TDM Adapter for Synta/Sky-Watcher EQ6 Mount (Modified)
A common struggle in astrophotography is having proper accurate tracking ability of mounts. Even most mounts with advanced tracking features still have small periodic and non-periodic tracking errors, further limiting the length of exposure depending on focal length etc. Sometimes, it is quite laborious to find a guiding star in the observed object's region in the sky, which is bright enough for accurate tracking process and, at the same time, you surely will not be able to find two tracking periods with exactly the same shapes for using your PEC algorithm efficiently enough. While auto-guiding and PEC (Periodic Error Correction) will help compensate for this, the best option is the "Telescope Drive Master" (TDM).
The Telescope Drive Master (TDM) consists of two main parts; a high precision encoder attached to a mount's RA shaft that sends electronic signals from the encoder to mount's driver. With a ±1 arc-second tracking accuracy, depending on the mechanical features of the mount concerned and the tracking correction speed of its driver to be used, a controller unit with a standard auto-guider input and sidereal speed of 0.5x is compatible with the TDM.
So far, three types of mechanical adapters have been developed, attaching the encoder unit to the mount: for Synta (SkyWatcher) EQ6 (or Orion Atlas EQ-G in the US), Celestron CGE and any type of Fornax mounts. (However, in the near future more and more new adapters will be developed and produced for the other popular mounts as well like Losmandy, Vixen, LX200, etc.) It means that while a typical EQ6 (EQ-G) mount can easily have 20-30" (or higher) periodic error as "out-of-box result", Telescope Drive Master can reduce it by more than one order of magnitude, down to 2-2.5" peak-to-valley total or less, which is better than the same feature of the very expensive premium category mounts. Certainly, the better quality of mounts will also be able to provide higher accuracy (even less than ±1" or 2" total) using Telescope Drive Master.
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