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Re: Q-Par positioner (was Re: Free Microwave Calculator)



Ah you guys hit a nerve here!  As the last Riverside Telescope Conference,
I bought a number of the Meade telescope bases without optics.  These were
on sale at the flea market and of course, can not be duplicated.  I rapidly
found out that Meade is highly "competitive" meaning the pointing accuracy
is really poor.  In fact, I purchased a ETX-90 without the computer base
years back with the thought that replacing the base would upgrade the
entire unit to a "go to" unit.  Yes, it works but not well!  Phil, that
does not mean we can not ask for a sale of computer controlled bases.  Be
aware that these are plastic gears designed to apply continuous torque in
one direction to take up the gross manufacturing inaccuracies.
     In another set of E-mail messages we have been investigating the idea
of some shaft encoders sold for Dobsonian telescopes---also very
inexpensive and the original prime mover, usually the rotator, can be
used.  No progress has been made on this approach but we are working on
it.  A source of at least 4000 bit shaft encoders is badly needed.  We
could adapt simple PIC or A/D electronics from that point.  Cliff K7RR 

On Thu, 11 Jan 2001, Phil Karn wrote:

> >I asked the price for their "portable antenna positioner", and got the 
> >following "A ROM cost for the Portable Antenna Positioner is approx US$ 
> >27000 (18000 sterling) for a standard set up. If you require extra 
> >software or hardware, ie. special controlling software, antennas, etc these 
> >will be charged separately."
> 
> Just about every telescope in the Meade catalog has computer
> controlled pointing, with external RS-232 inputs. And they cost a
> *lot* less than $27K.
> 
> I wonder if they'd sell us just the tracking mounts...
> 
> Phil
> 
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