MoFoD – a Flexible Fork mount for your observatory
MoFoD stands for Mo(dular) Fo(rk) D(esign) and in fact was born as an answer to the challenge of making Fork Mounts more popular among amateur astronomers and some professional users. To achieve this goal, it was necessary to revise both the manufacturing and the use of the Fork Mount. Taking the example of Modular Design from the Automotive Industry, helped to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing. At the same time it offers more flexibility when different customer needs have to be answered.
Why is MoFoD so unique? What are MoFoD’s main features? Why is our Fork Mount one of the most popular in the astronomy market? Let’s take a look at the details.
What are the main uses of the MoFoD equatorial fork?
Also this is mainly a photographic mount, due to the comfortable ocular position, it is well suited for serious visual observing. However, its main force is the outstanding photographic capability. The absence of meridian flips saves valuable observing time and in some special projects like asteroid or satellite tracking it is indispensable. Moreover, it has a sophisticated friction drive system which provides very accurate tracking with no backlash in declination, high slewing speed with large telescopes. It even has an encoder supported tracking control, useful for projects like photometry. A 50-mm bore in the RA shaft lets you route cables comfortably.
What kind of telescopes can be used on a MoFoD?
Thinking of the commercial SC telescopes, one may assume that a Fork Mount is manufactured for a specific telescope only. Not at all! MoFoD has a standard Losmandy interface and its arms can easily by adjusted to accept a wide range of telescopes. In fact, the only kind of OTAs not suited for this mount are large refractors. All kinds of Cassegrain telescopes (RC, MC, SC, GC), Dall-Kirkham telescopes, fast Newtonian Astrographs can be mounted between the arms of the MoFoD. The upper diameter limit is about 50-cm, the payload limit is around 100 kg.
What level of precision can you expect from the MoFoD?
MoFoD is supplied with its dedicated Pulsar2 controller and has an encoder based pointing system. Its intrinsic accuracy is around 30 arc seconds. When adjusted properly, it can achieve an absolute pointing error of cca 1 arc minute without modelling. Its tracking precision in open loop mode is characterized by a very low error of around 5 arc seconds, distributed smoothly over about 30 minutes.
New improved fork arms in 2016
The fork arms have been redesigned to offer the same stability at a slightly lower weight (1 kg less). Carbon composite material is used to create the new drive disc covers. Small details have been cured to perfection to offer an impeccable aesthetical image.
What kind of applications has MoFoD been tested in?
Since its introduction in 2010, the smallest instrument installed on a MoFoD is a 10” RC with 3 auxiliary refractors, the largest is a 50cm F9 RC so far. The applications range from astrophotography to exoplanet spectroscopy or even satellite tracking.
How difficult is it to install a MoFoD?
MoFoD is shipped semi assembled, you have to attach the fork arms when installing the mount. The illustrated manual explains this otherwise simple operation. It is a two man job definitely. However, we also offer the complete installation and can help you with the polar alignment via internet.