The 10Micron GM4000 HPS II German equatorial mount is the last and largest mount in their equatorial mount line-up. It shares the same high level of Italian engineering, craftmanship, build quality and features of all the other 10 Micron HPS mount range.
With a weight of 125kg (276lbs; mount head only) this mount is designed for use in a permanent observatory. The GM4000 mount can carry a total equipment payload of up to 150kg (330lbs). This makes it an ideal mounting for instruments such as, for example, 300mm aperture refractors, 400mm diameter Newtonians and 600mm Cassegrain-type reflectors (e.g. CDK17/20/24) along with their accessories (such as imaging cameras, filter wheels etc).
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 GM mounts utilise 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.
The high-speed slewing of the mount, from 2 degrees to sprightly 20 degrees per second, is achieved using high performance servo motors.
The GM4000’s Right Ascension and Declination axes, both of which are made of alloy steel (for maximum rigidity) are 85mm in diameter for RA and 80mm for DEC. The axes 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 diameters of 330mm (430 teeth) for the RA, and 244mm (315 teeth) for DEC. The RA and DEC worm is 32mm in diameter and both 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 mount also features internal cable routing for data and/or power to accessories (e.g. CCD camera) for no cable snagging or tangling.
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 4000 HPS II Mount head with built-in precision absolute axis-encoders and WiFi option included
- 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)
- Counterweight bar with counterweight end stop
- Allen key set
- Power and connection cables
- USB stick with software and manual
- In order to purchase the GM4000, mandatory shipping kit is required. This kit comprises of the pier adaptor (#1454090) and the shipping crate (#2450010). The pier adaptor can be used to mount the GM4000 onto a customer or Baader pier.
- Counterweights, Dovetail clamp, pier adaptor and power supply are not supplied as standard with this package.