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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
New Equatorial Platforms
      #5114405 - 03/10/12 12:18 AM

Fellow Observers,

My observing buddy, Gregg, is now starting production on low-profile all-aluminum equatorial platforms. He will offer two models; medium and heavy duty. The medium is designed to support up to approximately 120 pounds or 18 to 20 truss telescopes and the heavy model supports about 180 pounds or up to 28 to 30 reflectors, possibly more. He is currently using his home-built 25 f/4.5 on his heavy platform.

Ive been beta testing it for a year now and totally blown away by its performance. It is not meant to compete with Tom Os platform as they are totally at different price points and Tom's is built like a tank, you can probably throw Tom's off the roof of a two story house and it'll probably survive. NOTE: The platform under my 22" is NOT anodized as it is the beta version!

The tracking accuracy is pretty impressive. My first light with it was in my front driveway. I just aligned the platform by eye (see seventh bullet), put my 22 on it. Then centered M-13 on it with a 6mm ZAO-II (383x with a 6.6 field of view). Went in the house to do stuff for 20 minutes, went back out. It was still in the field of view!

Some key features:
-Black anodized.
-Up to 65 to 70 minutes of tracking.
-About 3.5 to 4 high. In actuality, the eyepiece height gain is about 1.5 to 2 as the ground board would be removed prior to installation onto the platform. The ground board is typically 2 high.
-Able to use a range of telescopes on a single platform. Medium up to 18 or 20 reflectors (Im using my 22 on it as it is lighter than the 20 Obsession by at least 10 pounds). Heavy up to 28 to 30 reflectors. The pads can be moved in or out from the pivot point as the pads are approximately 120 degrees apart. The pads on the photos is configured for Greggs 16 travel scope.
-Uses either a set of 4 AA or a single 9V battery. The voltage regulator will take care of that. The 4 AAs lasts about 20-30 hours and the 9V about 12-15 hours.
-One can take it apart and travel with it in a travel bag similar to a camp chair bag. About 15 minutes to remove or install about 15 screws.
-Easy alignment with Polaris as the long arm is just an arm, unlike competing platforms, so you can just stand back about 10-15 feet and align the long arm to Polaris to the best of your ability. That should be good enough. You can use a compass, I do that during the day, and still need to fine tune it at night. I just grab the platform with the scope on it at the end of the long arm (second photo) and drag it left or right until Im happy.
-Leveling feet.

He is still working on his website.

Any information, please contact me and Ill try my best to answer your questions or get in touch with him as he is currently out of the country for a business trip.

The BEST part is that he is offering the medium duty model for an introductory price of $675! The heavy duty model is approximately $100 more. You CANT BEAT that.

It is obvious that his goal is to provide a tool for observers at an attractive price. Lastly, I have no financial benefit from this other than helping out good friend to finally "release" this product.


Drive side of the platform


Polar Axis side of the platform


My 22" on the platform. NOTE: This platform is a different beta-version and not anodized.

Moderators: Let me know if this is the wrong place to put this.


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5114667 - 03/10/12 07:29 AM

Alvin,

This looks like an awesome deal. The platform looks really well done. I'm gonna see what I can do about ordering one. I hope he can maintain production at a profit so he'll be in business for a while.

Jim


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The Ardent
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5114685 - 03/10/12 07:58 AM

Im ready to buy one. It just looks right.

Any chance I can pick up at NEAF?


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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5114865 - 03/10/12 10:18 AM

What are projected delivery times like? Looks like a nice unit!

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5114874 - 03/10/12 10:22 AM

Glad to see new platform products. I have a Tom O Platform for my 12.5 inch Portaball. A platform really ups the ante for good viewing, especially when using high power. Also, when changing out eyepieces, the objects just hangs there and you don't have to relocate it.

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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GeneT]
      #5115050 - 03/10/12 11:59 AM

Alvin,

I forgot to ask two questions for Gregg.

1)My Teeter uses the ground board as part of the encoder system for my Sky Commander. Is this platform compatible, since you remove the ground board to use the platform?

2) How does it deal with latitude?

Thanks,
Jim

Edited by rockethead26 (03/10/12 12:00 PM)


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5115054 - 03/10/12 12:02 PM

Quote:

Im ready to buy one. It just looks right.

Any chance I can pick up at NEAF?




Hi Ray,

He will not be at NEAF. I'll send you a PM soon with his contact info.


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5115056 - 03/10/12 12:03 PM

Quote:

What are projected delivery times like? Looks like a nice unit!




I'll check with Gregg when he returns tonight. I don't want to misquote him.


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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5115059 - 03/10/12 12:04 PM

Quote:

Alvin,

I forgot to ask two questions for Gregg.

1)My Teeter uses the ground board as part of the encoder system for my Sky Commander. Is this platform compatible, since you remove the ground board to use the platform?

2) How does it deal with latitude?

Thanks,
Jim




The platform will have a threaded hole for the pivot bolt, so it will be compatible with the azimuth encoder. He uses his Sky Commander with his 25" on it. He just needs to know the bolt size and thread count and he'll make the hole to match it.


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John K
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Vernon BC Canada
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5115072 - 03/10/12 12:18 PM

I think it looks good ,but I am a little concerned with the polar axes side sticking out so far.It seems it would be a tripping hazard in the dark as well as a general nuisance.

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: John K]
      #5115085 - 03/10/12 12:28 PM

Quote:

I think it looks good ,but I am a little concerned with the polar axes side sticking out so far.It seems it would be a tripping hazard in the dark as well as a general nuisance.




The polar axis sticking out as far as it does because the tip is a little higher than the bottom of the rocker box...hence when I rotate the scope, the corner would clear the axis by about 1.5 inches. He can not make it much shorter. This is pretty much the largest scope I can put on that particular beta model.


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5115215 - 03/10/12 01:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Alvin,

I forgot to ask two questions for Gregg.

1)My Teeter uses the ground board as part of the encoder system for my Sky Commander. Is this platform compatible, since you remove the ground board to use the platform?

2) How does it deal with latitude?

Thanks,
Jim




The platform will have a threaded hole for the pivot bolt, so it will be compatible with the azimuth encoder. He uses his Sky Commander with his 25" on it. He just needs to know the bolt size and thread count and he'll make the hole to match it.




Thanks Alvin. Sounds good. How about the latitude requirement? Are these built for a specific latitude or are they adjustable?


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John K
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Vernon BC Canada
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5115257 - 03/10/12 01:57 PM

So it sound like he can make them shorter to accommodate a smaller LTA box.
How heavy is your scope on the basic model?
My scope is 115Ibs (built like a tank for a 15")

Is there a bearing at the polar end of the platform?
What are the welds like?It looks like he uses a spot weld as apposed to a continuous weld?

Is there a motor cover for the production models?

Does he ship to Canada via USPS?

Thanks Alvin for all helping me out with all my crazy questions.

Edited by John K (03/10/12 02:03 PM)


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5115303 - 03/10/12 02:24 PM

WOW! Alvin, those are nice, clean & simple. Absolutely beautiful work he's doing.

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BWAZ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/21/05

Loc: CA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5115837 - 03/10/12 08:59 PM

I'll be in for one as soon as it is ready! What an impressive piece of work!

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John K
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Vernon BC Canada
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: BWAZ]
      #5116612 - 03/11/12 11:48 AM

Is there away to adjust the legs for uneven ground use?

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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/09

Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: John K]
      #5116925 - 03/11/12 02:26 PM

The initial posting says it has leveling....

Quote:

Is there away to adjust the legs for uneven ground use?




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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: GShaffer]
      #5117085 - 03/11/12 04:19 PM

Hi all,

Just wanted to post that I'm not allowed to post this product pushing or product Q&A per CN vendor TOS rules...as I'm not officially a vendor.

My friend Gregg Blandin should be on CN shortly and I'll defer all questions to him. If he doesn't get on, you can PM me privately and I can give you his email address.

Best,
Alvin


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5120092 - 03/13/12 12:20 PM

I'm now a member of CN so I'd be happy to answer any questions about the platforms I'm offering. Thanks for all the compliments and interest!

Gregg Blandin


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5120117 - 03/13/12 12:35 PM

2 Corrections on Alvin's original post since he is unable to edit it at this point:

1. The height of the platform is 5" which includes the teflon pads

2. The heavy-duty model price is $850 (I have one of these that I use for all 3 of my scopes 10", 16" and 25")


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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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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5728380 - 03/12/13 03:17 PM Attachment (59 downloads)

I've just shipped my second heavy duty production platform with a new feature to make resetting the platform easier. The platforms now have a lever which when lowered, reduces the friction on the drive wheel. Alvin Huey has received one and will be using it soon and posting pictures. Here's a picture of the first one being tested with my 10" home made dob and a close-up of the reset lever.

Edited by G Blandin (03/12/13 03:19 PM)


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5728384 - 03/12/13 03:20 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

Here's the close-up of the reset lever.

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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5739810 - 03/17/13 10:29 PM

Ok, I use a HALO setting circle/leveling base. The dob base is 22" accros that would put the setting circle base at about 25 1/4". I could always cut off the feet and attach the two I guess. Is there anything that can be done for me?

Edited by sslcm56 (03/17/13 11:59 PM)


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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: sslcm56]
      #5739873 - 03/17/13 11:58 PM

Ok, I use a HALO setting circle/leveling base. The dob base is 22" accros that would put the setting circle base at about 25 1/4". I could always cut off the feet and attach the two I guess. Is there anything that can be done for me?

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Alvin Huey
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: sslcm56]
      #5740010 - 03/18/13 02:40 AM

I've updated my website to include current information to support my friend Gregg.

http://www.faintfuzzies.com/ObservingAids.html

Scroll to the bottom.


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5988443 - 07/24/13 08:34 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

The EQT-200 has been redesigned with an internal motor which is quieter and has more torque than the previous version. The platform on the left is original version and the one on the right is the new version. There are no external cables on the EQT-200. I've also added a reset lever which makes resetting the platform easier. The reset lever will be a standard feature on both the EQT-120(medium duty) and EQT-200(heavy duty) platforms.

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5988477 - 07/24/13 08:49 PM Attachment (61 downloads)

Here's a picture of the new version by itself.

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bilgebayModerator
Post Laureate
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Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Turkiye - Istanbul and Marmari...
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #5989728 - 07/25/13 02:55 PM

Very pleasing to my eyes!

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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: bilgebay]
      #6011443 - 08/07/13 12:49 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Hi Gregg, Alvin,

These are very beautiful looking platforms! A simple, clean elegance to them.

Hope you guys don't mind and that this isn't too off topic, but ever since you showed the first picture, it looked very familiar. Long ago I found a neat asterism in M31 that looked like an arrow (or maybe a spaceship with some imagination ), and now I'd say it also looks like your platform. This platform to help see the stars, is actually *in* the stars! See the attached (annotated) image.

Observing notes on it, from my light polluted backyard I find it takes the 8" to be able to pick it out. The stars are probably easier to see in the eyepiece than in images due to the cameras picking up so much more.

Again, great work on these and I just wanted to share this with you.

Clear skies!


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: Gord]
      #6262543 - 12/19/13 07:47 PM

Just like to thank all of my customers for their support. Clear skies and happy tracking!

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BrendanF
super member


Reged: 12/04/07

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6268885 - 12/23/13 03:53 PM

Would it be possible to upgrade an older version to the newer version? Are the modifications limited to just that one piece, such that one could disassemble the platform and just send that segment back for upgrade and/or replacement?

I have one of the early ones (heavy duty version), and the motor noise is the most objectionable part of it, so a quieter one would be a plus, if it could be done at a reasonable cost. The reset lever seems nice also.

Thanks


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: BrendanF]
      #6269815 - 12/24/13 12:53 AM

Yes the platform can be modified to the newest version and I have already done this for another customer. The new platforms have a quieter motor and the reset lever. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail or PM and I can go over the details with you.

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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6270565 - 12/24/13 12:22 PM

Does this track in both axis? How long till it reaches a stop?

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: faackanders2]
      #6270654 - 12/24/13 01:14 PM

It's a single axis although I have plans to do 2 axis in the future. It tracks for 1 hour.

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demiles
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/07/06

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6271151 - 12/24/13 05:50 PM

Gregg, can the smaller platform upgraded as well? 36 observing sessions and 120+ resets later mine still works as well as it did new.

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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6271322 - 12/24/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

It's a single axis although I have plans to do 2 axis in the future. It tracks for 1 hour.




iF WE LIVE UP NORTH LIKE 42-45 DEG n, WOULD THE TILT BE TOO EXCESSIVE TO KEEP THE DOB BASE, ON THE SYSTEM?


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: faackanders2]
      #6271575 - 12/25/13 12:35 AM

The platform stays level in the north-south plane, regardless of the latitude. It tilts a maximum of plus and minus 7.5 degrees from the center only in the RA axis as it tracks. So when it is reset, it is tilted at 7.5 degrees with the high side to the west. When the one hour tracking cycle is complete, it is tilted 7.5 degrees with the high side to the east. It's an equatorial mount that basically always stays level.

Edited by G Blandin (12/25/13 12:42 AM)


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: demiles]
      #6271585 - 12/25/13 12:51 AM

Quote:

Gregg, can the smaller platform upgraded as well? 36 observing sessions and 120+ resets later mine still works as well as it did new.




Yes, the smaller platforms can be upgraded with a different motor and the reset lever. The heavy duty models can be upgraded with either an internal or external motor, but the medium duty can only be upgraded with the same style external mount motor because the tubing is not large enough for the internal motor. But still, it's a quieter more powerful, motor.


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6271890 - 12/25/13 09:37 AM

Quote:

The platform stays level in the north-south plane, regardless of the latitude. It tilts a maximum of plus and minus 7.5 degrees from the center only in the RA axis as it tracks. So when it is reset, it is tilted at 7.5 degrees with the high side to the west. When the one hour tracking cycle is complete, it is tilted 7.5 degrees with the high side to the east. It's an equatorial mount that basically always stays level.




So it is not polar alligned, but still called an equitorial?


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: faackanders2]
      #6272073 - 12/25/13 12:03 PM

It is polar aligned and does move in the equatorial plane, yet stays level in the north to south direction.

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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6432337 - 03/27/14 01:38 PM

Here's a link to the updated Web Page:

http://www.faintfuzzies.com/CrossBow.html


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G Blandin
Vendor (equatorial platforms)


Reged: 03/12/12

Re: New Equatorial Platforms new [Re: G Blandin]
      #6463663 - 04/13/14 10:33 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Here's a picture of the EQT-200, newest version with internal motor, reset lever and bubble level. This one is for 37 degrees latitude.

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