Friday, May 19, 2017

Barndoor Tracking Mount Part 5

The tracker is pretty much finished now and has been field tested with excellent results. The electronics are mounted on the bottom and covered by a shell, the lighting has been added where it is visible from the top, and I have added bubble levels to aid in getting the platform level and at the proper angle for the latitude. I have run some test programs which run the platform through some known angles and it came out spot-on. The only difficulty I have had is in setting up the tracker on the exact polar axis. So far, I have not used it in a location where I could see Polaris. I have used a compass and measuring angles with my phone to set it up, with mixed results. There is a little movement of the images but not much, many because I performed mostly short exposures. However, to aid in this setup, I have added two bubble levels. One is attached along the long axis to get the bed level. The other is adjustable on a protractor so it can be adjusted for the current latitude. Then I should be able to use the bubbles to set the correct angle. I would still need Polaris to site on or a compass to get the azimuth angle correct. This would also have to be the way to set up in daylight (as I will be using this tracker during the solar eclipse this summer).

Here are some final pictures.

Bubble Level

Bubble Level

Completed Tracker

Completed Setup in Test