These photos show the equatiorial platform for my 18-inch Dobsonian telescope. The hardware, stepper motor, electronics, and basic design instructions were purchased from TL Systems. To make the platform as sturdy as possible, I modified it by using a wooden wedge to set the roller bearings at an angle 41 degrees, my approximate latitude here in southern Connecticut. However, I have been able to use it in northern Vermont, at a latitude of 45 degrees, by propping up the north end of the platform with some wooden wedges.
|The equatiorial platform provides continuous tracking for 50 or 60 minutes.|
|The ground board of the platform has a stepper motor and roller bearings tilted at 41 degrees, the latitude of my location.|
|Two segments on a circle on the base represent the "polar axis." The one on the left rides on a roller bearing, and the one on the right is driven by the stepper motor.|
|The handbox has a dial to adjust the tracking rate, and a toggle switch for panning east or west.|
|The drive wheel of the stepper motor turns the polar axis segment, which is covered with a strip of leather that provides smooth movement.|