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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5120238 - 03/13/12 01:36 PM

Gregg,

Welcome to CN and good luck with this platform. It looks like a real winner.

I posted a question earlier as to whether the platform has adjustable latitude or is it built specifically for the observers location?

Thanks,
Jim


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5120410 - 03/13/12 03:15 PM

Quote:

Gregg,

Welcome to CN and good luck with this platform. It looks like a real winner.

I posted a question earlier as to whether the platform has adjustable latitude or is it built specifically for the observers location?

Thanks,
Jim




Jim,

Thanks for the interest. The platform is designed for one latitude but is adjustable by raising or lowering the ends. On this platform, 5/8" corresponds to a 1 degree latitude correction. The adjustable feet have a 3/4" range so if you start off level, you can get plus or minus 1 degree with the platform adjustments. Personally, I like to level it and I carry some small shims for the different sites I go to. That's the fastest and most accurate way.


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5120453 - 03/13/12 03:34 PM

Thanks, Gregg. I'm temporarily in Indiana for a couple of more years before I return to my Flagstaff home, a difference of 5° or so in latitude. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait to order one until I return to Flagstaff.

I hope you're still cranking them out when I'm ready.

Jim

Edited by rockethead26 (03/13/12 03:40 PM)


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5120503 - 03/13/12 04:08 PM

Jim,

I think I'll still be making them in 2 years. I am also considering a retrofit kit for different latitudes. Since the platform comes apart easily, the front piece for the polar axis can removed with 4 screws and replaced, then the top assembly is easily removed and replaced, just remove the pivot screw. It should take less than 5 minutes to do. I will also have these parts in stock anyway for the different latitude platforms so I would just need to figure out the pricing.


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5120532 - 03/13/12 04:23 PM

Quote:

Jim,

I think I'll still be making them in 2 years. I am also considering a retrofit kit for different latitudes. Since the platform comes apart easily, the front piece for the polar axis can removed with 4 screws and replaced, then the top assembly is easily removed and replaced, just remove the pivot screw. It should take less than 5 minutes to do. I will also have these parts in stock anyway for the different latitude platforms so I would just need to figure out the pricing.




That sounds like a great solution. Then I wouldn't have to wait! Let me know when you figure out the pricing on the spare parts.

Thanks again,

Jim


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5120645 - 03/13/12 05:47 PM

I'm also thinking about doing these retrofit kits with a trade-in option. It wouldn't be a full refund, but would offset the cost for sure. As long as I can then resell the parts returned at a discounted price it would work out. I'll let you know what I come up with.

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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5120801 - 03/13/12 07:33 PM

What exactly has to be changed to support a higher or lower altitude beyond what shimming can accomplish? I would have thought just the curved part or am I missing something? I can see where it would be advantageous to be able to swap that out and cost effective. Lets say you live in Indiana but you go to Chiefland or the WSP in the keys or both for that matter every year.....Not going to be doing that with shimming

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5120889 - 03/13/12 08:29 PM

Quote:

What exactly has to be changed to support a higher or lower altitude beyond what shimming can accomplish? I would have thought just the curved part or am I missing something?




The easiest way to do this is to replace the upper arm assembly, but you're right it's basically the curved pieces in the back, but also the angles in the front of the upper arm assembly. I'm planning on having a few of these for my platform for when I travel. So far I've been shimming and last year at OSP it was a 6 degree shim which is too much really.


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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5121291 - 03/14/12 01:39 AM

Ahhh now that you mention it, looking at the pics I can see what you mean....Nice that the design allows for changing those parts out easily. Well as you know I am on the list for one....It it works as good as it looks it will be a great platform I will likely be intrested getting the parts to support another location at some point.....and I agree, shimming to 6 degrees would be pusing the envelope

Quote:

Quote:

What exactly has to be changed to support a higher or lower altitude beyond what shimming can accomplish? I would have thought just the curved part or am I missing something?




The easiest way to do this is to replace the upper arm assembly, but you're right it's basically the curved pieces in the back, but also the angles in the front of the upper arm assembly. I'm planning on having a few of these for my platform for when I travel. So far I've been shimming and last year at OSP it was a 6 degree shim which is too much really.




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BrendanF
super member


Reged: 12/04/07

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5121307 - 03/14/12 02:20 AM

I am interested in a platform so I can do reasonable integrations with my Mallincam in all areas of the sky. However, I have a goto system on my dob (a Starmaster) which uses the round base board edge as a driving surface for the azimuth drive(the drive gear sticks down from the rocker box), and thus cannot be removed. Additionally, some clearance is needed below and around the ground board.

Do you think some sort alternate mounting would be possible?

When do you expect your website to go live?

Thanks.


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: BrendanF]
      #5121762 - 03/14/12 11:54 AM

There are people who have disabled goto systems with platform drives, I go observing with one of them. The modifications would depend on your system. For some it's just a matter of disconnecting everything from the rocker and setting it on top of the platform. The platform bearing surface is also adaptable. For example, I have a solid aluminum surface on my 16" and 25". So I remove the teflon pads and place 3 small roller bearing assemblies in place of them. This adds another inch of height, but is very smooth (I actually need to put a drag brake on it because it moves too easily) How much additional clearance would you need? An inch or 2 would be easy, but would add a little extra height of course. Anyway, I'm not familiar with your particular set up, but I might be able to help if you could e-mail some pics to admin@blandintechnicalsolutions.com I do have a website, but it's for my other business which is medical equipment. I'll be selling these out of the same company and adding pages to my site soon.

Edited by G Blandin (03/14/12 12:01 PM)


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Shneor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Northern California
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5122180 - 03/14/12 03:34 PM

Hi Gregg,
Nice to see you on CN! Best of luck on your business!

Clears,


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Shneor]
      #5132594 - 03/20/12 04:32 PM Attachment (146 downloads)

Everyone, thanks for the interest and comments!

I will be starting a production run next week which will include all orders received by March 31, 2012 at the introductory prices quoted. Until I get my web site up, I've attached an order form with the platform specs for those interested. If you want to be included in this production run, please send in your order before March 31, 2012. I will send an order form to anyone who has previously contacted me by e-mail or PM.


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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5147209 - 03/29/12 01:44 PM

I got an email from Gregg yesterday stating he had finished the frame for mine and was hoping to catch a clear spot in the weather to test it out, then it would be off to the anodizer. It appears mine will be the 1st off the line in this 1st production run. I am looking forward to using it.

I recently caught a deal on Craigslist for one that works for my 12.5" for $100 but it rolls over and plays dead if it sees my 20"

Due to the size and weight of my Obsession 20 I ordered the "heavy" version....


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5159234 - 04/06/12 01:38 PM

For anyone who is going to TSP, you have an oppotunity to try a platform free for one night. I'm sending a heavy duty platform to Alvin Huey who will be there. The platform will be setup with several pad distances to accommodate most scope sizes so if you want a free trial for one night at TSP, please contact Alvin Huey at alvin.huey@att.net and make arrangements with him.

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5193311 - 04/27/12 12:23 PM Attachment (93 downloads)

Here's a picture of one of the heavy duty platforms I just completed for the current production run.

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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5193504 - 04/27/12 02:23 PM

That looks familiar

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5208764 - 05/06/12 12:50 PM Attachment (82 downloads)

Here's a picture of the 2 models side by side to compare. I just weighed the Heavy Duty Model and it weighs 17 pounds.

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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5212361 - 05/08/12 04:15 PM

Its a fact....I weighed my heavy model this past sunday on a super accurate industrial digital scale....17.8 lbs

With my 170 lb 20" on it I really can feel no difference between with it and without it.....Weather has not allowed me to test further other than it does track and is very stable.


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5728342 - 03/12/13 03:01 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

I've built my first 2 heavy duty production platforms with a new feature to make resetting the platform easier.(picture shown) There is a lever that is lowered to reset the platform which reduces the drive wheel friction. I just delivered one to Alvin Huey and he will be using it soon and posting pictures.

Edited by G Blandin (03/12/13 03:06 PM)


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