After more than 20 years of occasional field astronomy, I took the decision in 2007 to go in the upper gear and to construct my observatory in my garden with a fix assembly. The site is certainly not ideal, but what a pleasure to be ready in 3 minutes for an observation or photo session. A fix installation has the enormous advantage to keep all the successive optimizations and fine tunings.

I opt first for the famous Paramount ME mount on which I installed my C14 in parallel of my refractor AP155. The setup worked perfectly many years at my entire satisfaction.

I always dreamed of a nice astrograph, and decided in 2010, after numerous studies and comparisons, to buy a Planewave CDK 17″ f/6.8. The problem was, on one side, the volume at disposal in my observatory, and on the other side, the 68 kg maximum capacity of the Paramount ME.

I confirmed that the volume at disposal in my observatory was sufficient, this after having created a 3D model of the assembly, taking in account the various gravity centers; I introduced also some error margins. In order to center perfectly all the rotation axis in the 2.80 m x 2.80 m square available in my observatory, I had to move 20 cm south the base of the mount column.

The CDK 17″ weight is 43kg, the AP155 13kg, and all the base plate, accessories and auxiliary instruments about 30kg, the total is more than 85kg which I judged to be too much for a reasonable use of my dear Paramount ME. I had then the choice in abandoning my AP155, what would have been a drama, or change the mount.

I finally decided to change the mount. The alternatives on the market for standard high load models and affordable prices are quiet limited. After studies, many readings and advices, I decided to buy a GM4000 QSI from 10 Micron (max load 150 kg) made in Italy and distributed by Baader Planetarium …

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pdf GM 4000 QCI - customer review by Phillip de Boer

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