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Australia's leading William Optics & Explore Scientific Distributor
Australia's leading William Optics & Explore Scientific Distributor
Harmonic Drive Telescope Mounts

Harmonic Drive Telescope Mounts

Astrophotography is a fascinating field that allows us to capture the beauty of the night sky and reveal the hidden wonders of the universe. But taking high-quality astrophotographs requires more than just a good camera and lens. It also requires a stable and precise telescope mount to ensure that your images are sharp and clear.

One type of telescope mount that has gained popularity in recent times is the harmonic drive mount, such as ZWO's AM5 Mount. This innovative type of mount uses a special gear system that provides greater precision and stability than traditional worm gears. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at harmonic drive telescope mounts and the benefits they offer for astrophotography.

What is a Harmonic Drive Telescope Mount?

A harmonic drive mount is a type of telescope mount that uses a specialized gear system to provide precise movement and control. The gear system consists of three main components: a wave generator, a flexible spline, and a circular spline. The wave generator is a flexible component that deforms slightly when a force is applied to it. This deformation causes the flexible spline to move in a circular motion, which in turn drives the circular spline.

The circular spline is connected to the telescope, and as it moves, it provides smooth and precise motion. Because of the unique design of the harmonic drive, there is no backlash in the gear system, meaning that there is no play or slop in the movement. This provides greater accuracy and stability for astrophotography.

Benefits of Harmonic Drive Telescope Mounts

One of the main benefits of harmonic drive telescope mounts is their precision. The gear system provides smooth and accurate movement, allowing for precise tracking of celestial objects. This is particularly important for astrophotography, where even small movements can result in blurry or distorted images.

Another benefit of harmonic drive mounts is their compact size. Because the gear system is so efficient, harmonic drive mounts can be smaller and lighter than traditional mounts with the same weight capacity. In addition, the gear design means no counterweight is required for operation (unlike traditional equatorial mounts) - this makes them easier to transport and set up in the field.

Finally, harmonic drive mounts are known for their durability and reliability. Because there is no backlash in the gear system, there is less wear and tear on the mount over time. This means that harmonic drive mounts are less likely to require maintenance or repairs, providing a more reliable and hassle-free experience for astrophotographers.


In summary, harmonic drive telescope mounts are an innovative and effective solution for astrophotography. Their precise movement, compact size, and durability make them an excellent choice for capturing high-quality images of the night sky. If you're serious about astrophotography and want to take your images to the next level, a harmonic drive telescope mount may be just what you need. Some options worthy of consideration are ZWO AM5 mount and iOptron HEM27 mount.

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