What's New in 2016?Throughout the years, the Astro-Physics design team has sought to continually improve our product line, particulary as the technological demands for ever more precise equipment has increased.
The GTOCP4 Control Box offers multiple connection options to suit your requirements including wifi, ethernet, USB and serial ports. In addition to all the features carried forward from previous control boxes, the GTOCP4 applies safety slew logic to all slew commands. Future firmware updates will be available via direct downloads.Auto-Adjusting Motor/Gearboxes
Our new motor/gearboxes were designed to be more responsive for precision astro-photography, while at the same time making it super easy to use and adjust. The photo for the new motor/gearboxes is not available at this time. Refer to the photos shown for the 1100GTO for a close approximation. Here are some key features:
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, sophisticated control systems and a precision polar scope to meet the needs of even the most demanding astro-imager or visual enthusiast.
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:
Improved Features Compared to the 1200GTO, its Predecessor
Although we believe that the 1200GTO will continue to provide years of excellent performance, we felt that the time had come to improve the ease of use and add new features to take it into the future. We listened to your suggestions and added a few of our own. Some of them make the mount easier to set up for portable use, others set the standard for remote imaging. The modular design allows you to easily upgrade your mount if you build an observatory for near (backyard) or remote (halfway across the world) imaging.
We also felt that we needed to increase the size differences between the Mach1GTO, 900GTO and the 1200GTO, which were too close together and overlapping. Since the "new 1200" has greater capacity than the original 1200, we felt that it should have another name and selected 1600GTO "Sweet 16". Nevertheless, it maintains the heart of the 1200. Here are some changes that you may find useful:
Our customers say it best:
"I highly recommend an AP mount and it is a very well engineered and thought out piece of astro equipment that basically disappears into the background when you are imaging. You can concentrate on the imaging and just depend on the mount to do its job once setup. Exactly what you want and somewhat rare in this astrophotography world where fixing up and modifying gear to make it work is too often the norm.
As the mount is the most important component of the astrophotography setup its well worth considering investing that bit extra to get a reliable fussfree mount that will give many years of round star imaging. G.B. Australia
Extremely solid, rugged, high payload mount, yet the equatorial head comes apart into two components for hassle-free field setup.
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 5 amp filtered, regulated power supply like our 13.8-volt, 5-amp Power Supply (PS13V5A). For a heavy payload in cold conditions, we offer a 15-volt, 12-amp power supply (PS15V12AC).
Allow manual operation if power is not available. 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.
|The 1200GTO's ability to continue tracking when past the meridian is an absolute winner for me. It avoids meridian flips (=imaging time) and reduces the need for expensive rotators. Jan Rek.|
|. . . I love the ability to place the OTA on the "wrong side" of the mount when starting an imaging session ("premature meridian flip") and which I have used extensively. This feature is pure INGENUITY! Anthony Ayiomamitis.|
|Construction||All CNC machined aluminum bar stock, stainless steel, brass; 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.||10.3" (262 mm), 225 tooth aluminum|
|Worm gear - R.A. & Dec.||1.22" (31 mm) diameter special low-wear alloy|
|Axis shaft - R.A. & Dec.||3.74" (95 mm) diameter|
|Shaft axis bearings - R.A. & Dec.||5.71" (145 mm) diameter|
|Latitude range||0 to 78 degrees|
|Azimuth adjustment||Approximately 13 degrees (+/- 6.5 degrees from center)|
|Counterweight shaft||1.875" (47.6 mm) diameter x 22" (559 mm) useable length, incl. large machined safety stop knob. Optional 8.675" (220 mm) shaft extension available. Weight 17.2 lb. (7.8 kg)|
|Weight of mount||
R.A. axis/polar fork: 63.7 lb. (28.9 kg)
|Capacity||Approximately 220 lb. (100
kg) of scope and accessories, depending on
length. Recommended for refractors up to 250 mm, 18-20" Cassegrains, Ritchey-Chretiens
These are only guidelines. Some telescopes are very long for their weight or heavy for their size and will require a larger mount. Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation.
|Instrument mounting interface||Refer to list of suitable mounting plates below|
|Pier adapter base diameter||9.775" (248.3 mm) Base. The base is an integral part of the mount and azimuth adjuster.|
GTOCP4 Servo Drive System
Like the previous mounts, the GTOCP4 drive system uses a high-quality, heavy-duty Swiss DC servo motor controlled by a microprocessor to an accuracy of 0.05 arc-seconds per step. Tracking is very smooth, noticeably smoother than any stepper motor drive or inexpensive servo motor. The system can be accurately controlled over a speed range of 4800:1, which allows 0.25x sidereal for manual guiding to 1200x sidereal for 5 degree per second slewing. The circuit draws approximately 0.5 amps when tracking the stars, 2.5 amps with both motors slewing and requires only 12 volts to operate. The servo drive will satisfy the requirements of the sophisticated, advanced astroimager, yet is easy for the casual, visual observer to use.
Gear Accuracy and PE Performance
The heart of this mount is a precision gearbox using custom high-quality fine-pitch gears, coupled to a highly accurate worm and worm wheel. These parts are manufactured and assembled at our facility and individually tested to meet or exceed our periodic error specification of 5 arc seconds (+/- 2.5 arc sec.) before introducing any periodic error correction. The PE is smoothly variant with extremely low ripple or moment to moment error. In contrast, mounts that use integral gearboxes have very small spur gears with tiny teeth and too few of them. This generally causes ripples in the tracking rate which are difficult to guide out.
Each mount is rigorously tested on our specialized periodic error tester. Only mounts that provide an accuracy of 5 arc seconds or better will pass this inspection. If the mount exhibits greater error, the substandard part is identified, replaced and the mount is retested.
Pre-loaded PEMPro Curve
As mentioned above, the spec of 5 arc seconds (+/- 2.5 arc sec.) is the maximum native mechanical error inherent in the mount's RA axis WITHOUT any software correction. In order optimize performance even further, we use a special version of Ray Gralak's PEMPro (described below) developed specifically for our test equipment. We generate a unique PE curve for each mount that we program into each GTOCP4 Control Box. Simply use the optional Keypad or your Astro-Physics software (ASCOM V2 driver, PulseGuide or APCC) to turn the PE Correction "on" and you will see results significantly better than our published 5 arc second spec without additional PEMPro runs! However, you may use PEMPro to further refine your PE, if you chose to do so.
GTOCP4 Control Box
The GTOCP4 Control Box contains all of the circuitry to drive the two servo motors and the logic required to navigate the sky. It can be easily removed from the mount, if required. The 1600GTO uses the same GTOCP4 Control Box as the 1100GTO and Mach1GTO (the control box is black-anodized for the latter mount). In fact, the control boxes for all three mounts are interchangeable with one another in an emergency. However, the absolute encoder function is only available in the control boxes sold with those mounts. Extensive information regarding the GTOCP4 can be found here.
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. We have designed the interface and firmware to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, while filling it with terrific features to make your observing session productive and pleasurable. Click here for detailed information regarding features and functions of the Keypad.
Prior to mid-October 2015, the Keypad was included as part of the mount. However, some of our customers own multiple AP mounts, but only use one at a time. For them, one keypad is sufficient. Others only control their AP mounts with their computer and do not use their Keypad. So, we decided to offer the Keypad as an option. As a result, we were able to reduce the price of the mount accordingly.
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. They will choose to purchase the Keypad.
Optimized for Astronomy
Astro-Physics mounts and the Astro-Physics GTO Servo Control System are designed from the outset as tools for celestial observing and imaging. These mounts do not have any military or defense applications. Applications like missile, airplane, or very low earth orbit satellite tracking require faster tracking rates and more rapid changes to those tracking rates than our mounts allow. Note that the ISS is generally within the mount’s tracking rate capabilities.
GTOCP4 Servo Drive System Specifications
|Electronic components||Rated for industrial and automotive applications|
|Motors||High-torque, zero-cogging Swiss DC servo motors, enclosed in machined aluminum housing|
|Motor encoder||2000 tic quadrature yielding an effective resolution of 0.050 arcseconds per tic|
|Motor reduction gear train||57.6:1 gear reduction through a custom built set of large diameter, fine-toothed, precision, spur gears for vastly superior performance|
|Servo Motor Control Box||GTOCP4 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 consumption||~ 0.3 to 0.6 amps at 13.8 volts - tracking
~ 1.3 to 2.5 amps at 13.8 volts - both motors slewing at 1200x
|Power requirements||Nominal 12 volt DC supply at minimum of 5 amps continuous|
+/- 2.5 arc seconds or less in one worm cycle (6.4 minutes); native, prior to any error correction
|Maximum slew speed||5 degrees / second|
Absolute Encoders (optional)
The 1600GTO mount has been designed
and engineered to accomodate the use of extremely precise Absolute
Encoders. Absolute Encoders allow the mount to know its exact location
regardless of accidental software errors and will allow it's recovery.
This is particularly important in remote setups. Furthermore, they virtually
eliminate periodic error, reducing it below 0.2 arcseconds in our tests.
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 further link to a full size view of this chart.
Pier Mounting Options
The 1600GTO mount integrates a precision rotating pier adapter and azimuth adjuster as part of its base. The mount's base will directly attach to the Astro-Physics pier, or it can be attached to any flat surface using the Flat Surface Adapter for 1600GTO and
all 1200 Mounts (1612FSA). When choosing the Advanced Telescope System's (ATS) Pier, you will need to order our Flat Surface Adapter with Flat Pier Plate 1612FSA-FP that will fit into the top of their pier. The 1600GTO's large adjustable 0 to 78 degree latitude range (which spans from Antarctica to the arctic circle) makes the use of a wedge unnecesary.
To determine the appropriate pier height for your system and to calculate many of the dimensions that vary with your latitude setting, please try this Excel spreadsheet Latitude Dimension Calculator.
All Astro-Physics mounts are supported by a dedicated staff who will assist with any issues that may arise. You can talk to a real person in a timely manner. Astro-Physics staff also participate in the ap-ug and ap-gto user groups in the Yahoogroups forum. The user groups are comprised of scope and GTO owners who are willing to share their wealth of experience using their mounts as well as imaging strategies and other concerns of advanced amateurs.
Price and Delivery Information
Shipping charges: $250 for ground shipment within the 48 continguous states; contact us for other destinations.
1600GTO - What's Included?
Items that You will Need for Your Mount
Additional Accessories to Consider
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Inc. - All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified: April 4, 2018
11250 Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park, IL 61115, U.S.A.
Phone: 815-282-1513 Fax: 815-282-9847