Chronos HD32HPO Equatorial Mount with Hypervisor

Chronos HD32HPO Equatorial Mount with Hypervisor
Item # OS-HD32-HPO
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Custom Order

  • The Chronos HD32HPO ruggedized equatorial mount uses custom High-tech harmonic drives instead of traditional worm or spur drives for consistently smooth operation, no meridian flip, zero backlash, and high torque operation. Need Alt-Az? Various alt-azimuth options are available.
  • The ChronosMount HD32 system has a payload capacity of 113.4kg (250lb).
  • No polar alignment scope needed or limitations in latitude. Works world-wide without add-on hardware.
  • The High Performance Output (HPO) comes standard on Chronos, improving pointing and tracking performance.
  • The ChronosMount HD32 eliminates counterweights, increasing mount payload capacity.
  • Switch between visual and CCD imaging while the mount is still being autoguided.
  • Hypervisor® Hub connects your favorite ASCOM compatible PC software, smartphone, or tablet to the Chronos mount, dome drivers, and other observatory instrumentation.
  • Quantity pricing available. Delivery takes place approximately 120 days after date of order. Call 1-800-483-6287 or send us an email for customization information. See "Supporting Docs" tab for more information.


Chronos® HD32HPO with Hypervisor
- the Perfect Mount for Mission-Critical, Industrial, University,
and Observatory Applications

The Chronos mount is an innovative high-performance mechanical mount system incorporating Harmonic Drive® gearing. Built in the USA with extremely high torque capability, zero backlash, over-built aluminum and stainless steel housing, Hypervisor® Linux Hub, and high speed slewing, the Chronos mount can move heavy payloads across the sky quickly and reliably under harsh conditions. Chronos products have been customized to satisfy specific applications many times. Each mount is custom built one at a time, making it easy to add custom or unique hardware and software options that will result in a product specifically suited to your application.

Oceanside Photo and Telescope is the world-wide distributor for Chronos. Our applications-oriented engineering team can work with you on your program to develop and deliver the right mount system to achieve your mission readiness in a shorter time by leveraging the Chronos mount. Whether your application is acquisition, tracking, beam-steering, or even high-risk assembly, you will appreciate the benefits of high torsional stiffness, zero backlash, and high payload capacity combined with the excellent mechanical responsivity of the Chronos mount.

Oceanside Photo and Telescope brings capabilities and proven performance to assist you. Technical expertise from various disciplines can be brought to bear upon your application, to help you satisfy your program's requirements.

Harmonic Drives®

Custom designed Harmonic Drive® assemblies, made to ChronosMount® specs, are at the heart of the Chronos mount. Each Chronos mount uses two of these assemblies, each of which is made up of two Harmonic Drive sets.

Harmonic Drive gearing is used extensively in high-precision applications such as robotics and satellite antenna pointing. Harmonic Drive gearing is an integral part of the design of the Rovers on Mars, and they keep the adaptive optics aligned on large telescopes atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii. When high precision and repeatability are required, harmonic drives are a no brainer when compared to conventional worm-and-wheel and spur gearing. Harmonic Drive gearing has zero backlash, and they keep a full one third of their gear teeth engaged at all times, whereas worm drives can only keep a maximum of three teeth engaged at any one time. This huge difference translates to extremely smooth operation over a full 360° of operation without backlash. All Chronos mount models come with HPO (High Precision Output), which incorporates very high resolution glass disk incremental encoders located on the payload end of the harmonic drive mount system. This provides sub-arcsecond tracking as well as very precise pointing.

Lower PE for Smoother Tracking & Guiding

Chronos has lower Periodic Error (PE) per minute than competing mounts. Periodic Error is caused by inconsistencies in gear geometry, inconsistencies that can be reduced by lapping or quality hobbing of the gear teeth, but it cannot be eliminated completely. The PE period is the amount of time it takes to move the worm wheel one tooth. On a 360-tooth worm-wheel this time is just four minutes or less. The periodic error period on most worm-and wheel mounts are in the range of 2-1/2 to 4 minutes. The gears that turn the worm are driven by spur gears; cogged belts may also be used. It is these “up front” gears and belts that are the source of most periodic error, and it is these gears and belts that effect the quality of guiding for CCD imaging. Most manufacturers advertise their periodic error in terms like 10 arcseconds peak-to-peak, but few promote their “periodic error per period”, which best reflects the amount of guiding that is necessary. The lower the periodic error per minute, the better the guiding because the autoguider does not have to do as much work. A mount with 5 arcsecond PE and a four-minute period is said to have a 1.25 arcsecond periodic error per minute.

Chronos has a periodic error per minute of 0.55 arcsecond, less than half that of the mount with 5 arcsecond PE and a four minute period. Mapping PE on the Chronos using PemPro by CCDWare shows the PE to be 7 arcseconds peak-to-peak max, with a PE period of 14.4 minutes.

No Clutches, No Balancing!

Clutches, which are frequently used on telescope mounts, introduce a number of opportunities for drive inaccuracies:

  • Clutches can slip, causing a loss of position.
  • As the clutches are opened and closed, the relationship between the optical path and the gears change,. The specific gear teeth engaged last night are not the same teeth engaged tonight to point at the same object!
  • Chronos does not require or use any clutches!

Periodic error correction inconsistencies are introduced when different gear teeth are used. You use one set of gear teeth to record your PEC, but when you actually use the mount you are using a different set of teeth to guide! When the Chronos Mount is permanently mounted at a site, the same Harmonic Drive teeth are always in the same position for a given optical line of sight of your payload.

No balancing is ever required, even with complex changing payloads! For example, in astronomical applications where imaging is a major task, the user may need a stash of counterweights to keep their mount balanced. If a change is made to attached instrumentation (cameras or additional optics), then a change of counterweights is usually required. This often involves disengaging the gears. Since Chronos does not use counterweights to balance the payload, it is possible to switch or modify the attached instrumentation, while the mount is in the process of tracking or being autoguided. The mount will operate per spec throughout this procedure. This capability will increase the operational flexibility of Chronos in your demanding applications.

Servo Motor Control System

Integral to ChronosMount is a servo control system that uses industry-standard electronics and microprocessors. Astronomy-specific functions include a five button handpad for slewing at Guide, Position, and High Speed rates as well as Sidereal tracking without attaching any additional hardware or a computer. For any type of application, maximum slew speed is 5° per second for the standard product, although this can be increased to 10° per second by ordering the mount with a different gear ratio. (Note that gear ratio affects load capacity.) There's a stand-alone autoguider port with dry-contact closure protocols and RJ12 pinouts. ChronosMount has included an emergency stop system and an LED slew speed indicator, too.

Hypervisor® Linux Hub Included

Hypervisor® is an astronomical hub. It is the connection between your computer, smartphone or tablet, the Chronos, and other observatory instrumentation, including your dome. Hypervisor is a Linux-based appliance like Android OS or Apple iOS. The architecture is totally open, and this is a huge advantage from the user's perspective. With the exception of some core ChronosAPI proprietary code written by ChronosMount, Inc., which is written in C++, the rest of the software has an open architecture. You can modify or add to this code freely. You can be a novice or an advanced user, and Hypervisor will be your companion.

It is not necessary to install any software on your local PC or tablet in order to use Hypervisor. All you need is a web browser with JavaScript enabled, but you can use a remote terminal, X11 Client, or an ASCOM driver in Windows should you require more powerful functionality.

Using a browser interface, or connected directly to a TCP/IP connection from a Windows or Linux computer, Hypervisor provides a wide range of observing capabilities, whether driving a single CMI mount, connected to multiple CMI mounts, or when multiple Hypervisors are connected together in a network (local TCP/IP or across the Internet). If multiple mounts and/or multiple observatory appliances are connected, they can be directed in tandem (all point at the same object), or separately and independently, depending on the user's application.

Hypervisor software is based on Linux with a full set of applications from web-centric support to astronomical libraries and industrial support applications. For our clients who are mandated to develop customized code, in order to support their end-user's programmatic constraints, it is important to note that Hypervisor has an open architecture in software too. Apart from the proprietary ChronosAPI code, everything else is open to user modification, including enhancing security and installing or developing new software, for whatever purposes they may require. Hypervisor is a useful tool that can be used as a starting point for mandated custom code, or as an important adjunct to such code. It will also be useful for testing and calibration purposes.

Hypervisor uses the latest generation extensible format option ext4. It can support volumes with sizes up to 1 exabyte (EB) and files with sizes up to 16 terabytes (TB). The hardware portion of Hypervisor consists of an embedded computer based on a dual-core Intel Atom microprocessor with 2GB RAM that is available in either commercial or military specifications. Hypervisor comes loaded with an enormous amount of configured software.

Just a partial list of software included in Hypervisor for your project development convenience:

Web server interface, Apache, Tomcat Astronomical, IRAF, EPICS industrial spec, OpenMPI for Grid computing capabilities, ASCOM drivers, MySQL and Postgres databases, Languages like C++, FORTRAN, Java, Python, etc. just to name a few.

For a list of software and hardware specifications and for more information, please visit the “Supporting Docs” tab above and download the Hypervisor Info & Specifications PDF.

Over-Built to Withstand Demanding Environments

The Chronos mount is constructed of all aluminum and stainless steel parts that are manufactured in the USA using state-of-the-art CNC equipment and SolidWorks® 3D design tools. An option provides housings and components that have been built with pinned-in-place assembly techniques for the most demanding customer's applications. A fabrication philosophy like this is designed to ensure that ChronosMount equipment will perform consistently and up-to-specs, regardless of the environment whether your applications live in the industrial, university, or aerospace worlds.

Chronos Mount and Your Mission

Effectively link your sensors, transmitters, and optics to your command and control system with this high performance mechanical mount, which already incorporates a massive amount of engineering, to save you time. Let Chronos and OPT help meet your goals for size and weight reduction, consistent with high performance, with a robust mechanical solution for your robotic application. If your project demands the highest degree of precision and reliability, consider the advantages of the Chronos mount.

Chronos Mount Physical Specifications

  • Mount Design:
    • Modified German Equatorial or Alt-Az Fork Optional
    • Extended RA axis torque tube
    • No meridian flip required for most Optical Telescopes
    • Internet-based firmware updates
    • Latitude Adjustment: 0-90 degrees, 5 degree steps
    • Latitude Fine Adjust: +5 degrees, engraved scale
    • Azimuth Fine Adjust: +/- 5 degrees, engraved scale
  • Bearings Capacity:
    • HD32: Dynamic Load: 1,530kg (3,372lb), Static Load: 2,550kg (5,621lb)
  • Torque:
    • HD32: 2,947 in-lb
  • Cabling:
    • HD32: Cables are routed externally
  • Counterweights: none
  • Gear Design:
    • No user adjustments over useful life at 3,500rpm input
    • Lubrication temperature range: -30F to +150F **
  • Gear Ratio:
    • First Stage: 50:1
    • Output Stage: 100:1 on special request
    • Total Ratio per axis: 5,000:1
  • Maximum Slew Speed: 5 degrees/second **
  • Encoders:
    • 4,000 count quadrature servo motor mounted, incremental
    • 20,000,000; 0.0648 arcsecond/tic with 100:1
    • 16,384 count at-load glass encoder, 4096 interpolated. Final resolution is 67,108,864 counts in 360 degrees of rotation in RA and Dec.
  • Servo Motor Design:
    • For HD32: Brushed Motor
    • 36Vdc external UL approved power supply
  • Payload Capacity:
    • HD32: 113.4kg (250lb)
  • Construction: All CNC aluminum and stainless steel
  • Equatorial Head Weight:
    • HD32: 40.82kg (2x 20.41kg) (90lb in two 45lb pieces)
  • Yoke Type Head Weight: Depends upon customer specs and design
  • Backlash: Zero
  • Clutches: None
  • Periodic Error Period: 14.4 minutes
  • Periodic Error Over 360 degrees: 1.75 arcsecond peak-to-peak per minute or less
  • Note: The equatorial head can be custom fitted to any pier you wish to use.

Chronos Servo Controller Specifications

  • Microprocessor Control on distributed RS-485 LAN (one per axis)
    • Servo controller for DC motors with incremental encoder feedback
    • 32 bit position, velocity and acceleration control
    • Trapezoidal and velocity profiling permit on-the-fly parameter changes
    • 16 bit PID servo gains can be changed on-the-fly
    • Multiaxis coordinated motion control support
    • High speed 2 or 3 channel encoder input, limit switch inputs, hall sensor inputs
    • Optional Step and Direction inputs
    • Motor current and motor supply voltage sense inputs can be used for amplifier protection
    • PWM, Direction and Enable outputs connect directly to many H-Bridge or 3-Phase amplifiers
    • Serial interface can be used with RS232 or RS485 multidrop communications
    • Complete documentation and example software available on request
  • Hypervisor Interface:
    • RS-232 Serial (115KBaud) or USB; TCP/IP or optional Bluetooth wireless attached to PC
    • ASCOM including support for planetarium software, filter wheel and dome control (
    • Stand-alone operation includes wired button hand control providing Sidereal Rate tracking, guide, position and high speed slew (wireless on custom quote)
    • Microprocessor Controlled (Microchip 18F2620) with ROM software or pass-thru (switch selectable)
  • Power Supplies:
    • 36Vdc
    • Battery operation is not recommended for Chronos!

** Maximum slew speeds are lower at temperatures below 30F. Low temperatures affect high slew speeds only; normal tracking, guiding, and position slew performance extends to -30F.

Chronos Mount Pricing

Pricing shown for the Chronos HD32HPO is the base price for one mount. If your mission will include more than one mount, the per mount price will drop significantly, depending on the number of mounts you require. For quantity pricing, take a look at the latest price list, located in the Supporting Docs tab. While your build may include options that increase the base price, the quantity pricing sheet will give you a good idea of how much you can save by ordering more than one mount at a time.

Ordering Information for ChronosMount

Oceanside Photo and Telescope is the world-wide distributor for Chronos. Each Chronos mount is custom built by hand in the USA and undergoes rigorous mechanical, software, and electronic testing. Test results will be included upon request. Due to the custom nature of the Chronos mount, a 70% non-refundable deposit will be required with each order. Delivery takes place approximately 120 days after date of order.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Manufacturer Chronos
Head Design Equatorial
Electronics Included Computerized - GoTo
Tripod or Pier Included? No
Payload Capacity 250 lb.
Mount Design Modified German Equatorial. Alt-Azimuth Fork optional
Meridian Flip? No meridian flip
Mount Construction all CNC aluminum and stainless steel
Encoders 4,000 count quadrature servo motor mounted, incremental. 6,384 count at-load glass encoder, 4096 interpolated, resulting a final resolution is 67,108,864 counts in 360 degrees of rotation in RA and Dec
Torque 2,947 in/lb
Bearings Capacity 3372 lb. dynamic load, 5621 lb. static load
Lubrication Temp Range -30º F to 150º F - Maximum slew speeds are lower at temperatures below 30F. Low temperature effects high speed slew speeds only, normal tracking, guiding and position slew performance extends to -30F.
Maximum Slew Speed 5º per second. See above notation.
Periodic Error Period 14.4 minutes
360-Degree Periodic Error 1.75 arcseconds peak-to-peak per minute or less
Servo Motor Design Brushed, 36vdc
RA Axis Extended RA axis torque tube
Primary Harmonic Drive CSF32
Secondary Harmonic Drive RH14
Harmonic Drive Overall Ratio 5000:1
Harmonic Drive Operating Torque 2,947 in/lb
Harmonic Drive Encode Count 20,000,000; 0.0648 arcsecond/tic with 100:1.
Harmonic Drive Assembly Weight 21 lb.
Firmware Updates Internet based updates
Latitude Adjustment 0-90 degrees in 5 degree steps
Latitude Fine Adjust +5 degrees, engraved scale
Azimuth Fine Adjust +/- 5 degrees, engraved scale
Gear Adjustments No user adjustments over useful life at 3,500 rpm input
First Stage Gear Ratio 50:1
Output Stage Gear Ratio 100:1 on special request
Total Gear Ratio per Axis 5000:1
Equatorial Head Weight 150 lb. in three pieces
Counterweights No counterweights required
Backlash None
Clutches None
Cabling External, internal available optionally
Hypervisor Microprocessor Dual core Intel Atom, 1.66GHz
Hypervisor RAM 2 GB
Hypervisor VGA Output up to 2048 x 1436 pixels resolution
Hypervisor LVDS up to 1366 x 768 pixels
Hypervisor SATA Ports Two ports up to 300MB/s
Hypervisor SSD HD 1 at 128 GB
Hypervisor Watchdog Timer Support? Yes
Hypervisor Ethernet Connections Two 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ-45
Hypervisor Wireless Connection 802.11 g.b.n (master & client)
Hypervisor USB Up to 6 USB 2.0 ports
Hypervisor RS422/RS485 One RS422/485 port
Hypervisor RS232 Up to 4 RS232 ports
Hypervisor GPIO 8 bit
Hypervisor PCIE One mini-PCIE interface
Hypervisor Parallel Port One parallel port
Hypervisor PS2 Port One PS2 keyboard/mouse port
Hypervisor Audio High Def, Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in
Hypervisor Configured Software Web server interface where user can control Hypervisor and appliances, Forum, Administration, Picture Gallery, Wiki and other common web features available as a server, Apache, Tomcat Astronomical, IRAF, EPICS industrial spec, etc.
Included Items

Included Items

  • Chronos HD32HPO Mounting System
  • High Performance Output (HPO)
  • Hypervisor
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