■ FIGURE 10. The completed GCT.
length. That tube also makes it easier
to mount the GCT tube into place. Cut
this tube slightly shorter than the
width of the gap, since you want
the GCT tube to rotate with minimum
friction (see Figure 9).
Be sure to center the elevation
servo before you attach the GCT tube
to it. Then slide the spacer over the
axle dowel and finish by bolting the
plastic plate into its arm. The GCT
tube should be free to rotate from at
least horizontally to vertically.
I found that the arms in my GCT
mount were not as rigid as they needed
to be (that’s not a problem when I use
my customary laminated Styrofoam).
So I epoxied an additional plate over
the top of the arms and near their base.
Although the position of this plate
prevents the GCT tube from rotating
below the horizon, I don’t need to make
a measurement from that position
during a near space mission.
I finished the GCT mount by
cutting two holes through it to allow
the RM- 60 serial cables to pass
through and into the interior of the
near spacecraft airframe. Figure 10
shows my completed GCT, and Figure
11 shows it rotated into the vertical
and horizontal positions.
My next near space column will
include the code needed to operate
the GCT and will describe the testing
I performed on it. I figure you’ll have
your GCT telescope done by then.
Onwards and Upwards,
Your Near Space Guide NV
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■ FIGURE 11. These images show the
GCT mount on its side because that’s
the way it will mount to the airframe of
my near spacecraft.