Precision Worm Gear Drives for Telescope Control and Tracking

Aeroquest Machining has been in the business of producing precision worm gear drives for ATM people for over 21 years. Aeroquest Machining has also been retrofitting existing telescope mounts with higher quality and lower periodic error gear systems’ turning otherwise marginal mounts into those capable of high precision imaging with ccd cameras. We make custom drives for amateur astronomers as well as professionals for use on homebuilt mounts that have measured tracking accuracy in the 0- 4 arc second range without electronic periodic error correction applied. Aeroquest Machining has made drive systems for observatories such as the European Southern Observatory, Swarthmore College, H.R. McMilan and many others around the world. Aeroquest Machining has a reputation for working with customers to give them what they need to make their telescope mounts perform to their greatest capacity.

Worm gear drives are available in diameters from 5.6 inches and smaller to 24 inch diameters. The worms are machined as 1 piece units for the ultimate in concentricity and accuracy. Retrofit parts such as worms and ring gears are available for many commercial mounts that have sub-par performance. We have gotten many great reviews on the quality of our machined parts and the great increase in performance as compared to the OEM mounts. Aeroquest Machining has upgraded mounts such as the CGEM, CGE Pro, EQ6, LXD 75, Losmandy and others with new worms and gears giving them smoother tracking with less periodic error for easier imaging.

Our gear systems can be supplied with hand controls and be fully clutched for use on mounts built by the amateur. They can be supplied with computer control systems as well as manual controls with stepper or servo systems as required. Slip ring setting circles can be supplied as well with a vernier scale for direct indexing on stellar co-ordinates in R.A. or Declination accurate to 1 arc minute for R.A and 1/10th degree for Declination. We will work with our customers to supply them with exactly what they need.

Aeroquest Machining worm gears are made form 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and/or 7075-T6 series aluminum for strength and corrosion resistance. Worms are made from 303 stainless steel and lapped to perfectly mesh with the gear teeth. Our standard gear tooth number offerings are in 359 and 360 teeth but we can make gears with other tooth numbers to suit your needs.

The one piece worms are the ultimate in accuracy and are made on a precision tool room lathe with a specially lapped lead screw for the lowest machined periodic error curves possible. We have made worms and gears for some major suppliers of mounts for the astronomy community over the years and have had excellent reviews on their performance. Customer service is important to us and Aeroquest Machining wants your product to perform as expected.