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POD iPad Platform

Posted: 8 May 2012

After getting and using a new iPad (with Retina Display) in the observatory, I knew that I wanted to use the iPad more while at the telescope. To do that, I really wanted a place to put the iPad when not in use. It would rest securely on my "POD Roller Desk", but I wanted something more convenient while I was sitting down at the telescope eyepiece. The design I eventually decided on after doing some prototyping and placement testing is simple. It is just a small table, but with long legs that stands in between the tripod legs. Not only will it provide a place for the iPad, but other accessories, like the Wireless AutoStar handcontroller, eyepieces, small books, etc., can be placed on it. And the height of the table means items can be easily reached while standing or sitting.

On Tuesday, 8 May 2012, I did a "cloudy day" project and made the "POD iPad Platform" (or "PiP" for short). It took 3 hours to make using parts I had on hand.

I first cut out legs that were 16-3/4" long. I then cut the table top, 12" x 12". When assembled, the table top would be 17" from the floor. This height ensures there is sufficient room between the table top and the bottom of the eyepiece tray and the telescope mount locking bar to move items on and off the table. Here are the cut pieces, along with the "iPad stand-in":


I then measured and drilled holes to attach 2" x 2" L-brackets for the legs. Here you can see the L-brackets attached to the legs:


Once the legs were attached to the table top, I had a table:


But did it fit? Of course, as seen here from inside the observatory:


The final step was to put some padding on the table top. I had some thin foam available (which I have used elsewhere in the observatory) and stapled two layers to the table top. This is the completed PiP:



And the PiP holding the iPad, with the SkyWire telescope control cable connected:


The PiP can be centered under the telescope, moved outward a few inches for easier access to anything on the table, or even moved around inside the observatory. This should make it very useful for multiple purposes.

I look forward to using the table to see how well my design works out. Unfortunately, clouds have arrived so it may be a few more nights before I get to use it. Stay tuned.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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