What is the GEM Performance Tune?

Its very important as a consumer, to know exactly what you are paying for, and what to expect if you're considering improving the performance characteristics of your expensive mount! If you're just a casual observer that doesn't need high levels of performance from your equipment, then it really doesn't take a huge amount of effort or exotic techniques to accomplish acceptable results, and your mount may not even need a full tuning, simple mesh adjustments can often have a noticeable impact. If however you're into imaging pursuits, or like to push the envelope, and looking to extract every possible ounce of potential performance from your equipment, then our service is probably just what you're looking for. Our goal is to do exactly that, extract every possible ounce of potential performance from the equipment we are servicing! The following is a brief description as to how we accomplish this. The GEM Performance Tune, is the process of tuning your mount to maximize it's performance from an imaging or demanding visual perspective. The basic process consists of disassembly, thorough cleaning and de-greasing, de-burring and polishing gears, then the re-lube of the internals and gears with a specially formulated Astrotroniks hybrid blend synthetic lube we designed over the years for the specific use in GEMs. We wrap up with final assembly and the absolute optimal adjustments for your particular mount and it's unique characteristics. Astrotroniks however, goes deeper than any other similarly intended process during the Performance Tune. We focus on, and reduce mount specific PE, and reduce/eliminate the largest poor performance sources of non-PE and Stiction commonly found inside these mounts. We also implement our own pioneered proprietary techniques not found in any other service, which are by and large responsible for the unmatched performance results exhibited from Performance Tuned mounts. These techniques actually cost us more to apply to your mount than a standard tuning (re-lube and polish) service, as very often the main drive components (Ring and Worm Gears) found in popular Chinese made mounts, require special tooling and machine work to obtain the high levels of performance that our technique alone provides. In spite of this extra time involved, we still aim to keep our service affordable! Often gears and components are found to be grossly out of adjustment, and occasionally even have mis-shapen teeth in their gearing. We carefully inspect, and document the conditions of the mount's components, and in most of these more extreme cases are able to, using our skill, correct defects in the gears such as mis-shapen teeth and squareness issues on shafts. Often however, the mount significantly benefits from just the simple cleaning and re-lubrication process with optimal adjustments. Along with our skill and proprietary techniques applied, the results achieved from an Astrotroniks Performance Tuned mount are far superior to any other service.

Here are some example images taken during the Performance Tune of a customer's Atlas EQ/G.

This first image shows the amount of sub par "glue" like grease caked on to gear surfaces.


The following images show these parts disassembled. First shown is the worm, bearings and worm spur.

worm and bearings

The worm bearings and worm spur.


The ring.

These images now show these parts after they are cleaned, de-burred and tooled/polished ready for re-lube.

worm after

The worm

ring after

The ring.

While the polished parts look shiny, the goal isn't aesthetics, instead the goal of the polishing is to further remove minor imperfections in the gears surfaces, allowing for smoother engagement with less chattering, lower friction and reduced PE. The final stage of the Performance Tune, is ensuring all mesh distances are optimally adjusted, and if equipped the Polar Alignment scope is calibrated, to facilitate accurate mount alignment, this is a small part of the tune but has a major impact, if your mount is not properly aligned to the celestial pole, it will not be capable of accurately tracking. This step is not necessary however on mounts not equipped with a PA scope that utilize the mount's computer to calculate the position of the celestial pole called the iterative PA routine.

Here is an example image, illustrating the performance level achieved from an Astrotroniks Performance Tuned mount. The image is a single un-calibrated RAW converted to jpg, taken with a Canon 350xt+ED80 mounted on an unguided Atlas EQ/G Performance Tuned mount. The image is a 5 minute exposure, again with no autoguiding, or PEC program only an accurate Polar Alignment.

5 minute