Introducing the new ME Series 6 observatory workhorse.
The Paramount ME™ Series 6 represents the latest in gear-driven German equatorial mount performance.
It includes the advanced MKS 6000 telescope control system which lets you connect via USB C, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. For more information, click here or watch the video below.
The ME is an observatory-favorite among advanced amateur and professional astronomers.
240 lb. (109 kg) instrument capacity; 480 lb. (218 kg) maximum payload capacity (instruments + counterweights).
Unibody mount design weighs 85 lb. (38 kg) without counterweights or counterweight shaft.
All-sky pointing accuracies at or below 30 arcseconds RMS (see Software Specifications below for details).
Its standard motor-based encoders provide:
A maximum peak-to-peak periodic error before correction is seven (7) arcseconds.
After a one-time PE training, the peak-to-peak periodic error is typically 1 arcsecond or less.
Belt-driven pulleys with spring-loaded worm gears produce virtually zero backlash.
No clutches mean the TPoint™ model’s pointing accuracy is maintained.
AutoHome™ homing capability ensures the mount always knows its orientation (after performing an initializing process called “homing” which usually takes a minute or less).
Optional on-axis absolute encoders provide:
No mount initialization (a.k.a. homing) required.
No periodic error.
Exceptional TPoint™ pointing and tracking results from fewer calibration points which saves time.
0.02 arcsecond resolution extended temperature range absolute on-axis encoders operate from –40° C to +80° C.
If you skip absolute on-axis absolute encoders now, they can be purchased and installed in the field later.
See the FAQ below to find out if absolute on-axis encoders are right for you.
Its telescope control system motor, power, and electronics cables are conveniently housed inside the mount to prevent snags.
Ample room to run additional through-the-mount cables.
Advanced MKS 6000 telescope control system lets you connect via USB-C, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi (MKS 6000 Upgrade Kits will be available for earlier models).
Three high-power XT60 ports on the Instrument Panel.
Its included Versa-Plate™ accepts most telescopes.
48V DC power supply and PC-to-mount USB and Ethernet cables included.
Durable, fade-resistant red powder coating with black anodized finish; external components are machined aluminum alloy.
Paramount’s unsurpassed pointing and tracking performance is made possible by its integrated TPoint™ modeling and ProTrack™ technologies. For more information about why accurate pointing is non-trivial, click here.
By employing TPoint’s calibration and telescope modeling tools, you’ll enjoy all sky pointing accuracies below 30 arcseconds RMS. Nothing outperforms that — and that’s without on-axis absolute encoders.
Operating in conjunction with TPoint™, ProTrack™ continuously updates the mount’s position in both axes to correct system-wide tracking errors including tube flexure, atmospheric refraction, polar misalignment, harmonic errors caused by evenly slightly misaligned encoders or the main gear, and more.
On-axis absolute encoders alone cannot correct those errors which exist with all telescopes. A properly applied telescope model is required to achieve superior tracking.
Even without on-axis absolute encoders, 5-to-10-minute unguided exposures are common with many enjoying up to 20 minutes.
For more information about the differences between motor-based and on-axis absolute on axis encoders, please see the FAQs.
Its included software is integrated into a single, easy-to-use, application consisting of TheSky™ Professional, TPoint™, Cameras+, Domes, Multi-OS+, and Weather modules. Enjoy the simplicity of controlling your cameras and astrophotography devices with one application. Its included TheSky™ Universal Bundle represents a $1,095 value.
Its Accurate Polar Alignment feature does not require pole visibility.
Compatible with Windows™, macOS™, and Linux (arm64 and x86_64 processors).
TheSky’s user-interface is consistent across all operating systems. You can install TheSky on multiple operating simultaneously on up to six computers per OS. Why paint yourself or your institution into a corner?
For more detailed information about the Series 6 Paramounts, please click here.
This product will begin shipping during the fourth quarter of 2023. If you would like to be contacted when this product starts shipping, please select an option from the drop-down menu below, then click the I’m interested… link to automatically create a new email message to Software Bisque. Don’t forget to click Send in your email app!
On-axis Absolute Encoders vs. Motor-based Encoders.
Paramount's equipped with on-axis absolute encoders know where they are at all times. Paramount's with incremental encoders (or motor-based encoders) know only how far they have moved since they were initialized using a nightly process called homing.
The crucial additional difference is that the on-axis absolute encoders are fitted directly to the mount axes themselves, bypassing the worm drives. Paramount's with incremental encoders are fitted to the worms instead, which means that with incremental encoders alone, periodic errors in the worm drive show up in the tracking. These mounts must be calibrated and corrected using a process called periodic error correction (PEC), which measures and records the repeatable gear train errors and removes them. (TheSky features advanced, multi-harmonic PE detection and PEC calibration that minimizes periodic error in mounts with incremental encoders.)
For mounts with incremental encoders, homing re-zeros the encoders when precise sensors on each of the axes are reached. From then on, the incremental encoders are in effect delivering absolute readings.
However, the crucial additional difference remains, namely that the incremental encoder system is behind the worm drive, and periodic error correction is still required to get the best out of the RA tracking.
High-resolution on-axis absolute encoder technology is significantly more expensive than incremental encoders.
On-axis absolute encoders eliminate periodic error and enable the mount to always know where “home” is.
That’s convenient and expedites setup for an evening of imaging. However, with Paramounts, periodic error is already very low, and after a one-time training, it becomes negligible. Moreover, Paramount’s included Homing software homes in only 15 to 60 seconds.
So, at least with Paramounts, periodic error is practically non-existent and homing is a breeze.
What about pointing and tracking?
Without encoders, Paramounts routinely allow 5-to-10-minute unguided exposures; many have reported 20 minutes. Also without encoders, Paramount’s produce all sky pointing accuracies at or below 30 arcseconds RMS.
Absent Paramount’s exceptional software, that performance would not be possible. Operating in conjunction with TPoint™, ProTrack™ continuously updates the mount’s position across both axes to correct system-wide tracking errors including tube flexures, atmospheric refraction, polar misalignment, harmonic errors from mis-centered encoders and/or worm gears, and more.
On-axis absolute encoders alone cannot correct these errors which exist with all telescopes. A properly applied telescope model is necessary to achieve superior pointing and tracking.
So are on-axis absolute encoders right for you?
Perhaps if you want to enjoy the conveniences mentioned above. And for many, that’s enough.
With that said, the optional on-axis 26-bit Renishaw absolute encoders with 0.02 arc second precision are the finest available and they operate in temps as low as –40° C.
The coolest feature of our new Series 6 mounts is that they’re Paramounts.
While the new Paramount Series 6 refinements are important, they pale in comparison to the highly desirable results that Paramounts are already known to deliver even without absolute encoders: all-sky pointing accuracy below 30 arcseconds and unguided exposures as long as 20 minutes.1
That extraordinary performance would be impossible without Paramount’s integrated software. TPoint™ and ProTrack™ dynamically update the mount’s position across both axes to correct system-wide errors caused by tube flexure, atmospheric refraction, polar misalignment, mis-centered encoders and/or worm gears, and more.
While the optional on-axis absolute encoders eliminate periodic error, TPoint™ telescope modeling with ProTrack™ is required to correct all the errors mentioned above. (See Bisque.com for details.)
Paramounts routinely deliver unsurpassed pointing and tracking accuracy — with or without on-axis absolute encoders.
Paramounts are also known for their reliability and straightforward operation. They just go, night after night, as it should be!
Order yours today and enjoy owning a Paramount Series 6, the world’s finest robotic German equatorial mount.
15- to 10-minute unguided exposures are more common. To see an example involving 20-minute unguided exposures, please click here.
The table below lists all the items that are included inside the two Paramount ME II shipping boxes.
Paramount ME II™ Robotic Mount
German equatorial mount body.
Versa-Plate™ Mounting Plate
Attached to the mount during shipping, the Versa-Plate™ telescope mounting plate includes an integrated Losmandy D dovetail and grid of mounting holes to securely mount your telescope.
USB and Ethernet Cables
4.6 m (15-foot) USB Type A to USB-C cable.
4.6 m (15-foot) CAT 6 Ethernet cable.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Input: 100-240V AC ~50/60 Hz.
Output: 221 W max. 4.6A 48V DC.
Power Supply Extension Cable
6-ft PSU to Paramount Electronics Box adapter cable.
6-ft. long power cable with a NEMA 5-15 male plug.
Hand Controller with Joystick
Hand paddle includes lanyard, variable rate switch, integrated red-light flashlight, integrated joystick for homing and “at the telescope” control
Carries up to six (6) 13.6 kg (30 lb.) or six (6) 18 kg (40 lb.) counterweights.
Dimensions: 4.763 cm (1.875 in.) wide x 47 cm (18.5 in.) long, 1.875-in. bore.
Weight: 14 kg (30 lb.)
Height: approximately 7.3 cm (2.9 in.)
Two (2) 14 kg (30 lb.) counterweights.
Note that the heavier the payload, the more counterweights required for balance and you may need to purchase additional counterweights if your imaging system weighs more than about 28 kg (60 lb.).
Counterweight Safety Knob
This knob is installed at the end of the counterweight shaft to prevent the counterweights from accidentally sliding off.
Altitude Adjuster Wrench
A convenient tool to help rotate the integrated altitude adjustment mechanism when making polar alignment adjustments with heavy payloads.
Stowable pouch includes:
-Two 3/8-in. should bolt hole plugs.
-Two 5/16-in. x 2 1/4-in. RA locking shoulder bolts
-Two 5/16-in. x 2 1/4-in. Dec locking shoulder bolts
-Four Delrin washers for mount surface protection
-Four plastic plugs to cover the outer side of the RA and Dec locking holes.
Printed Paramount User Guide
The 200+ page user guide contains in-depth instructions for setting up and using your Paramount ME II mount.
Printed Paramount Software Quick Start
A guide to get your mount and Paramount Software Suite subscription registered with Software Bisque with instructions for installing the software.
TheSky™ Universal Bundle
TheSky™ Universal bundle retails for $1,095 and includes TheSky™
Professional with TPoint™, Cameras+, Domes, Multi-OS+, and
Weather modules. The Multi-OS+ module lets you switch among
multiple operating systems, including macOS™, Windows™, Ubuntu™
and Linux (x86_64 and ARM64 architectures). All conveniently
integrated with a single look and feel across all platforms.
Through the Mount Cable Tie
One 12-inch plastic cable tie that can be used to help run cables through the mount.