The 10Micron GM1000 HPS German equatorial mount is the smallest and lightest of 10Micron’s German equatorial mount range, making it an ideal transportable, but sturdy platform. However, it still possesses the same high level of Italian engineering, craftmanship, build quality and features of its bigger brothers, making it an ideal choice for those wanting the best portable mount for doing astronomy and astrophotography.
With a weight of 19.5kg (43lbs; mount head only), the 10Micron GM1000 can be easily transported making it ideal for field use. Although relatively light in weight, the mount can carry a total equipment payload of up to 25kg (55lbs).
All 10Micron GM mounts come with a feature called HPS – High Precision and Speed – an innovation from 10Micron. They feature traditional worm and wheel pairs, and with the latest state of the art encoder technology allows these mounts to perform at the same level of precision as professional direct-drive mounts.
The GM1000 features two high-precision proprietary (1/10th arcsec resolution) absolute encoders that are mounted directly on each axes. These encoders provide very impressive high precision GoTo pointing (typically to within 20 arc secs) and tracking accuracy (<1 arcsec).
The diagram above shows the 10Micron GM mount RA tracking error profile measured with an encoder coupled to the RA axis. To show how accurate the tracking is, Jupiter and its moon Ganymede are shown as they appear from Earth at the same scale in arc seconds. In the 1-hour period the RA tracking was at least ~0.6arcsecs
The high-speed slewing of the mount, from 2 degrees to sprightly 15 degrees per second, is achieved using high performance servo motors.
The GM1000’s Right Ascension and Declination axes, both of which are made of 30mm diameter alloy steel (for maximum rigidity) are driven by two servo brushless AC motors, with a belt drive reduction with automatic backlash recovery that results in a backlash-free system. Both axes feature classic worm and wheel pairs; the worm wheels are made of (B14) bronze, with a diameter of 125mm and with 250 teeth. Each worm is 20mm in diameter and are made of alloy steel.
The mount features a dual Vixen/Losmandy type dovetail mounting saddle clamp. This allows the mount to have a wide compatibility with many telescopes from different manufacturers. Once you have mounted your telescope and equipment onto the mount, you can then use the electronic balance function to achieve perfect balance in both RA and DEC without unlocking the clutches.
The GM mounts can track 30 degrees/2 hours past the meridian and means that long duration astrophotography is easily achievable. The absolute encoders allow extremely high tracking accuracy (<1 arcsec), and means that autoguiding is not necessary. However, the GM mounts do allow the use of an auto-guider, if needed, through the inclusion of a standard ST4-compatible guide port.
The built-in object database contains celestial objects from the major astronomical catalogues (e.g. Messier, SAO, NGC and more) down to 16th magnitude. The mount’s tracking rates are adjustable depending on the object being studied and the orbital elements of comets, asteroids and even artificial satellites can be loaded directly to the mount (without the need for an external PC), so that these celestial objects can be followed across the sky accurately.
Electronic Control System
A PC is not required to operate the mount as GM mounts can be controlled using the supplied weatherproof 4-line control handset keypad, with the computer’s electronic “brain” being housed in an independent portable external control box.
The handset’s display and the large ergonomic keypad (ideal for when wearing gloves), features a red backlight for ease of use in the dark. An internal heater keeps the handset display warm when the mount is being used at low-temperatures which allows for maximum readability in all temperature and lighting conditions.
The connectors of the motors, encoders, power and handset all use security lock screws for robust and secure connection.
If you wish to connect your own PC to control the mount, a WiFi, RS-232 or Ethernet connection is needed. The GM mounts can then be controlled using commonly available software packages via the proprietary 10Micron ASCOM driver (or Meade compatible command protocol). Included with the mount is software that creates a “virtual handset” on your PC with the same functionality and features as the physical hand set for easy (and familiar) control from your computer. Furthermore, the RS-232 port on the external can be utilised to control an observatory dome (and without a PC). The mount can also be parked in different user-defined positions in case of any internal “obstructions” and can also be switched on and off using the dedicated connector on the control box panel. All these features help make the GM HPS mounts ideal for observatories and for remote operation.
- GM 1000 HPS Mount head with built-in precision absolute axis-encoders and WiFi option included
- Dual Losmandy-Vixen style dovetail clamp
- Control box with onboard-intelligence Linux-processor, stand alone system V. 2 HPS version firmware
- 4-line key pad unit with graphic display and temperature control (#1452059)
- Pier adapter for tripod / column (#1451090)
- Base flange adaptor (#1451092)
- Counterweight bar with counterweight end stop
- Allen key set
- Power and connection cables
- USB stick with software and manual
- Strong transport cardboard carton-box with shaped foam (#1451066)
Please note: Counterweights, tripod, power supply are not supplied as standard with this package. They are available separately, or as part of the Economy (#1451025) or Professional accessory upgrade (#1451026) kits which also include additional items.