|HPS (High Precision and Speed) is the
total system integration of special high resolution absolute encoders
with the sophisticated QCI control system and 10Micron's precision worm
drive mechanics, delivering <1arcsec p-p precision and high speed
(20deg/sec), at a price previously unachievable by any other technology.
With the integration of 10Micron's new HPS System into the GM2000HPS,
amateurs now have the ultimate (portable) platform to use for acquiring
long exposure unguided images with medium-large sized instruments.
The high-resolution absolute encoders are permanently attached and
calibrated to each axis, not simply as an add-on to an existing system,
but fully integrated mechanically and electrically into the control
system. The HPS encoders know their absolute position, even after
power down. Factory inspection and calibration of each mounting
ensures that the phenomenal accuracy is maintained throughout the full
rotation of each axis.
HPS Tracking Curve (obtained from a GM2000HPS)
Drive System Comparisons
When selecting a
mount and considering different drive systems, it is important to
consider the tradeoffs associated with each approach. Traditional
motor- encoded precision worm gear driven mountings have predominated
the amateur market for many years, providing good value and accuracy
(typically ~8 arcsec p-p). Open-Loop Periodic Error Correction can
reduce this by almost a factor of two in the best situations.
However, the accuracy of even the best mountings still falls short and
requires autoguiding or very short exposures to prevent trailing.
Recently, a new
Direct-Drive system has arrived on the amateur mounting market.
These systems incorporate high resolution encoders on each axis and
directly drive their axis' without the use of gears (the axis itself
becomes the motor, requiring high currents to provide sufficient torque
to drive and hold position). While this approach has some
advantages, in practice, it also has disadvantages to overcome.
We think the
hybrid 10Micron HPS System provides the best overall solution, providing
extreme accuracy and speed, along with the portability, quick setup,
reliability, and robustness of a conventional worm driven mounting.
If you are
comparing mounts and their drive systems, we suggest you click on the
link below for an overview of the different drive types and their
The GM2000HPS Ultraportable was developed from the ground-up to be
the ultimate portable large-capacity mounting system, without any
compromise to the rigidity, accuracty, features, and performance required by the
most demanding permanent installations.
No separate computer needed. The
GM2000 HPS incorporates a full featured and flexible GoTo control system
that provides both total standalone operation as well as full remote
operation of the GM2000. The powerful controller is conveniently
integrated right into the base of the mount. Its internal LINUX
based software is fully upgradeable and future-proof. QCI
provides a large suite of object databases for powerful and convenient
location of objects and is as easy to use for casual use as it is for
serious work. The full function handpad incorporates an industrial
low-temperature capable red backlit display and illuminated keypad to provide
reliable access to all functions through a convenient menu and button
Powerful stand-alone functions
include accurate polar alignment routines and a sophisticated internal
pointing model that utilizes up to 25 stars to achieve pointing
accuracies of under 20".
QCI also includes a full suite of hardware interfaces
for remote operation - including an integrated LAN port for remote
connection without a PC! For more details
on this powerful integrated control system,
click on this QCI Control System link.
2-Piece Mount Head
Whether for nightly setup in your
backyard, or transport to remote sites, minimizing the weight of the
largest components is key to enabling safe and comfortable setup.
The GM2000 splits into two convenient and easily carried components
weighing only 28lbs and 33lbs. Precision alignment pins and
no-tool clamp knobs guarantee a rigid and accurate coupling.
In order to achieve the requirement for high
rigidity and pointing/tracking precision, along with low weight for
portability, the 10Micron engineers carefully optimized the design of
all components of the GM2000. Where possible, many parts have been
lightened by removing non-critical material. This 'lightening' is
done carefully to not compromise either the accuracy or rigidity of the
key structural parts. The 10Micron engineers also avoided the
approach of fabricating the mount from a myriad of pieces and screws.
Key structural components are machined as single pieces to consistently
achieve high accuracy and maximum rigidity.
The architecture of the mount also plays a key role. For
instance, in order to achieve the high reliability, performance and
accuracy of the GM2000 drive system, 10Micron chose the optimal gearing
material for the worm gears - Bronze. With the superior drive
properties that come with Bronze also comes weight. Rather than
simply using lower cost aluminum for the gears to shave weight, both the
Dec and RA gears incorporate central hubs of aluminum, and only the
outer periphery is made from Bronze. This combination takes more
cost and effort, but gives the best of both worlds - the low weight of
aluminum, with the superior drive and long wear properties of Bronze.
The result is a robust and compact mount with a total weight of only
62 lbs, but a real-world capacity of over 130 lbs!
Counterweight Shaft Attachment
Say goodbye to the hassles of the typical
thread-on counterweight shaft. The GM2000 quick connect locking
system enables a rapid and sure connection. Simply insert and
twist the 40mm diameter counterweight shaft approximately one quarter
turn, then secure with the single lock knob.
The ability to manually move
a mount is a prerequisite for any portable mount. The GM2000
incorporates fully adjustable clutches in both axes to enable ease of
balance and manual movement. The design of the GM2000 clutches
and drive gearing avoids the loss in rigidity and accuracy that can accompany other clutch designs.
Accessories for Portable Usage
From the light and rigid
Carbon Fiber Centaurus Tripod, to the custom fitted transport cases,
10Micron offers a full selection of accessories that are designed to
perfectly compliment the portable capabilities of the GM2000 QCI
Ultraportable. Complete mounting and accessory packages are
For more information on Accessories, please click
Capacity and Performance
capacity is often misunderstood, and typically implied to be primarily a
function of gear size. While most mountings (even small
ones) can physically support and drive very large loads without failure,
capacity is determined first and foremost by the rigidity of a mounting.
Rigidity is simply the 'springiness' that you feel when pressing on the
telescope or against its focuser. It is quite easy to judge the
rigidity of a mounting simply by pressing against the telescope's
focuser in each direction, and noting how much a star shifts in the
Unfortunately, it is not really possible to simply compare mountings on
the basis of gear size, physical size, weight, or appearance.
Many unseen elements are primary contributors to a mount's performance.
The primary elements that contribute to rigidity (capacity) are the
stiffness of the two axes and their bearing support system, the
stiffness of the drive system (torsion) and the rigidity of the
supporting structure of the mount itself. Like a system of
springs, the rigidity of a mount is the result of all these factors
combined, and is often limited by its weakest element.
An often hidden or overlooked aspect of good mount
design is the design and construction of the RA and Dec axes. Much
of the flex felt in commercial mountings is due to inadequate axis
stiffness. This can be caused by poor bearing configuration,
long overhangs or cantilevering of the axis, or inferior materials. Even
seemingly large and impressive looking mountings often suffer from surprisingly soft
axes due to poor design.
The GM2000 uses 50mm diameter
thick-wall steel for both the RA and Dec axis. Steel is 3 times
stiffer than aluminum (which is often chosen for its lower weight).
Both axes are supported by extra-large diameter preloaded conical tapered
roller bearings, which give much greater stiffness and bearing capacity
than ball bearings. The primary loads are closely coupled to the bearings to
minimize flexure. The result is an uncommonly high axis
stiffness that minimizes flex in all directions.
key structural elements of the GM2000 (RA and DEC housings, Altitude
Support Plates) and their attachments have been structurally engineered
to provide high stiffness. These key parts are precision machined
as single pieces from from solid bar or plate stock. The altitude support plates are
one-piece gusseted and physically well-coupled to the oversized 125mm
(4.9") diameter RA housing through
precisely mating surfaces and 6-point clamping.
Drive System: The
spring loaded anti-backlash mechanism of the worm drive delivers near
zero backlash at the telescope. The design of the worm support structure and large diameter precision
tapered conical worm bearings result in a drive system with uncommon
torsional rigidity, making the GM2000 particularly adept at handling
long refractors. No wonder TEC (Telescope
Engineering Company) chose the GM2000 to demonstrate their 8" f/8
fluorite refractors at star parties and shows.
The end result of all this
careful engineering and execution is a mount that exceeds expectations
for rigidity and capacity, while remaining easily manageable in portable
The GM2000HPS is truly the
high-performance sports car of the telescope mount world. The use
of new technology brushless AC Servomotors enables a blazing fast
slew speed of up to 20° per second! These
motors incorporate a new approach in servomotor design - F.I.S.
The Fully Integrated Servomotors incorporate the critical drive control
and encoder electronics into the motors themselves. This enables
the unique mix of high performance and high accuracy inherent in the
GM2000HPS drive system.
A unique zero-cogging kevlar belt
reduction drive results in whisper quiet operation with virtually zero
motor backlash. Gone are the grinding and whirring noises of the
gear drives used in most other telescope mountings. Onlookers at
NEAF 2007 were often seen pressing their ears close to the mountings
just to see if they could hear the motors.
No modern GoTo mount would be complete
without a highly accurate and reliable drive system. GoTo systems
demand a difficult mix of high speed and high accuracy - over a long
life of night-after-night use in automated installations. To
meet these tough demands, 10Micron chose the ideal material pairing of a
special gear Bronze for the worm wheel , and a carefully matched alloy
steel for the worm (not stainless steel,
which has inferior properties for use in a worm). While these materials add
significant cost compared to the aluminum gears found on most other commercial
mounts, the outstanding friction and wear properties of the GM2000 gears
are critical to delivering the ultra-high speed and low error over the
life of the mounting.
The bronze worm wheel and
hardened steel worm are produced using the latest tooling and machinery.
Worms are evaluated using precision helical path analyzers to ensure a
consistent and smooth low native periodic error. The HPS absolute
encoders are integrated by the factory (not an add-on), precisely
centered and calibrated uniquely for each mount. After assembly, each
mounting is analyzed as a complete system using even higher
precision encoders to ensure the HPS tracking
accuracy meets the 10Micron standards.
GM2000 was developed at 10Micron by a team of professional engineers
with decades of experience in the design and in-house production of
precision machinery for the machine tool industry in Europe. Each
mounting is fully machined and assembled in-house at 10Micron's
production facility in Italy. As machining experts, 10Micron is
able to consistently produce a level of precision that is unique in
order to deliver the absolute highest accuracy and rigidity, in every
mount produced, all critical parts of the mounting are machined as
single pieces from solid plate or bar stock. No screwed-together
or crude cast structures are used. The quality of machining and
fabrication is evident in every part of the mounting, inside and out.
Part-to-part fit and matching is superb and machined edges are fully
radiused and blended for a functional and aesthetically pleasing look.
and finish of every part is given close scrutiny. All external
surfaces of the GM2000 are hand finished through a time consuming
buffing process to eliminate tooling marks, swirls, and sharp edges. This
process results in an exquisite satin finish that gives a beautiful and
consistent look part-to-part, and serves to hide any smudges or marks
that inevitably result from normal use and handling.
surface finishing, the complete set of GM2000 parts are anodized
together in one batch, in order to provide high consistency of color
part-to-part. The hardness of the anodized surface resists wear
and chipping, unlike paint. The end result of all this careful
finishing is a mounting that is as breathtaking to look at as it is to