The Base


Below is the base of the mount. It is basically a rectangular frame made of plywood. set on three short wood blocks. The front two blocks have leveling screws underneath them. At the top of the photo is the southern pivot socket. An iron ball of the platform sits into this socket.

The northern portion of the mount has two roller bearings, each bearing about 1/3 of the total weight of whatever is placed on the platform. The left bearing is driven with a stepper motor seen just below it. The right bearing is free rolling.

 

The blue box seen inside the frame houses the electronics which control the stepper. Speed is initially adjusted with a potentiometer in the circuit until tracking is found to match the celestial rate. It then may be left alone, rarely needing adjustment. This is essentially the same circuit as used in my Barn Door Tracker. The Barn Door is a much more limited type of equatorial tracker, but very easy and quick to make.

A 6 volt battery of the variety used in motorcycles powers the unit for many evenings.

 

 

 

After setting the base on the ground or a table as seen here, the tracking platform is placed upon it.