10Micron GM2000 HPS II "Ultraport" German Equatorial Mount

£11,650.00
SKU 1452020U
  • 10Micron GM2000 "Ultraport" high precision German equatorial mount
  • Mount separates into 2 parts for portability and ease of transport
  • Same features as the GM2000 "Monolith" version
  • Payload capacity of 50kg/110lb
  • High Speed Precision and Slew (HPS): Proprietary encoders on RA and DEC axis and high performance servo motors
  • <20 arc sec pointing accuracy and <1 arc sec tracking accuracy (0.6" RMS) for long exposure unguided imaging
  • Up to 20 degrees per second slewing
  • External Linux PC and control handset - no PC needed and WiFi enabled
Introduction

The 10Micron GM2000 HPS II "Ultraport" German equatorial mount is the second mount in their equatorial mount line-up. Although it is heavier than its smaller GM1000 brother, it is still is a transportable, and very sturdy platform for your astronomical equipment. The GM2000 "Ultraport" possesses the same high level of Italian engineering, craftmanship, build quality and features as the GM2000 "Monolith" version and its bigger brothers, making it an ideal choice for those wanting the best mount for doing astronomy and astrophotography.

10Micron GM2000 Ultraport

10Micron GM2000 HPS II Ultraport mount head

The mount head has a weight of 33kg (73lbs; mount head only) making it transportable. However the mount separates into two components (see image above) weighing 18kg (40lbs) 15kg (33lbs) making this GM2000 "Ultraport-able" and easier to transport and carry.

10Micron GM2000 Ultraport showing how both components fit together

10Micron GM2000 Ultraport showing how the DEC component attaches the RA and base component

The mount can carry a total equipment payload of up to 50kg (110lbs) making it ideal for those with larger astronomical equipment

HPS

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).

Tracking Error of a 10Micron mount

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.

Features

The Mount

The GM2000’s Right Ascension and Declination axes, both of which are made of 50mm 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 172mm and with 215 teeth. Each worm is 24mm 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. 

Object Database

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.

10Micron GM Computer Controller Unit showing all the connection ports

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.

10Micron GM Handset showing the ergonomic keypad and 4-line display

The connectors of the motors, encoders, power and handset all use security lock screws for robust and secure connection.

Mount Control

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. 

Package Contents  
  • GM 2000 HPS II Ultraport 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)
  • Base flange adaptor
  • 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 (#1452066)

Please note: Counterweights, Dovetail clamp, tripod and power supply are not supplied as standard with this package. They are available separately, or as part of the Professional accessory upgrade package (#1452026U) which also includes additional items.

Specifications
Type German Equatorial Mount
Weight (mount) 33 kg – 73 lbs without accessories
Weight, Ultraportable version (mount) 18 kg – 40 lbs + 15 kg – 33 lbs without accessories
Instrument payload capacity 50 kg – 110 lbs
Latitude range 20° – 70°
Azimuth fine adjustment range +/− 10°
Counterweight shaft 40 mm diameter, stainless steel, weight 4 kg – 9 lbs
Axes 50 mm diameter, alloy steel
Bearings Pre-loaded tapered roller bearing
Worm wheels 215 teeth, 172 mm diameter, B14 bronze
Worms diameter 24mm, tempered alloy steel, grinded and lapped
Transmission system Backlash-free system with timing belt and automatic backlash recovery
Motors 2 axes servo brushless
Power supply 24 V DC
Power consumption ~ 0,7 A while tracking
~ 3 A at maximum speed
~ 5 A peak
Go-to speed Adjustable from 2°/s to 20°/s
Pointing accuracy < 20” with internal multiple-stars software mapping
Average tracking accuracy < +/− 1" typical for 15 minutes (< 0.7" RMS)
with internal multiple-stars software mapping and compensation of flexure and polar alignment errors
Security stop +/− 30° past meridian in r.a. (software)
+/− 45° past meridian in r.a. (mechanical)
Operational temperature range (standard) - 15° C to + 35° C
+ 05° F to + 95° F
Storage temperature range - 40° C to + 50° C
- 40° F to +122° F
Special operational temperature range Optional, for very low temperature (-35°C): see options for more details
Communication ports RS–232 port; GPS port; autoguide ST-4 protocol port; Ethernet port
Database Stars: by name, Bayer designation, Flamsteed designation, Bright Star Catalogue, SAO, HIP, HD, PPM, ADS, GCVS. Deep-sky: M, NGC, IC, PGC ,UGC limited up to mV = 16. Solar system: Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, comets, artificial satellites. Equatorial and altazimuth coordinates. User defined objects, fast slewing positions.
Firmware features User defined mount parking position, 2‑stars and 3‑stars alignment function, up to 100 alignment stars for modeling, correction of polar alignment and orthogonality errors, estimate of average pointing error, storage of multiple pointing models, sidereal, solar and lunar tracking speed adjustable on both axes, declination-based autoguide speed correction, adjustable horizon height limit, pointing and tracking past meridian,, assisted balance adjustment, manual or GPS based time and coordinates setting, dome control via RS-232, configurable atmospheric refraction, network settings, comets and asteroids filter, multi-language interface. Remote Assist via Internet connection.
PC control Remote control via RS-232 or Ethernet; proprietary ASCOM driver or Meade compatible protocol; update of firmware and orbital elements of comets, asteroids and artificial satellites via RS-232 or Ethernet; virtual control panel via RS-232 or Ethernet. Wi-Fi included to control the mount via Tablet, Smartphone etc.

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