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Doc

My new DIY ALT/AZ Mount a Panther Clone

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I have drawn up plans for my next Alt/Az mount. After the success of the DM6 clone I have decided on a Panther clone. You can see the mount in the link below. 

https://trackthestars.com/

It won't track the sky and be nowhere near as fancy as a proper one, but it will work on the same principle and hopefully will be beefy and smooth. It will sit on top of my planet tripod and will be the same height as the DocMount.

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The shaft through the centre is 25mm stainless steel. I've ordered some more bronze to make some bushes for the shaft to run in. The main housing is 5" in diameter and 60mm in length. I've had to stick to 5" as this is the biggest my chuck holds.

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The shafts that the arms will run on are 30mm diameter and only 32mm wide so at the moment are aluminium. At that length there will be no flex and I have no stainless at that size so will try aluminium first. The bearings are UHWMPE and will be secured in the arms once they are made.

Above shows the shafts screwed into the main body they have M12 threads. After this was made I placed it on a engineers table and using a height gauge I measured the height of both shafts and they are within 0.001" of each other so I was pretty amazed at that.

The arms of the mount will be pressed onto the plastic bushes and will run on the aluminium shafts. 

The bronze bar has arrived today so I made up a couple of bushes and then put the body into a chuck and bored out to 35mm and pressed them in. 

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UHWMPE bearings were cut and secured in place. Stainless steel shaft in bronze bushes.

Both parts joined together. They rotate well with no play. Need to bed in a little but very smooth.

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The top cap will be secured with little M3 screws around the circumference and will be removable so the tension can be adjusted. I'm hoping I can fit an encoder under the top hat similar to my DiscMount clone I built.

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There will be a rise similar to the one I made for the DM6 clone so overall the mount will be about 20" in height.

 

 

 

Edited by Doc
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I'm a big fan of the Panther type of mount and have just finished my second version. They handle weights easily yet are smooth in operation regardless of weight. My larger one carries a 6" F5 refracting binoscope and the slightly smaller one, a 5" F15 triplet refractor.  :icon_biggrin:

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Would love to see a photo or build thread of it Peter.

Did you see my DiscMount clone I built?

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Here are a couple of the unfinished mount for the 5" APO, I'll post a finished one later.

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Nice design Peter very similar to a rocker box on a dobsonian. I'm relying on UHMWPE bushes for the altitude bearing. I'm hoping the balance and smoothness will be achieved via the counterweights. What are you using for the azimuth bearing Peter cannot really tell by the photo.

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@Doc.  There is a bronze bushing in the pier toplate which accepts a 1" diameter ss shaft, the bearing surface is a thin disc of PTFE. The attraction of the simplified version of the marvellous Panther mount is that very little precision is needed to produce a high load capacity mount with excellent motion characteristics.  :icon_biggrin:

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A few more hours in the workshop today

Marked out, drilled, and counterbored 32 holes, these holes are for the 10" riser rods.

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Another few hours in the workshop

After my last riser for my DM6 performed so well I decided to put one on this mount to. The only difference this one will be encased in a 5" aluminium tube. Then along with the top hat they will be painted black and secured to the mount with M3 pozzi screws.

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Some more work done today.

Inside the tube is a set up off 16 x 12mm poles similar to my other DIY mount. The tube is then made to fit and painted matt black.

XCpAxZ.jpg

This shows where the encoder will fit. The shaft is drilled out to take the encoder shaft and the spacers on show show how high the encoder will sit.

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The encoder will sit below the top hat. This will be screwed to the body at a later date. Once again painted matt black. The mount arms will on the UHMWPE bearings and pivot on them.

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The finished article below. It weighs at the moment 10Kg but should double that when finished.

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Edited by Doc
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2 hours ago, catman161 said:

This is lovely work Mic 👍🏻

Thanks Felix.

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Posted (edited)

I turned the heater on in the shed then went and defrosted the boliler overflow and got the central heating working again. By now the shed was getting warmer so spent the day building one of the side plates for the new mount.

They are 530mm long and 125mm wide. They only just fitted on the milling machine table so was quite a chore to do. I'll let the photo's do the talking but if there are any questions just ask. I need to make another one of these now, once done I can get the measurement for the top part that bridges the tow uprights.

It works very well and I can adjust the friction via the screw so I achieve the motion I want.

The counterweights will slide up and down the slot shown.

 

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Edited by Doc
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Had another day in the workshop and managed to do the other side plate.

 

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Coming along nicely Doc. If you eventually experience any tuning fork type "ring" from the side plates, you could add a semicircular bracket to close them off as shown in my first image.   :icon_biggrin:

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Thanks for the tip Peter, I'll keep it in mind.

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Love the way you've done the az tensioners .

Craftsmanship !

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Knobby.

Spent another few hours in the workshop and made the top plate. Put four radius on it so it doesn't look like just a slab of aluminium. Then spent a few hours making it run smotth, which it does now, in fact very smooth and the rachet knobs lock it solid if I want it locked.

 

The clamp on top is just positioning the dovetail clamp which I'll make later.

 

It's bigger then it looks and weighs quite a bit, pretty solid.

 

Here's a few photo's.

 

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Edited by Doc
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Another few days in the workshop produced a dovetail clamp. I still need to make the three knobs and I'm going to design a mechanism to stop the scope sliding out of the dovetail, but in all honesty I doubt if this would ever occur as there is plenty of clamping force.

 

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I couldn't resist placing the scope on top of the mount, as there is no knobs yet I just used M6 nuts to tighten the dovetail clamp.

 

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Made the knobs for the dovetail plate today. There are three of them made from 33mm hexagonal bar. There is plenty of clamping force and the whole dovetail works brilliantly.

 

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With scope attached

 

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Now THAT is a dovetail clamp. Magnificent. Wow.

:thumbright:

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12 minutes ago, iPeace said:

Now THAT is a dovetail clamp. Magnificent. Wow.

:thumbright:

Indeed it is, nice fashion shoot to catch its best side too.

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Wonderful work, you are very talented!

Will be such a lovely experience to observe with something you put so much time and effort into to achieve.

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Thanks guys.

I love tinkering in the workshop, it's very peaceful and the day flies by.

As you say Stu I can't wait to try it out for the first time. You get a buzz when you have designed and made it yourself.

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Excellent workmanship and design! :thumbsup:

Did you ever make an end stop for the dovetail?

A simple protruding rod pointing down from the OTA dovetail would suffice.

It doesn't have to be on the mounting dovetail itself.

 

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I do have one made but have not fitted it yet. To be honest the clamping force made from the three dovetail knobs is so good it won't need them.

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