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All our products can be retrofitted to any telescope with slow motion controls! In particular here are some examples of telescopes in common use and suggestions for them. SYSTEM 5 is our most versatile (non-GOTO) drive system and can drive large stepper motors on a limited budget. If you intend to convert to GOTO at some time then we can supply a MICROSTEP solution with a simple handset cosdting about the same as SYSTEM 5. Later on you can add the Intelligent Handset to complete the GOTO system.


This mounting is very common (and cloned), suitable for driving all sorts of telescopes up to 10 inch in aperture. The VIXEN STEPPER motors are the best ones to use as the support brackets and housing have been done for you. There is a pair of spur gears to take the motion from the gearbox to the slow motion axis. There is also an adjustable clutch mechanism that can be fitted. The Celestron CG-5 version is Chinese made but accepts the standard Vixen MT-1 stepper motors.

The older stepper motors have 5 pins on the connector and have a 300:1 gearbox. The newer design has 8 pins and a 120:1 gearbox. Both these are the audio style round connector (DIN). It is necessary to state which one you have or if you need motors, AWR can supply the latest motor type. The main slow motion reduction is 144:1.

The recommended product as a general purpose drive system for this mount is the SYS5/VIX which is purely a handset with two motor leads. It is fully featured having greater capability than the alternative. The drive to the motors is a bi-level voltage which applies a short pulse of higher voltage. This makes available more power from the motor at high speed. Further information on this product

We can upgrade the drive to the VIXEN STEPPER motors with our FRGEN drivebox which provides computer connection, GOTO facility, coordinate readout and computer connection. The limitation is max slew speed 0.3 degrees per second.

The best solution is to use our 200 step per rev MICROSTEPPING motor with a 5:1 reduction gear transferring the motion to the worm axis. We have our own bracket to make user fitting very easy. See MICROSTEP INTELLIGENT DRIVE SYSTEM (EQ5) for a complete lineup of products. The fast slew can be more than 1 degree per second and yet has 157 steps per second when following at sidereal rate. So ther eare no vibrations making it easy to take photographs.

The CELESTRON motors fitted to the CG-5 mount are DC motors and have a small telephone style connector. We CANNOT DRIVE THESE MOTORS. The other characteristic of these motors is that they run off a PP3 size battery and take very little curernt. If you want to connect any of our systems then you will need to replace the motors. The other important point is that it is a very difficult design challenge to get the DC motor going slowly enough and smooth enough rotation for use in astronomy.

VIXEN SKYSENSOR 2000 drives DC motors and we can't drive these either.

Eq head

The mount requires mechanical alteration to add a worm wheel set on the Declination. This is fairly straightforward and has been accomplished by us on the 16 inch Starfinder. We have working drawings to make the brackets for this.

Several customers have virtually rebuilt this mount using our Microstep system and heavy duty stepper motors to provide GOTO performance. AWR can supply the worm wheel set (from Beacon Hill Telescopes). These have 360 teeth on 14 inch diameter wheel; 287 teeth on 11 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch wheels.

CLICK for a much bigger picture (65k).
Shows MOTOR/120 fitted on RA with gearbox and 28cm AWR Drivebox.


This mount usually has large telescopes fitted. It needs a lot of power to turn, about 100 to 200Ncm. The worm reductions are 359:1 and were originally fitted with Synchronous motors with 200Ncm torque. Watch out for the bearings which need careful maintenance otherwise the axes will become very stiff.

The product we offer is SYSTEM 5 with STEP3 motors for a general purpose drive with plenty of output torque. We can also supply a unit to drive the original synchronous motors (SYSTEM 3).

For Computer connection, GOTO, etc the MICROSTEP DRIVE system has been adapted with special brackets. It will drive up to 1 degree per second. See BRACKET DRAWINGS

ORION OPTICS equatorial mount

This German equatorial mount has telescopes fitted in the range 6 inch to 10 inch. The worm reductions are 144:1 and were originally fitted with Synchronous motors with 50Ncm torque. Careful attention to the alignment of the worm, endfloat etc will be required to reduce the backlash. The worm wheel sets are available as a retrofit kit.

For Computer connection, GOTO, coordinate readout etc the MICROSTEP DRIVE system using MOTOR/50 is sufficient for a 6 inch Newtonian on this mount. The AWR demo system is based on this telescope and shown right. It shows the motor mounted on the bracket connected with an OLDHAM COUPLING to the slow motion shaft.

Orion Optics SX-150


This company produced a very nice drive box with a capability to slew stepper motors up to about 200x sidereal rate. However an essential part - the driver IC has gone obsolete and is not sourced by another manufacturer. ASTRO-TECH company ceased trading about 1995 (correct me if I am wrong). It was also supplied by ASTRO PROMOTIONS, also ceased trading.

We can add intelligence to this system by adding our UNIVERSAL FREQUENCY GENERATOR intelligent product into the existing drive box. Then the Intelligent Handset can be fitted to give you position readout and GOTO control.


The motorized base of these telescope were fitted with two synchronous motors with small ovoid gearboxes. To upgrade to stepper motors is more of a mechanical problem than anything else. The recommended stepper motor (our STEP5) would be supplied on a standard ovoid gearbox but this is too big to fit in the casting. It delivers enough torque for one motor to suffice. Then the small spur gear must be transferred to the output shaft of the the gearbox. It is probably not worth the aggravation to convert these mounts. The best solution is to take the optical tube assembly and make a bracket for a Newtonian mount. Celestron currently offer this configuration with their tube assemblies!

If all you need is stabilised tracking then we can offer SYSTEM 3 to drive the existing synchronous motors, synthesising 110 or 240 Volts ac at the correct frequency.


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