Mounting For Sale

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For sale is my original Test Mule Stepper conversion and personal telescope mount with wedge as well as a number of modifications and accessories.

I will consider a trade of a UHTC coated 7" Meade MAK OTA and/or ??? for the mounting and wedge with accessories.

Modifications to the mount, Deluxe Adjustable Field Tripod and Super Wedge are listed here. All modifications listed are generally documented elsewhere on this site with additional photos.  

I am keeping the Deluxe Field Tripod for my other telescope, however all the modifications like the wedge braces and the spreader mod, and associated hardware are included.

"AOL CDROM" bearing between the wedge and tripod (I actually used epoxy glass circuit board)

Brass washer shims for leg to tripod head joint.

Fixed spreader bolt, you don't have to chase it around when removing the wedge

Adjustable heavy duty leg braces

Laptop Shelf, with room for a small mouse.  Interface Velcro's to the bottom of the shelf

Eyepiece shelf (ten 1.25" and two 2" holes with room for more)

Accessory Shelf

Large satin metal fork handles, four total

Washer upgrade for latitude lock bolts

Bolt and washer upgrade for Azimuth adjustment

Extra travel Azimuth adjustment

High accuracy bubble level on wedge, OEM level was reset to be accurate.

Toshiba Pentium Laptop

Bartel's Scope Drive GOTO conversion.  Included is the interface box, power cable, motor cables, hand controller, software, addition object databases and laptop data cable.  

Many custom databases are included, most notably the SAC database parsed by the hour (24 separate files) and several subsets of the SAC database.  The steppers are 200 step models with a 5:1 gear reduction into the 180:1 final drive.  Slew speeds are decent and tracking and pointing are scary accurate to quote Lenord Stage in Arlington TX.  During the Deep Impact star party we went to in Dewey AZ the drive centered the comet dead in the middle of the FOV on the first try.  Given a decent polar alignment you will find objects routinely in the center of the FOV.  Support for the drive is incredible and the interface is user repairable.  All drive components are off the shelf items or easily made in the home workshop.


Overview shot of complete mounting with all accessories.


Shown here is the laptop shelf with the Bartel's stepper interface box and stepper motor cables.


Tripod/wedge braces installed.  The rod end bearings are adjustable for perfect fit.  You get the polar alignment set and then attach the braces.  The brace brackets at the bottom are removable, but will not interfere with collapsing and storing the tripod.

RA stepper motor and belt drive in this view.

Eyepiece tray and accessory shelf shown here.  Note the high precision level in the wedge just below the hand controller.  The wedge to tripod has had the AOL CDROM type bearing installed.  I elected to use a piece of uncoated epoxy glass circuit board to prevent flex in the joint.

Alternate view of the laptop shelf and eyepiece tray.

RA drive and hand box detail view.

DEC drive stepper, note handles added to the fork arms.  These are all metal and large enough to get a gloved hand into.

The original DEC drive has been removed.  This shot shows it in place.