Modeling the BBAstro Drive
With Mel Bartels permission I am posting a PDF here that contains a 3D model of the BBAstro drive that will be used for both azimuth and altitude on Project 40. This drive combines the servo motor and its electronics with a gear and clutch arrangement that will allow the telescope to be driven, tracked and slewed by computer, or in the old fashioned grab-to-slew method without losing tracking (thanks to redundant encoders on the primary axis shafts).
Just a reminder – when you open this PDF with a version of Adobe Reader 8.0 or later, click once on the image, and wait for the menu to appear that gives you hints about how to manipulate the image in 3D. The PDF has some nice features, include the ability to turn parts on and off to help make the internals of the drive visible.
Besides being good documentation of the drive for our project, this was an excellent exercise to get me up the learning curve on Alibre Design, the new modeling software that I bought over the holiday. No CAD software is easy to use, but all CAD software (or most!) is learn-able and a good project like this one helps you find all the nooks and crannys that give you facility with it.
Next: integrating this drive model into the Azimuth Drive Assembly. With more detailed modeling available, previous drawings are being enhanced and I’m learning more about how all the parts will (or won’t!) fit together as we go. Let me know if you are interested, and I will send you a PDF that contains dimensioned isometric drawings of the drive assembly pictured in 3D in this PDF.