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Plodder

Paramount ME MKS5000 Upgrade.

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Hi All,

 

Having had the Paramount ME for many years I thought I'd give it a facelift and bring it up to the latest spec by upgrading the mount to MKS5000. This is achieved by a kit from Software Bisque available either direct or via a Dealer,  I chose Ian King  even although Baader are the sole European dealers so it comes via them anyway. I looked at the option of ordering direct from Bisque but the price seemed cheaper ordering from Ian King and in any case it was £1568 delivered. The order took around 3 weeks with Bisque requesting the index values of the motors which they then store on the new board making installation easier. You can't fault Software Bisque's attention to absolute quality of their stuff and the upgrade kit is no exception. The new MKS5000 requires The SkyX thus retiring The Sky6 and this was also done but not included in the upgrade price.  There is a good installation procedure but I'd add the removal of the Versa plate is essential though I never saw it mentioned for removal in the guide. For anyone not acquainted with circuit boards attempting this upgrade I'd recommend familiarising themselves with the plugs on the old board as to how they are disconnected and subsequently reconnected but the process is fairly straight forward. A good set of imperial Allen Keys is also recommended as some of the screws of which must tally around 50 that have to be removed some of which are fairly tight. Don't yank at them but slow steady increasing pressure until the bond breaks is my advice. I took the opportunity to run some new cabling through the mount which means not a single trailing cable any more making the strip down worthwhile in itself.

 

The upgrade kit can be found here:

http://www.bisque.com/sc/shops/store/MKS500Upgrade.aspx 

 

And finally, Do I think the upgrade was worth it, yes definitely.

I also took the opportunity to add my own connections and this extra box (Lower) can be see seen in the image attached.

 

Graham.

IMG_0243.JPG

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That's a fairly expensive upgrade - there's no info on the SB page you link, so can you say what benefits there are by doing this?

ChrisH

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Yes, It could be considered an expensive upgrade or a cheap one depending on your outlook and circumstances. The original MKS4000 build had parallel and serial ports wired through the mount and the upgrade removes all this providing USB ports instead. The servo motor control is now completely silent and removes the whining noise albeit a minor but pleasant feature. In truth my stars can't be any rounder than before so the upgrade is one of personal choice and probably best judged by Paramount ME MKS4000 owners. If I was being critical I would say The SkyX should have been included in the cost however it's likely the small number of upgrade units Software Bisque would need to produce to offer this upgrade would keep the cost high.

 

Graham.  

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