I have been a highly satisfied user of a 10 Micron GM1000 HPS mount for nearly two years. Prior to moving up to the 10Micron mount I’d been happily using a Losmandy GM8 mount since 2004 with the Gemini mount controller and a Televue 85 apochromatic refractor. My favourite astrophotography targets are comets, especially when they are aligned close to a spectacular deep sky object. Living near the edge of the Yorkshire Dales gives me access to relatively dark skies once you are well away from the big cities of Leeds, Bradford and York (meaning travelling more than 30 miles northwards!). However Pennine weather is fickle so I’ve developed a mobile astrophotography set up that is transported and powered from the back of my car. I have a series of favourite remotes sites spread from the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire across the Pennines to the North Yorkshire Moors. I also have a permanent pier site outside a trailer in a holiday park but parts of the sky there are not accessible due to high banks or light pollution so the mobile rig is still vital for me.
A few years ago I reviewed the ease and reliability of my mobile set up after a disastrous week in Devon where the limitations of my current set up became very apparent and I decided it was time to upgrade. It was during a visit to the Astrofest meeting in London (2013) that I had a chat with Ian King on his trade stand about my imaging needs, particularly as I was after an accurate mount that was quick and reliable to polar align in the field and could be used unguided for at least 6 minutes or more. He led me over to this elegant looking black mount made by 10Micron and told me that it would be an excellent solution as its unguided performance was superb due to its use of an absolute encoder system. After researching the mount and its absolute encoder capabilities over the next month I became convinced this was the mount I needed so I ordered one from Ian. My only worry was the level of portability – would it be too heavy? (...> read full here)