QCI Control System for GM4000/GM2000/GM1000



QCI is an active automatic pointing system designed, developed and fully integrated directly by the 10 Micron electrical engineers and programmers; it uses high technology and high performance industrial components to guarantee the highest level of reliability.


 Main technical specifications 


New generation AC servo brushless motors with fully integrated servomotor system: F.I.S. is a new technology in the field of total electronic integration for control, power, encoder and communications, all built-in to the motor's body.


Pointing Speed: (max)

Up to 4750X max. = 20°/sec! (15°/sec for GM1000HPS, 5°/sec for GM4000HPS)


Pointing precision:

Mechanical errors <1’

GM100HPS/GM2000HPS: <20” with internal 25 star software mapping (also corrects optical tube flexure terms)

GM400HPS: <15” with internal 25 star software mapping (also corrects optical tube flexure terms)

 - NO PC required.


Tracking Speeds:

Sidereal, solar, lunar, custom, land mode.
It is possible to set different speeds for the two axes’ for comet or satellite tracking
(satellite tracking function included as standard feature of the QCI system).


Object databases:

Internal, complete catalogues: M, NGC, IC, PGC, UGC, SAO, BSC, HIP, HD, PPM, ADS, GCVS, PLANETS, ASTEROIDS, COMETS...all in memory.


Operator interface:  (No External PC Required!) 

Handpad Controller: the QCI system uses an ergonomic hand terminal to pilot the mount, to slew to objects, to set parameters, to sync a star , to change slew or guide speeds.  Includes a numerical keypad with rapid search keys, and a red 2x16 character industrial illuminated display that operates over a wide range of ambient temperatures: +40°C / –20°C (-4°F).  The extended brightness range accommodates both daylight and night time viewing.  It’s a total communication interface between the mount and the operator.  Handpad includes a removable protective cover.



The QCI controller includes a port for a GPS module (optional accessory).  The system automatically links and adjusts itself to the GPS network date, time, and position.


Connection to PC:

The system can be controlled by means of the LX200 protocol (same as Meade 16’’GPS), AP GTO protocol, and ASCOM protocol to use popular programs such as The Sky, MaximDL, Desktop Universe, and Perseus.


Remote Control:

- The mount can be controlled up to 15 meters (50 ft) from the PC with the serial RS232 connection.

- The mount can be controlled up to 100 meters (325 ft) from the PC with the LAN (Ethernet) connection using the included “virtual key pad” QCI software or with special custom made software using the 3490 port

- The system can be controlled through the LAN port, even remotely, by means of an Ethernet host server or by wireless links and Internet. Via LAN, the RS232 port can also be used to remotely control an external dome, without the need for a dedicated external PC.

- The system can be powered on /off remotely using an external switch.


Autoguider Interface:

 Single port standard SBIG and Starlight X-press interface: 6 contact standard phone jack (TTL).



QCI has built-in motor encoders inside the motors which obtain a final resolution of 0.1 arcsec (GM4000) – 0.5 arcsec (GM2000) (minimum move size). The motor encoders are used together by the QCI servo system along with the precision HPS absolute encoders to achieve the phenomenal tracking, pointing, and speed.  Encoders maintain the position reference of the mount at every given moment, also after the system shutdown (park).  Every time the system is switched on, it automatically initialize the motor’s soft homing of itself. Furthermore, the system can do a Hard Homing (with sensors) - GM4000 only.


PEC correction:

NO periodic error correction is necessary with the HPS/QCI system.  Periodic error is less than 0.5arcsec native, no PEC needed.



♦  Special Functions 


Cord-wrap protection:

The system takes into account the number of turns automatically and/or manually made by the axis and prevents their wrapping, de-winding them every time that the system slews to a new object.


Meridian flip:

The system automatically determines the ideal pointing position to avoid collision of the telescope with the base of the pier or tripod through the use of user-configurable parameters.  The system allows pointing to an object up to 15 degrees past the meridian.  This allows the user to point the telescope on the ‘wrong side of the meridian’ so that a meridian flip is not required in the middle of a long imaging session.   The angle that the system will continue to track an object is user configurable up to a maximum of 30 degrees past the meridian.  The system may be set to permit pointing to objects up to 5 degrees below the horizon.  Note: all limits are user configurable from 1° to max.


Mount alignment functions:

- Alignment of the polar axis with Polaris: this procedure uses a star and Polaris to align the polar axis.

- Two star calibration: when this procedure is performed, the mount uses the two stars to calculate the polar axis error   

  and compensate for it.

- Calibration with additional stars: Refine 2-stars, up to 25 stars!  This function builds an internal pointing model for more precise pointing and compensation for telescope mis-alignments (including non-orthogonality).  No PC required!

- 3-stars alignment: direct 3-star alignment (used to find some stars in a limited viewable-area sky condition)


Alignment of the polar axis without Polaris:

The “Polar Align” function is used to accurately align (to under 1 arcmin) the polar axis of the mount to the celestial pole without use of a polar finderscope. Polaris is not required to be visible. 


Orthogonality error correction:

The” Ortho Align” function is used to help you to correct the mechanical orthogonality error of the instrument.


Align info:

This function shows the alignment information. A short text will appear and tell you the type of alignment used (no alignment, 2‑stars, 3 or more stars if you have used additional stars) If a 2‑stars 3 or more alignment has been completed, the system shows an estimation of the polar axis position error:

-          An estimation of the polar axis position error and its position angle relative to the celestial pole plus information how to correct errors operating directly on azimuth and altitude knobs.

-          An estimation of the orthogonality error between the optical axis and the declination axis. This function is useful to verify that the telescope is really orthogonal to the declination axis.

-          A list of the aligned stars and date of the saved alignment.


Automatic tracking “follow objects”:

With this function, the system will automatically set a custom tracking rate in both axes each time it slews to an object, in order to follow it through the stars. Used to automatically track comets, asteroids, moon and planets.


Visible Object filter: (comets and asteroids)

When you activate this function, the system will ask to you to define a magnitude limit in order to create the observable objects list.


Last Update 08/24/13


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