Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the next phase

A couple of days ago, as I was thinking about the custom barn door tracker, and mounting it to a tripod, and then trying to accurately polar align it, that, somehow, putting it atop a small but finely-crafted, adjustable, machined, somewhat expensive, mount—made out of metal—was just not right. Not right...

Tonight I entertained the notion of building some sort of wedge or adjustable base that I would attach the barn door tracker too. I looked for homemade DIY wedges and found lots. Then I searched for homemade alt-az mounts. Started collecting some images, noting some ideas. Altitude would be easy to adjust. Azimuth? That'd be tricky. Actually grabbed a sheet of paper and sketched a few things still pondering how to rotate the second axis, now right ascension, considering the interface between the wedge and the bottom plate of the barn door.

photograph of barn door tracker with adjustable wooden wedge

When, I noticed something in a photo... Another piano hinge... low down. Two horizontal pieces of wood sandwiched. A long threaded rod, horizontal. Went down the rabbit hole and landed, at last to ZZJ's Barn Door Tracker (NSFW) post. And it's brilliant. Exactly what I was looking for!

So, this means, there's a new phase to be undertaken! A new enhancement! A barn door tracker with an integrated mount for fine-tuning polar alignment. A single complete tracker. The missing component! To elegantly solve a problem. I really like this. I really like the idea that the tracker will be much easier to set up and use. And that the new bits will be mostly wood and some hardware from the hardware store. Very happy.

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