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Re: Making An Equatorial Platform For A Dobsonian

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Posted by Don Crowley/">Don Crowley on June 29, 1999 11:48:29 UTC

: : : I have seen the price of equatorial platforms and have : : now concluded I should make one myself. Does anybody : : have an idea where I should start or find plans? Has : : anyone built one and canyou give any hints or ideas? : : Please let me know. : : Thanks, Dan. adbg3dr@hotmail.com

: : Hey There!!

: You might try the ATM pages. The address is... : www.atmpage.com/platform.html

: I followed the plans (loosely) and came up with a fine fisrt attempt. I quickly figured out that one should really make the bearings out of metal or something that doesn't give. ( version 2.0 will be 1" plexiglass) I used the better pressboard, and while it does work, it is susceptable to indenting where the cone bearings sit on the ball bearings. : For simple observing, it's wonderful, but my first version is not good enough for astrophotagraphy : You';ll also need to figure out how to drive it. I got my stepper motor and controller from H&R at 1-800-848-8001. The linkage is the most difficult, so take some time with that. I'll be hapy to answer questions.

I've had pretty good luck with the platform that I built. (My first attempt was a disaster - too flimsy.) It took a while to come up with the design, but it works well. I had a few sealed bearings lying around - I used scrap 3/4" plywood. Bought a 1 rpm motor from Edmund Scientific - connected it to a 1/4 - 20threaded rod drive mechanism. Total cost: $50. I'm basically cheap so I'm satisfied.

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