The Craftmans Shop > General Crafts

Bits for a telescope mount.

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John Hill:

This is an altitude and azimuth mount I made for my telescope some time ago.  Very good for just looking across the bay and around the neighbourhood and for showing people interesting parts of the night sky.  It is of course much quicker to set up than my equatorial mount which is required for serious astromical activities.

The bits were made before I had a lathe so there was a lot of hacksaw work and the results are not quite as 'true' as one might like!

This is the azimuth slow motion mechanism,  the mount runs on balls in a simple ball race arrangement so it is really easy to turn.  The drive wires are stainless steel fishing trace which are kept under quite high tension by a spring.  The idlers are salvaged from old printer equipment where they were ribbon guides, nice bearings and ideal for the job.

The altitude drive is a similar arrangement.

Now that I have a lathe I should make worm and wheel drives for each of these.

SPiN Racing:
Wow thats really nice!

A friend wants me to make him a Equatorial mount one of these weekends... but its far from a simple toss together thing. I will find a link to the instructions....

SPiN Racing:
Here is that mount my friend wants me to whip out for him.

Didnt know if its good or bad.. im not up to speed on astronomy items.

I know different friend of mine bought a telescope.. one that was like 18 or 24 inches across. one of those with mirrors. Thing was 25K USD when he bought it. And he was claiming it was a steal for the scope. About 6 months later he bought a mount system for it that had a laptop and 4 deep cycle batteries. The whole kit and kaboodle came with big black shipping cases.

He set it up and was showing me features on the face of the moon, and describing specific mountain ranges on the moon that you could see clearly. It was really pretty amazing.

He now lives in Georgia, and has a nice sized planatarium he built in his back yard that he has scout troops come to along with astronomy clubs etc. I am not sure what all he does.. but its big enough to earn money from it.

I would love to get a decent telescope... but sadly we cant even see the stars from all the light where we live.  :(

John Hill:
An 18-24" Newtonain?  Now that really would be a light bucket!

Astronomy seems to be an endless field should you get in to it,  I have just that 120mm refractor which is quite nice for looking around without actually making a study of it.  I have seen the rings of Saturn, several other planets and some of their moons with it.

Light pollution is a worldwide problem nowadays for sky watchers  but really you dont have to go far to escape most of it, even going into the centre of a sizeable city park can make a difference, assuming of course you live in a city where such a venture would be prudent!


I 'won' this Orion 8" reflector on fleabay, it's a smashing bit of kit with which i've observed jupiter with three of her moons, almost blinded myself the first time I looked at the moon without the filter fitted (there was a filter provided that simply said 'Moon' and I didn't know what it was for  :bang: )

Much better viewing the moon with it fitted!!!!

We're just coming in to the best time of year for star gazing with (hopefully) plenty of clear, cloudless nights to gaze skywards  :thumbup:

Cheers, John  :beer:


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