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Last Updated: 17 October 2004
How do I finish the job!? I see the electronics are complete and full featured. How do I put this thing on MY scope?
The answer is, you have 2 options:
DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE Retrofit
If you already own a dobsonian telescope whether it be a 12 or the monster 36 we offer a kit for you that is complete and easy to install. The kit includes the ServoCAT, the StellarCAT Handpad, two deluxe servo/gearboxes, manual operation parts, and all required hardware and cabling. Everything you need to make the scope track smoothly and GOTO powerfully and accurately! Installation times are typically 4 or 5 hours complete from start to finish and the installation is reversible - if for some reason you choose to remove it (why oh why would you!?) it can be done with very little impact to the scope. Manual operation is a breeze as well - flip a toggle clamp (accessible OUTSIDE the scope) and you are back to the standard feel of the scope. Flip it back and you are back tracking again! See the FAQs page for more info on dobsonian kits.
Dont want to mess with the installation - we offer an installation service here in Arizona - send us your rocker and we will install everything as possible for $350 ($450 on the 25). This needs to be scheduled in and typically takes 7 days to complete. We also have certified installers in California, North Carolina, and Texas! If bringing your scope to Arizona we do the complete install AND offer you the use of our dark skies for as long as you like! [You can also use our 20" scope for one night free!]
The ServoCAT is also available from the following fine telescope manufacturers:
SDM Telescopes (Australia)
Normand Fullum Telescopes
J P Astrocraft Telescopes
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GearBox from StellarCAT
We now offer a complete High Grade Servo motor gearbox arrangement for those wishing to reduce the amount of work (and research) required. This unit, pictured on the Pictures page, provides over 1,000 oz-in of torque at up to 20 RPM. It is strong and will power anything for the most part up to and including those 30+ monsters. This is over 20,000 oz-in of torque at the axis (more than the torque of a V6 engine). It WILL slip if overloaded, intentionally, so no gearbox harm can come of excessive loads (high winds for example). Contact us for more details.
Do iT YouRseLf!
Some people are Do it yourself tinkerers (if this can be called tinkering!). Buy the electronics (save a little by ordering the standard non Plug-n-Play unit if desired) and the standard motors shown on the Servo products page. These motors when geared at ~7000:1 will provide 6 degr/sec... this is FAST on a large scope. Almost scarey on a very large scope. The gearing can be spur gears, belts, worm gears, and the like. The example shown on the pictures page uses worms and a cable drive (simple!) to the axis (trunion and ground board). ith some time, work, and effort. You will have to do some research in order to come up with the right mechanics to finish the job. You will need a source for gearing - whether it be gearboxes, gears, belts, etc. I have listed some herein. You will need to think of how to attach your gearing. Bearings are highly recommended and not that expensive for very good quality. If you want to be able to free up the axis (a clutch of some sort) you will need to consider this. Some have cable drives with tension on the cable allowing slip for manual operation (this works quite well), some have real clutches, some use pressure plates as in Beyers worm gears. And then with the slew rates possible - is there really a need to de-clutch at all!?
Equatorial Mount with Worm Gears
These systems require a geared motor to attach to the worm gear provided in the mount. Typical systems have somewhere around 180 teeth (180:1 gear ratio) or ~360 teeth (360:1). We can supply a Servo Motor with a 60:1 gearbox that will handle these jobs. It is ~3.8 in length and mounts using 3 4-40 screws. You would need to provide the coupling (McMaster Carr again, $10-25 each) from the 3/16 motor shaft (0.75 length) to the worm shaft. Spacers and/or a bracket would have to be used to mount the motor body. This system will provide a speed of about 6 degr/sec if 180 tooth and slightly more than 1/2 this if a 360 tooth. Contact StellarCAT for more info.
For other EQ mounts contact StellarCAT.
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