The Telescope Drive Master

A mid-level mounts’ best friend?

My Telescope Drive Master v2 arrives
My Telescope Drive Master v2 arrives

To take truly inspirational images of the cosmos you need three astronomical tools; a telescope (optical tube assembly), an imaging device (normally a CCD or DSLR camera), and a mount. All three components should be of good quality in order to achieve the results desired during your journey to the beginning of space and time.

Some amateur astronomers may believe the imaging device and optical tube assembly are more important than the mount. This might make a good mount less important in their eyes, but a safe, steady, well-made mount is just as important in taking great astroimages.

Modern telescope mounts

There are modern mounts in the $3000 range available capable of excellent tracking with minimal periodic error (error induced due to small mechanical imperfections in the device). You can also break the piggy bank and opt for a German equatorial mount (GEM) in the five figure range that’s even more accurate. In the case of modern mounts, made by a reputable manufacturer, you really do get what you pay for. 

The Telescope Drive Master

In an effort to make mid-level and GEMs, even better Hungarian firm MDA-TelesCoop has introduced the Telescope Drive Master (TDM). Designed to correct the periodic error of a telescope mount, without the requirement for an auto guider system, the Telescope Drive Master is made to enhance the ability of both mid-level and expensive GEMs.

You can obtain a Telescope Drive Master through Explore Scientific in North America and in other areas of the world.

Price: $1,799.95 

My Telescope Drive Master v2 arrives 

17059I used a Celestron CGE Pro GEM to test the claims of MDA-TelesCoop concerning the Telescope Drive Master’s ability to make this excellent quality mount even better.

I got the Telescope Drive Master v2 I tested through Explore Scientific. It arrived securely and safely packaged, and with the right mechanical adapter for my CGE Pro GEM. You need to indicate which model of mount you’ll be using with the TDM when ordering because each requires a specific adapter.

You can check which models the Telescope Drive Master v2 can be used with here.

They included instructions and helpful photographs on setting up the Telescope Drive Master, which I found easy to understand. They also helped explain how the TDM works with my CGE Pro GEM and computer to make beautiful images. Getting the setup right only took me about an hour and a few minutes to get everything ready to view the cosmos.

Performance

The Telescope Drive Master significantly reduced the periodic and even non-periodic tracking errors of my CGE Pro GEM to within 0.5″. This is a result in agreement with previous reviews and independent tests.

It also integrated well with the autoguider system, offering me precise tracking of celestial objects.

These results would likely not be possible with a lesser quality mount than my CGE Pro GEM. Still, it should improve the ability of even mid-level mounts.

The conclusion

Overall this device did improve the ability of my mount to improve the quality of images taken of the cosmos. It’s worth the price I paid to obtain.

If I was a serious astroimager desiring to enhance my ability to take stunning, unforgettable images of the cosmos, I would purchase the Telescope Drive Master.

It can definitely make your journey to the beginning of space and time more memorable.

Telescope Drive Master

Price: $1,799.95

Learn more about TelesCoop here.

Learn more about Celestron’s complete lineup of astronomy products here.

Looking for a quality telescope for your journey to the beginning of space and time? Read about Explore Scientific’s 80mm Triplet Apochromatic Refractor

Need a good pair of astronomical binoculars? Check out Denkmeier’s new Binotron-27 Binoviewers

Looking for a quality portable mount to enhance your journey to the beginning of space and time? Read about the Maxim DL

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Celestron NexStar Evolution

Available in 6, 8 and 9.25-inch models, Celestron's NexStar Evolution
Available in 6, 8 and 9.25-inch models, Celestron’s NexStar Evolution

Earth’s most popular spaceship-to-the-stars has evolved

NexStar Evolution includes everything you love about Celestron telescopes, plus a few upgrades to enhance the view

Quickly and efficiently find the most popular stellar objects in the sky by touching your smartphone or tablet. Just connect to NexStar Evolution’s wireless network to manipulate your new NexStar Evolution using the included Celestron SkyPortal planetarium app for iOS and Android.

  • Available in 6 in, 8 in, and 9.25 in models

  • State-of-the-art lithium battery allows for up to ten hours of continuous sky watching

  • Includes a Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube, with StarBright XLT optical coatings, and is Fastar compatible

  • A USB charging port, adjustable tray light, and improved tripod add new convenience features that make using your new NexStar Evolution a lot more fun and safe

  • Download free SkyPortal app

You can find the new NexStar Evolution at Celestron.

Read about Einstein’s Spacetime.

Read about earth-sized planets within their habitable zone.

Read about something unusual discovered by scientists.

Celeston Ultima Duo Eyepieces

Celestron's new Ultima Duo  eyepieces
Celestron’s new Ultima Duo eyepieces

Get a new perspective on the universe by looking through Ultima Duo high-performance photo-visual eyepieces offering stunning views of the solar system and crystal clear images of the Moon and planets. Versatile enough to go from viewing to imaging in the blink of an eye, Celestron’s new Ultima Duo eyepieces combine fully multi-coated, state-of-the-art optics and a built-in T-adapter for reliable Astro imaging 

A complete line of quality eyepieces
A complete line of quality eyepieces

Celestron’s Ultima Duo eyepieces have a 68-degree field of view perfect for visual observing and industry standard 42mm T-adapter threads. Just remove the rubber eye guard and then easily attach a DSL camera for unforgettable images of the planets and Moon.

Canadians can find Ultima Duo here or at Celestron.

Read about “NASA”s Curiosity Mars Rover Approaching a Region Called the Kimberly on the Red Planet

NASA’s Asteroid Hunting Content

Ancient Skywatchers of the American Southwest

A great telescope for viewing the solar system and stars

View Comet 67P Churyumov with a Cometron 114AZ

The 2014 Cometron 114AZ is Celestron’s 114mm (4.49 inches) Newtonian telescope, with 10mm and 20mm Kellner eyepieces, offering stunning 22.5x and 45x views of the planets, Moon, and comets speeding through the solar system.

A great telescope for viewing the solar system and stars
This 114mm Newtonian telescope is one of Cometron’s newest models for 2014

I distinctly remember counting the dollars saved until I could purchase my first telescope. Walking down to the local hobby store to pick it up was a pleasure I had been thinking about for months.

I still have this first scope. I recently discovered it sitting in a closet downstairs, forgotten about, but still usable. I was only twelve years old when I purchased it, from dollars I had saved from my paper route. A 2-inch reflector, I had first seen it sitting in the store window. It had an all white cylinder, with black trimming, and was about 20 inches in length. Mounting her was simple, but the locking clamp was crude, and the tripod unstable at times. There was no way to align the optics system of my first telescope. She was beautiful to me, my first reflector, but she didn’t offer unforgettable views of the solar system. Still, as a young boy exploring a world he had dreamed about, purchasing this first telescope was one of the best gifts I have ever bought myself.

The telescopes sold today to young people and adults deciding to experience astronomy and owning a telescope for the first time offer a far better view of the solar system and cosmos than my first reflector. Considering the recent news that the Rosetta spacecraft will near Comet 67P Churyumov during the coming days, and NASA’s future plans to drop a lander on this comet, lots of people will be desiring to take a look. Fortunately, Celestron is introducing two new Cometron telescopes for 2014 perfect for a beginner. The Cometron FirstScope and Cometron 114AZ. Two new telescopes offering beginners great views of the solar system at a reasonable price.

Read about “The Possibility of Intelligent Lifeforms Existing in the Universe

Read about NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover.

The CDK17 is a finely tuned telescope

PlaneWave Instruments CDK17 Telescope

Founded in 2006 by Joseph Haberman and Richard Hedrick, PlaneWave Instruments  produces high-quality Corrected Dall-Kirkham (CDK) telescopes for the serious amateur astronomer. PlaneWave Instruments offers Dall-Kirkham telescopes in 12.5-inch f/8, 14-inch f/7.2, 17-inch f/6.8, 20-inch f/6.8, 24-inch f/6.8 and 28-inch f/6.5 versions.

The CDK17 is a finely tuned telescope
A truly amazing telescope, PlaneWave Instruments CDK17 takes breathtaking images of the cosmos

Astronomy Products – product reviews: CDK17; Planewave Instruments

For this review, I tested the CDK17, a 17-inch f/6.8 Corrected Dall-Kirkham telescope. I placed this telescope on a Paramount MEII mount and set it up in my friend’s dark backyard observatory twenty miles outside Prince George, British Columbia.

The CDK17 telescope includes a quartz primary mirror and field-flattening two-element corrector lens in the primary baffle tube. In other telescopes employing this design reviewed in the past it was difficult to keep the corrector lens clean in the baffle tube. The designers made it easy to take the corrector lens out in this model, all you do is unscrew the baffle tube and take the lens out.

The CDK17 includes a dual carbon-fiber truss design, with 4 fans blowing across the boundary layer of the surface of the mirror, and 3 cooling fans ejecting air from the back of the telescope.

The CDK17 consists primarily of three parts: an ellipsoidal primary mirror, a spherical secondary mirror, and a lens group.

The telescope we used also included a 3.5-inch Hedrick Focuser, Electronic Focuser Accessory, Paramount MEII, Paramount Versa Plate Accessory,  extension bar and two counterweights.

Total price: $38,674

Performance

Collimating the CDK17 was very easy and forgiving if you are a little inexact. I was very impressed with the images of stars from corner to corner on a giant 40mm by 40mm CCD 16803 CCD chip. Even when I turned the telescope upside down, the stars remained perfectly focused.

Just take a look at the images I took below. They show no degradation due to coma, astigmatism or field curvature. The fields of stars shot through the CDK17 indicate this is one special telescope.

M83 is a small pinwheel galaxy located in the constellation Hydra
M83 is a small pinwheel galaxy located in the constellation Hydra
NGC 6960 is called the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus
NGC 6960 is called the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus
NGC 6888 is called the Crescent Nebula
NGC 6888 is called the Crescent Nebula

Twin CDK17 telescopes viewing the universe

Looking for an apochromatic telescope?

Do you like Newtonian telescopes?

Looking for a nice mid-level telescope for the kids?

Stellarvue’s SV160 Triplet Refractor

Stellarvue's largest production telescope, the SV160 triplet refactor is perfect for both amateur and professional astronomers
Stellarvue’s largest production telescope, the SV160 triplet refractor is perfect for both amateur and professional astronomers

Blast off on a journey to the beginning of space and time using Stellarvue’s SV160 triplet refractor tonight

Astronomy Products –

Stellarvue’s flagship telescope, the SV160 is their largest production telescope and includes an air spaced apochromatic triplet objective designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States of America using Ohara FPL-53 glass. The SV160 also includes a retracting dew shield, 3.5″ Feather Touch Focuser with 2″ and 1.25″ adapters, aluminum mounting rings and a heavy duty C160 padded telescope case.

Seriously better than any imported refractor in its size and class, Stellarvue’s SV160 has the visual clarity and optical performance both amateur and professional astronomers love. Perfect for putting smiles on faces and checking out the moon or stars, the SV160 triplet refractor comes in an instrument white finish, with black trim that gives this large telescope a nice look.

Take a look at your new Stellarvue SV160 at Stellarvue.com or stop by a local telescope shop today.

Can NASA astronomers detect extraterrestrial moons orbiting distant suns? Read this article to find out https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/searching-for-extraterrestrial-moons/.

Read about the latest discovery in the search for life beyond Earth https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/the-search-for-life-beyond-earth-takes-a-turn-at-jupiter/.

Read about the latest images of the solar system sent back by the Cassini spacecraft https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/cassini-spacecraft-show-views-of-the-solar-system-in-natural-color/.

Amateur and Professional Astronomers both Welcome the new Nightscape 8300!

Nightscape 8300 includes the preferred sensor of both amateur and professional astronomers
The new Nightscape 8300 includes the preferred CCD colour sensor of both amateur and professional astronomers

Astronomy Products

Greater sensitivity & added value

  • The acclaimed Kodak KAF-8300 colour CCD sensor desired by both amateur and professional astronomers
  • With 22.5mm across diagonally, and 8.3 million pixels in a 3326 x 2504 array
  • Gives amateur and professional astronomers the area, resolution and sensitivity required to create stunning Astro-images of deep sky objects or Comet ISON as it gets closer to the sun

Easy to use to create stunning images

The new Nightscape 8300 includes Celestron’s easy to use AstroFX software, which makes the job of processing Astro-images effortless. Giving both amateur and professional astronomers full control over all aspects of camera temperature regulation to exposure control. The new Nightscape 8300 also includes computer assisted focusing for quick and easy image acquisition of M31 or faint wisps of a colourful emission nebula thousands of light years away.

The Nightscape 8300 can process astroimages like this one of the Rosetta Nebula
The Nightscape 8300 can process Astro-images like this one of the Rosetta Nebula
This image of M20 was processed by a Nightscape 8300
This image of M20 was processed by a Nightscape 8300

At an attractive price for both amateur and professional astronomers

Drop by Celestron.com or a local Celestron dealer today to have a look at your new Nightscape 8300 or any of their outstanding telescopes and astronomy accessories.

View this video review of the new Nightscape 8300 at YouTube.

Can NASA astronomers detect extraterrestrial moons orbiting distant suns? Read this article to find out https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/searching-for-extraterrestrial-moons/.

Read about the latest discovery in the search for life beyond Earth https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/the-search-for-life-beyond-earth-takes-a-turn-at-jupiter/.

Read about the latest images of the solar system sent back by the Cassini spacecraft https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/cassini-spacecraft-show-views-of-the-solar-system-in-natural-color/.