Jump to content


Photo

Byers Worm Gear Drives

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 rprice

rprice

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:44 PM

All,

I am not sure if this is the correct or best place for this post; the moderators are welcome to move it as needed.

I recently purchased two 15" drive gears from Ed Byers for a 24" scope I am building. In the process I had an interesting conversation with Ed and the bottom line is he is finally closing down his business and anyone who has been thinking about purchasing one of his gear drives for an equatorial mount or any other application should get in touch with him soon.

Byers has been producing worm gear drives for scopes since the 1960's. There have been rumors over the years from time to time that Byers was going to stop making gears, but I think this time it is finally true. Ed stated that he is 84 years old and is not cutting any more gears on his equipment; he is just selling off his inventory of already produced gears. He stated he has several firms interested in purchasing his gear hobbing equipment, so it looks like no more Byers drives.

Ron

#2 sglamb

sglamb

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Florence, KY

Posted 28 May 2011 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the heads-up Ron. I called Ed and placed my order too. It will be a huge loss to the ATM community when Ed Byers is no longer making drives. By the way, he has a store on eBay where he lists/sells his inventory.

Steve

#3 BluewaterObserva

BluewaterObserva

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 5809
  • Joined: 18 May 2004

Posted 01 June 2011 - 04:39 PM

I have an old stepper Byers drive system that I really need to get a new stepper driver / controller for. It's old. I'd like to run it by him and get advice.

How do I actually try to contact Ed Byers these days? Maybe PM me a Phone number if possible?

#4 hottr6

hottr6

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2393
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2009
  • Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM

Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:42 PM

Ed is getting on in years. The Byers Yahoo group is still going, but no-longer accepts new members because Ed is the moderator and he does not spend much time in front of the computer.

I don't know too much history about his designs, but a stepper motor seems too modern. Most equipment I have seen bearing his name use Hurst AC clock motors.

#5 BluewaterObserva

BluewaterObserva

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 5809
  • Joined: 18 May 2004

Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:47 PM

Maybe it is a Hurst AC clock motor. :) I was hope'n he could identify it if I sent him a pic....

Attached Files



#6 Gendo

Gendo

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4413
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Rexburg, ID

Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:54 PM

I have an old stepper Byers drive system that I really need to get a new stepper driver / controller for. It's old. I'd like to run it by him and get advice.

How do I actually try to contact Ed Byers these days? Maybe PM me a Phone number if possible?


There are a few stepper motors in Ed's Ebay Store. If you're talking about something that controls the motor, contact him through Ebay. If you don't have an Ebay account I could contact him for you. PM me.

http://shop.ebay.com...sid=p4340.l2562

#7 Gendo

Gendo

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4413
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Rexburg, ID

Posted 03 June 2011 - 05:11 PM

It has reminded me of a question I had years ago.

Did Ed actually make the gear sets in the Celestron fork arm mounts, or did they license under Ed to manufacture those themselves?

I had one for an 8" SCT for a while, but the motor was getting twitchy so I sold it. At the time I couldn't locate that motor anywhere. However, the motor appears to be just like one for $10 in his Ebay Store. Not sure if it actually is though.

I'm somewhat tempted to snap up one of those old fork arms for an 11" SCT the next time I see one.

#8 BluewaterObserva

BluewaterObserva

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 5809
  • Joined: 18 May 2004

Posted 03 June 2011 - 05:24 PM

Way older than any of those for sure. :)

If it's a Hurst clock drive? Any guidence on making a simple drive for it? Ideally I'd like a simplt pot. (volume control) to dial in the speed.

#9 SkipW

SkipW

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 337
  • Joined: 03 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Oklahoma, USA

Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:06 PM

Those old (and probably new, too) Byers drives are wonderfully made. I'm rebuilding the drive my dad built from Byers parts in the '60s for a 6" refractor. It had two Hurst DA series synchronous motors and a beautifully machined differential (attached pic) for slow-motion control in RA.

The sidereal drive motor was taken out by lightning in the '90s, and that motor and attached spur gear were missing when I retrieved the telescope and equipment after he died in 2000. After counting teeth and knowing the approximate diameter and pitch of the missing gear, I determined I must be missing a 4 RPM motor and 20-tooth gear. I should have used a slide rule for this to preserve the '60s-ness, but Excel is MUCH better for this sort of thing! Many things really are better now.

45+ years later, Hurst still sells those motors! They're NOT cheap, though, and have 6-week delivery. I ordered a replacement from them and should get it in a few weeks. A replacement gear was found at Stock Drive Products-Sterling Instruments ($10 for the gear, $12 S&H). We'll see if I was right.

Attached Files



#10 BluewaterObserva

BluewaterObserva

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 5809
  • Joined: 18 May 2004

Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:21 AM

That's the gear? My motor is vintage 1960's....

Sort of thinking of doing a public event late July. I'd sure like to get the darn thing tracking right.

I have a new drive system. It was expensive, but I feel it is way more work and effort then I am willing to put into it to use and install it, to only have to deal with all it's bugs anyways.

#11 BluewaterObserva

BluewaterObserva

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 5809
  • Joined: 18 May 2004

Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:39 PM

Those old (and probably new, too) Byers drives are wonderfully made. I'm rebuilding the drive my dad built from Byers parts in the '60s for a 6" refractor. It had two Hurst DA series synchronous motors and a beautifully machined differential (attached pic) for slow-motion control in RA.

The sidereal drive motor was taken out by lightning in the '90s, and that motor and attached spur gear were missing when I retrieved the telescope and equipment after he died in 2000. After counting teeth and knowing the approximate diameter and pitch of the missing gear, I determined I must be missing a 4 RPM motor and 20-tooth gear. I should have used a slide rule for this to preserve the '60s-ness, but Excel is MUCH better for this sort of thing! Many things really are better now.

45+ years later, Hurst still sells those motors! They're NOT cheap, though, and have 6-week delivery. I ordered a replacement from them and should get it in a few weeks. A replacement gear was found at Stock Drive Products-Sterling Instruments ($10 for the gear, $12 S&H). We'll see if I was right.


Does my motor look anything like a Hurst?

I think it's a stepper.

I actually ordered one of these and a PS to try it. I hope I don't fry the hurst if it is not a stepper motor I have.

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B0002NRL8Y

#12 rwiederrich

rwiederrich

    Goldfinger

  • *****
  • Posts: 12622
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Gorst Washington(center of the Universe)

Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:36 PM

Hey..I have a profoundly amateur question that I should know the answer to.......... :tonofbricks:

Are all of Byers ring and worm gear configurations with drive motors set for sidereal time? :foreheadslap:

Meaning can I get a Byers drive with motor and all and mount it and have my scope track sidereal..spot on?

Or is some corrector needed as well?

Rob

#13 Mike I. Jones

Mike I. Jones

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3214
  • Joined: 02 Jul 2006
  • Loc: Fort Worth TX

Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:55 PM

Ed's worm wheels have 359 teeth. The worm is a single helix, so the reduction is 359:1. He gears that down with a 4:1 reducer to the 1 RPM Hurst fixed-speed motor or the reversible/variable speed Bodine motor. Thus the nominal polar axis rotation speed is one rotation in (359x4)=1436 minutes.

One clock day has 24*60 = 1440 minutes/day. Ed's polar axis speed is 1436 minutes/day. The ratio is 1436/1440=0.997222222222....

Multiply 24 hours by 0.99722222.. and you get 23.9333333 hours, or 23h 56m exactly. Sidereal rate is 23h 56m 4.091s, so that's a pretty durn close approximation, well within the range of manual or autoguider correction. You'd be doing well to get the polar axis aligned well enough for that to matter. Also, you have to manually or automatically track atmospheric refraction as well, so you can hardly get away without a 2-axis drive corrector.

All drives have periodic error, though Ed's have always been admirably low (single arc-seconds or less in my experience). High-end drives and software have provisions for periodic error correction, which really helps stay on track and keep those stars nice and pointy.

Ed used to sell 1440:1 drives as well for solar tracking. Haven't heard about them in a long time.

Mike

#14 rwiederrich

rwiederrich

    Goldfinger

  • *****
  • Posts: 12622
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Gorst Washington(center of the Universe)

Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:40 PM

Ed Byers post his cell on all his adds for any questions.

(760) 221-2127 good luck.

Rob

#15 rwiederrich

rwiederrich

    Goldfinger

  • *****
  • Posts: 12622
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Gorst Washington(center of the Universe)

Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:54 PM

Ed's worm wheels have 359 teeth. The worm is a single helix, so the reduction is 359:1. He gears that down with a 4:1 reducer to the 1 RPM Hurst fixed-speed motor or the reversible/variable speed Bodine motor. Thus the nominal polar axis rotation speed is one rotation in (359x4)=1436 minutes.

One clock day has 24*60 = 1440 minutes/day. Ed's polar axis speed is 1436 minutes/day. The ratio is 1436/1440=0.997222222222....

Multiply 24 hours by 0.99722222.. and you get 23.9333333 hours, or 23h 56m exactly. Sidereal rate is 23h 56m 4.091s, so that's a pretty durn close approximation, well within the range of manual or autoguider correction. You'd be doing well to get the polar axis aligned well enough for that to matter. Also, you have to manually or automatically track atmospheric refraction as well, so you can hardly get away without a 2-axis drive corrector.

All drives have periodic error, though Ed's have always been admirably low (single arc-seconds or less in my experience). High-end drives and software have provisions for periodic error correction, which really helps stay on track and keep those stars nice and pointy.

Ed used to sell 1440:1 drives as well for solar tracking. Haven't heard about them in a long time.

Mike


Thanks Mike..I have a drive with the Bodine motor and I'm thinking of remachining it to be used on my 10"f/15 mount. I use the big scope for visual only or for single exposue images for reference purposes.....so I'm thinkin the drive I have might be the drive to use......since these things are getting spendy these days. Mine has a clutch for the main gear and one for the motor interface to the worm.....pretty cool. All I need to do is bore the central ring hole and clamping mounts from 2.5" to 3.0".

Thanks

Rob






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics