Software Bisque Paramount MX+ heavy duty robotic German equatorial mount, 90 lb payload

$9,595.00

Availability: More on the way

Standard shipping: $250.00

This Software Bisque Paramount MX heavy duty robotic German equatorial mount has 90 pound payload capacity and a broad range of advanced features and capabilities that will keep you focused on the Universe and not your equipment.

Our Product #: PMX
Software Bisque Product #: Paramount MX
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Product Description

This Software Bisque Paramount MX robotic German equatorial mount has . . .
90 lb (41 kg) payload capacity
Maximum 7 arc second peak-to-peak periodic error, even before using periodic error correction
Belt-driven worms for "no-slop" backlash (typically less than 2 arc seconds)
Maximum 6°/second slewing, 5.4°/second default
GEM design allows the right ascension axis to track past the meridian for up to 2 hours
All motors and cables are mounted internally for protection
Includes the most comprehensive software package available with any mount
Capable of field-portable and fully-robotic (remotely-located) operation
30 arc second or better all-sky pointing, using supplied TPoint software

Heavy duty mount: Every Paramount MX is completely custom machined from 6061 aluminum at Software Bisque's own production facility, for consistent quality control of every component. The mount head, less counterweights, weighs only 50 pounds, making the Paramount MX truly field portable. The 7.5" 375 tooth aluminum right ascension and declination gears combine with precision brass worms to provide a maximum periodic error of a mere seven arc seconds peak-to-peak - even before periodic error correction is used. When periodic error correction is applied, the resulting peak-to-peak error can be reduced to approximately one arc second or less.

Both the right ascension and declination axes have a simple three position mechanical "switch" to engage the worm during normal operation, disengage the worm from the gear when balancing the payload, or lock the axis during transit. The right ascension and declination axes are supported by 6-inch contact ball bearings. All cables and motors are inside the body of the mount, and through-the-mount access holes allow you to add your own internal cables. A 45 arc minute bubble level is built into the mount for accurate leveling in the field.

A Paramount MX-style Versa-Plate for attaching optical tube assemblies is standard equipment, as is a 16-in. (41 cm) counterweight shaft and two 20 lb (9 kg) counterweights. The Paramount MX can be used over a 10 to 65 degree latitude range. The azimuth adjustment range is +/- 3.5 degrees. The altitude and azimuth polar alignment knobs are calibrated, so that making adjustments using the supplied TPoint Polar Alignment Report software is simple and very accurate.

A universal AC power supply included. It can be used with any 100-240VAC source, from 47 to 63 Hz, and draws a maximum 1.9A. The DC output to the mount is 48V, with a 1.66A maximum draw. The instrument panel has one 12V and one 5V power port on the mount's instrument panel to supply power to your observing equipment. There is a built-in autoguider port and focuser port on the instrument panel.

Two brushless DC servomotors are used to drive the scope. If your mount is used for survey astronomy all night, every clear night, no other type of motor is sufficient. Other commercial mounts use "brushed motors" that don't have nearly the life expectancy of brushless DC servomotors and are not designed to be operated for long periods at the (relatively slow) sidereal rate. The Paramount MX uses single-reduced belt-driven worms to assure backlash so small (typically less than two arc seconds in both axes) that it is difficult to measure. Autoguiding calibration is always a snap with this "no-slop" system. Spur gears and other components that may introduce backlash are not used.

The DC servomotors provide fast slew speeds and consistent torque at all slew rates. The maximum slew and tracking rate is six degrees per second in both right ascension axis and declination (the default slew rate is 5.4 degrees per second). A temperature-compensated internal oscillator with better than 10 parts per million accuracy ensures accurate tracking rates over a wide temperature range. There is also a built-in temperature sensor that allows the slew rate to be automatically reduced when the temperature drops.

The gear-reducer and worm-block design of the Paramount MX are extremely efficient, so that little power is lost between the motor and the telescope drive. Though good balance is always recommended, the Paramount MX has no problem slewing or tracking even when several foot-pounds out of balance. You'll spend less time fiddling with the telescope and more time acquiring data with the Paramount MX.

Advanced electronics: The Paramount MX includes Software Bisque's fourth generation dual axis telescope control system. Its integrated USB 2.0 computer to mount communication interface can be controlled via the supplied TheSkyX Professional Edition software, using either Mac OS X or Windows (7/Vista/XP, 32- and 64-bit), right out of the box. There is an integrated two port USB 2.0 hub at the camera-end of the telescope, right where USB ports are needed most.

The position of the motors is monitored 3333 times each second to ensure optimal tracking accuracy and smooth, consistent slewing at all rates and all times. Tracking and "in progress slews" are immediately stopped in the event the mount's payload encounters a fixed object, such as the side of the pier. Slewing and tracking rates can be configured with 56-bit precision. That means that the right ascension and declination motors can be rotated at 0 to 4000 revolutions per minute and virtually anywhere in between. This provides very precise tracking and slewing, with the ability to track comets, asteroids, and even fast- or slow-moving objects such as low earth orbit satellites or any object that moves above or below the sidereal rate.

The supplied hand control features an integrated mini-joystick control and configurable rate, a five-position switch that allows single-handed mount control, an integrated bright red LED flashlight, a sturdy "hang anywhere" cable loop, and a 15-foot coiled hand control to mount cable.

Programmable periodic error correction with "seeing agnostic" periodic error curve fitting is built into TheSkyX Professional Edition software supplied with the Paramount MX. AutoHome™ homing capability (to better than one arc second resolution with built-in sensor circuitry on each axis) ensures that the mount always knows its orientation (after an initialization process called "homing"), even after power failure. There is a configurable park position for operation in a remote location dome. There is a soft "reboot" capability. This means that the control system can be restarted through software and does not have to be manually turned off, then on.

Supplied software: The Paramount MX comes with the world's best and most powerful astronomy suite of astronomy software. The Paramount MX includes Software Bisque's TheSkyX Professional Edition (with periodic error correction curve fitting); the TPoint Add On to TheSkyX Professional Edition (with ProTrack and Super Model features); the Camera Add On to TheSkyX Professional Edition; and a Multi-OS and Six License Add On to give you the option to operate the Paramount MX on both Mac and Windows operating systems, using up to six different computers. Newer firmware versions can be downloaded directly from the Software Bisque web page and updated using TheSkyX Professional Edition.

Capable of backyard observatory, field portable, or remotely-located robotic operation via the internet, the Software Bisque Paramount MX will provide the advanced astrophotographer or dedicated visual observer with truly professional-grade heavy-duty performance in a compact package.

Tech Details

Weight 90 lbs.
Warranty 2 years

Reviews

Review by:
My Paramount MX is currently on a permanent pier in a remote observatory where it carries a Takahashi Epsilon astrograph. It is the most reliable mount I've ever owned, hands down. People often question whether "premium" mounts are worth the expense and are hesitant about spending the extra money to own one. As someone who personally experienced the growing pains of purchasing multiple mounts over several years and struggling through the regular issues, I can say definitively... it is absolutely worth it and I wish I had purchased my MX much sooner than I did.

TheSkyX is an excellent tool, easy to use and understand and the ASCOM driver for TheSkyX is very stable. I have used this mount with SGP, Prism, Voyager, and N.I.N.A. all with excellent results. If you're reading the reviews for this mount to help you decide whether the results and user experience will be worth the expense, rest assured - it is worth every penny. It is also worth mentioning that my experience with Software-Bisque customer service has been excellent, they're very helpful and very responsive. (Posted on 10/23/2019)
Review by:
This is one of the best mounts available in its weight class. I used mine to carry a TOA-130 and a 10" f/4.8 reflector for imaging, which it did very well. The tracking and pointing performance is outstanding.

I used this mount in a semi-portable fashion, rolling it out from my garage to driveway each night that conditions allowed. One thing I disliked about the mount was the requirement to run a series of T-Point runs (each requiring 20+ minutes) in order to polar align the mount. In practice this meant that I lost an hour or so of imaging time to the polar alignment routine. Compared with my previous Takahashi mount, which could be precisely polar aligned in seconds using its fixed polar scope, this was a significant weakness. However, the overall pointing, tracking, and especially automation performance of the MX was superior to my old (excellent) NJP mount. As such, this mount is best suited for permanent installations. (Posted on 1/8/2019)
Review by:
Had it for 5 years and love it. If you want to do astrophotography, this is the bomb. (Posted on 12/13/2018)
Review by:
I've had my MX+ mount for 4 years now and am very please with it. The product description on this website is a bit dated, as the newer model can carry 100 lbs / 45 kg. I would have liked to have a tutorial on the software. I purchased a polar scope from Bisque, thinking that it would be required for setting it up at various star parties. The polar scope is a "straight-thru" type, and I found myself having to sit on the ground in order to see Polaris. A right angle polar alignment scope would be a lot better on the back. I also have to keep moving the wiring out of the polar scope field of view as the wires run thru the central axis but are not "constrained". Software is very powerful and updates are included. Note that this beast requires 48 Volts. You can opt for the Bisque battery power pack if you are at powerless observing sites, I made my own from 4 smaller 12 volt batteries with a 48/12 volt series/parallel switch for charging. Nice mount, solid, accurate, and looks good on their portable pier. Not cheap. (Posted on 10/25/2018)
Review by:
This mount was just what I was looking for to conduct asteroid astrometry routines. Its ability to precisely point when imaging a list of asteroids saves a tremendous amount of time, not having to platesolve and recenter every asteroid. (Posted on 10/24/2018)
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