Servo Focus And Aim Your Telescope

The idea of using servos to aim a telescope isn’t new, but [John]’s build looks so much like a prop from Johnny Mnemomic that we can’t resist posting it. The goal isn’t so much remote control as it is usability. He added a webcam and a pair of servos to help him fine focus and adjust the elevation of the scope to minimize vibration during those sensitive operations.

12 thoughts on “Servo Focus And Aim Your Telescope

  1. I just couldn’t pass on comment #1. This “piece of crap” as you put it, enables him to observe whatever he is interested in at a budget he can afford. It may be a hack, but what the hell, isn’t that in the spirit of this webpage? I’m sure if everybody takes the stance that it has to be cnc milled out of a solid chunk of titanium to be acceptable, nothing would ever get done. So, go crawl back into whatever hole you came out of to spew your negative attitude, and stfu.

  2. Whhhaaa? Piece of crap? With the attention he’s given that thing I’d bet ANY amount of money that the bang for the buck from that awesome hunk is a far better ratio then your average meade.

    A quick word on amateur astronomy. It’s not cheap. Not in any sense of the word. It takes lots of time and many astronomers I know have spent more than $10,000 on their CURRENT setups. That’s not including past equipment. Anything you can do to get a feature on your scope instead of buying a new one every time you want the latest little gadget can easily save you thousands of dollars and that’s no exaggeration. On top of that, as all of my fellow hackers know, it’s far more rewarding and generally more useful in the end. This may be a bit messy but I’d be interested to see more info on all the stuff he’s done to that scope.

    Finally, lets be honest. When you’re using it you’re using it at night. And furthermore, when you look through the eyepeice or collect the images from a nights’ work you can’t see the telescope, only the results, and that’s all that matters.

  3. OK @1. I thought that whole idea of a hack was to take what you have at hand and create something new or modify something to make it more useful. Again to take items AT HAND, this way anyone could possibly take your idea and run with it if it was something that they were interested in.

    John invested the time and took items that he could afford or had lying around to enhance his enjoyment of star gazing. Then took more time to write up what he did an how so that others might do the same.

    John, if you read this. WAY TO GO! Nice work.

  4. Piece of crap telescope? Did you ever think that maybe the guy spent hours upon hours building it himself? Those “900x magnification” refractors at walmart are pieces of crap. They are only good for looking at the moon and perving through your neighbors windows, but they are useless for looking at stuff like dim comets and galaxies and reflection nebulas. This guys telescope looks like a nice piece of equipment as far as I’m concerned.

  5. Look, I never said the guy that put it together didn’t have talent. But this has to be the most cobbled together rigged to the max telescope I’ve ever seen. It has pieces of cereal boxes and bottle caps on it for gods sake! As an engineer this this is like kryptonite is to superman for me. This thing may have started out as “hacked” 10 years ago but over the years it’s gone through “”rigged” and “cobbled” and now is well on the other side of the “hoopty” line.

    But I’m sure when it’s dark it work’s and looks just fine ; )

  6. arm chair engineer is more like it…

    Maybe the guy just doesn’t have access to machining equipment and stuff and that is why his telescope is made out of recycled bits and pieces.

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