Equatorial platform: any experiences?

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In summary, the equatorial platform claims to give you an hour of tracking, but is very expensive and may not be worth the money.
  • #1

sophiecentaur

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I was trawling the net and came across an equatorial platform that you can put a Dobsonian on. It claims to give you about an hour of tracking and then you have to start again.
The geometry of it looks clever as you never need to be actually tilting the Dobs base by more than a few degrees.
The firm seems to have stopped trading so they clearly weren't selling enough of the platforms (which were fairly expensive). Have any PFstronomers ever used one or owned one?
 
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  • #2
sophiecentaur said:
I was trawling the net and came across an equatorial platform that you can put a Dobsonian on. It claims to give you about an hour of tracking and then you have to start again.
The geometry of it looks clever as you never need to be actually tilting the Dobs base by more than a few degrees.

Yes, it's being tilted to an angle that is the same as your latitude and you are doing a rough polar alignment
you dobbo isn't really a dobbo any more, now its a scope on a fork mounted equatorial mount

I could do a similar thing with my fork mounted Al/Az mount scope. There are wedge units available to make it an equatorial mount
here's a www pic of the scope I have on its standard mount ...

ImageGen.ashx?image=%2Fmedia%2F647864%2F11074_CPC_925_GPS_1.jpg
and here's the wedge for it that goes between the base of the mount and the top of the tripod ...

C93664-2T.gif


to give the final result of ...

CELESTRON_CPC_925_HD_WEDGE.png

you could always build your own wedge, not horrifically difficult if your are mechanically minded and have a reasonable workshop or access to oneDave
 
  • #3
The equatorial platform I refer to is not like that at all . I did consider doing the 'obvious' myself and concluded that the Dob's base would fall over unless it was bolted down and the azimuth bearing would be subjected to an asymmetrical load.
This mount is Actively Driven and follows a star position for about an hour. It tilts by only about 5 degrees. If you look at the link you will see it holding massive Dobs models. It doesn't need to tilt much because it only provides 'correction' and the Dobs bearing operates as it was designed.
[Actually, I gave the wrong link. There seem to be two companies; the US one seems to be functioning still but the UK one has stopped selling them. - too cheap to be making a profit, probably]
 
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  • #4
sophiecentaur said:
This mount is Actively Driven and follows a star position for about an hour. It tilts by only about 5 degrees. If you look at the link you will see it holding massive Dobs models. It doesn't need to tilt much because it only provides 'correction' and the Dobs bearing operates as it was designed.

yeah OK, after looking at this page ...
http://www.equatorialplatforms.com/about.our.platforms.shtml

I see what they are doing ... interesting ideaDave
 
  • #5
It looks an expensive system and hardly worth it for a 'little' 8" Dobs. An ordinary heavy duty EQ mount would only cost a few hundred quid with Go-to thrown in.
The U.K. Site for those platforms gives a simple description of the principle. The back and front of the platform move in different diameter (counter rotating?) circles to keep the scope locked on target.
Some nifty sums there, I think.
 

1. What is an equatorial platform?

An equatorial platform is a device used to align a telescope with the Earth's axis of rotation. It allows the telescope to track objects in the sky as they move, providing a stable platform for viewing and imaging.

2. How does an equatorial platform work?

Equatorial platforms work by using an adjustable platform that is mounted on an equatorial mount. The platform is aligned with the Earth's axis of rotation, and the telescope is then mounted on top. The platform slowly rotates, compensating for the Earth's rotation, allowing the telescope to track objects in the sky.

3. What are the benefits of using an equatorial platform?

An equatorial platform allows for more accurate and longer observations of celestial objects. It eliminates the need for constant manual adjustments to compensate for the Earth's rotation, making it easier to track objects and capture high-quality images.

4. Can an equatorial platform be used with any telescope?

Yes, equatorial platforms can be used with most types of telescopes, including refracting, reflecting, and catadioptric telescopes. However, the platform must be compatible with the telescope's mount and weight capacity.

5. Are there different types of equatorial platforms?

Yes, there are various types of equatorial platforms available, including manual and motorized platforms. Manual platforms require the user to adjust the rotation manually, while motorized platforms use a motor to rotate the platform automatically. There are also different sizes and weight capacities available to accommodate different telescopes.

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