Sometimes You Just Have to Fit The Parts Together

Larry’s note said, “It looks like the altitude drive wheel won’t fit where we have it planned.” Sound of heart sinking (sounds sort of like a flush).  Checking the drawings, sure enough, if you turn it waaay around, you can see what he’s talking about.

Notice how the wheel isn’t clearing a part of the gusset that angles up from the cross piece. It’s kind of buried in there, but it’s been there the whole time!

This one turned out to be not too bad, but leaving nothing to chance, we got together on Saturday to fit the parts together and to see how some suggested improvisations would work. That provided an excuse to see the altitude drive in place and to install the azimuth drive.

First order of business was to test how the altitude drive wheel fit against the A-frame, and how pushing the bearing for the drive shaft up with two 3/16″ pieces of plate on the A-frame worked to get the drive wheel out of the middle of the gusset. It worked great!  We took the opportunity to check the positioning of the wheel where the altitude drive sector will eventually be positioned, and gave our opinions on how the crowned shape of the wheel will fare on the flat sector surface.

With that out of the way, we got to work (Larry working, Mark and I watching) cutting the slot in the centering diaphragm to accommodate the azimuth drive. This time the drawings predicted all of the positions correctly, and we got it installed and even got to demonstrate the value of the removable hinge pin for getting the drive assembly in and out of position while the rotating base was in place.

And then we fired up the controller. It didn’t work.  Support calls are going back and forth now with Mel Bartels who is trying to help figure out why the controller is misbehaving. We’ll get it right, but victory will not come easy, it has become apparent.  Enjoy the slide show, thanks to Mark, of Saturday morning’s events at Mark’s workshop.

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Postscript: It didn’t take Mel long to point me to the problem – motors were plugged into the telescope encoder jack instead of the motor jack. They work beautifully now with the wireless handpad (whew!).

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