Round Table Platforms

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Brand and Model:Round Table Platforms
Price ($USD):$450
Attributes:checkedMotorized un-checkedPEC un-checkedGoto
Electric Power:12 vdc. Int. or ext. battery
Weight (lbs.):17 lbs
Description:Affordable equatorial tracking platform for dobsonian telescopes.

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Round Table Platforms
I always wanted a tracking platform for my dobsonian, but never had the skill or tools needed to construct one. Since the commercial models that I was familiar with were all in the thousand dollar range, I resigned myselt to the fact that, unless I hit the lottery, I'd never get one. Several months ago, I saw Brian Reed's platform advertised on Astromart and decided to purchase one of his early models. Since then, he's made a minor modification, adding a lever to lift the top table off of the drive wheel when resetting the platform. However, I find that it's not necessary with my present 40 something pound telescope.The unit tracks very well for around 50 minutes or so until it has to be reset.

Setting up the platform is fairly easy, it has to be leveled and set north. Ideally it should be set on a hard surface like a parking lot or cement patio, otherwise the telescope will be prone to vibration every time the stepper motor moves. The accuracy seem's limited by how close you come to correctly pointing it true north. Since I am a visual observer, I don't go crazy and just try to get it aligned within a couple of degrees. When set correctly, the tracking is impressive. I was able to keep objects centered in a low power eyepiece for the entire time the platform tracked. As a test, I was able to track Jupiter at 400X for 5 minutes or so almost perfectly centered. I only ended that test, because the seeing didn't allow that much magnification.

The workmanship is first class, It's a good looking platform that works very well, and I'm very happy with mine.

Overall Rating: 10
Performance:10 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
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