Paramount MX

Introducing the new MX Series 6 transportable observatory.  

The Paramount MX Series 6 represents the latest in gear-driven GEM performance.  Click here to read about what’s new or watch the video below.

Its new features include a 25% instrument capacity increase, an option for absolute digital encoders, and multiple connectivity options. For an overview of what’s new with the Series 6 Paramounts, click here or watch the video below.

The MX German equatorial mount has always been a popular Paramount model and the new Series 6 offers several important improvements.

Hardware Specifications

  • 125 lb. (56 kg) instrument capacity; 250 lb. (113 kg) maximum payload capacity (instruments + counterweights)
  • All sky pointing accuracies at or below 30 arcseconds RMS (see Software Specifications below for details)
  • Unibody mount design weighs 54 lb. (24 kg) without counterweights or counterweight shaft
  • Maximum seven (7) arcseconds peak-to-peak periodic error before correction
  • After a one-time training, periodic error is 1 arcsecond, peak-to-peak or less
  • Optional 26-bit Renishaw encoders eliminate periodic error and the need for homing; operates in temps as low as –40° C
  • If you skip encoders now and later decide you want them, they can be retrofitted on Series 6 Paramounts
  • There’s been confusion about what encoders contribute to the Paramount’s performance; see FAQ below regarding whether encoders are right for you
  • Encoder cables located inside mount to prevent snags.
  • All electronics and through-the-mount cables are housed inside the mount with ample room for additional cables
  • Its state-of-the-art MKS 6000 telescope control system (TCS) lets you connect via USB C, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi
  • Two-port USB 2.0 hub located on instrument panel
  • Redesigned Versa-Plate™ (included) accepts most telescopes and makes mounting them a breeze
  • 48V DC power supply and PC-to-mount USB and Ethernet cables included
  • Two 20 lb. (9 kg) counterweights included which can balance 40-50 lb. (18-22 kg). You may need more for heavier payloads.
  • Belt-driven gears with spring loaded worm gears produce virtually zero backlash
  • Durable and fade-resistant red powder coating and black anodized finish; components are aluminum
  • Clutch-free design helps maintain its TPoint™ assisted pointing accuracy
  • AutoHome™ homing capability ensures the mount always knows its orientation (after performing an initializing process called “homing” which usually takes a minute or less)
  • Calibrated azimuth and elevation polar alignment adjustments speed polar alignment

Software Specifications  

  • Paramount’s unequaled pointing and tracking wouldn’t be possible without its TPoint™ and ProTrack™ software.
  • By employing TPoint’s calibration and telescope modeling tools, you’ll enjoy all sky pointing accuracies at or below 30 arcseconds RMS. Nothing outperforms that (TPoint’s details).
  • 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 tracking.
  • Without encoders, Paramounts can deliver uncommonly long unguided exposures (one customer reported 20 minutes).
  • For more information about what encoders can and cannot do, please see the FAQ below.
  • All the included software is integrated into a single, easy-to-use, application consisting of TheSky™ Professional, TPoint™, Cameras+, Domes, Multi-OS+, and Weather modules.
  • You can control all your astrophotography-related cameras and devices with this one app.
  • It runs on macOS™, Windows™, Ubuntu™, and Linux (x86_64 and ARM64 architectures.
  • Regardless of the operating system you run it on, it appears and operates identically. You can even switch between operating systems and its license allows up to six computers. Why paint yourself or your institution into a corner?
  • Absent ProTrack™ which is unique to Paramounts, all its included software is sold separately as TheSky™ Universal Bundle and represents a $1,095 value.

For more detailed information about the Series 6 Paramounts, please click here.

Estimated shipping times:  Paramount Series 6 models are expected to begin shipping before the fourth quarter of 2023.

While supplies last, you might be able to order one of our predecessor (or “Classic”) models such as the MYT or MX+.

Pay a 50% deposit per item


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.

The short answer is, “it depends.”

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 can deliver up to 20-mnute unguided exposures as reported by an MX customer. And without encoders, Paramount’s produce all sky pointing accuracies at or below 30 arcseconds RMS.

Without 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.

See the Paramount Lubrication Video for details how to lubricate gear-driven Paramount mounts.  (Log in required.)


Paramount MX

The best just got better.

The Paramount MX Series 6 represents the latest in gear-driven GEM performance.  Click here for details about what’s new.

  • All new MKS 6000 provides built-in Ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB C communication options and more.
  • Optional Power On and Observe™ absolute encoder technology. No homing, no periodic error.
  • High-amperage XT60 connectors can supply continuous 12V DC power up to 60A.
  • Improved Versa-Plate dovetail features drop-in telescope installation.
  • Increased capacity: up to 125 lb. (57 kg) instrumentation, 250 lb. (113 kg) with counterweights.
  • Streamlined Instrument Panel provides pass through Ethernet connection and 3 XT60 power ports.
  • Red components are powder coated aluminum for fade-resistant durability; the black components are anodized aluminum.

The Paramount MX delivers superior performance made possible through its artful integration of precision mechanics, advanced control system electronics, and the uniquely capable TheSky Universal bundle (included).

Skillfully carrying up to 125 pounds (57 kg) of telescopes, cameras, and accessories, the Paramount MX can help you create your next astrophotography masterpiece, or exciting astronomical discovery, at home, or on the go.

Legendary Paramount system performance is within reach. Grab yours today.


Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

Motor-based encoders, On-axis absolute encoders

Included Items

The table below is the Paramount MX packing list.  For additional details, including shipping box dimensions and weights, see the Packing List section of the Paramount User Guide (please log in to view this document).

Included Item Description
Paramount™ MX+ Robotic Mount German equatorial mount body.
Versa-Plate™ Mounting Plate Attached to Paramount mount body during shipping, the Versa-Plate telescope mounting plate securely holds your telescope. Use either the integrated Losmandy D dovetail or the grid of mounting holes to attach telescope mounting rings.
USB Cable 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. 48V DC 4.6A max.
PSU 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
Counterweight Shaft The 16 in. (41 cm) long x 1.5-in. stainless-steel counterweight shaft holds up to six 9 kg (20 lb.) counterweights.
Counterweights Two 9 kg (20 lb.) stainless steel counterweights are included and can balance about 18-22 kg (40-50 lb.) of instruments.

Heavier payloads will require more counterweights. You may need to purchase additional counterweights if your imaging system weighs more than about 22 kg (50 lb.).

Counterweight Safety Knob This knob is installed at the end of the counterweight shaft to prevent the counterweights from sliding off.
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 The quick start guide helps get your software installed and serial numbers registered.
TheSky™ Universal
TheSky™ Universal bundle 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™ 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.
Hex Key Set Thirteen piece Imperial hex key set.
Strain Relief USB Cable Kit USB extension cable and cable clip protect the control system’s USB port.
Paramount Specifications

Paramount MX Technical Drawings

Product Reviews and Production Notes

The original Paramount MX (shipped between July 2011 and July 2014) was reviewed in the following article.  Click here to read Dennis Di Cicco’s review of the original Paramount MX Robotic Telescope Mount in the July, 2012 issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine.

Paramount MX Production Notes

April 2023

  • Paramount MX 6 introduced at NEAF.

July 2014 – March 2023

  • The Paramount MX+ shipped after July 2014 include the following improvements and modifications:
    • Upgraded DC servo motors: The Paramount MX+ now employs the identical long life, high-torque, brushless servo motors that are used in the Paramount ME II and Paramount MYT.
    • Increased payload capacity:  The Paramount MX+ can carry up to 100 lb. (45 kg) of equipment, or 200 lb. (90 kb) instruments plus counterweights.
    • Faster maximum slew speeds: Optional higher maximum slew rates of up to 10 degrees per second.  An optional, higher wattage power supply is sold separately. To accommodate the larger motors, the original Paramount MX mechanical three position switch has been replaced with a two position switch that places the axis in balance and track mode.  Each axis also includes a separate mechanical knob that allows it to be locked during transport.
    • Improved serviceability:  Adjustments to the worm and gear “cam stop” mechanism can be made without removing the worm block covers.  
    • Improved through the mount cabling customizability: The rear panel on the hour angle axis includes three L-COM keystone modules that can be used add pass through cable connections for your through the mount cabling.
  • From November, 2022 to April 2023, the Paramount MX+ included the following modification:
    • The left keystone module located on the rear panel on the hour angle axis has been replaced with a male XT60 power connector.  These connectors are rated to carry up to 500V at 30A and can accept up to 12 AWG wires.

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