Click here to find out why the Paramount ME II™ might be an ideal solution for your astronomy pursuits. For an interesting Sky & Telescope magazine article describing how astronomers utilize the Paramount ME II, click here.
240 lb. (109 kg) total instrument capacity, 480 lb. (218 kg) total capacity
Fourth-generation telescope control system (TCS) combines state-of-the-art electronics with field-tested reliability
TPoint-assisted Accurate Polar Alignment makes polar alignment a breeze
Belt-driven gears offer virtually zero backlash
Unibody mount design weighs 84 lb (38 kg)
Maximum seven (7) arcseconds peak-to-peak periodic error before PEC
Ample room to add through the mount cabling
Power supply and PC-to-mount cabling included
Versatile equipment mounting plate (a.k.a. the Versa-Plate) that can accept virtually any optic
All electronics and wiring are enclosed within the mount (power supply is external)
30 arcsecond or better all sky pointing accuracy with TPoint and Super Model™
Two port USB 2.0 hub on the Instrument Panel, right where it is needed most
Track or slew up to three hours past the meridian
Includes the Paramount Software Suite (featuring TheSky™ Imaging edition, Dome Control, and more). The USB thumb drive comes with installers that are compatible with macOS, Windows and Linux (ARM32, ARM64, and x86_64 architectures).
Software features ProTrack™, Direct Guide™ (guider cable free autoguiding), TPoint Super Model™,
All Sky Image Link™, Closed Loop Slew, @Focus™ automated focus, periodic error curve fitting,
permanent periodic error correction, live stacking, dithering and more
The Multi-OS Plus module lets you install and use TheSky on all your computers and operating systems while maintaining TheSky’s familiar look and feel.
Paramount's equipped with on-axis absolute encoders know where they are at all times. Paramount's with incremental 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 predicts the repeatable error and removes it. TheSky includes exceptional PEC calibration.
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 encoder system is behind the worm drive, and periodic error correction is required to get the best out of the RA tracking.
Note that high-resolution on-axis absolute encoder technology is more expensive than using incremental encoders.
All gear-driven Paramounts are equipped with incremental encoders. For the Paramount ME II and the Paramount Taurus 400 models, we offer optional on-axis absolute encoders.
We’re often asked about whether on-axis absolute encoders are required for superior pointing and tracking performance. The short answer is “no.”
Those who purchase our ME II or Taurus 400 mounts for their observatory are usually advanced amateur or professional astronomers — and the vast majority of them opt out of ordering the on-axis absolute encoders.
While on-axis encoders are expensive, that’s not why over 85% of ME II and Taurus 400 buyers decline to use them.
Paramounts have exceptionally small and consistent periodic error. After applying a one-time software-based periodic error correction procedure, the corrected periodic error becomes negligible.
And, while on-axis absolute encoders permit the mount to always know where it is at all times, Paramounts’ with incremental encoders offer a process called homing that allows them to always know where they are, until they are turned off. The next night, power on, issue the find home command, and your incremental encoder-based mount is ready to start observing.
Over the years we’ve found that many who ask us about on-axis encoders have basic misunderstandings about what they can and cannot do.
For example, many believe that a mount with on-axis encoders is all that’s needed to have exceptional pointing and tracking when nothing could be further from the truth. All telescopes have inherent errors —for example, mechanical and optical misalignments, and telescope flexure. (For details about that, please visit our TPoint™ page.)
Paramounts use TheSky and TPoint to calibrate the mount + telescope + equipment to create a pointing model. The pointing model automatically corrects these both pointing and tracking errors (we call that ProTrack™). TPoint is the essential ingredient of TheSky™ that makes the Paramount’s outstanding pointing and tracking possible.
If we were to one day offer on-axis encoders for our smaller gear-driven Paramounts, we’ll be sure to keep them optional so that you will not be forced to pay for capabilities you may not need or want.
With that said, the on-axis absolute encoders offered for the Paramount ME II or Taurus 400 are the highest quality available and provide exceptional performance.
The Paramount ME II delivers superior performance made possible through its artful integration of precision mechanics, advanced control system electronics, and the uniquely capable Paramount Software Suite (included).
Skillfully carrying up to 240 lb./109 kg total instrument capacity of telescopes, cameras, and accessories (480 lb./218 kg total capacity), the Paramount ME II can help you create your next photographic masterpiece or help make your next discovery in your permanent observatory.
Legendary Paramount system performance is within reach. Grab yours today.
30 × 27 × 17 in
Motor-based encoders, On-axis absolute encoders
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.
4.6 m (15-foot) USB 2.0 mini-b USB 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.
Paramount Software Suite
The 32-GB thumb drive includes installers for TheSky Imaging Edition plus the Dome module on macOS, Ubuntu Linux (running on ARM32, ARM64 or x86_64 architectures) and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Control your Paramount mount, CMOS/DSLR/CCD camera, autoguider, focuser, filter wheel, rotator, and dome or roll-off roof from one convenient application on the operating system of your choice.
The Paramount Software Suite additionally offers Paramount mounts the following exclusive features:
– ProTrack™: In addition to TPoint pointing accuracy improvements, all Paramount mounts use the exclusive ProTrack™ technology to improve the mount’s unguided tracking accuracy. With ProTrack™, you can take five minute or longer (depending on your imaging system), unguided astrophotos.
– Direct Guide™: Direct control system access for cable-free autoguiding. No more failure-prone guider cables to mess with.
– Train PEC: If you choose not to purchase the Paramount ME II with optional absolute on-axis encoders, rest assured the mount’s periodic error will be negligible with TheSky’s Train PEC feature.
Through the Mount Cable Tie
One 12-inch plastic cable tie that can be used to help run cables through the mount.