Astro-Physics - MACH2GTO Mach 2 German Equatorial Mount

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  • The AstroPhysics MACH2GTO features an approximate 75 pound load capacity, high precision computerized operation and adaptable control options. First deliveries are expected in Fall 2019. We are accepting preorders now, please call us at 818.347.2270.  Price is not yet finalized but is expected to be about $7500.

  • Built on a Universal Robotic principle, the Mach2 can be used for imaging, satellite tracking, comet tracking, star survey work and more in a professional, educational or personal capacity.

  • Start up routines have been minimized for an exceptional easy to use to advanced EQ mount. Your mount will never need to be homed. 

  • Lab certified, Renishaw Absolute Encoders provide consistent accurate performance with error below 1/2 arc second per hour. 

  • GTOCP5 Servo Control System allows for either manual control of the mount with an optional keypad or it is ready to connect to your preferred computer.

  • Optional items you'll need: counterweights, mounting plate, pier or tripod, battery or power supply. Please see recommended accessories to find the options you need.

SKU: ASP-MACH2GTO
Manufactured by:
Astro-Physics
 

Product Description

Astro-Physics - MACH2GTO Mach 2 German Equatorial Mount

Astro Physics' Mach2GTO Universal Robotic EQ mount is remarkably easy to use and quiet in operation.  This advanced equatorial mount features Renishaw Absolute Encoders, brushless dual servo motors and the GTOCP5 Servo Control System for a seamlessly accurate mount that was designed for astroimaging, sattelite tracking, comet tracking, star survey work and more.  The precision of this mount will readily meet the demands for professional research applications and demanding astrophotography work. 

Setup routines are simplified, and the encoders keep track of the axis positions at all times whether parked, unparked, power on or power off.  This means your mount will never have to be homed, simply polar align.   This mount has been optimized for astronomy applications, celestial observing and imaging.  It does not have any military or defense applications or the ability to track low Earth orbit satellite.  The ISS is generally within the mount's tracking rate capability. 

Features

  • Polar Align, Power Up and Go!
  • Renishaw Absolute Encoder for the ultimate in precise tracking - no SDE or random errors above 1/4 arc sec
  • Absolute encoder provides near zero tracking error and resists outside influences such as wind and cable drag
  • Precision balancing via the clutches without taking the worm gears out of mesh
  • Brushless Micro-step Servo System for precise and whisper-quiet slewing and tracking

  • Custom tracking rates in both axes (for asteroids, comets, satellites)
  • Auto-Adjusting gear mesh
  • Image all night without meridian flip, as long as your scope clears
  • Daytime polar alignment is now simplified since we have encoders to set the positions
  • Precision azimuth adjuster with rotating base

  • Built-in bubble level & compass
  • Right-angle polar alignment scope (optional) 
  • Through-mount cabling (optional)
  • Modeling in Keypad & GTOCP5
  • Fully supported enhanced ASCOM driver 

  • Portable – under 40 lbs
  • Operate with 12V battery or up to 24V power supply
  • Ideal for 6-7” refractors, 8-12” SCTs and Maks

GTOCP5 Servo Control System

Astro-Physics combines the precision performance of the Renishaw Absolute Encoders with the whisper-quiet motion of brushless micro-step servo motors to produce a very accurate observatory grade mount that can also be set up in just a few minutes in the field. The mount can be operated manually via the clutches or electronically with the encoder loop providing the pointing and tracking functions.

  • Use of Absolute Encoders means that the mount always knows where the axes are pointing and don't need to establish home on power-up.
  • The mount can be operated manually via the clutches or in full GoTo mode via keypad or external software.
  • Absolute Encoders are dead accurate in slewing, pointing, tracking, guiding. Periodic error and backlash, reversal delays in Dec are eliminated.
  • Rapid feed-forward servo loop stiffens the axes against outside disturbances such as cable drag and wind loading.

  • Both axes can be run at custom tracking rates from sub-arc second motions per hour to 1000x sidereal.
  • The GTOCP5 has modeling capability that is suited for quick setups in the field for portable operation. No computer needed.
  • The GTOCP5 brushless servo system can be run from 12 volts to 24 volts with max slewing from 1200X (5 deg/sec) to 1800X (7.5 deg/sec).
  • The power to the motors is self-limiting and cannot cause any kind of damage to the windings or the electronics, even when in a stalled state.

GTO Keypad (optional purchase)

The Keypad is a self-contained computer that allows you to control all essential telescope functions and includes an extensive database of objects. Many people do not want to bother with a computer in the field and like the handiness of the Keypad and its ability to operate in very cold temperatures. The Keypad is an ideal choice for these users.  The interface and firmware to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, while filling it with terrific features to make y

observing session productive and pleasurable.

Items You will Need for Your Mount

  • Mounting Plates: DOVEDV10 or DOVELM162
  • Pier or Tripod: Astro-Physics Portable Pier - 6" diameter, heights 24" 54"; Astro-Physics "Eagle Adjustable Folding Pier (EAGLE6 or EAGLE6-EZ); or Berlebach Planet Tripod (AWTBER2). If you choose the Berlebach tripod, be sure to include the Control Box Extension Adapter (Q6280KIT)
  • 12V Battery or Power Supply that converts 110VAC to suitable DC: 13.8 volt, 5 amp Regulated Power Supply with Cigarette Lighter Receptacle (PS138V5A) or 25 amp Variable Volt Power Supply with Digital Readout (PSVPW25A)
  • Counterweights: Stainless Steel Counterweights - 5, 10, 18 lb. (5SCWT, 10SCWT, 18SCWT)

Additional Accessories to Consider

  • GTO Keypad with 15' Coiled Cable and Keypad Protector (KEYVFK)
  • Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) software
    Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope with Illuminator (RAPAS)
  • Pier Accessory Trays and Support Bar
  • Tripod Adapter (ADATRI) - attach to tripod or other flat surface
  • Mount Adapter: to attach Losmandy HD Tripod or Losmandy MA Meade Field Tripod Adapter to Astro-Physics 400/600/900/Mach1/Mach2 Mounts (LT2APM)

Mach2GTO and Absolute Encoders

Mach2 Tracking Performance with Absolute Encoders - PE = 0.21 arc seconds

mach2-enc-perf2.jpg

What are the main differences between the Renishaw and other less expensive relative encoders?

Lab Certified Accuracy! 
The Renishaw encoder accuracy is verified against a laboratory standard. Each ring comes certified with its own calibration measurement. The maximum guaranteed error on these rings translates to less than 1/2 arc second per hour tracking error.

Highest Resolution for Unparalleled Tracking Accuracy!
The Renishaw Resolute read-head interpolates a special barcode that is engraved on the matching stainless steel ring into 67 million individual addresses. Every address is unique and fully reproducible down to sub-arc second levels. This is not possible with any relative encoder system.

Ripple and Resonances – NOT with Astro-Physics!! 
Relative encoders use a simple ring that has engraved marks with separations on the order of 60 to 100 arc seconds between ticks. In order to achieve sub-arc second resolution, the gaps between these marks are filled in electronically by a method known as interpolation. Even the best interpolation methods have errors on the order of 5% (3 to 5 arc seconds). When used in a telescope drive system these relative encoders introduce a fast moving ripple in the RA tracking rate of 3 to 5 arc seconds, although the average or RMS value of this error can be quite low.

These peak excursions cause stars to move slightly back and forth in the RA direction during sidereal tracking. This tracking ripple can remain hidden when imaging with short wide-field scopes, but will manifest itself when using long focus instruments for high resolution work. It is generally a fast moving error, so it cannot be guided out.

No Sub-divisional Error! 
Renishaw absolute encoders use a different type of interpolation system that smooths out the SDE to a level that is not detectable. There is no mechanism for a relative encoder to remove the SDE.

Never Needs Homing. Simply Polar Align; Power Up; and GO!! 
An absolute encoder never needs to be homed. It is always home the minute power is applied. It always knows where it is and transmits the exact shaft position to the control box at all times.

Dependability to Astro-Physics Standards!
Renishaw encoders are considered to be the gold standard in the machine tool and robotics industries where precision is required. While they are much more expensive than a simple relative encoder,  for the type of accuracy required in a telescope mount, there is nothing out there that matches Renishaw accuracy and reliability in performance.

Comparing Renishaw Resolute Absolute Encoder with a Precision Relative Encoder 

tracking-comparison-72dpi.jpg

  

GTO Servo Drive Specifications

Electronic components Rated for industrial and automotive applications
Motors Brushless micro-step servo system, enclosed in machined aluminum housing
Absolute Encoders R.A. and Declination axes
Periodic error (native) 0.25” arc seconds peak-to-peak, 0.05 RMS
Servo Motor Control Box GTOCP5 Control Box, removable
Hand-held computer (optional) GTO Keypad to control all mount functions. Includes extensive databases and tour features in a simple, intuitive interface. Firmware updates via the internet
Power requirements Nominal 12 to 24 volt DC supply, minimum of 5 amps continuous
Maximum slew speed

5 degrees / second at 12V
7.5 degrees / second a 24V

Construction All parts CNC machined aluminum, stainless steel, brass bar stock; finest quality bearings; stainless steel fasteners
Finishing and Assembly Every part is hand-finished and inspected. All assembly is done by hand, by highly skilled mount assembly staff.
Worm wheel - R.A./Dec. 5.9" (150 mm), 225 tooth aluminum
Worm gear - R.A./Dec. 0.705" (17.9 mm) diameter, brass
Axis shaft - R.A./Dec. 1.77" (45 mm) diameter
Latitude range 0 to 67 degrees, engraved scale
Azimuth adjustment Approximately 13 degrees (+/- 6.5 degrees from center)
Counterweight shaft 1.875” (47.6 mm) diameter x 13.625" (346 mm) usable length, incl. washer and safety knob. Weight 10.7 lb. (4.8 kg)
Diameter of base 5.800" (147.32 mm) diameter
Weight of mount Total: 39 lb. (17.7 kg)
Capacity Approximately 75 lb. (34 kg) scope and accessories only (maximum capacity depends on scope diameter). Refer to the graphic that discusses weight capacity calculation.

Flexible Control with Your Keypad, Computer or even your Mobile Smart Device!

As this chart shows, there are many options available for controlling your mount. Take a few minutes to link to descriptions of the varied software and devices that are available.

You will be able to link to a full-sized view of this chart.

cp4-control.jpg

Specifications

Name Astro-Physics - MACH2GTO Mach 2 German Equatorial Mount
Manufacturer Astro-Physics
Model ASP-MACH2GTO
In The Box Mach2GTO Equatorial Head (R.A. & Dec. Assembly) with Brushless Micro-step Servo System GTO Servo Control Box (GTOCP5) Control Box Adapter (CBAPT) 13.675" Stainless Steel Counterweight Shaft, 1.875" (47.6 mm) diameter with Machined Safety Stop Knob (M12676) Power Cable Set for GTOCP5, includes 6' Cable with PowerPole Connector, 18" Cable with Cigarette Lighter Plug and 18" Cable with Ring Terminals (CABPP4SET) 15' Straight-through Serial Cable (CABSER15) 1/4-20 Machined Knob Kit (M1485KBKIT) Allenhead wrench set CD containing: PDF of Mach2GTO and Keypad instruction manuals Manual: Mach2GTO German Equatorial Registration Card ASCOM driver, available by download

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In the Box

Mach2GTO Equatorial Head (R.A. & Dec. Assembly) with Brushless Micro-step Servo System
GTO Servo Control Box (GTOCP5)
Control Box Adapter (CBAPT)
13.675" Stainless Steel Counterweight Shaft, 1.875" (47.6 mm) diameter with Machined Safety Stop Knob (M12676)
Power Cable Set for GTOCP5, includes 6' Cable with PowerPole Connector, 18" Cable with Cigarette Lighter Plug and 18" Cable with Ring Terminals (CABPP4SET)
15' Straight-through Serial Cable (CABSER15)
1/4-20 Machined Knob Kit (M1485KBKIT)
Allenhead wrench set
CD containing: PDF of Mach2GTO and Keypad instruction manuals
Manual: Mach2GTO German Equatorial
Registration Card
ASCOM driver, available by download

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