Retrofit a tracker to an old equatorial mount?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
just Tony
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Re: Retrofit a tracker to an old equatorial mount?
In reply to Richie Beans, Feb 14, 2013

Richie Beans wrote:

Newbie here..... so here goes:

I've got an old 4.5" reflector with a basic equatorial mount. I've read somewhere that a "tracker" is little more than an analog clock. Is there a way to (inexpensively) kluge a "clock" to my manual right ascension control so that I can take long exposures of, say, a minute or more?

Some of those mounts have been in production for a long time and you might find an RA drive accessory that you can buy off the shelf. Check at Orion Telescopes dot com or their equivalent. If no luck there, then you can try to see if there are any used ones available. Astromart dot com has classified ads, and on their front page there is a link to a dealer seeling an enormous variety of used parts.

Another option is to adapt one of those kits from a different mount. The hardest part would be attaching it. An easier problem to solve is changing the motor drive rate should that be necessary. But those will require some skills of course. You might want to visit your local astronomy club to find someone that can help.

There IS a way. There is also a very valid question about whether it would be easier or less costly to just get a different mount.

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