Gears cut the cost of plotting the skies
Gear reducers have brought up-market features to a new budget telescope, which has now won innovation prizes at an international telescope meeting in Germany.
UK gear reducer specialist Ondrives has recently supplied one of its small worm wheel reduction gearboxes to a one-man band in Germany for building into a standard telescope. Marketing Manager Amanda Laughton comments: "We were interested in this project from the start as Mr Lichte, the designer, was a very personable man who is hugely passionate about what he does - which is star-gazing."
The project was to take a basic telescope (Newtonian) and make it more like the one he preferred, the JMI NGT 12.5 model, but that costs wouldn't allow him to buy. Lichte had decided to take matters into his own hands and adapt the Newtonian with a basic horseshoe shaped mount allowing easy movement of the telescope whenever necessary. Ondrives' standard P20 type gearbox model (12:1 reduction ratio) powers this moveable mount along with a drive clutch, and because it is so physically small and lightweight, it easily fits into the minute space envelope available, making it the ideal choice for Lichte's application.
The complete telescope unit needed to be as lightweight as possible to make it easily manoeuvrable and as the Ondrives unit is made from anodised aluminium, this was another significant factor in choosing it.
The telescope has been such a success that it won first place at the International Telescope Meeting in Vogelsberg, Germany for its innovation and design. Lichte has shown it at many shows and relevant exhibitions around Germany and it has captured the interest and imagination of many, particularly younger star-gazers. Lichte comments: "I am hugely proud of what I have achieved and would do it all over again."
Ondrives is always happy to quote for any type of special gear reducer unit required. "With an experienced technical and CAD drawing team, this is easily possible," says Managing Director Ben Hinchliffe. "We have also proved here that our standard range is easily built into special applications without the need for modification, giving quick turnarounds to customers where required."
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