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Sky Crane with iOptron


Here's the Sky Crane. The name obviously inspired by the success of the Curiosity team.

It is a home made steel pier that enables me to use a big payload on my tiny balcony. It features three half tonne electric jacks that not only lift and stabilize the design but also allow me to polar align using only a switch box - meaning I save my back :-)

It's seen in this image with an iOptron mount, but is really designed with the AP1600 in mind for the future. The pier weighs 130 kgs - 290lbs (including the 10 Skywatcher CW's at the rear serving as ballast) and can easily carry the same weight, such as the AP1600 and a 16" telescope - should funds ever allow that one day. It rolls out to the rail of the balcony leaving the payload over the edge - and hey presto it's like the balcony was a foot and a half bigger! Problem solved :-)

The pier incorporates power supply, battery backup, a polar alignment camera and LCD display and an industrial 12V powered USB hub. It also has built in red LED lighting and snag free cable management.

Any telescope that goes on it is naturally called Curiosity :-)

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Sky Crane

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