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ADVICE NEEDED FOR EQUATORIAL PLATFORM FOR DOB

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#1 drexelpbp

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:57 PM

I'd like to get an equatorial Platform for my Orion Intelliscope XTi 8.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

What kind of things should I be looking for?

The products from Round Table Platforms seem to be affordable.Does anybody have any experience with these products.

Thanks

Gary

#2 Trombone

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:03 PM

Do a search on roundtable... lots of info on a great product.

#3 John Wunderlin

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:37 PM

The products from Round Table Platforms seem to be affordable.Does anybody have any experience with these products.


I bought an early model a couple of years ago. Fit and finish is perfect. Brian's a great guy. Highly recommended. You also may want to check a post I made recently about a method of using an EQ Platform with the COL. It's much better than turning off the clock in the COL, IMO.

#4 paul hart

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:42 AM

I have an early Roundtable. Excellent product.

#5 sirzeusor

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:46 PM

i litteraly just recieved a dob tracker 1 from north star systems for my 10" dob
i couldnt see paying upwards of $1000.00 for a few pieces of wood and a motor attached.
i got it running now, but the skies are cloudy for the next few days so i wont be able to report on its stability, but from what i can tell, its working, moving and its fairly smooth.
i can see some modifications i will make to it ( i work in a machine shop ) but other then that, 1 9v battery has been running for over an hr now, and its doing the job

as soon as i get some clear skies, i will report back on its performance tracking Saturn, thats the first target for me.

but the total cost of this unit was about $300.00
and the service and coorespondence has been great so far, and it took 7 days to get here custom made and custom painted as per my request.

if i can figure out how to post a picture of it here, i will

#6 sirzeusor

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:04 PM

ok lets try some pics.....excuse my show off cat that wouldnt move from the window, there was a squirrel outside....

Platform Pic 1
Platform Pic 2
Platform Pic 3
Platform Pic 4
Hope this helps a bit.

#7 Deep13

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 10:56 PM

Funny you should ask. I have the medium size model. I got it during the winter and gave it its first real use last night at the Cherry Springs (PA) Star Party. I use a 12.5" 80 lb. 6 ft.-tall-at-zenith Dob. It ran perfectly all night. It tracks for about an hour before needing to be re-set. During that time it had no trouble at all keeping up with object near the ecliptic at high power. It ran on the same 9v battery all night. There's nothing like taking apart a globular core at high power while the EQ platform keeps the object centered.

Do you know how a moving platform will effect your digital setting circles?

#8 greenough1

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

Can you provide a link to the company you purchased from? Googling the info you provided does not return equitorial platorm info. Thanks, jeff

#9 ScottAz

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:30 PM

I have TWO 28" round table platforms for my Obsession (different latitudes) and they perform flawlessly. Brian Reed is great to deal with and his products work and look great. Here's a link: RTP. :D

#10 sirzeusor

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

site isnt elaborate
but it works well
once you recieve it, youll quickly reverse engineer it, or make some improvements, or modifications to suit your needs.
pretty happy overall , compared to the others of 3x more
NorthStarSyatems
My advice....call the owner at the phone number, he will tell you what you need, after you tell him what you are trying to attempt.. simply, and hes a nice guy.
it will be customized for your location, so if you plan on moving, take that into consideration, because you will have to shim, or alter it a bit, to adjust it for the change in latitude, but they all are like that, so its a given at purchase.
at around $300.00....its a bargin

#11 sirzeusor

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:19 PM

ps, i am not the owner, or William Shatner

:bow:

#12 Deep13

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 03:01 PM

Will an EQ platform screw up you digital setting circles?

#13 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 03:10 PM

No. Most current DSCs have a way to turn off the sidereal clock as well as a reset platform function.

#14 John Wunderlin

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:04 PM

Or turn off the platform, reset the platform and find your object. When you're ready for the next object, turn off and reset the platform. That way you don't have to fiddle with turning on/off the sidereal clock and you only have to do one alignment for the evening.

#15 sirzeusor

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:19 PM

Well i used my Platform a few nights ago.
the learning curve on it was simple, yet a little aggravating at first.
i needed to go out and buy a good compass , so i could find north ( that is vital!!)
well after going to 4 different stores, price range from $5.00 to $25.00....none of them pointed north, there all junk.
this may sound strange, but i went to the dollar general store to get soap, and saw one in the bin, bought it for a goof, and velcroed it to the base, and WHAM, im north
now if the skies would clear, i could retest....but so far so good....

what i already did, and i do this wiht anything i buy , no matter what it is, is modify it a bit
for example....the bearings that the platform slide on were hand machined plastic, with a 1/4-20 threaded rod, and a plastic acorn nut on it....
it wobbled, i build machines for a living, unacceptable, i replaced the whole bracket with an aluminum angle bracket, and 3 roller bearings with the same diameter, now were talking smooth baby! ( they were in the junk bin, otherwise, there like 6 bucks each....so no huge investment.

as of now, i got to finish the bracket at work tomorrow durring lunch break on the laithe, that way i can get a precise boar, then come home re-mount in like 30 seconds, and see how much better its going to track.
im pretty confident....

keep ya posted..................... :rainbow:

#16 dmcrane

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

Has anyone been able to compare Round Table to North Star Systems? The astrophotos look better at Round Table's website.

#17 vcehoa

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:00 AM

I too have been looking at the North Star platform. I was initially attracted by its low price, and was about to order one, but I backed off after reading a number of strongly worded negative comments about the North Star unit in the yahoo eqplatforms forum.

For an example, see:

tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/eqplatforms/message/4241

The complaints relate to poor design, construction and materials used. Sirzeusor's comments that you will want to make improvements or modifications seem to bear that out.

The roundtable (twice the price) doesn't look all that expensive once you do some research on the North Star.

Bill
Tucson, AZ






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