To augment the knowledge we gained through building mount control electronics and software last summer
, and to (hopefully) construct a respectable imaging mount, we designed and plan to machine a large German equatorial mount this summer. I have been working on the design since September 2012, and should finish the design this weekend. After I complete it I'll post more pictures, the Soldworks files, and some more explanations of some design choices.
Our goal is to image with a 12-14" reflector. Finite Element Analysis was used in some key places, but my version of Solidworks is relatively limiting in that regard. The only major change that will happen between now and the final design is an increase in strength of the polar fork, and the addition of a plate on declination to mount a telescope to. Here is a brief list of some design highlights:
- 3.75" Aluminum shafts on each axis supported in Timken Tapered Roller Bearings. Shafts have an internal bore to allow cables to run through the mount.
- Swiss made Maxon RE-025 Motors with German made Maxon gearboxes on each axis.
- 9" diameter 360 tooth aluminum worm wheels on each axis, machined by Ed Byers in California.
- Avago 17-bit absolute encoders, with a resolution of 6.3 arc seconds.
- Constructed mostly out of easily machinable aluminum plates.
- Machined for the possibility of altitude and azimuth motors to test automatic polar alignment algorithms.