My Linear Tracker (a new variation perhaps?) - diyAudio
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Old 11th March 2014, 06:24 AM   #1
soyuz is offline soyuz  Chile
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Default My Linear Tracker (a new variation perhaps?)

hello everyone,

Ive been using this arm for a year now and Im very happy with it, the main design goal was simplicity and overall low mass horizontal and vertical, I wanted to eliminate the use of air bearing with the corresponding air pump, after a lot of tinkering with different carriage designs like magnetic, hydraulic... ball bearing is in my opinion the more elegant approach for a linear tracker and I finally got to a design that gave me what I was looking for.

the arm is clearly based on the concepts used in the engineering masterpiece the "Opus Cantus" and the "Souther" at first I was going for a copy of those designs but I thought it could be made more simple and this is the result:

Click the image to open in full size.

as can be seen the whole carriage and arm becomes a type of "linear ball bearing" this is an illustration of the basic concept ( "thrust ball bearing")

Click the image to open in full size.

all the rods are from a normal telescopic tv antenna:

Click the image to open in full size.

surprisingly this rods work very well, they are smooth, easy to work and they are everywhere!!! I did try glass rods and it also worked but I could not find them with an adequate diameter so the carriage was bulky and I ended up using the antenna rod.

as can be seen the ball is placed in the middle channel formed by the two circular rods put side by side, the contact points are four per each ball :

Click the image to open in full size.

side view with the contact points:

Click the image to open in full size.

as you could imagine while traveling the disc from start to finish the two balls change position in relation to the upper carriage this might seem like a mayor problem limiting the arm range but in practice is not even a concern :

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

(please dont mind the cables, I was doing some tests for mono connection)
the movement of the arm is very smooth and free from malicious drag, it goes very well with high compliance carts.
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Old 11th March 2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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This looks very intriguing! Do the ball bearing maintain a constant distance relative to each other as the top carriage moves along? It seems from your description that they don't. If they don't, I'm assuming you have to re-position them with every side played?
Regards
Chris
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Old 11th March 2014, 12:02 PM   #3
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

the underlying principle behind this kind of bearing has been granted a Patent to D.Mankovitz in 1961 under license number US3,006,652
The patent describes a more complicated ball-track member though.

jauu
Calvin
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Old 11th March 2014, 01:52 PM   #4
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Clever.

There are the issues of the flatness of the rods, and the added moving mass of the double rods that move with the arm...

_-_-
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http://www.bearlabs.com -- Btw, I don't actually know anything, FYI -- [...2SJ74 Toshiba bogus asian parts - beware! ]
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Old 11th March 2014, 05:07 PM   #5
soyuz is offline soyuz  Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisG139 View Post
This looks very intriguing! Do the ball bearing maintain a constant distance relative to each other as the top carriage moves along? It seems from your description that they don't. If they don't, I'm assuming you have to re-position them with every side played?
Regards
Chris
they keep the same distance to each other during play, there is no need to repositioning them for every side of the disc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
Hi,
the underlying principle behind this kind of bearing has been granted a Patent to D.Mankovitz in 1961 under license number US3,006,652
The patent describes a more complicated ball-track member though.

jauu
Calvin
EXCELENT!!!, yes it seems to be the same principle, I think is not much more complicated but it seems very bulky and a lot heavier , aesthetically I imagine something like a RABCO.
any real pictures of this design? seems that it never went into production a quick search only direct me to another post on this forum by moray james pointing out the patent
Opus 3 Cantus parallel tracking arm

funny who everything goes around, I was reverse engineering the Opus Cantus while imagining my arm, this type of design should be more known, my own experience with this principle is brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
Clever.
There are the issues of the flatness of the rods, and the added moving mass of the double rods that move with the arm...
_-_-
Im surprise with this rods and the application, the rods are really smooth, flatness is very good and they are very light the major part of the whole weight is compose of the cartridge itself and the counter weight, this type of antenna are ubiquitous and cheap, I was thinking in a more "professional" or expensive material but there's no need , surprisingly everything works fine as it is.
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Old 11th March 2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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That's fascinating! I'm assuming that the two rods (both top and bottom) are 'glued' together and that the clips attached to the top rail don't touch the bottom rail but help stop it falling off. Are these assumptions correct? Also-what size ball do you use-5mm?
Thanks
Chris
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Old 11th March 2014, 06:31 PM   #7
soyuz is offline soyuz  Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisG139 View Post
That's fascinating! I'm assuming that the two rods (both top and bottom) are 'glued' together and that the clips attached to the top rail don't touch the bottom rail but help stop it falling off. Are these assumptions correct? Also-what size ball do you use-5mm?
Thanks
Chris
exactly! your assumptions are correct.
I only added the "clips" for safety or precaution in case I mishandle the carriage it doesn't fall apart. the clips don't do anything in normal operation.
yes the ball is around 4 mm.
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Old 11th March 2014, 09:28 PM   #8
Dyolf is offline Dyolf  Norway
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Hi Soyuz
Congrats with a simple and capable design. I have used a similar (almost identical) arm for the last 3 years, and it have behaved flawlessly. At the moment I am making some small adjustments, because I want to reduse the amount of dust and other airborn debrie, that settles on the rails and balls. In my new version the four rails are 3mm. carbon tubes, and the balls are Rega size ceramic types. Have you had any problems with dust?
Steen

Last edited by Dyolf; 11th March 2014 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 11th March 2014, 10:55 PM   #9
soyuz is offline soyuz  Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyolf View Post
Hi Soyuz
Congrats with a simple and capable design. I have used a similar (almost identical) arm for the last 3 years, and it have behaved flawlessly. At the moment I am making some small adjustments, because I want to reduse the amount of dust and other airborn debrie, that settles on the rails and balls. In my new version the four rails are 3mm. carbon tubes, and the balls are Rega size ceramic types. Have you had any problems with dust?
Steen
I'm not having problems with dust at least not to worry me, in general I use a Q-tip and is ready to go (once every 4 or 5 days something like that )

yep, lots of materials to try and play with...
I wanted to try polymer or nylon for the ball but never got to it, I also want to try a wooden wand in the future, I'm planning on getting a test record to take critical measurements for the different materials but right now Im just enjoying the arm as it is

this type of design is proving to be worthy of consideration.
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Old 12th March 2014, 03:10 PM   #10
carolus is offline carolus  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soyuz View Post
....Ive been using this arm for a year now and Im very happy with it, the main design goal was simplicity and overall low mass horizontal and vertical, I wanted to eliminate the use of air bearing with the corresponding air pump, after a lot of tinkering with different carriage designs like magnetic, hydraulic... ball bearing is in my opinion the more elegant approach for a linear tracker and I finally got to a design that gave me what I was looking for. ....
Hy Soyuz.
Congrats with your first "linear tracker" embryo.
Chapeau bas ... hoedje af .

FYI.
I sent you a copy-scan from my old archive "Radio Bulletin " (Dutch) anno 1960 apr. page 308 (fig 99) with a brief description (& fig) with the same concept. The ref. name (probably diy constructor) Mr Percy WILSON ....
I hope to see soon your "end" model (& not the last, I presume)....
Do it.
Allez, salukes.
Karel
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