Twin Pines Observatory Motor Photos

Here is a close-up view of the motor, gear and rack placement with the motor cover removed.

I installed a 3 x 2 spar that runs across the observatory for mounting the gear rack.  The motor and spar are mounted approx. 2/3 of the way back from the front  of the observatory. I suppose I could have mounted it all the way against the back wall, but I was concerned that it might cause an issue where the roof would get skewed from driving it from one side only and come off the rails. However, I didn’t want it in the middle because it would interfere with the operation of the telescope.

The gear rack mounts have a clever design with slotted, ramped mounting points which make it easy to adjust the pinion gear to rack backlash and the height of engagement (which isn’t all that important). On the back wall the roof rollers are visible. These are small (1.75”) V-Groove rollers that ride on V-Groove rails that are mounted on top of 2 x 4’s at the front and rear of the structure.

I had to cut away part of the building to provide clearance for the rack to move outside when the roof opens. (Upper right of photo above motor).

Here is a view after the installation was completed and the cover was re-installed on the Aleko motor. I installed the little red push button and wired it across the motor activation terminals to have a convenient way to operate the motor from inside in case I’m working on something and don’t  want to use the SkyRoof app to operate the roof. Above the red button and to the right of it there is an opening where the user can install a special “key” which disengages a clutch in the motor so the roof can be moved manually, if needed. This turned out to be a very useful feature when installing everything but once everything is in place and operational, I rarely use it.

Here are links to YouTube videos showing the roof in operation from the inside of the observatory and from the outside:



As you can see in the video showing the roof opening, the roof never opens all the way due to the motor placement. But it really is a non-issue because I would never do any imaging at such a low altitude and there are trees in the way in that direction.

Hope this helps!

More photos available on request