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We are proud to announce that we now offer a full 2 year warranty on all
New Hypertuned NEQ6, EQ6-R and AZEQ6GT EQ Mounts, 2 year limited on all other used mounts once tuned.

We also offer an optional PHD2 or TDM Test and Optimisation Report
of your specific mount for just £75. We use it as a ±>1 RMS PE baseline.
Please book your mount in advance as Feb-May 2017 slots are already filling up!
Don't wait for clear skies to send your mount in.

Why not use our Easy UK/EU 3 Way Collection/Delivery Service for our
Mount Hypertune/Service

We send you the box & packaging. Your mount is collected. 
Once rebuilt and tested, your mount is shipped back.
 Just £59.00 - fully insured UK
Atlantic OneWay UK to US $100 Fully Insured 

Have your Mount (EQ3-2 up to AZ EQ6GT) Hypertuned from only £169.00. Current turnaround for mount tuning is within 15 - 21 working days from receipt of your mount at our workshop, including EU and US orders. (excluding repairs). This is dependant on mount condition and specification (i.e. non standard spec. may take longer). 

Star Adventurer Supercharge - current turnaround within 3-7 days (from receipt of mount). 

Call us on 023 9257 0283 for more info.
We make no claims of our performance.
Our customers do...
We provide new and used Astronomy Equipment with warranty, as well as servicing and tuning your existing mount to reduce the cost of upgrading to a more expensive and arguably better performing mount. From portable systems to Observatory solutions we can cater for your every need. We also offer Optical Tube Assemblies and custom builds, under our Octagon brand of lightweight, Carbon-fibre based Truss Newtonian Telescopes.
We are the European specialists in servicing, repair and tuning EQ mounts including belt-drive upgrades for Sky-watcher HEQ5, EQ6, EQ6-R and AZ EQ6 GT, with hundreds of modified mounts to our name across the UK and Europe. They come with a Two year full warranty on NEW hypertuned mounts, TWO years limited on all other tuning, thereby protecting the value of your mount, and further reassurance of the quality of work we do.
Why tune my EQ Mount?
Many of our customers want to upgrade their mount, but the cost vs performance is the issue. 10x the cost of a 'better' mount doesn't mean 10x better tracking. We offer an upgrade path, a way of wringing out as much as we can from your existing equipment. Much too has been written about these mounts that don't perform as expected. After 3-5 years depending on use they will not likely be performing as they did when new. Tuning your equatorial mount means that you have a very dependable mount performing better than factory spec, that when guided, you can achieve pin sharp 15-30min exposures with no dropped frames and tight round stars.
We call it Zero Drop Frame Methodology, and is at the heart of everything we do. We are the only mount tuner that runs customer-owned Observatory-based 'Reference' Mounts across the UK, to gather payload and tracking data, in order to improve reliability and consistent performance. Now you can have an EQ mount that can equal more expensive EQ mounts with sub-arcsecond guided performance, for a fraction of the cost of upgrading to a new mount. The bottom line is that you gain more data per session, and you reduce the risk of losing time due to bad tracking.
Our latest innovations are our own treated hybrid-ceramic bearings, case reprofiling (where needed) and an enhanced lubrication platform (tailored to each mount type), that provides an even smoother running and fluid mount than stock. Pair your mount with a QHY Polemaster and a StarGPS for a set up that will out perform mounts many times its cost, especially if you are at various dark-sky sites.
It's your mount. But Better.
Our latest DarkFrame Generation Tuned EQ6/NEQ6-AZ EQ6 GT mounts typically run at a Peak-to-Peak Period Error of circa ±8 ArcSec, which is 3-4x better from factory spec. Guided, all our mounts are now sub-arcsecond capable under PHD2, running typically 0.5 arc-seconds RMS, with a guided PE of ±1.5 arc-seconds, depending on seeing. This is proven Customer supplied data across several mounts, not a factory test.
The latest innovation of performance is called StellarDrive™. This level of enhancement is the ultimate iteration of an EQ6 class mount. For £699 you can for any of the three versions you can have  a mount that outperforms anything in its class.
StellarDrive™ logo
Our tuned  StellarDrive™ EQ mounts become nearly twice as responsive responsive to guiding due to a lack of stiction in the mount, requiring less quide command input. Our unparalleled experience in EQ mount tuning comes from a scientific approach to development over the past thee years. it's not black magic or just a bit of grease! It is engineered to be better, with data to prove the difference. The next closest mount performance wise is over £2000. The NEQ6 Hypertune is £499, and the AZEQ6GT is £529. StellarDrive™SPX adds a high precision RA worm-gear and other enhancements for just £799 for any for the EQ6 class mounts. Book your mount in advance or during bad weather, as we get busy out of season.
We have independent customer/owner supplied PHD data and images that demonstrate these facts across a broad spectrum of EQ mounts on a variety of payloads and real world data. So, if you're happy with the payload you currently have, we can improve the mount you already have and save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in buying a new more expensive mount upgrade. More importantly, you save more images and time! Please check out how your mount currently compares in our performance charts, especially if you're thinking of a more expensive move upwards.
Hypertuned EQ6 PE Data
PEC Data of NEQ6 to Build Type 6.3.2 (Bonneville). StellarDrive™ improves on this....
What's the lifespan of your tuning/servicing?
EQ mounts need checking seasonally depending on use, but most mounts we service are usually 3 years old or more. By 5+ years every mount we have come across has amassed considerable backlash and other issues associated with age, such as greases drying out or becoming contaminated, so losing their lubrication and dampening qualities. With the work we do, your mount should be fine for three years or more, and we warranty them for two.  New tuned mounts should be fine for 5 years. The condition of our 2 year old Reference Mounts support this timescale after a recent Build Type upgrade to v6.3.x (Bonneville).
You could, of course, just fit a belt kit yourself but over 60% of the work we do on HEQ5/NEQ6's is reinstalling a belt kit, along with rebuilding the mount properly which doubles the performance. It's very easy to get it wrong, and there no substitute for time in getting it right. Using bicycle or 'performance' grease won't improve your mount for very long either. Because of this attention to detail, our mounts outperform home builds.
When can I have my mount back?
Turnaround for our services (exc.EQ8) is currently within 15-21 working days when booked in advance, and subject to condition Our builds are meticulous. They take an average of 3-4 hours with another 4-6 hours of run-time to bed in the mount. If it doesn't pass our test routines, it's doesn't ship until it does. We tend to get busy from the Spring onwards, and we limit our production to keep build quality high, so booking in advance is advised. We offer an easy three way collection and delivery service for £59 anywhere in the UK/EU. We send you a reinforced box, collect your packed mount and deliver back to you your smoother, better performing EQ mount.
Here is a typical PHD graph of one of our Hypertuned NEQ6 mounts sub-arcsecond autoguiding under a typically clear UK Sky. Yes, It is Sub-Arcsecond. For Hours...
Hyper tuned NEQ6 0.42 Arcsec guided
Image: PHD Guide Performance - DarkFrame Hypertuned  Gen2 NEQ6 (Build Type 6.5.5 - Flat Earth) 0.42 Arcseconds
Image: Cropped Single Frame 72mm WO Megrez 72+0.8xFRIII (537mm focal length) modded EOS450D ISO100 3600secs on DarkFrame Hypertuned HEQ5 guided with QHY5L-II mono with 50mm WO Guide scope. On Dual bar with WO ZS71/EOS40D Guided Payload 9KG  ©2016 David Woods/DarkFrame Ltd
Our other customer owned mounts also offer similar consistent performance. Our work is measurable and meticulous, so every mount we recreate has to be right. Our return rate of less than 1.5%
(of all mounts, including repairs) which far exceeds the industry average. Please enquire about what we can to do your EQ mount, be it Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron, Losmandy, Takahashi or Meade. Just read what our customers say...

We also now take part exchange only on Sky-Watcher mounts from The EQ5 to EQ6 and most Sky-Watcher telescopes. We supply new standard mounts with a 2 year limited warranty. New StellarDrive™  EQ6 mounts come with a Full Two Year Warranty and fitted with new Precision Worm-Gears for superior performance!

For more details or to book your mount in for servicing/tuning please e-mail:dave@darkframe.co.uk

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darkframe tuning
  • Contact Us
    11 Drift Road, Clanfield, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO80JJ, United Kingdom
    +44 23 9257 0283
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