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FORNAX 52 Heavy Duty Equatorial Mount with MC3 Controller and UMiPro Software - 50kg Load Capacity - EX DEMO

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Model
Fornax-52-MC3-UMiPro-EX-DEMO
Weight
50.00 kg
RRP:
£4627.00
Our price:
£3300.00
29%

including VAT 20.00 % ( £550.00 )
Qty

This mount was taken to three exhibitions (IAS and Astrofest) in the past and then it was used in our observatory for a little over a year.

Otherwise it's in a perfect working condition. We believe, due to its simple construction, it will do the same job in 50 years time, just as well as now... The MC3 controller is a separate piece that can be easily replaced or upgraded later when necessary. The only other parts that might get ever faulty are the motors that can be also replaced...

SCOPE OF DELIVERY:

Fornax 52 Heavy Duty German Equatorial Telescope Mount
plus
MC3 Motor Controller (click here for details!)
(MC3 is compatible with the Meade LX200 protocol. This makes it compatible with most telescope control software.)
plus
Ursa Minor Pro Planetarium and Telescope Control Software (click here for details!)
plus
2 pieces Fornax Dovetail Accessory Adapter - Dual Clamp 26cm - Vixen & Losmandy Compatible (click here for details!)

One anodised counterweight (appr 9kg) is also included or stainless steel counterweights are also available as optional accessories...

 

Max recommended visual load (without the weight of counterweights): appr. 50kg

Max recommented photograpic load (without the weight of counterweights): appr. 40kg

AVAILABLE FROM OUR PREMISES IN WORTHING. Can be collected or we can deliver it for free within 60 miles from Worthing or for extra fee (nearly) anywhere in the world.

Check out our blog where we shared some images of a Fornax 200 installation in Chile: Fornax Mounts in Chile – Fornax 200 Installation

We at 365Astronomy used this mount in our own observatory. You are welcome to visit us and have a look... (please call us for an appointment before you come... ;o)

SHIPPING

Please note, the shipping cost depends on the delivery address, so please contact us for a quote. Shipping to UK mainland will be most likely less than £100. For other addresses please call or email us.

This is the latest incarnation of the former Fornax 51 mount. The Fornax 52 comes with much strengthened and improved wormbox that makes it an even more precise mount. The new housing of the worm drive is stronger and it has got an extra unit that holds it in exact position, eliminating any sideway movement that could have occured in earlier versions when changing direction under heavy load.

Designed and manufactured in the Europe Union, Fornax Telescope Mounts are a series of German Equatorial mounts for precise positioning and tracking large telescopes. These are available in various payload capacities: 50kg, 100kg, 150kg and 200kg (the latter one is coming soon). There is also a very compact, mobile version called Fornax 10 LighTrack that serves as a lightweight astro photo tracking solution.

The Fornax 52 has got a load capacity of up to 45-50kg. Although there are examples of use of even heavier telescopes, the recommended maximum load is 45kg - 50kg for this telescope mount.

We use one of these in our own observatory with 48kg counterweight that gives a good balance for the 4 telescopes that we installed on this mount: a A Celestron C11 Edge, a Primaluce Lab 120mm ED APO, an Explore Scientific 127mm achromatic refractor and a 365Astronomy branded 80mm/400mm short, widefield imaging refractor. All these are well balanced and the mount is capable of carrying them without any problem.

There are similar mounts on the market with practically the same theoretical payload capacity when used for visual observations, but much lower capacity when used for astro photography.
This mount has been designed to provide the same precision up to its maximum capacity and it can be used for astro photography up to its maximum payload if correctly balanced and aligned.

The mechanism of this extremely sturdy mount is being made of aluminium alloy, cast aluminium, bronze and stainless steel. The worm and the electric motor are located in an enclosed, sealed space (waterproof and dust-proof), making it less sensitive to dust and temperature fluctuations, and is practically maintenance free.


Thanks to the ingenious solution of the inner drive mechanism this telescope mount doesn't suffer from any backlash.

Typical periodic error (when unguided) is less than +/- 6 arc seconds (one period on the worm gear is 7.5 minutes long!) When using a TDM (Telescope Drive Master), this can be reduced to below +/-0.5 arc seconds. (TDM is an alternative solution to guiding.)


When using auto guiding, the mount reacts immediately, so corrections are very fast and completely free of play. This is the ultimate solution for astrophotography with a high quality/price ratio!

This model is suitable for both observatories and as a heavy-duty mobile solution that can be carried around!
(But of course, you'll need to be in good physical condition ;o)


Specifications

Weight: 35kg
Recommended telescope weight: 40kg (max. 50kg)
Overall dimensions: 250 x 350 x 350mm
Shaft diameter: 60mm, anodised aluminium alloy
Bearings: diameter 95mm, high precision tapered roller bearings in X layout
Gear: diameter 194mm, 1 modul, bronze, 192 teeth
Worm: diameter 22mm, multiple thread, grinded, hardened, corrosion proof steel (KO13)
Periodic Error: < +/- 8 arc seconds
Periodic Error (with TDM): < +/- 0.5 arc seconds
Stepper Motors: 200-phase step / rev., 1.3Nm
Voltage and Current: 12V DC, 3.5A peak power consumption at max. load
Counterweight holder shaft: diameter: 33.7mm (1" KO33 tube) and length 470mm
Step-resolution: 0.5 arc seconds / step
Maximum speed: 4 degrees / second

 

Instructions

Below instructions relate to the mechanical parts only. Instructions for the MC3 telescope control are available under the description of the MC3 controller and/or the manufacturer's website.

1. The red or orange knobs serve merely for manual directional movement.
 
2. If you have to disengage any of the axes, it can be done with an Allen key (size???). There is a locking ring at the bottom end of the Dec axis that is being secured by a screw. This locks the Dec axis for motorised movement. Loosen it up if you have to move the Dec axis by hand.
The second locking ring that locks the RA axis is invisible, but there is a screw that can also be accessed via the housing of the RA axis (location???)
 
3. There are black(???) flat bolts (sort of thumbsrews...) near the housing of each stepper motor. With the help of these you can adjust the strength of the spring that pushes the wormgear against the wormwheel on each axis.
 
4. Polar alignment. Horizontal movement is done by two screws. 
The vertical movement is slightly more complicated. You'll have to slightly loosen up the four bolts on the two sides of the Dec axis (the lower bolts just a tiny bit), then adjust the angle of the Dec axis by the brass turnbuckle-like adjustment screw. Once polar aligned, tighten up the screws. Then check out polar alignment again. Repeat it until you got a satisfactory polar alignment.
 
Best method for polar alignment for a observatory grade mount is a drift alignment. There are lots of variations of how to do it. Please search the net for this  and choose one that suits your needs.


See image below. The cat is a separate item and the most expensive one; it consumes much more than the Fornax 51 or 52 and less reliable... ;o)



 

Fornax 51 Heavy Duty german Equatorial Telescope Mount in a dome:

Fornax 51 Heavy Duty german Equatorial Telescope Mount installed on a pier (pier is available separately):







Fornax-51 Telescope Mount Dimensions

Fornax-51 Pier Top Dimensions

ABOUT THE MANUFACTURER

Fornax 2002 Ltd is the manufacturer of the Fornax Mounts branded products that covers a wide range of load capacities, from one of the most precise mobile tracking mounts in the world, the Fornax 10 Mark II, through the medium-heavy duty Fornax 52, that we also use in our own observatory at 365astronomy, to the really heavy-duty Fornax 100 and Fornax 150/100. There are also some real gems of telescope manufacturing as they now added a Fornax 200 mount to the list, one of these were installed in Chile. You can read about the installation of this enormous mount in our blog where we shared some images of a Fornax 200 installation: Fornax Mounts in Chile – Fornax 200 Installation

Fornax also manufactures custom made instruments that have been in service on various scientific projects all around the world. These are the BlackGEM project that is a wide-field telescope array dedicated to measure the optical emission from pairs of merging neutron stars and black holes, the HATNET project that is an exoplanet survey of  geographically distributed network of 7 small telescopes optimized for detecting transiting exoplanets, the HATSOUTH that is another exoplanet survey with a network of 6 astrograph telescope systems designed to detect transiting exoplanets in orbit around relatively bright stars visible from the Southern hemisphere, and the most curious project is the HAT PI that is 63 carefully aligned lens-and-camera sub-units attached to one huge tracking mount that will enable the detection of a diverse array of objects ranging from near-earth asteroids and exoplanets around bright stars to novae and bright gamma-ray bursts.

USER CONTRIBUTIONS

Below narrowband images were taken by Zoltan via a TSAPO130Q with a Moravian Instruments G3-16200C1EC camera in our own observatory at 365Astronomy.

Astronomik CLS-CCD (for luminocity) and 6nm H-alpha, OIII and SII filters were used.

Telescope mount: Fornax 52, controlled by TheSkyX Pro.

Image acquisition, guiding, powering all instruments, heating etc were done via a Primaluce Lab Eagle2 Pro.

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ZOOM IN. (These images are not the originals. Images had been slightly cropped and resolution reduced to 1600px width.)

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