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DarkFrame rebuilt & tuned Celestron CGEM-DX  Video:©2017 Ian Bird
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Book your mount in now for our Hypertune or StellarDrive™ 
 2 Year Worldwide Warranty

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm BST

With hundreds of satisfied customers across five continents  
we are now the largest and most performance led 
re-manufacturer of Equatorial Mounts on Planet Earth.


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Phone for more details - +44 (0)23 9257 0283 / dave@darkframe.co.uk

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Have your Celestron or Sky-Watcher/Orion USA EQ Mount fully rebuilt and Hypertuned from only £119.00. Current turnaround for most mount tuning builds is now typically within 2-3 weeks for Sky-Watcher, 5-7 days for all Tracker mounts. 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, older mounts and undeclared repairs will take longer). 

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Popular Quick Links:

 
EQ5 Hypertune from £179

QHY Polemaster from £278

HEQ5 Hypertune from £259
 
StellarDrive 5 £ 1299 Upgrade £549

EQ6 Hypertune £289 (Select Gen1 for Pre-installed Belt Kits)

EQ6 Hypertune £499 (Select Gen2 for full Hypertune)

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New StellarDrive 6  (NEQ6-AZEQ6GT-EQ6R) from £1899 or Upgrade from £699

StellarDrive 8 0.2 ArcSec RMS Full 50Kg Imaging payload £3700 or upgrade £999
 
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PRODUCT NEWS! 08/04/18 - Lower pricing on Celestron AVX and CGEM/DX Mounts as our production line runs faster across all lines. Our new test rig offers consistent calibrated results ensuring the best extracted performance from your mount.
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LATEST NEWS! 12/03/18 Customer data recently collected on our StellarDrive 6 class EQ Mounts  now confirms they can run sub-arcsecond imaging up to full 25Kg Payload. Previously, it was always advised by many dealers that 25Kg was visual and 18Kg was for imaging. Not anymore! Proof (if anymore were needed...) that our rebuilds really can save you money from moving to a bigger, more expensive equatorial mount! We will be updating our Performance Charts to reflect this.
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PRODUCT NEWS! 12/03/18 - Customer data recently collected on our StellarDrive 6 class EQ Mounts  now confirms they can run sub-arcsecond imaging up to full 25Kg Payload. Previously, it was always advised by many dealers that 25Kg was visual and 18Kg was for imaging. Not anymore! Proof (if anymore were needed...) that our rebuilds really can save you money from moving to a bigger, more expensive equatorial mount! We will be updating our Performance Charts to reflect this.

Phone for more details - +44 (0)23 9257 0283 / dave@darkframe.co.uk  
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Customer Tested Mounts. Their Data. Not Ours.
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We are the UK based specialists in the worldwide servicing, repair and hypertuning EQ mounts for Sky-watcher/Orion USA, Celestron, iOptron, Vixen and Meade worldwide. We take your equatorial mount and make it perform like a high-end sub-arcsecond imaging mount. That means superior guided and unguided performance, meaning longer exposure Astro-photography with reliability. Now you can image fainter objects in the Cosmos never available to you before. Only more expensive mounts can match ours in terms of tracking, and you can even save time and money by not spending it on expensive guide scopes on cameras too. With over 500 modified mounts to our name across the UK, Europe and Worldwide, no-one else has as much independent data as we do on imaging mounts, or proof that tuning works.
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Each come with a Two year FULL worldwide warranty on NEW StellarDrive™ mounts, TWO years worldwide RTB limited warranty on all other tuning on owner used mounts. This protects the value of your mount, and is further reassurance of the quality of work we do. Every mount tune includes a unique serial number, and Certificate of Authenticity/Warranty. To help you get the best out of your tuned mount, we also provide PHD2 support and guide data specific to your telescope payload. No-one-else does this, not even the manufacturers or dealers!
No other mount manufacturer utilises the advanced engineering principles we have developed, purely because they very expensive to replicate any other way. Our unique reprocessing techniques add precision to your mount enough for it to track a star, light years away, for up to 1/10000th of a degree accuracy for hours at a time! 
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Why tune my EQ Mount?
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Customer Data proves it works and saves money upgrading to get better images!
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stock-vs-stellardrive-range
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Before, if you wanted more than your mount could offer in terms of usable payload and tracking, then you would have to upgrade to a heavier, more expensive mount. Now, you can get more from your existing mount not just in terms of a usable max payload for imaging, but also better tracking, pointing, guiding and more reliable imaging. With our unique engineering experience spanning across more than five hundred mounts since 2014, we have honed our tuning to near perfection. We have unequalled independent customer supplied data that tuning an equatorial mount works, and can match the performance of more expensive offerings. No other tuner can match what we do, or has independent data to prove it.
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Lifespan is extended and retains greater value, and with recommended service intervals of 3-5 years your mount could last for up to 20 years or more. Without servicing we are seeing EQ6's suffering from 10+ years of neglect, and some are honestly a gamble to tune or repair. Bearings need re-greasing 4-7 years or they wear out fast. There are NO sealed for life components in these mounts. They do degrade over time. We know these mounts better than anyone else because of our experience, and take no shortcuts in providing the best mounts we can.
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PLEASE NOTE: All customer data quoted is averaged across several mounts (of each stated model) with various payloads. Therefore performance is subject to age, condition of mount, payload, location conditions and user skill in setup. A run-in period of 15-50+ hours is needed to the mount to attain full performance, due to tighter tolerances from rebuild. Please contact us for specific performance data related to your equipment.
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It's your mount. But better.
As proven by Customer PHD Data.
 
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There are no smoke or mirrors here. Our latest DarkFrame 'Bonneville' Tuned Sky-Watcher EQ6/NEQ6-AZ EQ6 GT mounts typically run at a Peak-to-Peak Period Error of circa ±7.5 ArcSec unguided, which is 3-4x better from factory spec (circa ±28+). Guided, all our mounts are now sub-arcsecond capable under PHD2, capable of circa 0.3-0.7 arc-seconds RMS guided, with a guided PE of ±1.5 arc-seconds or 3.25-5.0 arcsec RMS, depending on seeing payload, balance and polar alignment. This is proven independent  customer supplied data across tens of dozens of mounts with a variety of payloads, not a factory test. These are far better results than with just the Rowan Belt Kit fitted. Accept no shortcuts! 

The latest innovation of performance with precision RA/DEC worm-gears is called StellarDrive™. This level of enhancement is the ultimate iteration of an HEQ5/EQ6 class mount.  These mounts run even better for the very best in unguided and unguided performance, with super-flat PHD graphs and more consistent guiding, which a must for bigger telescopes or longer exposures... For the Sky-Watcher EQ6/NEQ6-AZ EQ6 GT mounts typically run at a Peak-to-Peak Period Error of under ±5 ArcSec unguided, which is nearly 6x better from factory spec (circa ±28+). Guided, a StellarDrive EQ6 is capable of circa 0.2-0.5 arc-seconds RMS guided, with a guided PE of ±0.5 arc-seconds or 0.66arcsec/min RA unguided (@5000mm focal length), depending on seeing, payload, balance and polar alignment and run-in time. These figures are averaged are across several tested mounts.
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Simply put, a StellarDrive EQ Mount has proven to be 30-40% more accurate than our standard Hypertune in real terms, providing easier guiding, to consistent sub-arcsecond performance even in poorer seeing conditions. This has been further independently confirmed with upgrades on the same mounts...
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The difference between our early belt-kit mounts and newer Bonneville 6.3x Build Type halves Periodic Error.
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Celestron Mount data is also starting to come in with sub-arcsecond tracking, an reports of up to 20-30 minute guided images with the AVX-CGEM/CGE-PRO-II range of mounts, with better GOTO alignment, and smoother operation.  With an 11" Dall-Kirkham OTA on a CGEM-DX, 4 mins unguided are achieved, which floods the CCD! Periodic Error and gearbox harmonics are reduced. Unguided and visual work is also much improved. We can remove the stiction in these mounts in such a way that it transforms their performance. No other rebuilt mount comes close.
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Heavily Modified. Precisely Refined.
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Mounts wear out. It's that simple. If you think you can get away without servicing your car for ten years then good luck! Servicing them makes them last longer, and tuning them makes them perform better. Same with mounts. Our greases make for a faster reacting and smoother running mount. Reworked worm-gears lower periodic error, and new bearings revitalise the mount. 'Polished' components remove tolerance, instead we use processes based on Tribology. Engineering Science.
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Engineered to Micron level tolerances in our fully equipped workshops, we improve your mount in number of ways to make them more reliable and accurate. Our StellarDrive-SPX gears can make an HEQ5/NEQ6/AZEQ6GT guide down to 0.3-0.42 Arcsec RMS (average, after mount run-in period), using a patentable process. Our StellarDrive 8/8C offer the ultimate high-end solution at an amazing price point... All our StellarDrive EQ mounts can do this AND offer assured full payload sub-arcsecond guided performance! Not something advised or possible with a stock mount. Again, this is customer supplied data. We have over a dozen EQ Reference Mounts throughout the UK, whereby owners send data in nearly every imaging session. We can monitor the performance of our mounts in different conditions, across a spectrum of payloads, to continuously improve the build quality and measure individual component improvements.
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You can't do this sort of rebuild at home on a kitchen table, and is so much more than slapping in a belt kit and some bicycle grease like some critics claim, and some other tuners have done in the past. Take our StellarDrive 6 for example, the only things we don't touch are the motors themselves and the electronics/handset. Our tuning, even on the EQ6-R is up to 2x better because we re-engineer components to higher tolerances. However, just like a car, mounts need to be used, and not parked up for long periods of time. They also need to be run in to attain maximum accuracy.
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How Good are they?
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Our customer owned mounts provide consistent performance, as we publish their typical real-world values, not simulated data. It's about as comprehensive and independent as you can get. None of our data is paid for. In the case of the StellarDrive based HEQ5/NEQ6/AZEQ6GT, it matched the performance envelope of the Takahaski EM200 is based on. That means 10min unguided pin sharp images with an ED80 Refractor, or 5 minutes with a 200PDS Newtonian! Who need s a guide scope? Just think what we can do for your mount with our precision worm-gears! In fact, every mount we rebuild tracks better for both visual and imaging use, guides for longer and more reliably and is quieter when slewing. See our updated performance data page for the differences.
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One of our Reference AZEQ6GT Mounts evolved into a StellarDrive 6GT over the course of three rebuilds as we improved our build types and proved the performance benefits. What started out as a frustratingly lost cause of a mount struggling with guide a 10" LX200 reliably more than 5-10 mins, became a sub-arcsecond 15-20mins imaging all night long. With StellarDrive SPX worm gears, the same mount dropped from 0.7 ArcSec RMS to 0.39 Guided, just by changing the gears. The same has happened on other mounts upgraded from our standard Hypertune to a StellarDrive. This extra headroom really helps create a more consistent outcome in poorer seeing conditions, because the mount can effectively image stabilise the telescope via very accurate tracking. Its Periodic Error is still dropping and will level out over time...
Improved Imaging Payload: Customer data collected across our StellarDrive 6 class EQ Mounts can now confirm they can run sub-arcsecond imaging up to full 25Kg Payload when precisely balanced. Previously, it was always advised by many dealers that 25Kg was visual and 18Kg was for imaging for an AZEQ6GT. Not anymore! Proof (if anymore were needed...) that our rebuilds really can save you money from moving to a bigger, more expensive equatorial mount!
Fewer Dropped Frames: More data can be gathered over an evenings session, because it tracks reliably, balances better, and therefore means your mount is now a stable imaging platform. Once, run in, our mounts have provided consistent performance without adjustment for 3 years more, ideal for remote observatory use.
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Better star shapes: Yes, no tailing just tight, round stars. If you pixel-peep your astro-images that's where you find the effects of precise tracking. That difference shows up in more detailed images, due to the mounts agility and the 0.4-0.8 ArcSec difference over a stock mount.
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Longer, reliable exposures: All our mounts EQ5 and above can produce 20 minute subs. Ideal for Narrowband, and the EQ6-EQ8 are capable of 40+ minutes, once setup on a pier, 30mins on a tripod.
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The best in guided and unguided tracking: It's not just a case of better greases and some bearings. If it was that easy it would already have been done. Our mounts have improved imaging in poorer seeing conditions, because they respond better to guide input. By adding more headroom to seeing conditions, you can image more tightly in PHD2, without chasing the seeing.
Better than rebuilding it yourself: a typical EQ6 rebuild could cost nearly £400 in just parts alone to refurbish the mount (just ask for a list of parts and we'll send you one), and we charge just £499, plus we have the right tools and a wealth of experience, across hundreds of mounts. All backed up by a 2 year warranty.
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All the figures quoted are dependent on the condition of the base mount for rebuild. Older mounts that have not been regularly serviced or cared for, may not achieve these average figures. Based on the data across several hundred mounts, we strongly recommend a 1st service within 3-5 years of the purchase of a new mount, with main axis bearings changed every 7-10 years. This is dependent on use, and storage of your mount. You should exercise your mount every three months regardless of use, to work the bearing greases.
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Our work is customer measurable and meticulous, so every mount we create has to be right and we never rush them out. Please enquire about what we can to do your EQ mount, be it Sky-Watcher/Orion USA, Celestron, iOptron, Losmandy and now Paramount, just read what our customers say...
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For more details on specific servicing/tuning work please e-mail:dave@darkframe.co.uk
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E&OE - Mount Build Specification and components used subject to change without notice. Example EQ mount tracking performance is not guaranteed, and is subject to the age and condition of the Donor Mount.

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    11 Drift Road, Clanfield, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO80JJ, United Kingdom
    +44 23 9257 0283
    dave@darkframe.co.uk
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