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10 Micron GM1000HPS --- My Experience


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10 Micron GM1000HPS Equatorial Mount --- My Experience

By Rhett Herring

 

It started about two years ago. I wanted to try my hand at Astrophotography.  I studied up and luckily enough for me there is a very large community in Tucson, Arizona I could and did learn from.

 I put together my first rig under the guidance of a local shop (Starizona). They helped my jump start my new found hobby.  It’s important to understand at this point that I’m the type of person who dives in head first. I love to learn an often times I go a bit overboard when I become interested in a subject. 

My first setup was working OK for me. I had a Celestron 11 inch HD scope a Hyperstar, Atik camera and a Celestron CGEM mount. I was getting images that I thought were wonderful and was overall very happy. The one major pain point I had was setup time and accuracy of the mount using was not always a fast fun experience. I found the CGEM mount overall worked well but there were some things that frustrated me which I will not go into here. I also wanted to do more advanced imagery… namely Satellites and Comets and I wanted it to be as easy as possible of course.        

I started shopping around for a different mount. I attended the southwest astrophotography seminar and this is where I was introduced to the 10 Micron GM1000HPS mount. Immediately I was drawn to the mount for a couple reasons… Quiet… this thing is deadly silent. SPEED…. The mount is simply faster than most of us will ever need.  I read as much material online as I could find on the mount and sent some emails to a few users I found on AstroBin. I received almost immediate responses and all were overwhelmingly positive.

I made the leap and purchased the GM1000HPS mount from Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products in Phoenix.  I purchased the complete package which comes with separate carrying case for the mount and tripod.  The aesthetics of the mount as simply awesome… every corner is finely machined it screams quality.

Setup:

The first step for me was to set up the mount in my office and become familiar with all the functions.  Set up was straight forward and very easy. I added the weights and my scope, camera and Hyperstar. One thing I was always uneasy about was balancing my setup. Seems easy enough and I did it many times but there was never any tactile feedback to say “yes” you are balanced correctly. Well one of my favorite things about the mounts is that it has a function that slews the scope and will tell you if you need to make adjustments and which way they need to be made. I love this type of functionality and ease of use! I then set up the remote software that would allow me to control the mount from my PC.  Once again, very easy to accomplish this task, the mount uses a standard  network cable that connects to my PC or the router I now use.

Alignment:

I was ready for the worst but hoping for the best but what I got was an incredible easy set up process that took minutes. I set up the mount pointed in the general direction of Polaris. I aligned with two stars using the controller. Once I was aligned with only those two stars I never used the hand controller again. I used the remote software from my pc for some additional reference stars. I proceeded to do a quick polar-align where I had to manually move the adjustment knobs. No issues or problems. Once I was polar-aligned I did another three star alignment. Total elapsed time 25 min; not bad for a first time out. The accuracy of the mount after the two star alignment was amazing;  third star was almost dead center. I thought well maybe I was just lucky. Nope this has been my experience every time out and I’m out a lot.

I now use the free Model Maker software created by Per Frejvall and my life is much simpler. I have a permanent model stored that I use while my mount is attached to my pier. Creating a new model while traveling is also quick and easy once you understand the software.

Guiding:

Very simply I no longer use a guide scope.  I have tried 20 minute unguided imaging and my images are sharp and my stars are round. Using a Hyperstar I’ve rarely have the need to do 20 minute images on a regular basis but it’s nice to know I can do it unguided when I need to.

My overall experience with the mount over the past year has been wonderful. I admit I don’t have years of Astrophotography experience so my comparisons are limited. I have however been to a few star parties and watched a few friends set up and I’m happy I made the leap to the 10Micron mount.

I’m now in the process of building a new home with an observatory… I’m sad to say I will be parting with my 1000HPS mount. I am however replacing it with the 2000HPS  mount and I cannot wait until everything is finished.

Rhett Herring

Rhett@sayitfast.com


  • Tonk, timmbottoni, Greg M and 8 others like this


5 Comments

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timmbottoni
Dec 16 2014 01:31 PM

Thanks for taking the time to write the review.  I'm dabbling with astrophotography and one day hope to move up to something like this.

 

Timm

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Per Frejvall
Jan 02 2015 03:29 AM

Rhett,

 

That is a really nice experience you share! As many of the CN users know I have both the 1000 and the new 2000 model and also find them both really good. In addition to what you have experienced so far, one thing that I find nice is the absence of maintenance requirements and, coupled with that, the fact that you do not ever open the thing up.

 

Look forwards towards hearing about your 2000 when you get going with it!

 

All the best,

 

Per

 

p.s. Thanks for the kind words of Model Maker ;)

Rhett,

Everything you say is my experience too! I've been a happy owner of a GM1000HPS for nearly 2 years now and setup is quick, extremely accurate and so far I've only dropped one imaging frame and that wasn't the mounts fault - it was mine caused by a snagged cable! That's when I discovered that slipped clutches did not matter when you have absolute encoders. I just asked the mount to go back to the target and carried on imaging - no resyncing needed and definitely no rebuilding models :)
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alistairsam
Mar 16 2015 07:09 AM

hi,

 

I'm thinking of getting this mount as well. 

can you post any tracking graphs. How is the tracking accuracy. 

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Per Frejvall
May 30 2015 01:17 PM

Alistair, the problem with obtaining tracking graphs is the fact that there is usually no guider on the rig with which to measure it - in itself a comforting fact. I have made a few attempts but do not have any graphs readily at hand. I do remember noting the GM2000HPS (original version) at 0.1" RMS as measured with PHD through the main imager (again, no guide camera on the rig), and 0.15" RMS or so with the GM1000HPS and a heavy Skywatcher 190MN. Not in any way scientifically made comparisons, but nonetheless a measure of what you can expect.

 

Unguided imaging requires a good model to be built, and a good model is only obtainable from a steady, robust and sag-free rig. There are scope that do not meet those requirements, mostly due to poor and unpredictable focuser sag, and there are scopes that do. Needless to say, this is not a mount on which you mount a chinese newt and go unguided for an hour; you need something better than that, like a Takahashi, TEC or a Celestron SCT with the mirror firmly locked during modeling.

 

I have been in contact with many 10Micron users, mostly due to the fact that I wrote some special modeling software for the mounts in question, and many of them have upgraded their telescopes to match the mounts. If you fork up the money for one of these babies you will need other stuff to match it - simple as that.

 

All the best,

 

Per

    • Greg M and KentMartens like this


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