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Thread: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

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    Cool Made my own Hiss Drive Rover



    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post (been lurking for a while now soaking up the info) and I wasn't sure whether to post this in mounts (is it really a mount or a base or...?) or here...so I flipped a coin and here won LOL

    I built a hiss drive my 8" Zhumell this week (and as of yet haven't been able to test it because of... you guessed it...clouds) as my (hopefully) triumphant return to astronomy and woodworking after a back injury that sidelined me for the last three months.

    I also added wheels to make the drive (and the telescope on top) mobile, so I can wheel it out of my garage and observe, and hopefully be able to track objects with it. The project has been on the back burner for about a year ever since I came across Tom Fangrow's webpage about his (from 1985!). Best part was, it only added 2" to the overall height of the base+scope that I have been observing with for the last few years.

    I have since been able to find some excellent info and motivation here and some great pictures, but honestly there's not much out there that I can find. So I decided to make my own and document every step so that someone like me can come along after me and have a little more info.

    Since hurting my back, I have come to realize the appeal of smaller SCTs with goto mounts but even the Nexstars are out of my price range. One day....

    This whole project cost me less than $50, using wood leftover from other projects and tools I already had. I had to purchase a bicycle pump, aquarium supplies (hose, valves, etc) and an inner-tube. I scavenged some of the wood and the wheels from the old yard canon base.

    It was a fun build, and I still have some tweaking to do (as explained in the blog entires) but it's about 95% done and ready for testing, as soon as the skies clear. Right now it's raining (again) and there is a forecast for partly cloudy skies the rest of the week teasing me.

    For your convenience, I've linked the blog entries in order below if you want to check it out. Rest assured that once I give it a whirl I'll report back and let you know if all the effort and planning and dreaming was worth it lol

    Part I: Hiss Drive Rover

    Part II: Back to the Drawing Board

    Part III: Version 2.0

    Part IV: Adding Support and Wheels

    Part V: Attaching the Top Half

    Part VI: The Lever, and Attaching the Top Half, Part Deux



    And here it is...waiting for a clear night/morning...of course nothing but clouds for the last week.
    wpid-img_20131018_132416_057.jpg

    Thanks for looking.

    Steve
    warmvet, johnrfeeney and arsene37 like this.

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    Ha ha, screwed up the first post. Awesome.

    The last link in the post above is the final segment of the construction process (to date), fyi. Oooh! Two posts now! lol
    Clear Skies,

    Steve

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    I've never heard of such a thing. I just checked YouTube and watched a video on one. I'm curious to see how well it works.
    Scope: Celestron 4SE, Orion AstroView 120ST EQ Refractor, Orion Skyquest XT10i DOB
    Eyepieces: 10mm, 17mm, 25mm, 28mm, 38mm eyepieces, Celestron 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece, Celestron 3x - 1.25" - X-Cel LX Barlow
    Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    How high does it put your EP at Zenith?

    BTW I like your style. Low cost, make it work if you got it.

    Looking at the design makes me wonder if you could put a large threaded rod in place of the inner tube and have a very simple motor setup to do the same thing.

    I would look at this option more closely but I have a Z12 and think it would likely put me way to high to view without a platform.

    Good luck with your project.

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    Andercd: Yeah, the concept seems so simple it can't work...I've got my fingers crossed. Doing tests in the garage yielded a nice buttery smooth movement of the telescope. Of course, I was looking out the window at a tree that wasn't moving in the sky so...I have no idea if it will work, but I am cautiously optimistic.

    If the sky would just clear I'd take it out for a field test...
    Clear Skies,

    Steve

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    Woodscavenger: (BTW love your name lol) I checked it out and at zenith the ep is...well...high. It's about 7.5 feet. Definitely step stool worthy. That said, I have never (and I've been observing since 1993) looked at anything near the zenith. Of course, I just dipped my toes in the deep sky last year so that may change. Looking at stuff about 35* and higher will require a step as well. That was kind of a mistake, now that I think on it. I made this base (the original that I cannibalized) 08032010070.jpg08032010071.jpg10292010378.jpg about 4 years ago and it was perfect (almost). I could look comfortably at just about everythying up to about 60* flat-footed.

    I designed this rover to be teh same height but forgot to take into account the wooden spacer support and the tubafore used as a hinge support on the axis side. That raised the platform for the telescope up about 2 inches, add another 1/2" for the plywood base the telescope sits on...now everything is just a wee bit taller. Barely in the comfort zone.

    That said, I may end up tinkering with astrophotography more (if this thing works!) so it may not be that big a deal. Time will tell. If...these...clouds...ever...go...away.

    As far as the threaded rod, it sounds feasible, but I have yet to brave the waters of motors!

    I'm still trying to come up with a way to lower the overall height, but short of removing the wheels (and then killing the motivating factor of easy mobility) I can't see my way around it.

    At any rate, I will post back when I test it out!
    Clear Skies,

    Steve

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    very interesting - great job

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodscavenger View Post
    Looking at the design makes me wonder if you could put a large threaded rod in place of the inner tube and have a very simple motor setup to do the same thing.
    Sure you can. Here is an auto-guided motorized version of the Hiss drive (BTW I heard about the Hiss drive only after I built my first prototype of what I use now). The first 2 links are up to date:

    Autoguided Dobsonian on a barnbox platform - it works the first time!
    Barnbox update
    Barndoor Box building instructions documentation

    Henk
    Clear skies, Henk. Telescopes: Carbon fiber ES ED127CF, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Canon (SX40, 450D, 350D, ELPH 100HS), Samsung NX100, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, foldable Dob base with leveling feet, Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: Counterweight bar attachment, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, SSAG, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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    Default Re: Made my own Hiss Drive Rover

    Wow Henk that is some amazing work you've done!!! Just added some more projects to my list.
    Clear Skies,

    Steve

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    Question Wait...what's wrong???

    Okay...so finally got the rover out under clears skies! Too bad it was 10:30 this morning... But I take what I can get. The moon was still up so at least I had a target to try this puppy out.

    Unfortunately, it performed less than stellar. I think. See, I am all kinds of confused on how this thing is supposed to operate now. My understanding was that you build the hinge on the eastern side of the platform, angled to point at Polaris (generally, the NCP specifically) at an angle to match your latitude (in my case 43.8*....I used 45* to make construction easier, then figured I could shim it in the front to bring it down a degree or so). With the inner tube inflated, you get your target in the eyepiece and slowly release air---the platform rotates around the hinge counteracting the movement of the earth.

    What happened during the first field test? Well, I locked on to the moon, (about 45 minutes before setting so it was low in the west) and let big flooded basin Grimaldi drift through the eyepiece (12mm, from my perspective, the target moved from left to right across the FOV). After a minute or so, I reset the FOV so Grimaldi was on the left again, let it work it's way towards the center of the FOV then started to release the air a tiny bit. I couldn't hear any hissing (but with cars passing buy and house construction a few doors down, I'm not surprised...sure is a lot noisier during the day!) but I also couldn't tell if the moon was shifting any less. It seemed to kind of pause, but not really. So I opened up the valve until I heard air escaping and watched Grimaldi slide quickly across the eyepiece in the same direction it had when I had the valve closed (from left to right)! I reset and tried again, opening the valve all the way this time to see what happened. The moon sped (very smoothly!) from left to right, as if time was sped up.

    So there I am, scratching my head in the driveway, trying to figure things out. If I have done this correctly, shouldn't the moon go the opposite direction, from right to left int he eyepiece when the drive is engage (and opened "too much")? How else could the hiss drive (or any drive for that matter) counteract the earth's rotation?

    Then I had a sinking thought...what if I put the hinge on the wrong side? Almost every picture I've seen on the internet (okay, I think it was every picture) shows the drive set up just like mine---ie, facing north, the hinge is on the right (east) side. So what gives? Well, I tried a little experiment and turned the thing around and had the hinge angle point south this time.

    The result? Instead of the moon gliding past left to right, when I opened the valve, the moon went up in the eyepiece. So odd.

    I'm trying for the life of me to wrap my mind around this---and I've been out of the hobby nearly a year now, so can someone please slap me upside the head and knock these cobwebs out? Something doesn't add up here.

    For the record, obviously, I couldn't have been properly lined up on Polaris (or the NCP) since it was daylight. I used a compass (well away from the OTA) to find North and lined it up with that by sight. I also tried this setup pushed a little to the east and west of what I thought was north, just to see if it made any difference, and there was no noticeable change in the targets progression across the FOV. I also tried putting a block of wood under the front of the rover to change the angle from 45* to...something less. I tired with and without the block shim, again, no noticeable change.

    Perhaps if I tried it at night time there would be a greater indication of the things I was doing having some sort of affect. Perhaps at night I would get a better alignment---okay, I know at night I'll get a better alignment. But that said, shouldn't there be at least a hint of this thing counteracting the "normal" progression of a target through the eyepiece FOV???

    So confused. Can any of you astronomical gurus out there throw me a clue? I'm fully prepared to look like a fool---after all I built the dag-gum thing and can't figure out how to use it lol
    Clear Skies,

    Steve

 

 
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