A new DYI equatorial platform kit is now available from Blandin Equatorial Platforms. The company launched in 2019 with its line of Crossbow Aluminum Equatorial Platforms and is now offering a DYI equatorial platform kit for Dobsonian telescopes up 10″ that weighing 80 pounds or less.
These kits feature a precision stepper motor drive, motorized reset function and more – everything needed to build an equatorial platform minus the wood disks. Customers will need to purchase and fabricate two plywood disks and assemble the platform.
The completed platform shown in the Image 1 is made with 3/4″ plywood and weighs 18 pounds. It could also be made with 1/2″ plywood for lighter telescopes. The base diameter is 24″ and will accommodate telescopes with bases up to that size and in some cases slightly larger.
For those looking for a finished product, the Blandin Crossbow Platforms (shown in Image 2) are available offering tracking for over 60 minutes before needing to be reset and the ability to run on 2 AAA batteries for 15+ hours of tracking.
The platforms are very lightweight and portable, made from durable anodized aluminum using high quality materials. The platforms can be easily folded up to fit into a small camping chair bag or suitcase for travelling.
The platforms are offered in two sizes and two weight limits. The Crossbow EQT-150SC weighs 14 pounds, has a 26″x25″ footprint and can handle most telescopes up to 150 pounds. The Crossbow EQT-225SC weighs 19 pounds, has a 28″x28″ footprint and can accommodate telescopes weighing up to 225 pounds.
The platforms are designed to be used in either the southern or northern hemisphere. The direction of the motor can be changed by reversing the connectors located inside the drive arm of the platform.
Wheel kits are available to allow a telescope to remain on the platform and stored when not in use. The entire telescope and platform can be rolled out and lowered off the wheels for use and easily rolled back for storage.
Crossbow platform specifications include:
– Light weight: 14/19 pounds
– High Weight capacity: 150/225 lbs.
– Small footprint: (26″L X 25″W) / (28″X28″)
– Dismantles for travel
– 60+ minutes of tracking times
– Anodized or plain aluminum
– High quality components
– Quiet drive motor
– Drive friction reduction lever for easy reset
– Battery life: 15+ hours on 2 AAA batteries
– Accommodates multiple scopes with movable PTFE pads
– PTFE pads, bubble level, and pivot bolt included
You can learn more about these products at the company website here.
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