Like a lot of other homebuilder do, I decided to also use a standard actuator to perform the elevation of the array. I searched the internet and found a cheap vendor in Germany that sells all kind of sizes. I choose the actuator with the longest travel they sell (36 inch). This was because in that case you can have the two horizontal pipes in the H-frame at the nice big distance and even then have the needed maximum elevation you need. At my location JO32 I only need maximum 65 degrees of elevation because the Moon location is never higher than this 65 degrees above the horizon.
Well, here I stand with the Superjack 36" actuator that should elevate the array. I must find a nice way to mount it. This actuator itself is already over 10kg in weight... When using the simplest way to mount it, it means the body of the actuator is clamped to the azimuth rotation pipe and the moveable part is connected to the lower horizontal pipe of the H-frame. This however is a unwanted situation because there is tremendous force on the clamp that holds the actuator.
Ther must be a better way I thought...
In these picture I made a test were my idea for the actuator position relative to the H-frame is shown.
The idea with my 36" Superjack actuator is to mount it in such a way to the rotor pipe that it is nicely
balanced. The actuator weigth is 10kg, and when placing it 80cm or so away from the fixationpoint,
there is tremendous bending force expected. To overcome this, I made a construction that brings the
tip of the actuator backwards to the fixation point. In below pictures more will be clear. The question
was would it give unforeseen problems. Is the actuator to be mounted above or below this push/pull
The left picture shows a mockup with a actuator represented by two left-over aluminum pipes that can move inside each other. The push/pull rod is the small tube that goes back from the actuator top to the white plastic vertical tube. This is the side-view of the H-frame. The white plastic pipe is rotating at the top. Mind the rotating point made from duck-tape :-)
In the middle picture the H-frame is elevated by 10 degrees or so. The actuator pipes are now not anymore inside each other, comparable with the real world later. What is interesting to see is the push/pull rod keeps at the same distance from the actuator (or nearly the same distance). This is important to see, because it is unwanted situation that in a real 1:1 scale setup, the actuator is limited in movement. It can push 3000kg or so, a mistake must be prevented.
As a last try the model-actuator is extended even further. In the right picture this can be seen. The distance of the push-rod to the actuator remains. I think, without mathematics used, this is a good alternative to mount the heavy weight actuator.
Now some pictures how the push/pull rod is connected to the actuator in real life:
The two above picture show the push-rod connection to the top of the actuator. I used 6mm aluminum plates in the assembly to mount a piece of 32mm round tube as push-rod. The round tube is flattened at the end and a M10 bolt and nut keeps it in place. The top of the actuator is connected by means of the supplied M12 bolt. In between the flattened 32mm tube and the top of the actuator are filler plates of again 6mm aluminum. These 2 plates at both sides turned out to be exactly the needed thickness to mount it to the ball-bearing on top of the actuator.
In the above picture at the right side, the actuator is finished. The push-rod will be below the actuator when mounted to the H-frame. In that situation, the actuator is also mounted correctly because it contains a few holes in it to let eventual water inside out again. The motor of the actuator is to be above when mounting, see instructions supplied in the box.