In 1990 I purchased a 17.5 inch Dobsonian Telescope. Since that time my telescope has gone through a series of changes. I first changed the focuser, switching to a low-profile Astro-systems 2 inch focuser. Then I replaced the cardboard sono-tube with a wooden octagon  truss tube assembly. In 1995 I added digital encoders. In 1999 I made the dramatic leap of adding motorized gears using the Mel Bartels computerized drive-scope system. The photos shown here where done in 2002 while adding Byers gears to drive the altitude and azimuth axis. A number of other improvements have been done such as adding new aluminum altitude bearings and putting stainless steel plating on the surface of the ground board giving the azimuth bearing a smoother surface to roll on. All of the improvements mentioned were necessary to make the telescope perform well enough to do CCD imaging.

I want to give special thanks to Mr. Edwin Bading (shown here) of Placid Metal Crafts in Seguin, Texas.  He was very kind to help me throughout the process of machining various parts needed to upgrade the telescope.

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