Customized Platforms

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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.   A second axis platform can be added designed for astrophotography utilizing ST-4 autoguider port. The geared down second axis motor raises or lowers the south pad slowly to allow north/south correction and a variable frequency controller for east/west correction.

Features:
·Maple and/or 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.

-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.   A 12 volt inverter modified for fast/slow tracking for astrophotography is available.

-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.

-Platform kits:  Shipping a platform can be a major expense and is due mainly to the plywood top and bottom boards weight.  So to save money I am offering a platform kit which is everything in a standard platform except the plywood which you can get locally.  It comes with instructions, a CAD layout and bottom and hardware.  You just cut out the plywood, attach the bearings and motors, wire up the motors and you’re good to go.

ST-4 port. Package:   If you are into astrophotography this option has an ST-4 port for an autoguider that controls the AC motors, a variable AC motor control and  a second axis motor.

-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.
·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.

Information sheet on your scope is needed for ordering:

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Pricing

Platform Kit (international only)                 $370

All Platforms                                                       $400                                                                     (scopes 12 inch and under,  for larger call)

Add ons:

Dark stained finish                                             $80

ST-4 port AP package                                       $320

Please call between 9 am and 7 pm to place orders 513-943-4036. 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 mid March. Shipment is 4 to 6 weeks but is subject to availability of parts.

The 2017 price of smaller platforms has gone up due to  AC motor price increases.

 A lot of folks seemed confused with the rocker box COG.  It is simple to find by laying it on its side and balancing the rocker box and ground board on a stick or broom handle (without the OTA)  then measuring to ground.
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Ed Jones   1071 Terrydel Lane, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245  513-943-4036       opticsed@gmail.com

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!”

 I just bought an inverter at Walmart for only $9.95!  It was a bit noisy because of an internal fan but I opened the case and simply unplugged the fan.  It won’t be using anywhere near the 120 watts.  Here’s the link: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Everstart-120w-Slm-Inv/109463375   Mine looked slightly different.

 

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