Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu uh, User

CN Feedback and Vendor Announcements >> Vendor and Group Announcements

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

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)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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")


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)


Extra information
6 registered and 5 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Brian Risley, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 8145

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics