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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
+- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM
      #4596205 - 05/22/11 12:58 PM

That is correct, my G11 mount has plus or minus 1 arc second Periodic Error after I added the Telescope Drive master to the mount. Here is my experience with the product that has been available in Europe for a few years and now is available in the U.S. through Explorer Scientific. I purchased my G11 mount a little over 5 years ago. It was a non GoTo mount. I used it as a push-to mount for three years. I then upgraded to a Gemini Goto system and have loved it since. I installed Pempro to see how my Periodic Error was with this mount that I have never tweaked or adjusted other than changing out the motors for goto. As it was, the mount gave a +- 7.3 arc second periodic error. (14 arc second peak to peak). The RMS error was 3.65 RMS.



I wanted to improve my mount's periodic error to aid with astro-photography that I take with my TEC 140 scope. The scope has a 980 mm focal length at F7. I use a SBIG STV guider with the scope and normally get round stars. I still wanted better. There were several worm upgrade kits on the market but looking at the feedback, they still required tweaking and adjusting, sometimes with feeler gages, so it was not what I wanted. Last October I was able to purchase the Telescope Drive Master V2 and added to the mount. At the time it was only available in Europe. Not many people here knew anything about it. I was able to go to the developer's site, TDM Developer's site , to see that this scope works on several makes of mounts. The Meade Lx200, Celestron CGE and AST, the Synta Eq6 and Vixen GPDX mounts are supported. Go to this page to see if your mount is listed: Suported Mounts .

The install was simple and took very little time. One of the drawbacks is you will loose the polar align scope. Not a problem with me since I can use the polar align function in Pempro to align the mount in a few minutes. First you install the main shaft where the polar scope was.



Then you install the Frame onto your mount:



Another view.



Then install the encoder hardware to the frame.



Final install is the cover over the encoder:



The TDM brains are in a small case that I attached to the side of my mount:



The entire setup looks like this:




There were no other hardware adjustments that I needed to make. Now for the testing. As stated above my Periodic Error was +- 7.3 arc seconds with the TEC 140 scope on the G11 mount that was polar aligned to within 0.4 arc seconds of the pole.

With the TDM turned on, my Periodic Error dropped down to +- 1 arc second or (2 arc seconds peak to peak). The RMS error went from 3.65 to 0.46 RMS. Not bad for not needing to adjust anything else. I am not running PEC during this run. Don't need to with such low error.



This is better than the seeing in my area. I was able to make 5 minute subs with this setup without a guide scope. I could have gone longer but the sky glow prevented that.

As you can see there is still some error in the graph. I can reduce that by adjusting some of the corrections settings in the G11 hand controller but did not have the time. I would have some photos to show you but my laptop was taken from my hotel by someone who wanted it more than me. Backup your photos!!!

I am glad I have the TDM and don't go to the field without it. Check on the Explorer Scientific site for info and pricing.


I am not associated with either the maker of the TDM or any site selling the device. I am just a normal user of the TDM.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4596650 - 05/22/11 04:54 PM

Ok, it's a relatively expensive ($1800 + "mount specific adapter") high performance autoguider that get's it's control input from a very precise optical encoder. Unlike an optical autoguider it doesn't do anything for corrections in DEC so the polar alignment has to be spot on. But then again it doesn't need a guide star and provides great RA tracking accuracy all over the sky (nice benefit).

Dwight, You mentioned that with your previous (pre TDM) setup you were getting "round stars", so aside from the cool graph, more good subs (which should mean less time on a subject), and I assume shorter setup time, can you describe the difference in your images with the TDM?


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ZRX-Steve
sage


Reged: 03/31/08

Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: mclewis1]
      #4596664 - 05/22/11 05:03 PM

Wow, that's tremendous results. I'm very impressed!!!!

If I had a mount with no modifications, TDM would be a definite consideration. As it is, I've already got a lot of money invested in High Precision Worms, McClennan gearbox upgrades, autoguiders, PEMPro, and PEC to get similar (though not that good) results. So for for my G11 it wouldn't make sense, but if I were starting from scratch it would be another ballgame.

Great report, and great results! Congrats.

Steve


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: ZRX-Steve]
      #4596775 - 05/22/11 06:01 PM

Good stuff, Dwight! One of the really cool things about our hobby is the great gizmos people come up with.

David


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: mclewis1]
      #4597005 - 05/22/11 07:53 PM

Quote:

....

Dwight, You mentioned that with your previous (pre TDM) setup you were getting "round stars", so aside from the cool graph, more good subs (which should mean less time on a subject), and I assume shorter setup time, can you describe the difference in your images with the TDM?




The photos I did take, and then lost had pin point stars. Not as much bloat, which I guess is caused by the PE and seeing. Autoguiding did not remove all of it as I now see. Also getting a guide star took time. Now I just turn on the TDM and go after my image.

I saw another post where someone had upgraded their mount and showed before and after photos. Their photos clearly showed that a well behaved mount will provide better photos.

The cost is relative. I spent $1400 to get Go-to for my mount which I could have just used my push-to setup. Others purchase top of the line mounts for $10,000 and up. I can get similar tracking for much less. Astro Physics state that their 1200 mount's PE is +- 2.4 arc seconds. This TDM system gave me what I needed for a mount I already have.


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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597114 - 05/22/11 09:11 PM

Hi Dwight,

You mentioned you did not try PEC with the TDM. Is that even possible?

Also, would you say the best candidate for TDM is a solid mount with minimal axis-orthonality and flexure issues, and not so much whether it has low PE?


Thanks,

Gale


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: gdd]
      #4597137 - 05/22/11 09:26 PM

Question... Does the device use the autoguide port? If so, could you autoguide if you wanted to?

Looks interesting indeed... Joe


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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jmiele]
      #4597142 - 05/22/11 09:29 PM

The V1 device plugs into the autoguide port and as such does not allow the use of an autoguider. It looks like, however, that there's a V2 that you can plug an autoguider into and allows you to autoguide as well.

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jmiele]
      #4597215 - 05/22/11 10:08 PM

Quote:

Question... Does the device use the autoguide port? If so, could you autoguide if you wanted to?

Looks interesting indeed... Joe




The version I have does allow you to use the autoguider port. I tried it with my STV and it worked fine. It is for those days where you are in a rush and have not polar aligned as close as you should.


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: gdd]
      #4597229 - 05/22/11 10:15 PM

Quote:

Hi Dwight,

You mentioned you did not try PEC with the TDM. Is that even possible?

Also, would you say the best candidate for TDM is a solid mount with minimal axis-orthonality and flexure issues, and not so much whether it has low PE?


Thanks,

Gale




That is a good question. I have never tried to use PEC with the TDM and I have not looked at the instructions to see if that would work. I think it would be a problem with the mount trying to make corrections and the TDM also making corrections. The developer may pop in and give an answer.

The best mount would be one that has problems with its PE. The TDM only addresses that problem. It will not affect the issues with flexure, which occurs between two scopes or the mounts orthonality.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597381 - 05/23/11 12:00 AM

So if you give up the polar scope a 3k mount is a 10k mount

Well, 3k+2K for the TDM... Joe


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jmiele]
      #4597424 - 05/23/11 12:45 AM

Quote:

So if you give up the polar scope a 3k mount is a 10k mount

Well, 3k+2K for the TDM... Joe




...only if the capacity increases to 140 pounds...

A more realistic target would be to consider a TDM-equipped G-11 as an alternative to a Mach1 which costs about $1000 more.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4597478 - 05/23/11 02:01 AM

Good point John.

That kind of changes the target market group a bit. If looking for a new mount why not a Mach1 - if available. Also, a Mach1 is an la carte deal. There are still several additional things to purchase. It also doesn't include a tripod. It starts adding up quickly.

However, if someone has a mount giving them astrophotography wows, this upgrade could be a welcome one.

Joe


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Tapio
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/24/06

Loc: Tampere, Finland
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jmiele]
      #4597530 - 05/23/11 03:09 AM

Not many user reviews of these so good to see this.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: Tapio]
      #4597565 - 05/23/11 04:44 AM

my understanding is you need to budget another $2000 on top of the naked Mach1 for parts which are mandatory..

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wasyoungonce
sage


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Land Downunder
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597569 - 05/23/11 04:46 AM

Outstanding Dwight.

Thanks for all info.

Just one question...what worm do you have fitted...the older, newer high precision or the new adjustable or the Ovision?


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tomo
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/14/10

Loc: Shelby Twp, Mi
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: wasyoungonce]
      #4597673 - 05/23/11 07:12 AM

Thanks for sharing Dwight. I'm thinking about one of these for my CGE.

I noticed you said you got 0.4 arc sec for your polar alignment. This is absolutely AMAZING! How did you do that?

Cheers,
Tommy


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: tomo]
      #4597723 - 05/23/11 08:14 AM

Quote:

Thanks for sharing Dwight. I'm thinking about one of these for my CGE.

I noticed you said you got 0.4 arc sec for your polar alignment. This is absolutely AMAZING! How did you do that?

Cheers,
Tommy




My mistake. I wanted to say 0.4 arc minutes.
PEMPro has a polar align system that get me to 0.4 arc minutes of the pole in about 30 minutes. Very slick process.


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: wasyoungonce]
      #4597731 - 05/23/11 08:20 AM

Quote:

Outstanding Dwight.

Thanks for all info.

Just one question...what worm do you have fitted...the older, newer high precision or the new adjustable or the Ovision?




Thanks!

I have the standard worm that came with the mount 5 years ago. No upgrades or adjustments to it.


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Benach
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/24/08

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597737 - 05/23/11 08:21 AM

Looks good. However, Losmandy seems to come out with a high precision encoder system for their mounts. Anyone know the specs of that one already?

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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597844 - 05/23/11 09:27 AM

Quote:

I have the standard worm that came with the mount 5 years ago. No upgrades or adjustments to it.





If you were to upgrade to the high precision worm, or even the OPWB, and improve your PE from 14 arcsec p-p to 7 arcsec p-p, is it likely your PE with TDM may improve to 1 arcsec?

Gale


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: gdd]
      #4597846 - 05/23/11 09:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have the standard worm that came with the mount 5 years ago. No upgrades or adjustments to it.





If you were to upgrade to the high precision worm, or even the OPWB, and improve your PE from 14 arcsec p-p to 7 arcsec p-p, is it likely your PE with TDM may improve to 1 arcsec?

Gale




Yes, I bet it would get below 1 arc sec. But you would not gain much with that because of seeing.


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tomo
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/14/10

Loc: Shelby Twp, Mi
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597878 - 05/23/11 09:45 AM

Phew Dwight! You saved me from hours of fine tuning to try an match 0.4 arcsec.

Edited by tomo (05/23/11 09:47 AM)


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dawziecat
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4597898 - 05/23/11 09:52 AM

I am perplexed at this thread.

There is no such thing as perfect alignment, nor perfect "orthogonality" for that matter.

So the mount still has to be guided in dec at least.

The mount is still as susceptible to bad tracking due imperfect alignment and cone error as it ever was.

The guider will have to work less in RA correction but there will still be the other errors.

What has really been gained?


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Tapio
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/24/06

Loc: Tampere, Finland
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4597937 - 05/23/11 10:03 AM

I've done polar alignment with WCS and it's so accurate that I can take 4-5 min subs with only RA guiding.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4598006 - 05/23/11 10:37 AM

dawziecat

The thread title only stated +- 1 arc sec PE G11. My first question was concerning auto-guiding. Not sure it was Dwight's intent say you didn't need to auto-guide. Just that PE could be reduced to 1 arc sec in his experience using this device.

All mounts require some level of guiding - even the best in the world. What manufacturers state to show how good their mounts are is PE. Here is something that can "possibly" improve PE beyond the best out there for considerably less money. I think that's all he was saying.

Joe


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: jmiele]
      #4598098 - 05/23/11 11:24 AM

At the 980mm that I am imaging at, I don't need to guide for 5 minute subs.

If I was using my Meade 14 at 3550mm, I would be guiding. Different mounts and built in errors may require you to guide. This is just my experiences with TDM.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4598468 - 05/23/11 02:42 PM

Dwight, Good points ... and that I believe is real bottom line. Not black or white, good or bad. The TDM is effective and whether it makes sense for someone is based on their specific requirements.

Having a discussion about the product brings out the various characteristics and each of us then needs to weigh them against our requirements.


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Kaizu
sage


Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Finland
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4599949 - 05/24/11 09:54 AM

I happened to have better luck with my G11. The original PE is ca. 5" from peak to peak. I can take 1 min, (some times 2 min)unguided exposures with TAL250K (fl 2137mm). Still I need auto guider because of the atmosphere refraction. I use the LVI-smartguider. Only if my targets are near zenith, I dont need the guider.
But anyway, the +/- 1" is an great achievement without guiding. I wanted that precise encoders also.

Kaizu


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j.w.white
sage


Reged: 07/18/09

Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: D_talley]
      #4601392 - 05/25/11 01:07 AM

Thanks for the pictures and the description Dwight! I wonder though - which would be the way to go to save a CGEM from an increasingly likely mount replacement, the TDM (assuming they make an adapter for it yet) or Adaptive Optics? They are both in the same price range, and both offer much better performance than the mount is capable of natively. I'm not sure that the CGEM's gearing is good enough to make use of the TDM's corrections, which would seem to give AO the edge.

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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

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Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: Benach]
      #4602466 - 05/25/11 02:48 PM

I wonder if this would effectively increase the weight capabilities of the mount? It seems to me that you could 'push the envelope' a bit more with this. Very attractive- I've been thinking about doing more automated imaging in the future and it would be wonderful for me to be able to skip the guiding process.

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Mert
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/31/05

Loc: Spain, Pamplona
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: Benach]
      #4602579 - 05/25/11 03:49 PM

Hi Dwight, that's for sure a spectacular result!!
Seems to work perfect right from the start.

One question I'd like to ask: the image that shows
the "brains" has a sticker on a prom stating "Serial number"

It states 2009 - 154, could that mean the micro-code
running in the V2.2 is from 2009??

Not an item since it works perfectly, just my curiousity!


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: Mert]
      #4602734 - 05/25/11 05:11 PM

Since I bought this in 2010, the date should be correct. I think this is the latest version. No need to change anything since it just works right out of the box.

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: +- 1 arc second Periodic Error G11 mount and TDM new [Re: j.w.white]
      #4602969 - 05/25/11 07:40 PM

Quote:

Thanks for the pictures and the description Dwight! I wonder though - which would be the way to go to save a CGEM from an increasingly likely mount replacement, the TDM (assuming they make an adapter for it yet) or Adaptive Optics? They are both in the same price range, and both offer much better performance than the mount is capable of natively. I'm not sure that the CGEM's gearing is good enough to make use of the TDM's corrections, which would seem to give AO the edge.




I cant give you any direction on this since I have not used a CGEM. I do want to get a AO to counter the seeing at my site. What is your PE now with your mount?


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