Altitude roller drive progresses

I was happy enough with the prototype to build a ‘final' version. A new base board (I want to keep the old one in case I have to revert to the previous altitude drive system), a linear actuator to operate the clutch and a general smartening up all round.

The actuator takes about 0.5 seconds to operate and consumes no power once the state has changed. I changed the drive shaft flexible coupling to a more robust kind as I found the helical cut type was ‘winding up’ under load.

Biggest change has been to use the newly available ‘high performance’ planetary gearboxes that have abou 1/3 the backlash. They are bigger but still very compact for the power they deliver.

Still no chance to test it under the stars as mid-summer bright nights are upon me. It performs well in the workshop so I am expecting it to be much better than my old design. Plus it is more compact and easier to assemble.

IMG 4839

Here it is with base painted and with an acrylic cover for the drive/clutch assembly.

IMG 4862

© AstroKeith 2022