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Explore Scientific Telescope Drive Master Tracking Unit

£524.00

Quick Overview

The drive master can dramatically improve tracking and periodic error for astro imagers, even on the most exotic equatorial mounts. Reviewed in the BBC Sky at Night magazine where once fitted the TDM system imporved period error on the test mount by over 10 times.
0721000
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The drive master can dramatically improve tracking and periodic error for astro imagers, even on the most exotic equatorial mounts. Reviewed in the BBC Sky at Night magazine where once fitted the TDM system imporved period error on the test mount by over 10 times. Scoring 93% in the BBC Sky at Night Magazine One of the most difficult problems in astrophotography and scientific CCD measuring techniques of "instrumental" astronomical observations is the sufficiently accurate tracking ability of various mounts. Even the most precise "semi-pro" mounts, designed especially for advanced amateurs (e.g. Paramount ME), have some periodic and non-periodic tracking errors. Due to this type of errors, the length of exposure must be limited in time. This limitation obviously depends on other factors as well, such as focal length of certain telescope, horizontal altitude of the object observed (refraction problem), correct polar alignment of the mount, etc. Moreover, these factors have rather complex interrelation to each other; e.g., you can use shorter focal distances keeping star-swinging problem at low level on the surface of the CCD sensor in spite of the higher tracking errors of your mount. For avoiding these kinds of problems and imperfections, the commonly used solution in instrumental astronomical observations nowadays is referred to as "auto-guiding". Another possibility to eliminate the effect of the periodic tracking error is the so-called PEC (Periodic Error Correction) software. Although both of the above-mentioned systems can remarkably improve the tracking accuracy of your mount, each of them has certain difficulties. 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. Anyway, the better the tracking accuracy of your mount is, the better imaging possibilities you have, independently from the other parameters of your astronomical equipment. This is a well-known and widely accepted general rule among highly qualified amateur astronomers worldwide. This is why our team has developed an extremely accurate driving correction system called "Telescope Drive Master" (TDM), applicable for almost any type of mass-produced equatorial mounts and installed subsequently onto the mount. Our system has got two main parts: a high precision encoder unit attached directly onto the RA shaft of the mount and an electronic device (let's say a sort of "black-box"), which receives the electrical signals arriving from the encoder unit and sends control instructions to its own mount's driver via its auto-guider input connector. The Telescope Drive Master is able to provide roughly ±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. Any type of controller unit may be used with Telescope Drive Master that has a standard auto-guider input and its tracking correction speed can be 0.5x of sidereal speed or lower. The drive master kits for specific mounts are available seperately for the EQ6 and G11. These are required to use the drive master and are sold seperately.

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