Tracker V2

NOTE: The Tracker V2 I described below had a major flaw: the curved threaded rod.  It was removed from the design and replaced with a straight section of Acme rod in Tracker V2.1, which works very well.  See Tracker V2.1 for more information and be aware that using a curved section of standard threaded rod is a bad idea!  Further improvements and a paint job were added for Tracker V2.2.

Having finished a first attempt at building a working Star Tracker, I’ve recently set out to build a second (final) version.  The goal was to use scavenged (read: FREE) mechanical components and cheap electronics from eBay China to build an automated tracking mount which could be used to capture high-quality DSO (Deep Space Object) and Planetary images.  I’ve also made an attempt to make it look nice.

The main body of the tracker was based around the pivot assembly – a modified treadmill roller.  Treadmills contain a large amount of useful mechanical and electrical components, so I try to pick up any old treadmills being given away on the local classifieds.  After disassembling the roller, I shortened the shaft and body to a practical and aesthetically pleasing length.

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