EQ Platform

 
EQ Platorm

Dobsonian telescopes are a thing of beauty.  Very inexpensive, relatively lightweight for their size, easy to set up, and they collect lots of light!  All of this light is great because it helps you see far more than you could with the naked eye and even far more than is visible with a small refractor.  With this affordability is a shortcoming though, they typically are not made to track the objects you are viewing in the sky.  It's a shame, because you finally get focused, get your target centered, you go grab your friend to have a peek into your little slice of the universe!  They look into the eyepiece and say, there's nothing there.  That's because the scope is standing still while the earth is rotating and your view is constantly changing.  To counteract the earth's movement, you need to build a platform that rotates in the opposite direction of the earth.  In comes the EQ Platform.  The images on the right share my homemade EQ Platform designed in Solidworks and fabricated by 3d printing all of the structural joints and linking them with light weight sturdy aluminum structures.  The whole platform is then driven with a variable speed stepper motor to precisely counteract the earth's rotation.  This means the next time you call your friend over to peek into your eyepiece, the target will still be there!

© 2016 by JDS Astro