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Please book your mount in advance for a faster turnaround. Now is the time to send your mount in over Spring/Summer. Call us on 023 9257 0283 or e-mail dave@darkframe.co.uk for more info and advance booking.
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Now in our third year of EQ Mount Tuning!


Why not use our Easy UK 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. Now just £29.00 - fully insured UK
Atlantic OneWay UK to US $100 Fully Insured 

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Have your Celestron or Sky-Watcher EQ Mount Hypertuned from only £119.00. Current turnaround for mount tuning is typically within 10 - 15 working days (as workload dictates) from receipt of your mount at our workshop, including EU and worldwide orders. (excluding repairs and custom projects). This is dependant on mount condition and specification (i.e. non standard spec. may a little take longer). 
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Celestron EQ Mount Tuning now fully released! 
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All models from CG5-GT to CGem-DX and including the AVX (from 02 May 2017) are now available after substantial testing. We can extend the exposure times and reliability of your Celestron imaging mount, adding more lifespan and usability. A StellarDrive™ option is in development for release during Summer 2017 for the AVX.
Please call/e-mail for booking and latest info. 
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New Products coming: StellarDrive™ 5 StellarDrive™ AVX-R and StellarDrive™ CEM25-R
These are Reference Standard mounts, by customer request, so we have spent months developing to the same standard as our other mounts... From £549 for an HEQ5 Please call or e-mail for details and availability.
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New Products - HEQ5-Bonneville & NEQ6-Bonneville. All our belt-driven tuning goodness in a brand new Sky-Watcher mount with a two year full warranty. £1149 and £1599 respectively. Available April. Please enquire about ordering.
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Popular Quick Links:
StellarDrive 5 Hypertune £549
EQ6 Hypertune £499 (Select Gen2)
New StellarDrive 6  £1899  Upgrade from £699
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Call us on 023 9257 0283 or e-mail dave@darkframe.co.uk for more info and advance booking.
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We make no claims of our performance.
Our customers do...
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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, Piers, adapter and mounting systems.
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We are the worldwide 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 Worldwide. They come with a Two year full warranty on NEW StellarDrive™ 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. We are also ramping up our services for Celestron and other equatorial mounts as we have increased production and test capacity.
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Why tune my EQ Mount? Real Data proves it works.
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With experience spanning across several hundred mounts since 2014, we have customer data to support the fact that tuning an equatorial mount works. Far more than just a re-grease and new bearings, our evolved build methodology can improve nearly any mount. Nearly 40% of the work we do is fixing customer installed belt kits with the wrong greases on HEQ5/EQ6's alone. Our builds have been proven to be at least twice as good than a self-installed Rowan belt kit. You cannot track a star to 0.3 arcsecond using bicycle or car grease! Our greases work out at £2.50 a gram. After 3-5 years depending on use, your mount may not likely be performing as it did when new, so any new grease may work for awhile until your PHD graphs start spiking...
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Rebuilding your equatorial mount to an aerospace grade engineered standard, means that you will have a very dependable and reliable platform. It performs much better than factory spec, that when guided, you can achieve pin sharp 15-30min exposures. Also, with no dropped frames and tight round stars or up to 5-10 minutes unguided. Check out what our customers have achieved!
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Some of our latest innovations include our own treated hybrid-ceramic bearings sets, StellarDrive-SPX™ worm-gears for most brands or mount, case re-profiling, and an enhanced lubrication platform (cailbrated to each specific mount model and payload), that provides stiction-free, 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.
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It's your mount. But Better.
 
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Our latest DarkFrame Generation 2 Tuned Sky-Watcher 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, capable of 0.3 arc-seconds RMS, with a guided PE of ±1.5 arc-seconds, depending on seeing. This is proven Customer supplied data across dozens of mounts with a variety of payloads, not a factory test.

You can have this spec in a new mount too! They are the HEQ5 & NEQ6-Bonneville.
The latest innovation of performance is called StellarDrive™. This level of enhancement is the ultimate iteration of an EQ6 class mount. For £799 you can for any of the three versions you can have  a mount that outperforms anything in its class, and matches some observatory class mounts.
StellarDrive™ logo
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Our tuned 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 popular Gen 2 NEQ6 Hypertune is just £499, and the AZEQ6GT is £529.
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The highest level of tuning is StellarDrive-SPX™ adds a high precision RA worm-gear and DEC worm-gear along with other enhancements for just £799 for any for the EQ6 class mounts (£699 with pre-installed belt-kit). This is perfect is you want performance both guided and unguided to be the very best there is. All other mount rebuilds now benefit from the precision of our patentable processes, that add more accuracy to your mount from the Star Adventurer upwards! Even our tuned EQ5 is 1.05 arcsec RMS guided... Book your mount in advance or during bad weather, as we get very busy out of season.
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Our Brand New StellarDrive™ EQ6 Class Mounts are a re-manufactured Sky-watcher NEQ6/EQ6-R or AZ EQ6 GT mount, with dual high precision micro-finished SPX worm-gears. We perform Case and Surface re-profiling, and re-engineered lower friction internal components. Every one is hand-built and perfectly optimised. Their imaging payloads has been customer verified at 20kg total. Each version has its own handling strengths based on what sort of telescope you own, and how you image. Each one is serial-numbered and with a Certificate or Authenticity. These mounts carry a full two year warranty. Prices are from £1899.
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How Good are they?
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Our standard rebuilt Sky-Watcher 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, capable of typically 0.3 arc-seconds RMS, with a guided PE of ±1.5 arc-seconds. This matches or exceeds the performance of Telescope Drive Master encoder system, and also many other renowned mounts. 
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The StellarDrive™ upgrade adds a both RA and DEC precision worm-gears and other enhancements to an EQ6 class mount which reduce the Periodic Error out further, providing even more reliable guided and unguided performance down to circa ±5 arc-seconds. This matches the standard of many of the observatory mounts from the next class up and essential for longer focal length telescopes, like RC's and SCT's. We are now applying this know-how to Celestron and iOptron mounts, after test builds and development over many months to validate performance.
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We have independent customer/owner supplied PHD data and images that demonstrate these facts across a broad spectrum of EQ6 based mounts on a variety of payloads and it's real world data. So, if you're happy with the payload you currently have, we can improve your mount 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
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Customer supplied PEC Data of NEQ6 to Build Type 6.3.2 (Bonneville) It's already similar to a Takahashi EM200 when guided. StellarDrive™ improves on reducing smoothing out this native periodic error for superior unguided performance, and for longer focal length telescopes.
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What's the lifespan of your tuning/servicing?
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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 to five years, and we warranty them for two. New tuned mounts should be fine for 5 years or more. The condition of our 2 year old Reference Mounts support this timescale after a recent Build Type upgrade to v6.3.x (Bonneville). 
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You could, of course, just fit a EQ6 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 by at least a factor of two.
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When can I have my mount back?
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Turnaround for our services is currently within 10-15 working days when booked in advance, and subject to condition. Our builds are meticulous. They take an average of 3-4 hours for a typical  rebuild, with another 4-6+ hours of run-time to bed in the mount. After a few evenings the mount will improve further achieving sub-arcsecond tracking. We offer PHD support with your mount to help you drive it better and monitor performance. 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. You cannot rush making a hyper-precision mount.
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. If it is a repair before tuning, then lead times will be lengthier. From April 2017, we now have a dedicated repair bench, and extra workstations to reduce delivery times and add capacity. We also validate any any repair via test to ensure it meets our exacting standards.
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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...
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Hyper tuned NEQ6 0.42 Arcsec guided
Customer Supplied Data: DarkFrame Hypertuned  Gen2 NEQ6 (older Build Type 6.5.5 - Flat Earth) 0.42 Arc-seconds RMS
 
 
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
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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 2%
(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, Paramount or Meade EQ. Just read what our customers say...

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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 class mounts come with a Full Two Year Warranty that matches the standard manufacturers warranty.
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For more details or to book your mount in for servicing/tuning please e-mail:dave@darkframe.co.uk

Featured Products

Star Adventurer PoleMaster
£287.00
QHY5R-II Guide Camera
£99.00
StellarDrive™ SPX Mount Tuning
£799.00
QHY5L-II Colour Camera /Guide Camera
£139.00
QHY5-III 290 Mono
£372.00
CloverFour EQ Silver
£40.00
FLT 98 R&P APO Triplet Refractor 2015
£1,898.00
QHY5P-II-M Mono Camera
£199.00
William Optics Star 71 II 4 Element APO Refractor
£1,274.00
Star GPS Skywatcher SynScan NEQ3/EQ5/HEQ5/EQ6/NEQ6 - StarGPS
£149.00
New Gran Turismo 81 FD APO Triplet
£1,099.00
QHY5-III 174 Mono
£524.00
StarGPS Celestron NexStar GOTO Mounts
£149.00
SPL Planetary Eyepieces 1.25"
£89.00
Star Adventurer SuperCharged II
£119.00
CloverThree EQ Silver
£35.99
Smart EQ PoleMaster
£287.00
ZEQ25/CEM25 PoleMaster
£287.00
Polarite with Right angle finder
£72.00
ZenithStar 71 ED
£549.00
New StellarDrive™ Mounts
£1,899.00
darkframe tuning
Newsletter
  • Contact Us
    11 Drift Road, Clanfield, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO80JJ, United Kingdom
    +44 23 9257 0283
    dave@darkframe.co.uk
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