The Dobsonian telescope isn’t complete unless you have a tracking platform. These platforms will you uninterrupted viewing for an hour before needing to reset which takes mere seconds. Unlike other platform makers I use two drive motors which give you more flexibility in using other scopes with the platform. Sure it could work well with only one motor drive but if you’re like me I always end up putting other scopes on it whose center of gravity is not exactly what the platform was designed for. If the center of gravity is off enough a single drive motor can slip if the center of gravity is displaced too much. The bearing faces will now be laminate protected. I’m the only platform maker with the advantage of 2 motors.
Baltic birch construction.
High quality ¾ inch Baltic birch plywood is used on the platform is used for the bearings and ground board. The platform is finished in polyurethane or with an optional dark stain polyurethane finish. Bearing surfaces are laminated to take greater abuse. Each platform is custom made for your scope and latitude, not a standard model. All stainless or brass hardware and ball bearings. The drive shafts have a fine knurling on the drive shaft for extra friction but not enough to score the laminate.
-Quiet dual AC timing motors.
AC timing motors are quiet, vibration free and not expensive. They can be driven with house current or driven with an inexpensive inverter.
-One hour tracking, instant reset.
The platform tracks for at least an hour and then stops without running off the rollers. Resetting couldn’t be simpler. The drive rollers are smooth so you just push it back to the start position which takes only seconds. It doesn’t get any simpler.
·Solid vibration free support.
The ground board and motors are all directly under the bearing sectors for a very stable vibration free platform. There is no danger of the scope tipping over.
-Every inch of additional height can be significant so every effort is made to keep the platform as low as possible (5 inches typical)..
·Laser polar alignment fixture included free with platform (but not the laser).
·Leveling foot on south leg.
·Economically priced. Check around and compare price, features and quality.
Platforms are custom made,
$150 down payment with order; the remainder due before shipment.
Delivery: 4 to 6 weeks subject to availability.
Contact by email with your shipping address and info on form below is required.
Information sheet on your scope is required for ordering along with an email with shipping address:
Note: Feet spacing is not the radius!
The price for this year is $475 due to the price increase of Baltic Birch. This is for scopes up to 18 inch feet separation, larger sizes on request. I will add to my waiting list starting April 1st from emails in order as received to be fair to all. Not orders just on my list.
If you want to varnish or stain it yourself I’ll be glad to take off $20 the price.
Since I had issues getting synchronous motors I will offer platforms with stepper motors which should be more available. I’ve built a prototype that I worked out the issues with stepper noise and will be selling it and post the review. Steppers are a more expensive option (525) but the driver can be controlled by an Arduino and I’ve heard it can control an auto-guider. I know nothing about Arduino but steppers are something folks are interested in. You could even wire in a hand paddle control to the 555 pulse generator for fast and slow. Here is my prototype, not much different except the motors are in the back.
Dark stained finish $80
A check or money order is the preferred payment method, with PayPal add 3%. Platforms are custom orders so a non-refundable $150 is required. There is also a packing charge of up to $30 as well as shipping charges through UPS or Fedex. Orders for platforms are not accepted November through March. Shipment is 4 to 6 weeks but is subject to availability of parts. I only build a limited number per month so over that number will be on a waiting list.
Ed Jones 1071 Terrydel Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245 513-498-5412 firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent customer said:”That platform you built for me is fantastic. It held Saturn in the center of my 9mm eyepiece for the entire time I was shooting pics. Maybe 15 minutes. It was awesome!”
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