Paramount Taurus 400

Equatorial forks mean uninterrupted horizon-to-horizon imaging.

Click here to find out why the Paramount Taurus™ might be an ideal solution for your observatory.  For an interesting Sky & Telescope magazine article describing how astronomers are utilizing the Taurus’ equatorial-fork design, click here.

Hardware Specifications

  • No meridian flips or dangling counterweights
  • Tracks objects up to six (6) hours beyond meridian
  • Extremely stable equatorial fork design
  • 150 pound (68 kg) total instrument capacity
  • Compatible with Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes and truss OTAs up to 17-inches
  • 20 arcseconds or less standard pointing accuracy
  • 10 arcseconds or less with optional on-axis encoders (OAE)
  • Optional on-axis encoders deliver sub-0.1 arcsecond resolution for optimal performance
  • Belt-driven gears with spring loaded worm to gear interface results in virtually zero backlash
  • Integrated azimuth and elevation polar-alignment adjustments
  • Slews at 3.5 degrees per second in both axes
  • Exceptionally comfortable access to eyepieces
  • All standard electronics and through-the-mount-wiring are enclosed inside the mount
  • Ample space for additional through-the-mount and fork-routed cabling
  • Power supply and PC to mount cabling included

Software SpecificationsParamount MYT Software Suite

  • Includes the Paramount Software Suite (featuring TheSky™ Imaging edition, Dome Control, and more).  The USB thumb drive comes with installers that are compatible with macOS, Windows and Linux (ARM32, ARM64, and x86_64 architectures).
  • Software features ProTrack™, Direct Guide™ (guider cable free autoguiding), TPoint Super Model™,
    All Sky Image Link™, Closed Loop Slew, @Focus™ automated focus, periodic error curve fitting,
    permanent periodic error correction, live stacking, dithering and more.
  • The Multi-OS Plus module lets you install and use TheSky on all your computers and operating systems while maintaining TheSky’s familiar look and feel.


The Paramount Taurus 400 Permanent Pier and OTA are sold separately.  We can help you determine the optimal height of the pier for your setup.




Paramount's equipped with on-axis absolute encoders know where they are at all times.  Paramount's with incremental encoders know only how far they have moved since they were initialized using a nightly process called homing..

The crucial additional difference is that the on-axis absolute encoders are fitted directly to the mount axes themselves, bypassing the worm drives.  Paramount's with incremental encoders are fitted to the worms instead, which means that with incremental encoders alone, periodic errors in the worm drive show up in the tracking.

These mounts must be calibrated and corrected using a process called periodic error correction (PEC), which predicts the repeatable error and removes it.  TheSky includes exceptional PEC calibration.

For mounts with incremental encoders, homing re-zeros the encoders when precise sensors on each of the axes are reached. From then on, the incremental encoders are in effect delivering absolute readings.

However, the crucial additional difference remains, namely that the encoder system is behind the worm drive, and periodic error correction is required to get the best out of the RA tracking.

Note that high-resolution on-axis absolute encoder technology is more expensive than using incremental encoders.

All gear-driven Paramounts are equipped with incremental encoders. For the Paramount ME II and the Paramount Taurus 400 models, we offer optional on-axis absolute encoders.

We’re often asked about whether on-axis absolute encoders are required for superior pointing and tracking performance. The short answer is “no.”

Those who purchase our ME II or Taurus 400 mounts for their observatory are usually advanced amateur or professional astronomers — and the vast majority of them opt out of ordering the on-axis absolute encoders.

While on-axis encoders are expensive, that’s not why over 85% of ME II and Taurus 400 buyers decline to use them.

Paramounts have exceptionally small and consistent periodic error.  After applying a one-time software-based periodic error correction procedure, the corrected periodic error becomes negligible.

And, while on-axis absolute encoders permit the mount to always know where it is at all times, Paramounts’ with incremental encoders offer a process called homing that allows them to always know where they are, until they are turned off.  The next night, power on, issue the find home command, and your incremental encoder-based mount is ready to start observing.

Over the years we’ve found that many who ask us about on-axis encoders have basic misunderstandings about what they can and cannot do.

For example, many believe that a mount with on-axis encoders is all that’s needed to have exceptional pointing and tracking when nothing could be further from the truth. All telescopes have inherent errors —for example, mechanical and optical misalignments, and telescope flexure. (For details about that, please visit our TPoint™ page.)

Paramounts use TheSky and TPoint to calibrate the mount + telescope + equipment to create a pointing model.  The pointing model automatically corrects these both pointing and tracking errors (we call that ProTrack™). TPoint is the essential ingredient of TheSky™ that makes the Paramount’s outstanding pointing and tracking possible.

If we were to one day offer on-axis encoders for our smaller gear-driven Paramounts, we’ll be sure to keep them optional so that you will not be forced to pay for capabilities you may not need or want.

With that said, the on-axis absolute encoders offered for the Paramount ME II or Taurus 400 are the highest quality available and provide exceptional performance.

See the Paramount Lubrication Video for details how to lubricate gear-driven Paramount mounts.  (Log in required.)


Astronomers have long known about the benefits of the equatorial-fork mounts. If you own a fixed observatory, you might want to consider a Paramount Taurus™ 400 mount.

The Paramount Taurus™ is ideal for advanced or professional astronomers, STEM administrators, school system, university, or government research facilities that are involved with astrophotography.  Our TPoint™ telescope modeling assures extreme pointing accuracy while ProTrack™ assisted tracking assures pinpoint stars with long exposures.

The included counterweight system corrects imbalances resulting from asymmetries in the optical tube, or it not being perfectly centered between the fork tines.

The Taurus’s optional Scope Rail Set makes changing imaging-train equipment a breeze because it lets you easily move your system’s weight fore and aft along the optical axis.

Should you wish to configure it for visual use, its equatorial-fork design provides exceptionally comfortable access to eyepieces.

The Taurus is assembled from five separate components, each weighing less than 100 pounds (45 kg), making it the most easily deployable mount in its class. A two-person team can fully assemble the Paramount Taurus™ in about one hour.

For more detailed information, please see the Specifications tab above.

Purchase the Paramount Taurus™ 400 for your 0.4 m/17-inch class OTA today! Arrives standard with motor-based off-axis encoders; on-axis, absolute encoders are available as an option.

The telescopes pictured with the Paramount Taurus sold separately.

Additional information

Weight 150 lbs
Dimensions 36 × 36 × 16 in

Motor-based encoders, On-axis absolute encoders

Paramount Taurus Specifications

Paramount Taurus Documentation

See also:


Paramount Taurus Technical Drawings

Enhance your Paramount Taurus 400 experience.

Superior accessories made by Software Bisque for your Paramount mount