This is a page about the Night Sky Scopes' 16 inch telescope that Sidereal Technology adapted for their trade show use.
Click on the picture for a larger picture.
In this photo, you can see the complete telescope. You can see all the electronics and drive mechanics.
In this photo, you can see all the electronics and the mechanical clutches.
The telescope encoders are mounted on the drive shaft of the gear
reducer/clutch assembly. This is a neat idea, because the
encoders can be geared up for much more resolution, and they are
readily accessible. It's important to understand this concept.
The belts don't slip around their drive pulleys, the altitude
can't because it's pinned. The azimuth doesn't because it has
non-skid. This means the shaft going through the clutch mechanism
turns several times when the telescope turns only once. Now the
encoders provide super resolution. The controller itself is
interrupt driven, so pulses will never be missed, even at high speeds.
The number of encoder ticks for each revolution of the scope is
Be sure to click on this picture, as you will be able to see many details.
Here's the altitude drive. Notice the belt holding spring.
This is a cool idea, 'cuz the belt will never slip, and the
tension is always set!
Most scopes use the center pin for the azimuth encoder.
We've have a hole drilled through the center bolt, and we've run
the serial cable down through it! Cool idea eh? The Azimuth
Encoder is on the clutch mechanism! If you zoom in on this photo,
you'll notice the "non-skid" glued to the surface of the azimuth disc.
We didn't seem to have a problem with belt slippage before we put
the non-skid on, but we wanted to be sure. The white plast
pieces keep the belt from falling off, although, I doubt if we would
have a problem with that anyway!
If you want to have a clutched system, then you'll need to put in
ball bearings on your altitude and azimuth. We've designed a low
profile dual bearing which makes this a snap.
Here's a picture of the altitude bearing:
Here's a photo of the dual bearing assembly: