GoTo & Tracking Systems
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Laptop Specs
The DS-16/SF-16 Conversion

Caution: this is one of our first conversions. The pictures are not that good.

This is the DS-16 mount with 16+ standard bricks on the Dec axis to see if the motors would turn. We just taped them on for a few minutes to see if it actually would turn that much weight, it did. The RA axis has a bucket of lead automotive tire counterweights. It weighs ~90lbs.


This is a better way to hold them on the mount for some serious testing. There is a cover that was removed for this picture.
A mounting plate had to be fabricated to attach the Dec. axis geartrain. A new gear had to be installed onto the Dec. axis of the mount as well.


This is a picture of the mount on it's stand with the 12" SCT. It is in it's permanent home in the Chicago area. The picture was taken by the owner Norman Reed.


Another picture of the mount and scope just after mounting the OTA.


This is a picture of the laptop, pcb and battery.

Features list:
    • Unlike other GoTo systems, all of our systems are GoTo telescope controls for a lifetime. The circuitry, motors, computer, cables, software and (usually) the gearing, can be used on other mounts (Dobs or GEMS) with a little modification to the new mounting.
    • Stepper motors that are quiet enough to talk over in a normal tone of voice when tracking and nearly silent when slewing.
    • Time tested software and hardware.
    • No permanent modifications to the telescope mount itself. Almost all of our systems are removable should you upgrade to a larger mounting.
    • A small 17 amp hour gel cell battery is good for one night of observing.
    • Resolution is at .225 arc seconds for this mount. Better resolution is available on request.
    • Laptop can be an old 486 and can be included with your order.
    • Software is included and pre-configured.
    • Telephone and e-mail support is available for free.
    • Instructions for operating the software are included.
    • This system is GoTo pointing accurate to within a fraction of an arc minute.
    • Start up time is less than 2 minutes.
    • A one button grand tour mode is standard.
    • Unlimited database, custom made, DIY and large database included free.
    • Easy 2 star alignment, one of the stars is Polaris, which your mount should be aligned to anyway.
    • Custom made grand tour files are available for free and can be sent to you via e-mail or floppy. Install time for these is 1 minute.
    • Multiple mount error correction routines are standard.
    • Gearing backlash control is standard.
    • Laptop can have Guide installed, a planetarium program that graphically displays the night sky. Access from inside the scope software with one key.
    • Laptops and the circuitry can usually be powered from the same battery. There is no need typically, for a power outlet.
    • LX-200 interface for control with other computer programs, standard.
    • 40 microsteps per full step of the motors. Typical number of microsteps with the gearing is 5, 760,000.
    • Drift compensation standard (allows lunar tracking at high power for CCD work)
    • Realtime display of coordinates.
    • Built in observing log is standard.
    • Wireless mouse operation available.

If you have this type of mount, we can convert it for you and make it look and perform almost identical to this one. Hi-resolution steppers are available for the astro imager. Bolt on "do it yourself" kits are not available.

Electronics and software by Mel Bartels 
Conversion design by Lenord Stage
GoTo & Tracking Systems
 5000 Green Hollow Dr.
Arlington Texas 76017-5910
(817) 468-0154