The Crux 140 Traveller from Hobym Observatory is a game changer in the world of portable astronomy. It weighs only 3.1kg, stands a mere 240mm high (in Alt-Az mode), yet has a capacity of up to 15kg!! The 140 Traveller is not just a super compact EQ mount, it can also be used in Alt-Azimuth mode making setup and use much faster if you just want to observe as no polar alignment is necessary. In addition, the controller provides a landscape / pan function for use with terrestrial photography.
All Crux mounts feature Harmonic Drive / Strain Wave Gear Motors. This tecnology gives Crux mounts the following advantages over other mounts with convention gear, belt and friction based drive systems;
- There is zero backlash so pointing and guiding can be very accurate
- Very high torque. This means that Crux mounts are suitable for use with all types of telescopes from short SCT's to long, nose heavy refractors. The torque removes the need for counterweights and means the load capacity is the true capacity for observing and imaging.
- The motor technology is very compact and thus allows for mounts with a very small form factor
- Harmonic Drive / Strain Wave Motors are very responsive and therefore react instantly to guiding commands. There is also none of the high frequency oscillation that is typically associated with traditional drive systems. When combined with zero backlash this results in very accurate tracking.
- The high torque of the motor allows use without a counterweight as this is not needed to balance the drive system. As such the Crux 140 Traveller can be used with loads up to 8kg without a counterweight. By adding a small 2kg weight increased capacity of up to 15kg is available. Eitherway travelling with the Crux 140 does not require you to take additional or excessive weights with you just to allow your system to operate.
A video provided by Harmonic Drive AG shown below best demonstrates the concept of this type of drive system
Included with the Crux 140 Traveller is the Titan TCS Controller. This is a powerful mount controller allowing you to interface with the mount physically via the display screen and simple cursor controls, or via a PC using USB or Bluetooth. Naturally the control supports control via a proprietry ASCOM driver. There is also now support for INDI. Future firmware enhancements will also provide control via WiFi.
A significant feature of the Titan TCS is its PEC (Periodic Error Correction) Training function. Mounts with this type of motor can initially have quite high periodic error. To combat this, you simply set the mount up and guide. At the same time you then ask the Titan TCS to run the PEC Training function. When complete the TCS will confirm this and PEC will run from then on. In the case of the Crux 140, this provides a basic PE of +/- 5 arc sec. VEry low for a standard mount. When combined with guiding you can expect the resulting error to be sub arc second thanks to the smooth responsive nature of the motor technology.
As standard we pre-train all Crux mounts we supply allowing you to enjoy the benefits of mount straight out of the box.
As part of the Crux 140 Travellers well thought out design, it also includes a mounting point for a QHY Polemaster that is central to the RA axis. This allows for simple polar alignment. The DEC head of the mount provides both M6 and M8 threaded mounting points at 35mm spacing for use with a wide variety of saddle clamps depending on your requirements. (note a Saddle Clamp is not proivded as standard). The base of the mount features a simple M10 / 3/8" thread allowing it to be used with a conventional tripod.
In addition to operation as an EQ Mount for imaging, the Crux 140 Traveller can also be used in Alt-Azimuth mode for both telescopes and binoculars. This allows you to set the mount up for observaing very quickly as no polar alignment is needed.
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