ASA DDM85 / LASER POLAR ALIGNMENT & OK3
The mission at ASA, over the past few years, has been to develop a new mount with similar tracking technology used by professional Observatories, and offer that mount at a fair price. They have achieved their objective with their line of mounts! The accuracy of any manufactured part is generally limited by the mechanical characteristics. Even the finest astronomical mounts, relying on mechanics lone, cannot solve all the problems experienced during a common astronomical imaging session. Thus ASA has to look with one eye at the development status of the professional Observatories where mechanical limits are also shared by the best commercially available mounts. Borrowing a page from the professionals, they too seek to overcome those issues with well-engineered, electronic solutions that come with a very costly price tag.
However, ASA has managed to find ways to lower the cost of these incredible electronic solutions without compromising the performance quality. Therefore they present them to you within an affordable price range.
The answer is to employ high resolution encoders mounted directly on the axes of the mount.
ASA uses Renishaw Encoders, which are verified electronically and resolve to an unbelievable 0,01-0,02 seconds of arc.
Positioning information is communicated by the mellow software developed by Philipp Keller (Astrooptik, Germany). The tracking accuracy is accomplished by comparing the actual position of the system, 100 times per second in real time. This permits any required corrections to be applied immediately.
Dependent on the diameter of the encoder a tracking accuracy of 0,2 - 0,4 seconds of arc is provided without guiding. The Torque motors (direct drives without gears and no backlash) used by ASA could operate in a range of one-hundredth of arc seconds.
Thus in most cases guiding is not necessary and the use of auxillary support systems such as adaptive optics (Orion, SBIG) is no longer necessary.
Because of this excellent tracking, purchasing an ASA mount can begin to immediately pay for itself over more traditional mounts. The tracking accuracy makes this an unbeatable purchase decision.
By collaborating with Dipl. Phys. Philipp Keller, ASA has saved significant development time and cost. After all why should we too reinvent the wheel? Dr. Keller’s proven designs have already stood the test of time and one just needs to view the legendary history of the current professional observatories that use his time tested technology.
Of particular interest one might be amazed to learn that the by using an ASA mount Autopointing (plate solving) via CCD camera is no longer required. Thus ASA mounts can be very quickly and easily used in the field.
Actually the normal tracking operations disrupted by a momentary gust of wind will be quickly and easily compensated with this technology. Also no more wasted time and frustration searching for a guiding star. The ASA direct drive mount can also be used very easy and reliably in remote controlled operations.
Despite of its weight, the ASA DDM85 mount is still portable. One can split the mount into two parts. Each part has a weight of approximately 19 kg. The DDM85 comes in three distinct models with carrying capacity of 45, 65 and 100kg respectively.
The tracking accuracy is excellent and therefore in most cases one can turn off guiding.
This model includes laser assisted polar alignment and the controller for the ASA OK3 motorized focuser.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS :
Software : Autoslew by Philipp Keller
Diameter of the axis RA/Dec. : 85 mm hollow axle
Bearing : Preloaded taper roller bearings 130/85 mm
Weight without counterweight-shaft : Approx. 38 kg
Loading capacity : Approx. 45 kg
Drive : High torque motors in RA and Dec. (Direct Drive without gear)
Operating voltage : 12V/<10 A (0,4 - 0,8 A/Tracking)
Pointing : < 5” RMS with pointingfile
Tracking precision : < 0.25” RMS in 5 minutes
Encoder resolution : 0,02“ on the axis
Altitude range : 0 - 90 degrees
Moving speed : 15°/sec. (faster on request)
Counterweight-shaft : 60 mm high-grade steel hollow axle
Counterweights : High-grade steel 5 kg, 160 mm
Object catalog : Messier, NGC, IC, PGC e.c.
More features :
USB port and power plug at mounting plate
Parking position, re-positioning after power outage
Satellite- and comet tracking, etc.
Manual specifiable safety limits
Control via PC or Notebook (PC/Notebook not included in the price)
Tested interfaces to Maxim DL, Autofocus, The Sky, CCD-Autopilot, etc.
Different other drivers
WLAN (WIFI), Control via pocket PC (up to 2010)
Control via internet (up to 2010)
For operating the mount, a PC with USB port is required!
Technical modifications and printing errors excepted. 07/2009.
Facts. Values. Specs.
(*) PRICE IN USD