A Champagne Mount on a Beer Budget?
Yes, you CAN build a high-performance equatorial mount in your garage, for peanuts, with simple tools! All the basic information you really need is available freely on this website. However, in case you crave more details:
We are working on a PDF booklet in an 8 1/2" x 11" format that you will be able to download and use as a "guide" for your own construction. The booklet will contain many photographs of the prototype construction process, as well as construction hints and suggestions.
Eventually included will be drawings of the basic dimensions of the prototype, some materials and parts lists, material sources, and some spreadsheets to help you calculate your angles and dimensions for whatever range of latitudes you choose to build your mount for.
There will also, as time goes on, be suggestions and ideas for variations of this design suited for many purposes -- different tube assemblys, observatory versions, binocular chairs, very simple "star party" versions, and etc.
God willing, there will also eventually be information about "closing the loop" with an autoguiding mechanism, which is sure to be essential for serious astrophotography.
Those who download the "How-To" booklet will "go to the head of the queue" when it comes to answering your emailed questions concerning any details of design or construction.
The catch? The "How-To" booklet is a "work in progress" and the first edition probably won't be ready for a while. However, to help me get a sense of the level of interest, I'm making the following "Pre-Publication Special Offer":
* Send me an email to let me know that you plan to build a McCreary Mount, and be sure to ask for the "How-To Booklet Download Password."
* I will email you the login information for a directory where you will be able to ( later this month ) download the PDF "How-To" booklet and other materials, along with a mailing address where you can send a gift.
* Follow up by postal mail with a gift to help support the ongoing development of this design ( suggested "pre-publication" gift amount? $15 -- cash only, US dollars please )
* If you're honestly so broke that you can't afford $15, tell me what you CAN afford and send that! Of course, if you're incredibly rich and you want to really make a positive difference, don't hesitate to send more! :)