in the fi eld – all functions in the onboard computer can be
accessed via stand-alone hand control unit (HC)

• Precise multistar pointing models, entering satellite
and comet trajectories, programming individual observing sessions and much more

• Well documented fi rmware and drivers, working
autonomously w/o additional planetarium software, without need for external RS-232 converters / USB ports

• Excellent documentation in English and German

• Electronic balance - requiring one time balancing only

• Ultra stable pointing models for safe East/West load reversal – no change of pointing model necessary when changing accessories

• Precise polar alignment – software aided and accomplished within minutes

• Fully remote controlled via your observatory PC with 10/100 LAN included, perfectly prepared for your future Internet observatory

• Remote diagnostics assist option via Internet

The GM2000 HPS has a max load bearing capacity of 132 lbs and is both portable and easily manageable in the field.

Tests with 3600 second long unguided exposures have show tracking accuracy within +/- 0.5 arc seconds.

Important Warranty Information click here

10 Micron GM1000 HPS High Precision Mounting

10 Micron are one the highest regarded manufacturers of high precision ultra high quality mountings in the business.

We would like to introduce the new GM1000 HPS equatorial mounting. This mount slots in perfectly in terms of price and load bearing capacity between lower quality mass produced mounts and similar quality but more expensive and larger mounts such as the Paramount MX.

Click here to see recent review of GM1000 HPS Mount

The GM1000 HPS features:

Absolute on-axis encoders in RA & Dec, featuring
more than 10 million increments (interpolated),
fully encapsulated and calibrated

•Provides up to 0.5“ RMS tracking accuracy - for long duration UNGUIDED imaging - even at long focal lengths

• Closed loop (encoder controlled) satellite
tracking

• speed - up to 20°/s

• Extremely low power consumption and miniature
format (20 x 15 x 8cm) electronics

• After an observing session, the entire
electronics Box (motor electronics with Linux computer) and HC can be easily detached and protected from premature aging and moisture
damage

• Service friendly design - electronics box and HC
can be easily exchanged for service, without returning the precisely adjusted HPS mount

• Automatic refraction correction function implemented –
the only way for perfect unguided tracking during long
exposures

• Intuitively operated V2 software and QSI motor control system, integrated into an onboard Linux computer – intelligence built-in

• No external PC or laptop mandatory in the fi eld – all functions in the onboard computer can be
accessed via stand-alone hand control unit (HC)

• Precise multistar pointing models, entering satellite
and comet trajectories, programming individual observing sessions and much more

• Well documented fi rmware and drivers, working
autonomously w/o additional planetarium software, without need for external RS-232 converters / USB ports

• Excellent documentation in English and German

• Electronic balance - requiring one time balancing only

• Ultra stable pointing models for safe East/West load reversal – no change of pointing model necessary when changing accessories

• Precise polar alignment – software aided and accomplished within minutes

• Fully remote controlled via your observatory PC with 10/100 LAN included, perfectly prepared for your future Internet observatory

• Remote diagnostics assist option via Internet

The GM1000 HPS has a max load bearing capacity of 55 to 60 lbs and is both portable and easily manageable in the field.

Tests with 3600 second long unguided exposures have show tracking accuracy within +/- 0.5 arc seconds.

Important Warranty Information click here

Technical Specs:

DRIVE MECHANICS
• Self-locking, high-precision worm-wheeldrives
with classic friction clutches
• Internal wiring – no external mount cables
(GM 1000 HPS)
• High torque Servo DC motors eliminate
imbalance motor stall
• GM 1000 HPS with ultra portable on-axis encoder
mount for uncompromizing stand-alone field use
DRIVE ELECTRONICS
• Ultra-high-precision RA & Dec on axis encoders, featuring morethan 10 million increments (interpolated), fully encapsulated and calibrated
• Up to 0.5“ RMS tracking accuracy - for long duration unguided imaging
• Closed loop (encoder controlled) satellite tracking speed - up to 20°/s
• Extremely low power consumption and miniature format (20 x 15 x 8cm) electronics
• After an observing session, the entire electronics box (motor electronics with Linux computer) and HC can be easily detached and protected from premature aging and moisture damage
• Service friendly design - electronics box and HC can be easily exchanged for service, without returning the precisely adjusted HPS mount
NGC 891.400 s unguided exposure with GM 2000
HPS 0.7 arcsecond/pixel scale

FIRMWARE
• Automatic refraction correction function implemented –
the only way for perfect unguided tracking during
long exposures
• Intuitively operated V2.7 software and QSI motor
control system, integrated into an onboard Linux
computer – intelligence built-in
• No external PC or laptop mandatory in the field –
all functions in the onboard computer can be
accessed via stand-alone hand control unit (HC)
• Precise multistar pointing models, entering satellite and comet trajectories, programming individual observing sessions and much more
• Well documented firmware and drivers, working
autonomously w/o additional planetarium software,
without need for external RS-232 converters /
USB ports
• Excellent documentation in English and German
• Electronic balance - requiring one time balancing only
• Ultra stable pointing model for safe East/West load reversal – no change of pointing model necessary when changing accessories
• Precise polar alignment – software aided and accomplished within minutes
• Fully remote controlled via your observatory PC
with 10/100 LAN included, perfectly prepared for your future robotic observatory.

£1,018.00

Skywatcher AZ-EQ5GT

The AZ-EQ5GT is a dual purpose, fully functional computerised heavy-duty Go-To/Tracking astronomical mount in both Alt-Azimuth (AZ) and Equatorial (EQ) modes.
Supplied with a Synscan computerised handset with dual AZ/EQ firmware, it can automatically find and track over 42,900 celestial objects from its database.
In EQ mode, the AZ-EQ5GT is designed for either visual use or precise astro-imaging.
In AZ mode, it is primarily intended for visual use, and in this mode, two telescopes can be mounted simultaneously in parallel.
A great feature of the AZ-EQ5GT is the patented ‘Freedom-Find’ dual-encoder technology. This allows the telescope to be moved manually in either axis without the mount losing its positional information. This gives the user enormous freedom, convenience and flexibility during observational sessions.

Technical Specs:

Payload Capacity: 15kg (EQ Mode) or 15kg+15kg (Alt-AZ Dual-Mode)
Latitude Adjustment Range: 0-90°
Azimuth Adjustment Range: Approx 15°
Weight (excl. tripod & counterweights): 7.7kg
Counterweights: 2 x 3.5kg
Dovetail Saddles: 2 x 45mm (Accepts Sky-Watcher/Vixen type Dovetail Bars)
Pier Tripod: Weight 6.1kg, 1.75” Stainless Steel Legs (also compatible with EQ5/HEQ5 Tripod)
Counterweight Bar: 18mm Diameter, Length 162mm + 120mm Extension
Motors: 1.8° Hybrid Stepper Motors
Transmission: 135:1 Worm Drive + 36:12 Timing Belt Drive + 64 Micro-Step/1.8° Stepper Motor Drive
Gear Ratio: 810
Resolution: 5184000 Counts/Rev (approx. 0.25 arc-second)
Maximum Slewing Speed: 3.4°/second
Tracking Rates: Sidereal, Solar and Lunar
Tracking Mode: Equatorial or Alt-Azimuth
Auto-Guiding Speed: 0.125x, 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x & 1x
Whisper Quiet Slewing
PPEC Control in EQ Mode
DSLR Electronic Shutter Release Ports: 2
Autoguider Interface: Yes
USB Interface: Yes
Hand Controller: Synscan (42,900+ Object Database)
Polar Alignment: Via Software Control (Polar Scope optional)
Pointing Accuracy: Up to 5 Arc-Minutes (RMS)
Resolution of Aux R.A./Dec Axis Encoders: 5144 Counts/Rev., approx. 4.2 Arc-Minutes
Power Requirement: DC 11-16V 2A (Sky-Watcher 7Ah or 17Ah Power Tank Recommended)

£799.00

Altair Starbase Field Tripod/Pier

For the ultimate in stability, look no further. The ultra-stable Altair Starbase Field Pier / Tripod, sets a new standard for freedom from flex, strength and stability.

The legs can be adjusted individually for rough terrain. Once rough levelling is complete, mount the telescope and balance it, then for fine levelling adjustment, turn the individual knobs on the conical "lunar lander" feet and, when level, lock them down with the locking knobs. Job done!

The only product of it's type, all components (except some springs and fixings) are CNC machined in locall in England. There are no shortcuts or off-the-shelf components in this product whatsoever.

The result is complete control over accuracy and strength. Lateral and vertical forces have been carefully designed to balance each other out, using triangulation techniques. All components are machined from the highest grade aluminium and stainless steel, sourced from local UK suppliers.

Coating is a combination of clear matte anodising and ultra-hard textured powder coating for durability and great looks.

Weight is 17.5kg, approx. height is 90cm (35.5") with legs fully extended. For the best stability for very heavy telescopes and large mounts, we recommend extending the legs fully, and just using the threaded adjusters on the "Lunar Lander" style feet for final levelling. This is best on a hard surface as with very heavy equipment, even the 80mm diameter feet can sink into the ground.

Note: Product image shows iOptron CEM60 mount which is optional and connects directly to the Starbase tripod - please contact us for various combinations of mount and adapters.

Compatible with the following mounts:

iOptron CEM60 & CEM60-EC
iOptron iEQ45
Skywatcher EQ6 & Celestron CGEM
With optional adapter:

Skywatcher EQ8
Celestron CGEM-PRO
Skywatcher/Celestron HEQ5, EQ5, CG5
Paramount MX
10 Micron GM1000

Skywatcher EQ8 Pro Equatorial Mount

The Sky-Watcher EQ8 is an exciting new extra heavy-duty, observatory class German equatorial mount, with a payload capacity of up to 50kg.

Quiet in operation, the EQ8 is supplied with the Synscan Go-To handset and can automatically find and track over 42,900 celestial objects from its extensive computer database.

Click here to see IKI Pier Top Adaptor for EQ8

Click here to see replacement Altitude Adjuster for EQ8

Available either complete with pier tripod or as the mount head only, to install onto a static pier. Two 10kg counterweights and the Synscan handset are supplied with both options.

Freedom-Find™ Technology
A great feature of the EQ8 is the patented dual-encoder technology. Auxiliary encoders are located on both the R.A. and DEC. axes. This allows the telescope to be moved manually, by releasing the clutches, or electronically in either axis without the mount losing its alignment or positional information. After moving to a new object, the mount will continue to track it accurately. This gives the user enormous freedom, convenience and flexibility during observational sessions.

Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC)
The EQ8 is equipped with an index on its R.A. worm. After a proper PEC training routine, in which the training data is stored in the motor controller permanently, the user can start the PEC training at any time to improve its tracking performance for short focal length astrophotography. A training process is not required in the next observing session, assuming the polar alignment is always accurate, thus this is a permanent periodic error correction (PPEC), and the user can train the mount for manual guiding or auto-guiding.

Auto-Home Function
The EQ8 is equipped with two home position sensors. Working with the Synscan hand controller, the mount can be placed to the same home position after turning on the power.

Batch Exposure Function
The EQ8 is equipped with a SNAP port which can control the shutter release of a camera. Working with the Synscan handset’s ‘Camera Control’ function, a user can take batch exposures when doing astrophotography. Up to 8 groups of ‘exposure times & frame’ combinations can be set on the Synscan handset.

Technical Specs:

Payload Capacity (excl. counterweights): 50kg
Latitude Adjustment Range: 10° to 65°
Azimuth Adjustment Range: +/- 10°
Mount Head Weight (excl. tripod): 25kg
Pier Tripod (optional): 29.4kg
Counterweights: 2 x 10kg
Counterweight Rod: 2.6kg
Power Requirement: 11 to 16 Volts DC, 4A
Motors: 0.9° Hybrid Stepper Motor
Transmission: 435:1 Worm Drive + 64 Micro-Step/0.9° Stepper Motor
Resolution: 11136000 Counts/Rev, approx 0.12 Arc-Second
Maximum Slewing Speed: 3.3° per Second
Tracking Rates: Sidereal, Solar and Lunar Rates
Auto-Guiding Speeds: 0.125x, 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x & 1x
PEC: 100 Segments Permanent PEC
Polar Alignment: By software control or optional Polarscope
Hand Controller: Synscan
Object Database: 42,900+ Objects
Celestial Object Catalogue: Messier, NGC, IC, SAO, Caldwell, Double-Star, Variable Star, Named Star, Planets
Pointing Accuracy: Up to 5 arc-minutes (RMS)
Resolution of Auxiliary Encoders: 17624 Counts/Rev, approx 1.2 arc-minutes

AstroPhysics Mach1 GTO Mounting

There is much to admire in the Mach1GTO. It is beautifully machined, intelligently designed, precisely fabricated and assembled, and it has sophisticated electronics and servo drive controls.

But the bottom line is performance and results. In February 2007, Roland Christen posted results of a very cold imaging session to the the Yahoo ap-gto group. The mount performed beautifully, and the results posted there prove it.

Whether your Mach1GTO makes a permanent home in your observatory, explores your favorite observing sites or travels to the ends of the earth with you, it will allow you to optimize your observing sessions to the max.

Ideal instruments include: Astro-Physics and similar fast refractors up to our 160 mm f7.5 StarFire EDF, 8-11" SCTs, 6-8" Maks or any scopes of a similar size, up to 10" RCT

Versatility

Portable Enough for Airline Travel
Transport this rigid observing platform to your dream destination. The entire mount will fit into a single rugged case that will roll easily through airports or to your car. If needed, the R.A. and Dec. axes split easily into two pieces to fit into a more compact case.

Operate with 12V battery or Regulated Power Supply
You can take it to the darkest skies and power it with a commonly available 12V battery. In the observatory, we suggest a minimum 5-amp filtered, regulated power supply.

Image Past the Meridian
The mount will track and guide well past the meridian in either direction if the object is located such that the telescope will clear the pier. This allows the user to set up the mount for a long series of exposures without stopping in the middle to flip sides. One can start the telescope under the mount while pointing at an object in the eastern part of the sky and track it all the way deep into the western sky. This is very useful for long exposure H-alpha or in cases where a large number of individual exposures are needed for stacking.

Dennis di Cicco had this to say about the "powerful meridian delay feature" in his 2007 review:
". . . makes it easy to set up photographs that track across the meridian without interruption. It may sound like a small feature on paper, but I found it extremely useful in the field . . ."

Easy Alignment for Non-critical Observing

You can align the Mach1GTO using setup routines in the keypad, or with a polar alignment scope to quickly zero in on the pole for most non-critical observing or to get close before tweaking in for imaging (polar scope not included). We recommend either the PASILL4L or the prior PASILL4 or PASILL3 models since they can rotate in the axis. You can even align the mount during the day with our clever Daytime Polar Alignment Routine (outlined in the Keypad Manual) for solar observing, viewing the planets at twilight, or just getting a jump start on a long night.

Multiple Options for Controlling your Mount in the Field or Your Observatory

You have your choice of the GTO Keypad (included), which is a full-featured handheld computer, PC computers using a wide variety of software with or without our ASCOM driver, Mac computers or even your mobile smart device (like your iPhone or iPad). The Astro-Physics command language is available to those who need to write their own software. GTO control options are discussed in detail at this link.

Mechanical Features

Precise Mechanical Fabrication

Using modern CNC machining techniques, AP make all components to a high precision level, which results in a final package that is solid and accurate in all respects. The critical angles are accurately machined so that the mount is orthogonal to a very high degree. This results in pointing accuracies well below 1 arc minute for a properly aligned mount.

Although the Mach1GTO is very light for its size and load rating, it has been machined out of solid aluminum to withstand the high axial and thrust loads that a medium-sized telescope places on the mount under real-world observing conditions. The mount is solidly built and will withstand gusting winds without excessive shake or vibration. We used high-quality machine tool bearings, rated in excess of 400 lb. static and dynamic load, on the main axis shafts. Both worm wheels turn smoothly with no runout throughout their 360 degree range.

Dennis di Cicco had this to say about the Mach1GTO's performance:

"The mount’s tracking and Go To pointing are among the most accurate I’ve ever tested. At the end of each night I’d park the scope and turn off the power. Whether an hour, day, or week elapsed until I’d power up the mount again and “resume from park,” it would have perfect sync with the sky — even to the point of “hiding” stars behind my finderscope’s crosshairs when I’d check the alignment by slewing to them in a bright twilight sky . . .

Such Go To pointing precision comes in handy when shooting photographic mosaics, making a sequence of deep exposures of the same field on multiple nights, or hunting difficult targets by eye."

GTO Servo Drive System

The drive system uses a high-quality Swiss DC servo motor controlled by a microprocessor to an accuracy of 0.05 arc-seconds per step. Tracking is very smooth, noticeably smoother than any stepper motor drive or inexpensive servo motor. The system can be accurately controlled over a speed range of 4800:1, which allows 0.25x sidereal for manual guiding to 1200x sidereal for 5 degree per second slewing. The circuit draws only 0.4 amps when tracking the stars, 2 amps with both motors slewing and requires only 12 volts to operate. The servo drive will satisfy the requirements of the sophisticated, advanced astrophotographer, yet is easy for the casual, visual observer to use.

Gear Accuracy and PE Performance

The heart of this mount is a precision gearbox using custom high-quality fine-pitch gears, coupled to a highly accurate worm and worm wheel. These parts are manufactured and assembled at our facility and individually tested to meet or exceed our periodic error specification of 7 arc seconds (+/- 3.5 arc sec.) before introducing any periodic error correction. The PE is smoothly variant with extremely low ripple or moment to moment error. In contrast, mounts that use integral gearboxes have very small spur gears with tiny teeth and too few of them. This generally causes ripples in the tracking rate which are difficult to guide out.

Each mount is rigorously tested on our specialized periodic error tester. Only mounts that provide an accuracy of 7 arc seconds or better will pass this inspection. If the mount exhibits greater error, the substandard part is identified, replaced and the mount is retested.

Pre-loaded PEMPro Curve

As mentioned above, the spec of 7 arc seconds (+/- 3.5 arc sec.) is the maximum native mechanical error inherent in the mount's RA axis WITHOUT any software correction. In order optimize performance even further, we use a special version of Ray Gralak's PEMPro (described below) developed specifically for our test equipment. We generate a unique PE curve for each mount that we program into each GTOCP3 Control Box. Simply use the Keypad or your Astro-Physics software (ASCOM V2 driver, PulseGuide or APCC) to turn the PE Correction "on" and you will see results significantly better than our published 7 arc second spec without additional PEMPro runs! However, you may use PEMPro to further refine your PE, if you chose to do so.

PEMPro (available from CCDWare) is a very powerful program that allows the user to characterize the periodic error to a high degree of accuracy and to reduce it dramatically for long unguided exposures. It is especially useful for this mount since the average worm rotation error is already quite low, and the short term ripple error is almost nonexistent. If you are a serious imager, you may wish to consider purchasing PEMPro, especially down the road as your worm gear runs in. Depending on usage, re-measuring error and re-loading periodic error correction from one to four times a year is a good practice, especially if you do some unguided images from time to time. Additional PEMPRo runs are not necessary for visual observers.

GTOCP3 Control Box

The GTOCP3 Control Box contains all of the circuitry to drive the two servo motors and the logic required to navigate the sky. It can be easily removed from the mount, if required. The Mach1GTO uses the same GTOCP3 Control Box (with the exception of the completely black-anodized exterior), as its big brothers - the 900GTO and 1200GTO mounts. In fact, the control boxes for all three mounts are interchangeable with one another in an emergency. Extensive information regarding the GTOCP3 can be found here.

GTO Keypad

The Keypad is a self-contained computer that allows you to control all essential telescope functions and includes an extensive database of objects. We have designed the interface and firmware to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, while filling it with terrific features to make your observing session productive and pleasurable. Click here for detailed information regarding features and functions of the Keypad.

Please note there is a limited supply of Mach 1 GTO at this price.

Technical Specs:

Construction All CNC machined aluminum bar stock, stainless steel, brass; stainless steel fasteners
Finishing and Assembly Every part is hand-finished and inspected. All assembly is done by hand, by highly skilled mount assembly staff.
Worm wheel - R.A./Dec. 5.9" (150 mm), 225 tooth aluminum
Worm gear - R.A./Dec. Brass, 0.705" (17.9 mm) diameter
Axis shaft - R.A./Dec. 2.36" (60 mm) diameter
Shaft axis bearings - R.A./Dec. 3.1" (78 mm) diameter, 2 per axis
Latitude range 0 to 70 degrees with or without the polar scope attached, engraved scale
Azimuth adjustment Approximately 13 degrees (+/- 6.5 degrees from center)
Counterweight shaft 1.125" (29 mm) diameter x 14.5" (368 mm) long [13.625" (346.1 mm) useable length], incl. washer and safety knob.
Optional counterweight shaft (M1053-A) available: 1.875" (48 mm) diameter x 10.7" (272 mm) long; fits inside Dec. axis for transport.
Weight of mount Total: 32.1 lb. (14.6 kg)
R.A. axis/polar fork: 16.5 lb. (7.5 kg)
Dec. axis: 11.5 lb. (5.2 kg)
Counterweight shaft: 4.1 lb. (1.9 kg)
Capacity Approximately 45 lb. (20 kg) scope and accessories (not including counterweights), depending on length. Recommended for: Astro-Physics and similar fast refractors up to our 160 mm f7.5 Starfire EDF, 8-11" SCTs and 6-8" Maks.
These are only guidelines. Some telescopes are very long for their weight or heavy for their size and will require a larger mount. Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation.
Instrument mounting interface

Refer to list of suitable mounting plates below
Diameter of base 5.800" (147.32 mm) diameter

GTO Servo Drive System Specifications

Electronic components Rated for industrial and automotive applications
Motors Zero-cogging Swiss DC servo motors, enclosed in machined, aluminum housing
Motor encoder 2000 tic quadrature yielding an effective resolution of 0.050 arcseconds per tic
Motor reduction gear train 57.6:1 gear reduction through a custom built set of large diameter, fine-toothed, precision, spur gears for vastly superior performance
Servo Motor Control Box
GTOCP3 Control Box; black-anodized to match the mount
Included: machined aluminum Control Box Adapter and cloth Control Box Pouch;

Hand-held computer GTO Keypad to control all mount functions.Includes extensive databases and tour features in a simple, intuitive interface. Firmware updates via the internet
Power consumption ~ 0.3 to 0.5 amps at 13.8 volts - tracking
~ 1.0 to 2.2 amps at 13.8 volts - both motors slewing at 1200x
Power requirements Nominal 12 volt DC supply at minimum of 5 amps continuous
Periodic error
7 arc seconds peak-to-peak (+/- 3.5 arc seconds) or less in one worm cycle (6.4 minutes); native, prior to any error correction

Maximum slew speed 5 degrees / second

£1,439.00

Skywatcher AZ-EQ6GT Mounting

The Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6GT is an exciting evolutionary development of the hugely successful NEQ6 PRO.

The AZ-EQ6GT is a dual purpose, fully functional computerised heavy-duty Go-To/Tracking astronomical mount in both Alt-Azimuth (AZ) and Equatorial (EQ) modes.
Supplied with a Synscan handset with dual AZ/EQ firmware, it can automatically find and track over 42,900 celestial objects from its database.

In EQ mode, the AZ-EQ6GT is designed for either visual use or precise astro-imaging.

In AZ mode, it is primarily intended for visual use, and in this mode, two telescopes can be mounted simultaneously in parallel.

A great feature of the AZ-EQ6GT is the patented dual-encoder technology. This allows the telescope to be moved manually in either axis without the mount losing its positional information. This gives the user enormous freedom, convenience and flexibility during observational sessions.

The Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6GT.....a new legend is born!!

Technical Specs:

Payload Capacity: 25kg (EQ and AZ modes)

Tracking Accuracy: 0.1436 arc minutes

Go-To Capability: EQ and AZ modes
Synscan Handset Database: over 42,900 celestial objects
Tracking Speed: sidereal, solar & lunar rates
Tracking Mode: EQ or AZ, dual or single axis
PEC control in EQ mode
Autoguider Port : Yes
DSLR Electronic Shutter Release Port : Yes
Motor Type: DC12V stepper motors

Patented Dual-Encoder design allows manual movement without losing positional information
Polar alignment: via software control or supplied polar scope

Alignment methods: 1, 2 or 3 star alignment (EQ) / brightest star or 2 star alignment (AZ)

Telescope Connection: 2 x dual-fit saddle plates supplied accepting 45mm & 75mm dovetail bars

RA/DEC Worm Gears: D=92.5mm, 180 teeth, brass
RA/DEC Axes: D=40mm, steel
Tripod: 2” Stainless Steel
Counterweights supplied: 2 x 5kg
Counterweight Bar: 25mm Diameter
Mount Body Weight: 15.4kg, Tripod Weight: 7.5kg
Power requirement: 12V DC 3A (Sky-Watcher 17Ah Power Tank recommended)

Note: Two 5kg Counterweights supplied, not four as shown in main picture

£829.00

Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro

The HEQ5 Skyscan Pro has been specially designed as a high precision mount for both small and larger telescopes.

It features engraved setting circles, a latitude scale, built in pole finder telescope and a retractable counterweight shaft.

The worm gears are pre-loaded with ball bearings for smooth tracking and slewing.

The Skyscan goto controller has a 13,400 object database including complete Messier,NGC and IC catalogues. The positioning accuracy is up to 1 arc minute and the Skyscan has both an autoguider socket and periodic error correction (PEC) for imaging without having to manually or autoguide.

Ian's Thoughts:

The hEQ5 Pro like its larger brother the EQ6 pro has proven to be an excellent budget choice for astro imaging and it tracks and guides very well and reacts well to being used with an autoguider.

Technical Specs:

HEQ5 Pro Mount
2 x 5KG counterweights
Illuminated Pole finder scope
Retractable counterweight shaft
Complete with dovetail
Skyscan goto controller
heavy duty tubular metal tripod
High quality quiet stepper motors with 800x slewing and 0.144 arc second resolution.

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