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Software Guided Telescope (SGT MAX)
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List of Telescopes and Mounts we Outfit with Computers and Encoders

Read This Before Ordering

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Complete Installation

 
NGC-superMAX
Complete Installation
Standalone Telescope Guiding Computer



SUP...
$899

Buy Now*

NGC-superMAX™ (Argo Navis) Complete Installation

Includes NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis™), cable, encoders, necessary gears/pulleys, mounting hardware and a free computer mounting bracket.  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.

 
NGC-MAX
Complete Installation
Standalone Telescope Guiding Computer



NGC...
$729

Buy Now*

NGC-MAX™ Complete Installation

Includes NGC-MAX with free instructional video, cable, encoders, necessary gears/pulleys, mounting hardware and a free computer mounting bracket.  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.

NOTE The NGC-MAX includes a serial interface.  It can be used with a PC or as a standalone unit.
The altitude encoder and hardware setup shown here is on the Meade Lightbridge 12" Dobsonian.  The picture also shows the NGC-MAX computer.
The picture shows the azimuth encoder and hardware on the Meade Lightbridge 12" Dobsonian.
 
NGC-microMAX
Complete Installation
Standalone Telescope Guiding Computer



MIC...
$469

Buy Now*

NGC-microMAX™ Complete Installation

Includes NGC-microMAX with free instructional video, cable, encoders, necessary gears/pulleys, mounting hardware and a free computer mounting bracket.  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.


Computer and Encoder Kit

 
NGC-superMAX Kit
with Two Encoders
You Supply the Hardware



SUPKIT
$749

Buy Now

NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis) with Two Encoders

Kit includes NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis), encoder cable, two encoders (specify tics-per-revolution) and a free computer mounting bracket.  The kit is designed for those who wish to build their own hardware for mounting the encoders.

 
NGC-MAX Kit
with Two Encoders
You Supply the Hardware



NGCKIT
$619

Buy Now

NGC-MAX with Two Encoders

Kit includes NGC-MAX with free instructional video, encoder cable, two encoders (specify tics-per-revolution) and a free computer mounting bracket.  The kit is designed for those who wish to build their own hardware for mounting the encoders.

 
NGC-microMAX Kit
with Two Encoders
You Supply the Hardware



MICKIT
$349

Buy Now

NGC-microMAX with Two Encoders

Kit includes NGC-microMAX with free instructional video, encoder cable, two encoders (specify tics-per-revolution) and a free computer mounting bracket.   The kit is designed for those who wish to build their own hardware for mounting the encoders.


Computer Only

 
NGC-superMAX
Computer Only
You Supply Encoders and Hardware



SUPMAX
$599

Buy Now

NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis) Computer Only

The NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis) operates basically the same as the other MAX computers but with more modes and user-adjustable parameters.  It includes the following modes:  Align, Align Star, Az Alt, Catalog, Encoder, Fix Alt Ref, Identify, RA Dec, Setup, Sidereal, Status, Time, Timer and Tour.  There are over 29,000 objects including about 1,100 which are user-definable.  The LCD display has a heater option for very cold weather.  Free software and database upgrades are available as a download from the internet.  The system includes a free computer mounting bracket.  See the Product Summary for a brief overview and description of the modes.  See the Computer Comparison Chart.

NOTE

The NGC-superMAX is manufactured by WildCard Innovations Pty. Ltd. of Australia and imported into the U.S.A. by JMI Telescopes (Jim's Mobile, Inc.).  The NGC-superMAX is currently being packaged with and identified by WildCard's trade name of "Argo Navis."  For the Argo Navis user manual and computer support, please see the following:

Argo Navis Support:  sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
Official Argo Navis User Group:  groups.yahoo.com/group/argo_navis_dtc/
Free Downloadable Argo Navis Firmware Upgrade:  www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/firmware.html
Argo Navis User Manual:  www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/documentation.html

For encoder problems, Contact JMI.  If you are  not sure if the encoders are working properly, do an encoder test as shown in the manual.  If the encoder test shows that the encoders are working correctly, refer to the Argo Navis support information above.

 
NGC-MAX
Computer Only
You Supply Encoders and Hardware



NGCMAX
$499

Buy Now

NGC-MAX Computer Only

The NGC-MAX includes R.A./Dec. display, timer, polar alignment help, Identify mode, RS-232 computer interface and a 12,046-object database (see below).  It also includes a free computer mounting bracket and a free instructional video.  See document no. 13 in our Document Library for the MAX Computer Operator's Guide.  See the Computer Comparison Chart.

The NGC-MAX database includes all 110 Messier objects in the Messier catalog and all NGC objects in an NGC catalog.  The IC catalog consists of all IC objects which are not galaxies, galaxies which have a magnitude specified and all remaining galaxies which have a size of 1.9 arc-minutes or more.  There are separate catalogs for 928 stars and 386 other non-stellar objects, including 19 black hole candidates and quasars.  An additional user catalog includes 28 user-defined objects.  A planet catalog is also included.

 
NGC-microMAX
Computer Only
You Supply Encoders and Hardware



MICMAX
$2
39

Buy Now

NGC-microMAX Computer Only

Includes R.A./Dec. display and a 245-object database (see below).  It also includes a free computer mounting bracket and a free instructional video.  See document no. 13 in our Document Library for the MAX Computer Operator's Guide.  See the Computer Comparison Chart.

The NGC-microMAX database includes 110 Messier objects, 90 interesting stars, 17 black hole candidates and quasars and 28 user-defined objects.

NOTE The NGC-microMAX digital setting circles is the smallest of our stand-alone guiding computers.  The Computer Comparison Chart details specifications for each of our computers.  See the SGT-MAX for interfacing to a PC or Mac computer with the BBOX serial interface.


Encoders and Hardware

 
Encoders and Hardware Only
You Supply a
Compatible Computer



ENC...
$379
Buy Now*

Encoders and Hardware Only

Includes encoders, necessary gears/pulleys, mounting hardware, encoder cable and a free computer mounting bracket (only if computer model is specified)(Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.

NOTE

Below you will find many examples of encoder and hardware setups which can be used in conjunction with the NGC-superMAX, NGC-MAX, NGC-microMAX and other similar guiding computers.†  You can also find an example in the section describing the NGC-MAX (above).  Also below, you will find a few samples of our encoder and hardware installation instructions.

† Our Encoders will connect to other guiding computers such as Sky Engineering's Sky Commander, Orion's Sky Wizard, Lumicon's NGC Sky Vector and Tele Vue's Sky Tour.

Encoder Installation for the Stellarvue MG2 Mount
Encoder Installation for the William Optics EZTouch (EASYT) Mount
Encoder Installation for the Vixen Porta Mount
The altitude and azimuth encoder and hardware installation (encoders, brackets with telephone style jacks, coupler, gears and cable) shown here is for the Vixen (Binocular) Fork mount.
The right ascension encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) shown here is for the Skywatcher HEQ5 mount.
The declination encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) shown here is for the Skywatcher HEQ5 mount.
This picture shows a Takahashi Teegul Lapides Modification mount (Takahashi America part number TG-LML for Teegul Large Mount Lapides) with a JMI encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears).
This picture shows an old version of the azimuth encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack, pulley and belt) for the UniStar (Heavy Duty) mount.
This picture shows an old version of the altitude encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) for the UniStar (Heavy Duty) mount.
enc_svp_ra.jpg (67572 bytes) This picture shows the right ascension encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and coupler) for the SkyView Pro EQ mount.  A hex wrench is being used to tighten the wrap-around bracket support.
This picture shows the declination encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) for the SkyView Pro EQ mount.  A hex wrench is being used to tighten a setscrew in the mounting bracket.
This image shows the right ascension encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) for the Skywatcher EQ6 mount.
This image shows the declination encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) for the Skywatcher EQ6 mount.
In this picture you can see the encoder and hardware installation (right ascension and declination encoders, brackets with telephone style jack and gears) for the Tele-Optic (APM) Giro-2 alt-azimuth mount.
In this picture you can see the right ascension encoder and hardware installation (encoder, bracket with telephone style jack and gears) for the Discovery EQ German equatorial mount.
Here you can see the encoder and part of the coupler that attaches to the declination shaft along with a vinyl support to immobilize the encoder for the Discovery EQ German equatorial mount.
Encoders and Hardware installed on the Stellarvue M2 mount
These encoder and hardware installation instructions are typical for a fork mount (C8).
These instructions are for one of our Dobsonian installations (Obsession).
These instructions show one of several ways our encoders are mounted on a German Equatorial mount (Super Polaris Mount).
Here is another method for mounting encoders on a German Equatorial mount (SkyView Deluxe EQ Mount).

 

 
Second set of Encoders and Hardware
When Purchased with a Complete Installation



ENC...
$359
Buy Now*

Second Encoder and Hardware Set

Second set of encoders and mounting hardware added to a computer purchase (i.e. valid only when purchased at the same time as a complete installation and shipped to the same address).  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.

 
Mounting Hardware Only
You Supply the
Encoders and Computer



HDW...
$239
Buy Now*

Mounting Hardware Only

Includes encoders brackets with phone-type connectors, applicable pulleys, belts and/or gears, encoder cable and a free computer mounting bracket (only if computer model is specified).  Encoders are NOT included.  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the hardware on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number identifies the computer and is
SUP, NGC, MIC, ENC or HDW.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an NGC-microMAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
MICGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.

 
Optical Encoder
5,000 Tics
Small Package



E5000
$109
Buy Now
Optical Encoder
4,096 Tics
Small Package



E4096
$109
Buy Now
Optical Encoder
2,160 Tics
Small Package



E2160
$109
Buy Now

Optical Encoder—Small Package

Encoder dimensions are 1.40" x 1.155" x 0.5" (not including shaft).

B series, 2160 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E2160
C series, 4096 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E4096
D series, 5000 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E5000

This image shows the relative size between the small- and large-package encoders.  Current encoders used by JMI are primarily 5,000 (small size) and 10,000 (large size) tics-per-revolution.

 

 
Optical Encoder
10,000 Tics
Large Package



E10000
$109
Buy Now
Optical Encoder
8,192 Tics
Large Package



E8192
$109
Buy Now

Optical Encoder
4,000 Tics
Large Package



E4000
$109
Buy Now

Optical Encoder—Large Package

Encoder dimensions are 2.42" x 2.2" x 0.5" (not including shaft).

B series, 4000 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E4000
C series, 8192 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E8192
D series, 10000 tics-per-revolution, Part Number E10000

This image shows the relative size between the small- and large-package encoders.  Current encoders used by JMI are primarily 5,000 (small size) and 10,000 (large size) tics-per-revolution.

 

 
Encoder Cable for NGC and SGT Computers
With Modular Plugs



CBLMODMOD
$29
Buy Now**

Encoder Cable for NGC & SGT Computers

Cable length depends on telescope.  (Specify telescope make, model and year.)

** When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the cable on.

The ends of the cable have modular phone plugs† which plug into the computer, Right Ascension/Azimuth encoder jack and Declination/Altitude encoder jack.

† We use 6P4C (6 position, 4 conductor) modular plugs.  If you desire 4P4C (four position, 4 conductor) modular plugs, this MUST BE SPECIFIED in the shopping cart Comments area.
 
Encoder to Encoder Cable (Inline to RJ-11) Pigtail
All JMI Encoders



CBLINLRJ11
$15
Buy Now

Encoder to Encoder Cable (Inline to RJ-11) Pigtail

A short adapter cable to connect an Encoder to an Encoder Cable.  The "inline" connector slides onto the protruding electrical contacts on the encoder and the "RJ-11" connector accepts the standard modular plug on the encoder cable.  This allows the encoder cable to be easily disconnected just like you would disconnect a telephone cable from the wall jack.

A "pig tail" cable is attached to an encoder in this picture.  An encoder cable plugs into the other end of the pigtail.

 


Accessories and Upgrades

 
NGC-superMAX
Mounting Bracket
Computer Holder



BRKTSUP
$39
Buy Now
Mounting Bracket for NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis)

Standard accessory with every NGC-superMAX (Argo Navis) computer.

 
NGC-MAX
Mounting Bracket
Computer Holder



BRKTNGC
$45
Buy Now

Mounting Bracket for NGC-MAX

Standard accessory with every NGC-MAX computer.  Also included with Encoder and Hardware or Hardware Only orders when specified for use with an NGC-MAX or compatible computer.

NOTE Dobsonian versions come with an "L" bracket (shown) for mounting the computer bracket.

 

 
NGC-microMAX
Mounting Bracket
Also Holds a B-Box



BRKTMIC
$35
Buy Now

Mounting Bracket for NGC-microMAX

Standard accessory with every NGC-microMAX computer.   Also included with Encoder and Hardware or Hardware Only orders when specified for use with an NGC-microMAX or compatible computer.  Also fits the serial encoder interface box (BBOX).

NOTE Dobsonian versions come with an "L" bracket (shown above with BRKTNGC) for mounting the computer bracket.

 

 
DC Power Cable
for NGC-superMAX
Cigarette Lighter Adapter or Alligator Clips



CBLDCSUP
$39
Buy Now

DC Power Cable for NGC-superMAX Computer

A 2.6m (8.5 ft) DC power cable for powering the NGC-superMAX from an 8 to 16 volt battery via a cigarette lighter adapter.  Includes an adapter for connecting directly to battery posts with large alligator clips.

 
Serial Cable for
B-Box and NGC-MAX
PC Version



CBLBBOX
$49
Buy Now

Serial Cable for BBOX / NGC-MAX

A 12-ft. cable for connecting a BBOX or NGC-MAX to the 9-pin serial port of an IBM PC compatible computer.

NOTE

The serial cable is made of two parts.  The first part is a flat phone cable with modular plugs on both ends (wired differently than a standard phone cable).  The other part is a connector with a 9-pin serial port on one end and a modular phone jack on the other end.  The modular jack accepts one end of the flat phone cable.

Are you in need of serial ports on your computer?  See how you can add RS-232 serial (DB9 connector) ports.

 

 
ROM Chip Upgrade
NGC-MAX
Version 3.52



NGCROM
$49
Buy Now
ROM Chip Upgrade
NGC-MAX
Version 2.94



NGCROM
$39
Buy Now
ROM Chip Upgrade
NGC-miniMAX
Version 2.88



MINROM
$39
Buy Now
ROM Chip Upgrade
NGC-microMAX
Version 1.16



MICROM
$39
Buy Now

NGC ROM Chip Upgrades

The ROM (Read Only Memory) chip can be replaced to upgrade an NGC computer to the highest version number available for that particular series.  For example, an NGC-MAX with a version 2.50 chip can only be upgraded to the highest 2.xx version.  It cannot be upgraded to the 3.xx versions.   Likewise, a version 1.xx cannot be upgraded to a 2.xx or 3.xx version.  You can see the latest available versions for each computer by looking at the Computer Comparison Chart.  Upgrades usually increase the database size, add new features or fix errors in previous versions.  Swapping out chips is easy with a flathead screwdriver and a patient hand.  The most important thing to remember when inserting a new chip is to make sure all the connectors are started in the right slot so they will not be bent when seating the chip.

NGC-MAX version 3.52, Part Number NGCROM
NGC-MAX version 2.94, Part Number NGCROM
NGC-miniMAX version 2.88, Part Number MINROM
NGC-microMAX version 1.16, Part Number MICROM


What is a Next Generation Computer?

Our popular computers allow you to easily guide to hundreds, thousands or even millions of objects in the database without knowing where they are and without using a star chart.  You don't even need to level or polar align your scope.  You can spend more time observing and less time hunting for objects.  These computers are sometimes called digital setting circles because the early versions only displayed right ascension and declination, thus replacing the telescopes mechanical setting circles.  The Next Generation Computers (or MAX computers as they are sometimes called) are not "Go-To" computers in that they do not move the telescope for you.

We supply hardware for over 100 commercial telescopes (see the list below).

Please see the Computer Comparison Chart.  For a better understanding of a computerized telescope see our Telescope Computer Tutorial.


We Outfit the Following Telescopes and Mounts with Encoders for Use with Our Computer Units:

Astro-Physics Super Polaris DX l AstroSystems TeleKit l Bausch & Lomb 4000, 8000, 8001 l Cave Astrola Standard*, Astrola Deluxe* l Celestron C4-R, C4.5, C5, C5+, C5-S, C6, C6-N, C6-R, C8*, C8+*, C8-N, C8-S, C9¼-S, C10-N, C11, C14, C80-HD, C102, C102-HD, C114-HD, Celestar 8, Celestar 8 Deluxe, CG-4, CG-5, CG-9¼, CG-11, CG-14, CI-700, Classic 8*, CM-1100, CM-1400, CR-150HD, Fastar 8, G-8, G8-N, G-9¼, Great Polaris, Polaris, Powerstar 8*, SP6, StarHopper 6 / 8, Super C8*, Super Polaris, Ultima 8, Ultima 9¼, Ultima 11 l Coulter Odyssey 8 / 10.1 / 13.1 / 16 / 17.5 l Criterion Dynamax 8 l Dark Star Telescopes Dobsonian l Discovery EQ l ICS Dobsonian l JMI NGT-6, NGT-12.5, NGT-18, NTT-12, RB-66, RB-10, RB-16 l Losmandy G-11* (pre–2002), GM-8* (pre–2002) l Meade 440, 628, 645, 826, 856, 880, 1060, 1266, 2040, 2045, 2045D, 2080, 2120, DS-10, DS-16, GEM, Lightbridge 10/12/16 Standard/Deluxe, LX, LX3, LX5, LX6, LX10, LX50, LX100, MTS, Premier, Starfinder Dobsonian 6 / 8 / 10 / 12.5 / 16, Starfinder German Equatorial (AC and DC) 6 / 8 / 10 / 16 (AC only) l Obsession 15 / 18 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 36 l Orion Atlas 8 / 10, Argonaut 150mm / 6" GP-DX, Deep Space Explorer 6 / 8 / 10 / 12.5 / 16, EQ-3, EQ-4, R200SS GP, ShortTube 80/90, SkyQuest XT 6 / 8 / 10, SkyView Deluxe EQ, SkyView Pro EQ, Skywatcher 120, StarMax 127, VX102(-ED/-FL) GP, VX120 GP l Parks Astrolight, Superior 8 / 10 / 12.5 / 16 l Questar 3.5 l Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dobsonian l Starsplitter II 12.5-30, Compact 10 / 12.5 / 14.5, Compact II 10 / 12.5 / 15, GEM, Tube 8 / 10 l Stellarvue M1, M4, M6 Stableglide l Sunrise Telescopes Dobsonian l Synta Sky-Watcher EQ3 (EQ3-2) / EQ4 (a few were also known as EQ5) / EQ6 / HEQ5 l Takahashi EM-10, EM-200, NJP, Teegul TG-LML* l Tectron 15 l Tele-Optic (APM) GR-2/-3 DX or TV (Giro II/III)* l Tele Vue Gibraltar, Panoramic, Renaissance-101, Systems Mount, Tele-Pod l Torus Optical 15 l Vixen (Binocular) Fork Mount, Great Polaris, Great Polaris Deluxe, Polaris, Porta Mount, Super Polaris l William Optics EZTouch l Z-Optical Dobsonian (some sizes not verified) l Custom Installations are available for an additional cost.

Read This Before Ordering:

* Some Cave Astrola and William Optics EZTouch installations are priced as Custom Installations.  Installations for the Tele-Optic (APM) GR-2/-3 (Giro II/III) (GR2/GR3), Takahashi Teegul TG-LML (TGLML) and the Tele Vue Gibraltar (post 2002), Panoramic and Tele-Pod (PAN) are $50 higher than the price shown.  Losmandy G-11 and GM-8 mounts must have a flat or groove machined into the shafts.  See the special note regarding Celestron fork mounted C8 telescopes.

Please specify your telescope or mount make, model and year.  Other information may be requested before the order can be filled.  For specific information requirements see document no. 12 in our Document Library.

JMI encoder and hardware systems (encoders and gears or pulleys/belts) are generally optimized to approximately 10000 tics-per-revolution on each axis.  Some older guiding computers (e.g. Sky Wizard 2) are not able to handle the high resolution without encoder errors.  In these cases, please request a low resolution system.  It should be noted that, based on our experience, doubling the total resolution on each axis will place an object 10%-50% closer to the middle of the field of view depending on the quality (orthogonality) of the mount.   Better quality mounts will see less improvement with the high-resolution encoders than those of slightly lower quality.  (Nothing will be able to overcome the defects of a poor quality mount.)


Customer Comments

"The [Custom NGC-microMAX Complete Installation] kit has arrived and I have installed it on my Dob.  Since I had not expected anything to fit perfectly, I was greatly surprised when it did!  The installation took about 20 minutes, as advertised.  Everything works just perfectly.  Even the documentation/manual doesn't leave any open questions.  I truly appreciate your product, but even more I appreciate your service."  (J. J.  12/2014)

"The NGC-MAX kit installed in less than an hour with great instructions.  This is my second NGC-MAX.  [I'm] really impressed with the features it has to offer.  Thanks again for a great product."  (G. E. T.  12/2012)

"You got my product to me faster than your competitor could even return an email.  Turn around time was awesome.  Thank you."  (R. R.  10/2012)

"I am so happy with my purchase.  I was up and running the next day.  It has turned my C14 classic orange scope into a much more fun and easier to us telescope.  The accuracy of the NGC-MAX is amazing and I have smaller GOTO telescopes.  I aligned with a 9mm illuminated reticle eyepiece and the object was always in the FOV of my Meade SW 34mm eyepiece and that is saying a lot with this long focal length telescope."  (B. M.)

"I thought my order (which is a small item - $24 cable) might be ignored.  I am really impressed with the speed of response and the fact that you treat all orders promptly irrespective of dollar amount.  I will definitely be confident of buying more higher dollar value items in the future.  You are certainly one of the top internet based astronomy online shops.  The no-frills pricing - including all shipping costs is very easy to understand."  (J. K.)

"I just installed an encoder kit on my Meade Lightbridge.  Wow!  That was so easy!  That is the best setup I've ever seen.  The three-point mount for the elevation encoder is pure genius!  Thanks alot!"  (P. M.)

"I got lucky and had a clear sky tonight.  I set up, vertical alignment, then aligned on Polaris and Rigel.  I put in a 35mm, 68-degree eyepiece, went to M44.  Almost dead center.  M31, M1, M38, all nearly dead center.  I was even able to find M81-with a 20mm ultrascopic, which only has about 55 degree FOV!!  I was most impressed with the accuracy.  I started to have encoder errors after about an hour, but am not disappointed, since it was -2°F when I was observing!!  The metal on the eyepieces was so cold that it hurt to hold them.  Great products, great service, and you can quote me."  (Mark Norby)

Customer's Equipment:  NGC-microMAX on a 12" Meade Lightbridge
NGC-microMAX Manufacturer's Operating Temperature Spec's:  14ºF to 122ºF

"Thanks for the perfectly packed set.  Today I put the encoders on the EQ-6 mount and made the encoder test in daylight.  You have done a great job and written a very precise and clear manual.  I'm going to recommend JMI to my friends."  (H. T.)

"I am impressed and grateful for the level of support you have shown in this matter.  I am new to astronomy and will not forget your help when considering future purchases, nor will I hesitate to recommend JMI products to others.  (C. R.)

"Thanks for the perfectly packed set.  Today I put the encoders on the EQ-6 mount and made the encoder test in daylight.  You have done a great job and written a very precise and clear manual.  I'm going to recommend JMI to my friends."  (H. T.)

"In September I purchased a set of new cables for my trusty old DSC-MAX digital setting circles.  They have been installed, and my Mathis fork mount is back to full function again.  I would like to take the opportunity of thanking JMI and in particular the staff member (I did not get his name) who was most helpful and was able to figure out exactly what I needed.  If and when the DSC-MAX finally gives up the ghost (I wonder how many are still in use), I will certainly replace it with a JMI product.  Again, thanks for the great service."  (P. A.)

"I installed the [encoder] kit with no problems.  You have a wonderful product and have certainly put a lot of 'out-of-the-ordinary' effort into it.  A lot of value for the money."  (J. B.)

"...just got round to mastering the NGC-MAX computer and had to tell you...how bloody marvelous it has turned out to be.  For a dim-wit like me it has made all the difference in the world...great craftsmanship coupled with clever cybernetics...unequaled elegance..."  (P. P.)

"I have been using an NGC-MAX computer I bought from you in 1994, completely trouble free."  (J. M.)

"[I] just wanted to say thanks so much for a great product. ...very professional looking installation.  [It] looks like it was made with the scope.  [I] can't say enough [about] how nice the installation looks."  (D. B.)

"I can't say enough about how impressed I am with the quality of your work, all the way down to the packaging.  Quite impressive!  ...  Once again, thank you and everyone there at JMI for such high quality workmanship."  (D. W.)

"I am absolutely thrilled with my NGC-MAX on my Losmandy G-11.  I've been into astronomy for about six years, and I'm glad I learned the sky and did my Messier list by star hopping and using manual setting circles.  That was a good internship but I also remember spending a lot of time trying in frustration to manually locate faint objects.  I'm at the point now where I'd rather spend my time looking at deep sky objects, not looking for them.  With the NGC-MAX system, after about two minutes of alignment, I can go right to the objects of interest.  At 55x magnification, every object I've targeted has been dead center in the eyepiece when guided by the NGC-MAX.  What's more, your customer technical support is fantastic."  (R. B.)

"Thanks much for the personal attention you ... have given me in my pursuit of purchasing one of your NGC-MAX systems for my (vintage!) C8.  This personal touch is what really makes a difference in a business and I wanted to let you know that it has really had an influence on my decision regarding from whom I'm buying my stuff (now and in the future).  Kudos to both of you for taking the extra time and having the patience to deal with this ignorant (but eager!) customer.  Best to you all!  :-)"  (J. E.)

"... BTW, I have a JMI computer and high resolution encoders on this (1982 orange tube C-11) scope, which work great....  With all the hype about GPS/GOTO scopes, what is amazing is that I can align in less than one minute — with the new scopes the alignment procedure takes three to five minutes!"  (W. L.)

"I live by London's Heathrow Airport.  Light pollution is quite bad here.  Your NGC-MAX computer has revolutionized my observations!  A few days ago I managed to do some observations with my Astrophysics 105mm refractor and Gibraltar mount with your computer.  I've always wanted to see the dim globular, M56.  Well, the NGC-MAX steered me straight to it.  It was very faint but it was there, dead center...  A VERY HAPPY ASTRONOMER."  (S. C.)

"I just received my encoders with mounting hardware.  Installation was easy with the included manual.  Things fit perfectly into my GM8 mount.  Everything's working fine.  It's always a pleasure purchasing products from JMI.  Just wanted to say thanks for the good service you provide."  (H. Z.)

"I just wanted to say thank you and tell you how pleased I am with the MAX computer I purchased for my Meade LX50.  The installation was very easy and it looks like a factory installed product.   I can now easily find faint fuzzies from my suburban light polluted location!"  (B. M.)

(see previous comments about MOTOFOCUS)  "...I didn't appreciate this unique tool until just recently.  ...  I have had the chance to see just what going to the Max is all about.  I couldn't believe the accuracy of this little box.  I saw thirty-four Messier objects, a number of objects from the NGC list and several double and variable stars, all in one night from my back yard.  I was dumb struck!  This is quite a powerful tool and to top it off, it looks like it came with the scope.  I've been meaning to write you about my satisfaction with the NGC-MAX and that was before I gave it a real hard workout."  (R. L.)

"I wanted to let you know that I received my NGC-MAX computer and I'll be honest, I was scared to turn it on at first.  I had a bad experience with another brand of telescope computer.  No matter what I did, it would not find anything.  The NGC-MAX with all the right setup figures, worked the first time.  This has got to be one of the most user friendly computers made.  Second night out and there is nothing that is visible in the sky that I can't find with it."  I want to THANK YOU for the speedy delivery and "ONE FINE COMPUTER."  (G. T.)

"I checked them all out...  The MAX is the only one I ever came across that can truthfully claim to come as close to emulating GO-TO capability.  It's simply the best in the market.  Now that's a genuine customer statement.  It was a pleasure doing business again with you...  Great products, great customer service, great company, great thank you."  (H. G. G.)

"I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with my new NGC-MAX...  I found it quite user friendly...  Your encoder covers match my Ultima 8 so well that my NGC-MAX looks more like original factory equipment than a retrofit."  (J. K.)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q. I see both "NGC" and "MAX" used to refer to your Digital Setting Circles.  What is the difference?
A. NGC stands for Next Generation Computer.  When we added the SGT-MAX (SGT means Software Guided Telescope) it obviously did not have NGC anywhere in the name.  We started to call them "MAX" computers because that was a common part of all of the computer names and part numbers.   NGC and MAX, however, are mostly interchangeable when referring to our computerized systems for finding astronomical objects.
   
Q. Does JMI make an encoder kit for my telescope?
A. JMI builds encoder systems for over 100 telescopes.  If your scope is made by a major telescope manufacturer such as Celestron, Meade, Orion and other well known companies, you can count on it.  We do not put encoders on mounts that are too light weight to deliver the accuracy and quality that we demand.  To do so would be cheating you, the customer.   See the list of telescopes and mounts we outfit.
   
Q. I built my own telescope.  Can I put JMI encoders on it?
A. We have manufactured custom installations for hundreds of homebuilt scopes and we have standard installations for many older, out of production telescopes like the Cave Astrola and the Meade DS-10 and DS-16 series.  For a custom installation we will need certain information and possibly a few pictures.  After we receive this information we can let you know 1) if we can do the job, 2) approximately how long it will take and 3) the price.
   
Q. Which "MAX" computer is right for me?
A. It depends on what you want to do.  You should examine several factors before investing in "Digital Setting Circles."  Consider the following questions while you browse the descriptions for the NGC-microMAX, NGC-MAX, NGC-superMAX or SGT-MAX and the Computer Comparison Chart:

1) What functions do you want?  Are you looking for a simple electronic substitute for mechanical setting circles, such as the NGC-microMAX or do you want instant access to thousands of objects as with the NGC-MAX or NGC-superMAX?   Would you like the option of having the computer identify objects for you?

2)  How much data do you really need?   Is your telescope's aperture large enough to show everything in the computer's database?  Will you be purchasing a larger telescope in the future?

3)  Do you want to link your telescope with a Personal Computer now or in the future?  Would you like to have a larger database than is available with one of the standalone computers?  Would you like to see where your telescope is pointing on a realistic star background?  The Software Guided Telescope (SGT-MAX) system may be for you.

4)  Considering what equipment and knowledge you want to have five years from now, will you still be satisfied with your choice?
   
Q. Can I use a MAX computer either by itself or with a Personal Computer depending on my preference at the time?
A. Yes.  The SGT-MAX system includes a serial interface box called a BBOX.  This interface is necessary for connecting with the PC and planetarium software.  The NGC-MAX has a built-in interface that acts just like a BBOX.  This allows you to use the NGC-MAX as a stand-alone computer or, with an optional serial cable, you can hook it up to your PC.   In other words, for a PC only connection you can purchase the cheaper SGT-MAX system.  For both stand-alone and PC connections you will need to purchase an NGC-MAX system plus the optional Serial Cable.
   
Q. All these guiding computers look the same.  Why are JMI products better?
A. This is a fair question when you consider the fact that JMI MAX computer systems are usually a bit more expensive than similar systems sold by other companies.  Here is a list of the advantages of JMI computers over the competition's:
   
l The price includes everything except shipping.
l Installation is easier, with no drilling or tapping.
l All parts are pre-assembled as much as possible before shipping.
l We include all tools needed for assembly, except a screwdriver.
l Hardware is customized for your mount.  We do not sell confusing "one model fits all" installations.
l Better quality and appearance.
l Most encoder assemblies have protecting covers.
l Every computer comes with a computer holder.
l Computers are shipped with a battery installed and tested.
l Every system is shipped in a die-cut foam box to protect your investment.
l In most cases, installation does not interfere with movement and storage of the telescope.
l Encoder resolution is optimized between accuracy and speed of telescope movement.
l Phone connectors allow easy removal of encoder cables and protects the encoders from damage.
l A 30-day money-back, satisfaction guarantee is part of every purchase from JMI (includes a 15% restocking fee).
l ROM upgrades are readily available.
l A "How to Use" video comes with each computer.
l Free after-purchase support is available from the most knowledgeable people in the industry.
 
Remember, you usually get what you pay for.
   
Q. Is there anything I can do to increase the pointing accuracy of my MAX Computer?
A. One thing that often increases the pointing accuracy is a small adjustment in the initial telescope position.  Depending on the setting of your NGC computer you will see a prompt such as DEC=0 or VERTICAL.  The next time you do this initial setting, try moving the optical tube assembly slightly off the mark (a few thousandths of an inch) and complete the alignment to see how well the computer guides to different objects.  Next, try the initial setting slightly in the other direction and test again.  If you see an improvement in one direction, try several more adjustments in that direction until you find the best position.  Mark the new spot for DEC=0/VERTICAL and use it for all future alignments.  It should be noted that this may improve the performance without any change in the warp factor.

When doing alignments, make sure you align the star in the middle of the field of view.  A higher power eyepiece may help.  With a few simple tricks you could see a marked improvement in guiding to objects in all areas of the sky.  Keep in mind that there are several things that can affect the ability to get a good alignment, such as the orthogonality of the telescope.  Check the documents Diagnosing MAX Computer Problems (document 3) and The Importance of the Initial NGC Alignment (document 15) in our Document Library for more information.
   
Q. My MAX computer doesn't seem to be working right.  What should I do before calling JMI?
A. Check out the troubleshooting guides in our Document Library.
   
Q. Do your MAX computers move the telescope?
A. Our standalone units are not "Go-To" systems.  Some telescopes, such as the LX200, can be controlled using the SGT-MAX with TheSky software.
   
Q. Can I power the NGC-MAX from an external source?
A. Yes.  The NGC-MAX can be powered from a DC power supply in the 7-volt to 14-volt range.  The power can be fed in through one of the connectors or hard wired to the battery connector.  See the Max Computer Operator's Guide (document 13) in our Document Library for details.
   
Q. Do you have a downloadable version of your MAX computer database listings?
A. Yes and No.  In our Document Library the NGC-MAX database (Messier, Non-Stellar and Star catalogs only) is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format (document 30).  It is also available as comma delimited HTML pages which can be copied and imported into almost any document or database (documents 31 through 33).  Unfortunately the NGC-miniMAX cannot be downloaded from our site.  Please see the memo regarding the NGC-miniMAX database (document 34) in our Document Library.  The NGC-microMAX database (Star catalog only) is available in PDF format (document 41) and comma delimited format (document 42).