Product Spotlight - 10Micron GM 1000 HPS
Astrophotography is a fascinating hobby that allows us to capture stunning images of the night sky. However, to capture high-quality images, it is essential to use the right equipment. The 10Micron GM1000 HPS mount is a state-of-the-art mount that offers a wide range of benefits for astrophotography. In this blog post, we will discuss the key features of the GM1000 HPS mount and how they can help you capture stunning images of the night sky.
One of the main benefits of the GM1000 HPS mount is its high precision. 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 direct-axis absolute encoder technology allows these mounts to perform at the same level of precision as professional direct-drive mounts. This mount uses precise absolute encoders on each axis and advanced on-board software algorithms to slew to (typically to within 20 arc secs) and sub arc-second tracking (0.6" RMS) of the movement of celestial objects with great accuracy allowing for long unguided exposure images of faint objects such as galaxies and nebulae to be captured with no resolvable star trailing. This results in images that are sharper and clearer than those captured with a less precise mount, with the freedom from needing an auxiliary guidescope and tracker.
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.
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.
In addition, the GM1000 HPS mount is uncommonly rigid and has a high payload capacity. It can support a wide range of telescopes and cameras, with a conservative maximum payload of up to 43lb for observatory precision, and 55 lbs usable instrument capacity. This makes it a versatile option for both amateur and professional astrophotographers. This high payload capacity also allows the mount to support larger and heavier telescope systems and is perfect for an un-guided imaging platform for fully instrumented refractors up to 6" and Cassegrain up to 12", such as RASA 11".
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 (not aluminum!!), 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 WiFi enabled GM1000 HPS mount also has a built-in control system that allows the mount to be controlled remotely. This feature is particularly useful for imaging in remote locations or for imaging sessions that are too long to be done manually. This built-in control system also allows the mount to be operated by a computer, which makes it easy to automate imaging sequences. The control system operates fully standalone (no PC required). The mount’s standalone control system also incorporates an onboard sophisticated pointing model capability that enables such accurate pointing and tracking for un-guided imaging anywhere in the sky. This tightly integrated standalone hardware and firmware control system is the reason why the GM1000HPS is so accurate when compared to every other mount, while avoiding the glitches and reliability issues that plague mounts which rely on an external PC and software for control. GM mounts can be fully 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.
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.
Finally, the GM1000 HPS mount is built to last, with high-quality materials and construction. This ensures that the mount will continue to perform at a high level for many years to come. This makes it an excellent investment for any astrophotographer who wants to capture high-quality images of the night sky. The fit and finish of every part is given close scrutiny. All external surfaces of the mount 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. After surface finishing, the complete set of parts are hard 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 breath-taking to look at as it is to use.
In conclusion, the 10Micron GM1000 HPS mount is an excellent choice for anyone interested in capturing high-quality images of the night sky. Its combination of precision, versatility, and advanced features make it an ideal option for imaging a wide range of celestial objects. Whether you are an amateur or professional Astrophotographer, the GM1000 HPS mount will help you capture stunning astrophotography.
Our customer Mark sent us these images and comments:
"I’m attaching a few recent images to let you know I’m still REALLY pleased with the 10Micron GM100HPS (and my Celestron 8” RASA, ASIAir Plus and ZWO EAF). I use the ASI 183MC Pro camera. I have used the rig at below zero F on several occasions, and it handles the cold very well - including the ASIAir Plus running everything while I sit inside watching the progress on an iPad. My cable management sucks, so I don’t trust myself to sleep while it’s running. Maybe someday. It helps with sleep to have such a fast (f/2) scope, however!"
Mark States: "This is my latest attempt at Andromeda. This is less than four hours data: 250 subs x 30 sec, Optolong L-Pro filter, plus 100 subs x 60 sec, IDAS NBZ dual narrow band “Nebula Booster” filter. Weird combo for Andromeda, but it seemed to work. I know the 10Micron mount is overkill on these short exposures, but it’s SO precise! I used the Baader poster image by Christoph Kaltseis as a rough guide for the color balance scheme."
Running Man + Orion nebulae, from one of my below zero F imaging sessions.
Mark States: "I know that purists may complain these images are not color schemed to be realistic, but I view the hobby as permitting some artistic license and personal taste."
- GM1000HPS Mount: https://alpineastro.com/collections/10micron-mounts/products/10micron-gm1000-hps-mount
- GM1000HPS Features: https://alpineastro.com/collections/10micron-mounts/products/10micron-gm1000-hps-mount#features
- 10Micron Range of Mounts: https://alpineastro.com/collections/10micron-mounts