Why a 1600GTO?
Thirty plus years of mount design and building expertise has been employed to engineer and manufacture our new 1600GTO mount into the most robust, high-precision mount in its class. We have enhanced its design and utility by incorporating additional optional features like absolute encoders and a precision polar scope to meet the needs of even the most demanding astro-imager or visual enthusiast.
We offer three versions: 1600GTO, 1600GTO-AE and 1600GTO-AEL. The latter two versions include the Standard Temperature Absolute Encoders or the Extended Temperature Absolute Encoders, respectively. If you order the 1G00GTO without the absolute encoders, you will be able to purchase them at a later date to install yourself.
This 1600GTO-AE version includes Standard Temperature absolute encoders installed at Astro-Physics prior to shipment.
The 1600GTO mount is built from the ground up to be a precision imaging platform while still remaining totally user-friendly. Consider these advantages and features:
Features to Enhance your Observing or Imaging Sessions
Extremely solid, rugged, high payload mount, yet the equatorial head comes apart into two components – a true advantage for a mount of this class.
Operate with 12V battery
You can take it to the darkest skies and power it with a commonly available 12V battery. In the observatory, we suggest a minimum 15 amp filtered, regulated power supply like our 13.8-volt, 15-amp Power Supply (PS138V15A). For a heavy payload in cold conditions, we offer a 25 Amp Variable Volt Power Supply (PSVPW25A)
Azimuth and Altitude Adjustment is convenient and quick
- Major altitude adjustments are extremely easy to make. Simply shift the position of the bar into a new slot without having to line up obscure holes referenced in the manual. The large "captain's wheel" knob is also very easy to grasp and turn. If you travel to a star party at a different latitude, you can make changes to your setup very quickly. This also allows you to transport the RA assembly in a more compact, zero degree latitude configuration.
- Azimuth adjusters are positioned to the rear of mount which allows you to make minor corrections quite easily without reaching or moving around the mount. Since the knobs are in front of you as you look through the polar scope, the graduations can be more easily seen as you dial in your position.
- Built-in precision-rotating pier adapter for smooth azimuth adjustments.
- Altitude range now extends from 0-78 degrees, which makes it suitable for most anyone except the extreme polar locations.
- Motor cables are built into the mount and routed internally to remove the possibility of snagging.
- Easily route additional cables through the large openings in the R.A. and Dec. axes. The top of the Dec. axis separates so that you can add cables with large connectors.
Use the clutches to easily balance your setup, then lock the R.A. and Dec. axes so that they cannot move when the motors are engaged. Manual operation is possible if power is not available.
Image past the meridian
The mount will track and guide well past the meridian in either direction if the object is located so that the telescope will clear the pier. This allows the user to set up the mount for a long series of exposures without stopping in the middle to flip sides. One can start the telescope under the mount while pointing at an object in the eastern part of the sky and track it all the way deep into the western sky. This is very useful for long exposure H-alpha or in cases where a large number of individual exposures are needed for stacking. This feature of our GTO mounts has been a real customer favorite for many years.
Easy polar alignment for critical viewing
Our optional Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope will allow you to quickly zero in on the pole or the polar alignment routine in PEMPro (included) will guide you through the process. You can even align the mount during the day with our clever Daytime Polar Alignment Routine (outlined in the Keypad Manual) for solar observing, viewing the planets at twilight, or just getting a jump start on a long night.
Multiple Options for Controlling your Mount in the Field or in Your Observatory
You have your choice of the GTO Keypad (KEYVFK2, optional), which is a full-featured handheld computer, PC computers using a wide variety of software with or without our ASCOM driver, Mac computers or even your mobile smart device (like your iPhone or iPad).
Our motor/gearboxes were designed to be responsive for precision astro-photography, while at the same time making it super easy to use and adjust.
- Spring-loaded worms maintain full contact under all guiding and slewing conditions
- Automatic setting for worm mesh requires no adjustments over long time periods
- Precision balance mechanism allows full backing off the worm from the worm wheel
- Inherent very low backlash gear train eliminates Dec reversal delays and provides high position accuracy during guiding. The Absolute Encoders remove any residual backlash for effortless guiding.
Absolute Encoders on both axes provide error-free tracking, software readable absolute position, and customizable home and limit functions for robotic imaging.
Precise Mechanical Fabrication
Using modern CNC machining techniques, we make all components to a high-precision level, which results in a final package that is solid and accurate in all respects. The critical angles are accurately machined so that the mount is orthogonal to a very high degree. This results in pointing accuracies well below 1 arc minute for a properly aligned mount. Massive thrust bearings and preloaded shaft bearings provide excellent stability under all imaging situations.
Easy to Adjust and Maintain
The design of the 1600GTO is straightforward and easy to maintain. We provide information in the Support section of our website pertaining to typical adjustment issues.
Components are modular.
All electronics including the GTOCP4 control box, motors, gearbox or cables can be removed for servicing. The RA and Dec axes can be shipped separately, if needed.