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EQ-Tech Equatorial Platform Impressions and Pics

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100 replies to this topic

#76 Shakedown St.

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:29 AM

How are these wires on the motor supposed to be soldered on, left go to left and right to right?

 

xFhex6I.jpg

 

I can confirm after speaking with the maker, it does not matter which wires are touching just as long as they are connected.


Edited by Shakedown St., 26 July 2017 - 06:29 AM.


#77 TiSaph

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:38 AM

From 0-100% on the speed knob, how fast do you find you need to run the motor to get good tracking?



#78 helobuba

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:41 AM

From 0-100% on the speed knob, how fast do you find you need to run the motor to get good tracking?

For me it is about 20-25%.  The best way to find the right setting is to use a reticle eyepiece on the moon and adjust the speed knob until you eliminate drift in either direction.  You will first need to get your platform polar alignment as close as possible.


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#79 Nils Olof Carlin

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:31 AM

The best way to find the right setting is to use a reticle eyepiece on the moon and adjust the speed knob until you eliminate drift in either direction.  You will first need to get your platform polar alignment as close as possible.


In principle, making it track the stars would be more useful than the moon - the difference would be of the order of one moon diameter per hour. But considering the limited technology, not least the minuscule diameter of the pot shaft, getting in the vicinity of either rate would be an achievement. Luckily, it is by no means critical for visual use - not even the polar alignment (I still wonder where that polar axis points?)

#80 Shakedown St.

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:11 PM

In my case for an attempt at short exposure astrophotography it may be very critical, got it wired up and now just need to practice aligning it.

 

I will definitely be sharing the results on here, will be using a D5300 Nikon on a 10" Dob.


Edited by Shakedown St., 30 July 2017 - 06:31 AM.


#81 Shakedown St.

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:26 PM

For those in need, really helpful!

 

36116476541_85e30865ea_b.jpg


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#82 Lukes1040

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 08:15 PM

I went ahead and took a shot with this platform as well. I received it this afternoon.  From what I can tell, it was packaged exactly like the others on this topic.  I didn't notice any wood flaking or damage.  He did include an extra friction pad with my setup for replacement later. The alignment instructions leave a little to be desired still. Mine does have a bumper on the non drive north section to stop travel, as well as the cut off switch with screw to stop the drive motor.  Below are the pics to show how mine compares.  Thanks for the info on the upgrades, I will definitely be making those changes ASAP!  I also plan to give mine a try with astrophotography, and will post my attempts here.

IMG 3570
IMG 3569
IMG 3568
IMG 3567
IMG 3566
IMG 3565


#83 Adun

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 02:22 PM

Hi

 

Is EQTech still in business?



#84 Lukes1040

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 03:26 PM

http://eq-techplatfo...nformation.html

 

Here is the site. I ordered mine off Ebay, and I cannot find any currently available on ebay. I not completely sure if he is still making them or not. 



#85 MAKODS

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:43 AM

Yes he is still making them. Just got mine 9/23/18 will post results when I actually get to try it with this darn weather!



#86 Lukes1040

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:25 AM

I have had the chance to use this platform for a while now. Overall I am happy with the platform for the price. If only doing visual work, the platform performs well enough for long view times between adjustments. For imaging work on planets, it can be finicky. It takes a lot of adjustments to the rate of rotation to get it right, but even then there appears to be times when it holds well and others where there is lots of drift. I think it must be from the bolt used as the drive mechanism. It was ground down at sharp angles instead of a uniform round bolt. This has naturally worn down over time and is closer to uniform diameter now, but now I sometimes experience slippage at the reset position. 

 

Overall I am happy with the purchase. I did take the time to add some metal in between the rollers and the bearing surfaces, and have also added a bubble level and compass. 

 

I have attached an image of Jupiter obtained on this platform. I also have decent Mars and Saturn shots that I will post when I get the picture size down to allowable tolerances for this site.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#87 Lukes1040

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:50 AM

Here they are. Mars was taken close to opposition, hence the lack of detail from the dust storm.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by Lukes1040, 27 September 2018 - 08:01 AM.

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#88 MAKODS

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:05 PM

I am having a lot of problems with tracking. Are you guys using magnetic north or polaris? 



#89 Lukes1040

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:26 PM

I am having a lot of problems with tracking. Are you guys using magnetic north or polaris? 

I use magnetic north, but take into account the magnetic declination for my location.  Maps are available online to figure out what that is for you specific location. 



#90 MAKODS

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 04:37 PM

Thanks, mine is -13 will try it that way tonight.



#91 MAKODS

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:07 PM

One other question, are you aligning north perpendicular to the south bearing or the edge of the top board in the reset position? Thanks again



#92 Lukes1040

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:38 PM

I have been doing it perpendicular to the south bearing. Not sure if that’s 100% correct, but it’s worked relatively well for me

#93 frankn88

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:40 AM

So glad I stumbled on this thread! In case anyone's wondering, he's still making them. I just received mine the other day (price is now $315, but still worth it as far as I'm concerned and the alternatives and I don't have time to build one myself). Couldn't figure out how to mount the motor based on the limited instructions provided. The builder did send me an email with a picture after I asked, but I'd already found this thread and figured it out. What I'm not sure of though, and can't figure out from the pics, is do I remove the swivel part of my base (8" skyquest) and just mount the base of the box directly to this mount, or do you just remove the feet from the swivel and then just set this on the mount? So do you actually bolt the telescope to this mount (with or without the swivel), or do you just set it on there while you're observing? thanks!



#94 Lukes1040

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 12:38 PM

You are able to do it either way. You can remove your ground board and attach your base directly to the platform using it as your base. If you do it this way, you will need to take your lazy Susan bearing and attach it to the platform so that you can move the scope in azimuth. The way I use mine is just to remove the feet from my base and plop the whole thing on top. It’s a little unstable this way, but is more flexible to how I want to observe.

#95 frankn88

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 03:41 PM

Thanks! And do you have it bolted together onto the platform, or just set it on there when you're using it?



#96 Lukes1040

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 04:41 PM

I just set it down on top.
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#97 Quibbley

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 03:56 PM

I thought I would add my comments to this post just in case anyone in the future performs a search on the Eq-Tech Platform.

 

I ordered one of these platforms last week for my 8” dobsonian. It should ship in the next three or four days. 
 

I asked the builder if he could make two minor modifications for me which mean probably means less work for them. After explaining the the modifications to him, he agreed to make them.

 

Mod #1:  Leave off the foot pegs that normally come installed. 
 

Mod #2:  The part of the base with the foot pegs is normally somewhat of a triangular in shape. I asked him to leave the base in a square shape.

 

I normally observe (99.9% of the time) with my scope from my concrete driveway which has a slight downhill grade. I have tall trees near my house which block views of the sky in some directions. Therefore I need to move my scope around depending on direction I am viewing so that the trees are not blocking my view. 

 

I purchased a set (four) of leveling casters from Amazon ($31 with free Prime shipping). I plan to place a caster at each of the four corners of the square base. This will allow me to roll the scope to a different location in the driveway and re-level and re-align the base. 
 

I know that telescope bases typically have three feet or legs which normally makes the base more stable on uneven ground. Since my scope is used mostly on my concrete driveway, uneven ground is not a great risk for me. However tipping over the scope while rolling it from one location to another could be a risk, e.g. one of the wheels hitting a small piece of gravel, wheel getting stuck in one of the driveway's expansion joints, etc. Four casters, one on each corner of the square base, should significantly minimize the risk of tipping over the scope while rolling it around. I remember three wheeled atv's have a greater turnover risk than four wheeled atv's hence manufacturers quit making three wheel atv's.

 

I may be over estimating the tipping risk. If I find through experience that I have or if having a square base is too problematic in other aspects then I can always modify the base myself to make it triangular shape and place one of the casters at the apex of the triangular base. 
 

I will update my post after I have received the platform and performed a test of rolling around the scope to see if my design modifications were effective. 
 

Feel free to critique my logic, after all I’m still pretty new at this.

 

Thanks...



#98 Quibbley

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 04:30 PM

I received my Eq-Tech Platform today. I have not had a chance to use it yet. However I wanted to pass a long some of my initial observations because I did see a couple of differences not mentioned in the prior posts.

 

The platform arrived undamaged and the packaging was the same as previously mentioned. 

 

The first difference I noticed that the platform wood was not sealed with any type of sealer or finish. The wood looks to be bare. The edges were sanded smooth though. No problem, it's not too difficult apply a sealer to the platform.

 

The second difference I noticed is a small plastic compass which includes a bubble level had been installed on the platform base (see the first pic below). The direction arrow doesn't look to be installed perpendicular to the front edge of the base. I haven't verified yet but the magnetic declination adjustment for my location is 8 degrees 57" West so the amount of the offset may be related to magnetic declination adjustment. Regardless I had a good Suunto compass and a separate larger bubble level that I will be using for leveling and alignment with True North.

 

A small yellow handled Phillips screwdriver was included (see second pic below). This is nice but I already have one of these.

 

I noticed two differences for both the North and South sectors attached to the bottom of the top platform; 1) The South sector edge is beveled along the entire sector (see pic three below), 2) The first half of the edge of the North sector is beveled (see pic four below), and 3) No friction material was installed on the sectors. Regarding #1 and #2, the beveled areas are the dark areas on the sectors, probably resulting from burns from the saw blade. I suspect the beveling is an attempt to minimize or correct the tracking speed issue as mentioned in Nils Olof Carlin's post #14 which refers to the tracking surface of the sectors being flat. Regarding #3, I don't know why no friction materials sectors. No problem since it seems most people replace the original material anyway.

 

The bottom platform base was left in a square shape as I requested. I installed the four leveling casters (see pic five below).

 

Lastly, the weight of the platform is lighter than expected. I am not a woodworker but I suspect the plywood is birch. Regardless, it seems strong enough to handle my 8" reflector (about 52 lbs)  with no problems.

 

Initially I am satisfied with the purchase. Reading this thread really helped to manage my expectations. I will need to test out the tracking and get some experience with the platform under my belt before rendering a final opinion.

 

I would be interested in getting feedback from other CN'ers about the affect on tracking accuracy with the beveled North and South sectors.

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Edited by Quibbley, 21 November 2020 - 04:30 PM.


#99 spaceoddity

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:39 PM

Are these made in only 1 size? What is the weight limit? I'm looking at getting a platform that would hopefully work for my 16" dob and my XT10i?



#100 Quibbley

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:37 PM

I assume there is only one size. I do not see more than one size mentioned on their website.  

 

According to their website (http://eq-techplatfo...ion-policy.html) the platform will support up to 105 lbs. Obviously I cannot vouch for this.

 

I recommend you give them a call. Their telephone number is on their website. When I called, I left a voicemail and they returned my call within 24 hours. The person I spoke with (I didn’t get his name) was very helpful and spent about 20 minutes on the call answering my questions.


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