Re: Best available steppers, boards, controllers, etc?

Guy Brandenburg <gfbrandenburg@...>

I am indeed the same Guy who has just re-opened the DC-area free Telescope Making, Maintenance and Modification Workshop after 18 months in limbo.

While doing a little research for a talk at Stellafane this summer, I discovered that this workshop has been in continuous operation since 1937 except for 2 shutdowns: World War 2 and COVID; it used to be primarily  a mirror-making workshop ... As far as I can tell it's the only remaining at-least-weekly ATM workshop in the country. Thanks to DC taxpayers for allowing us to use the space rent-free!

Also, thanks so much for all of the advice on this list, and especially for Ken Hunter's exceedingly generous offer. I told him that while the ATM (or TM3W) workshop is part of a non-profit (National Capital Astronomers), the Hopewell Observatory is NOT non-profit (not that we make any profits!) and we should pay something.

I attach a photo of what the gearbox looks like now, with all of the complicated clutch mechanism and the synchronous motor and the solenoid removed. We will not be putting it back! The Dec drive will get the same treatment in the next few days. The stepper motors will be connected to the remaining shaft that you see surrounded by the only remaining spur gear. (Still trying to figure out how to remove that one! Can't find any grub screws; I hope it wasn't just pressed on.!)

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