Telescope Drive Master
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721010||TDM Encoder and Electronics Set (requires Mount Adapter)|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721025||TDM Adapter for Celestron CGEM/ CGEM DX|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721030||TDM Controller w/ Cable (for 16" LX200-ACF Encoder and Adapter)|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721050||TDM Encoder & Adapter for 16" LX200-ACF (Requires TDM Controller w/Cable)|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721061||TDM Adapter for Synta/Sky-Watcher EQ6 & Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721062||TDM Adapter for Synta/Sky-Watcher EQ6 Mount (Modified)|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721070||TDM Adapter for Vixen GPDX/Celestron CAM/GT5|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721075||TDM Adapter for Meade LXD75 Mount|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721200||TDM Adapter for Astro-Physics 1200 Mount|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721220||TDM Adapter for Meade 8/10" LX200|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721250||TDM Adapter for Meade 8" - 14" LX200-ACF|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721045||TDM Adapter for iOptron iEQ45|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721028||TDM Adapter for Celestron CGE Pro|
|Dealer or Buy Now||#0721020||TDM Adapter for Celestron CGE Mount|
Driven to Perfection…
The Telescope Drive Master, or TDM, is the vision of accomplished Hungarian amateur astronomers, Istvan Papp & Attila Madai of MDA Telescoop. It was their desire to solve the problem of tracking imperfections that, to some degree or another, are inherent in all equatorial mounts, and the Telescope Drive Master was the result. The TDM is designed to attach to popularly available equatorial mounts, such as the Celestron CGE & CGE Pro, as well as mounts by Synta, iOptron, and Meade. The Telescope Drive Master™ (TDM) uses a mount-specific adapter, an ultra-high resolution encoder, and an electronics package that transforms your drive system into a super-performance, research-grade drive. This device does not require tedious PEC training. Just turning on the TDM eliminates nearly all of the periodic and non-periodic tracking error of your equatorial mount.
How does the Explore Scientific TDM Work?
The Telescope Master Drive electronic controller unit compares the incoming signals from the high precision rotary encoder, which is mounted onto the RA shaft, with the time signal of its quartz oscillator. Any deviations of the angular velocity of the RA shaft from the prescribed drive rate are compensated by feedback regulation in real time by accelerating or slowing down the drive. If further correction is needed because of errors other than periodic drive error, the TDM allows auto-guider input as well.
How Much Better Can My Drive Perform with the TDM Installed?
A typical drive on a moderately-priced equatorial mount can easily have 20-30 arc seconds (or more) of periodic error. The Telescope Drive Master can easily improve it down to 2-to-2.5 arc-seconds peak-to-valley or less, which is what you would expect from equatorial mounts that cost many thousands of dollars. However, it is possible to get even better performance with the TDM. Attila Madai explains:
What are Typical Results from the TDM?
Most users of the TDM are making unguided images of up to 20 minutes or more in a single exposure with perfectly round stars. Here are some examples of long-exposure, unguided astrophotos taken with the TDM installed:
How Can I Test the Performance of my Drive?
You can download TDM Monitor Software free of charge! This program can read TDM correction values in real-time via the PC serial port (or via RS232-USB adapter) from USART Port of TDM box.
Why Would You Invest in Improving Your Drive?
"I remember learning the techniques of making an astro-photograph through long exposures on film. It was a tedious process of learning how to properly guide on a star. Most of my exposures were 30 minutes or longer, and on the rare occasion that I was able to keep my guide star perfectly centered in the crosshairs of my high-power eyepiece to produce an astrophoto that I was willing to show to others, I felt that I had conquered Mt. Everest!
In my opinion, the TDM is the perfect solution for portable observatories. Because it allows you to setup quickly and start imaging right away, you don't worry about your mounts tracking ability, or it's performance... It just works.
"The unit required 30 minutes to install (only because I did not take the 16-inch LX200 apart). The Telescope Drive Master was turned on and started working immediately while my supernova run was activated, at 72 images an hour.
The TDM performance
The TDM performance measured on the EQ6 Pro mount. Click image for full size view.
A close-up of M13 - The Great Hercules Cluster
Jerry Hubbell and TDM software
- Hubbell TDM TE Recorder User Guide ver. 1.0.2