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Full Review: 20" f3.0 SpicaEyes Telescope on a Platform

CloudyNights Review

Owners Speak Out

A Customer Review by Markus Hagi

Customer Comment of the Month
   Updated 11/23/23

 Astrophotography with a Platform
 MallinCam Imaging
 MallinCam at the 2010 OSP
 Image of the Month Updated 5/26/23



Equatorial Platforms
Phone/Fax 530-274-9113



Owners Speak Out

"Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that the star drift alignment procedure you sent me worked very well. I performed the procedure at TSP on the first evening and never had to touch it for the rest of the week. That is one solid platform. I must admit, it dwarfs all the other platforms I saw. The acid test was a 4mm Radian at 456x. The platform held the star to with in about 1 minute of the center of the field for the the entire tracking run of about 65 minutes. I am extremely pleased with the performance of this 9 year old unit. Further, it works in perfect harmony with the SkyCommander system. Every 'reset' was on the money. Your product is truly well engineered, durable, accurate, and easy to use and I can highly recommend it."

Lynn Gibson        Brunet, TX

"The platform you built me arrived many weeks ago, along with many weeks of rain. I tried it out last night. All I can say is, WOW. I am a nut for high quality anything, and your platform is on my "best of" list. Saturn at 3:00 a.m. looked like it was tacked up on a bulletin board. I pulled up a chair, was mesmerized, and it didn't move. AT ALL. The platform raised the bar on my favorite pastimes sky high. Thanks man. I'm having a blast!!"

Robert Hertel        Glen Ridge, NJ


"Tom - I tried out the platform last night for the first time at a star party. It was incredible! After eyeballing the polar alignment with Polaris it tracked my 17 1/2" Dob flawlessly. The platform is rock solid and a piece of real craftsmanship. The dual axis panning hand controller was wonderful as I panned up and down the sinews of the Veil nebula at 200x. Everyone around me was blown away by the smoothness and dead center accuracy of the tracking. I am one happy camper. Thanks!"

Dan Jewell        Irvine, CA

"I wanted to take a moment to let you know how pleased I am to own one of your elegant Equatorial Platforms. It became immediately clear to me that the tracking capability of the Platform greatly enhances the power of the telescope. I am fortunate that I am in this hobby at a time when there are craftsmen like yourself who dedicate their talents and creativity to the amateur astronomer market! I've placed a photo of my Dobsonian on its Equatorial Platform on my web page and I am more than happy to tell people what a great job you do."

Gary R. Meehan                Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

"Finally had an opportunity to use my new Platform tonight. All I can say is 'wow'. The unit worked spendidly with dead on tracking for long runs. What a joy Tom. What a joy. You really know how to make'em work right. Thanks for all your efforts. Sure would never want to go back to manual tracking. No way."

Chuck Gulker        Hilliard, Ohio

"It has been a couple of months since I received your compact Equatorial Platform for my 10" dobsonian. What can I say that you have probably not already heard? Your Platform's exquisite craftsmanship is exceeded only by its ease of use. I was also surprised how compact it is to transport. I carry it like a briefcase. Setup is quick, easy and provides a base for my scope that is rock solid. Tracking is easily adjusted and is dead on even at high powers.

It is often said that no one scope can do everything, and that may be true, but your Platform under a dob with a well figured mirror comes as close to that ideal as anything I've used. Using your device is sheer pleasure. This was made all the more obvious when I recently used a friend's dob, just like mine, without the Platform. How I survived without it is beyond me!

Your Platforms are worth every penny. Kudos to you and the best of luck to you and your company. Satisfied beyond expectations."

John J. Cassella        Sierra Vista, Arizona


"Last night I took my 18" Obsession to an in-town public star party and placed it for the first time on my Compact Equatorial Platform. The results were stunning. Everyone wanted to look through the scope, and it was a pleasure to stand back and watch, rather than constantly jumping in to recenter each object. High power views of Jupiter and Saturn sat motionless... several people ended up on their hands and knees, looking with amazement under the scope at your creation, clearly dazzled by the performance. The Equatorial Platform is a "best buy"...."

Mark Wagner        Los Gatos, CA

"I have to tell you Tom what a thrill it is to observe Mars at 500x through a 25" dob and binocular viewer. My platform tracked Mars like a swiss watch for an hour! I have also re-discovered Lunar viewing with the platform. It is a real blast to "scan" the Lunar landscape with the hand controller, and really see all of the detail that a 25" can resolve."

Doug Finch        Birmingham, AL

"Platform arrived today. I'm absolutely speechless at the beautiful finish. I'm not just saying that. My wife actually WANTS me to keep it in the living room!"

Matt Dawson        Luxembourg

"I'm delighted with the Equatorial Platform that I got from you two years ago; it works beautifully on both my 20" and 13" at different sites. I've certainly told my friends about your product, and have encouraged them to get one. I find that it's quite easy to transport, and really reliable, so congratulations on such a fine and useful item."

Fred Eiserling        Pacific Palisades, CA

"In a world where mass production and its accompanying drop in quality standards is the accepted norm, I noticed my jaw drop when I becamed aware of your commitment to insuring custom, customer satisfaction. It is clear to me, and I'm sure to anyone who has had the privilege of owning an equatorial platform, that you are doing what you want to do. Bucking the trend of just doing enough to get customers off their backs, Equatorial Platforms' customers are obviously its first priority. The quality of your product is unparalleled. Not only does my platform function flawlessly, but it is beautiful to behold. The finish brings out the depth in the wood, and makes the whole package of telescope and platform quite an impressive sight. Thank you for doing what you like to do, and doing it so well."

John York        Pasadena, TX


"The Compact Equatorial Platform you sold me works superbly with the Portaball. I love the ease of use of your Platforms. Just set up on the ground in the direction of Polaris and away you go. I just love it! What a difference it makes for planetary viewing."

Jim Kendrick        "Manufacturer of the Kendrick Dew Removal System"

"I am ecstatic about my new Compact Equatorial Platform. The first night out it was easy to set up and a joy to use. The tracking was very smooth. At 500X with my 18" Dob I saw the central star in the Ring Nebula for the first time. The Platform is a terrific piece of equipment for my telescope. Thank you.

Shneor Sherman        Davis, CA

"As usual the platform performed flawlessly Saturday night. It is truly one of the best astronomy investments I have ever made as it increases the enjoyment of my 25 inch dob significantly. In the days before the platform, I rarely used high power, especially when a group was gathered near the scope because of the constant readjustment necessary and the climbing up and down the ladder. That's all history. Now I go for the optimum view no matter what the power required. The stability and smoothness of the drive is so good, one tends to forget it's there - it's like the earth stopped for enjoying the view. Thanks for a supurb product."

Dave Buchla        Yuba College, CA

"I've been using your equatorial platform with my 20 inch Obsession for the past year, and I just wanted to tell you how great it is! The platform itself is well constructed and obviously built by a craftsman. It has such a compact, low profile that many people don't realize that it's anything more than an azimuth mount -- at least, not until they see an object remain rock-steady at high power. Unlike other amateur's attempts at Dob tracking, there is absolutely no stepper jerk or vibration at all, and there is no clumsy worm gear or threaded rod that must be rewound at the end of its travel -- just pull up on the platform's right-ascension handle and it's ready for another hour of tracking!"

Robert Dahl        Scottsdale,AZ

"Your Platform is on of the few things I have purchased in my life that works as well as the seller said it would."

Liam Smyth        Dublin, Ireland

"I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the Platform. It sure is beautiful to look at and it works as good as it looks. Last night I observed Zeta Cancii for twenty minutes with powers from 400x to 790x. I could see no vibration or movement in the image at all. What a difference in high power viewing! Thank you again for your excellent craftsmanship and design work. The Platform has been admired by all who have seen it."

Randy Kantner        Whitestown, IN

"I am very pleased with the high quality of the Platform. It enhances so much the aesthetics of viewing: being able to look at an object and not having it move out of the field of view. I am a very happy customer and I just wanted you to know that."

Edgar Cortes        Corpus Christi, TX

"The Platform performs flawlessly. What a pleasure to go to my table to sketch or look at a map and come back to find that the faint fuzzy I had spent 15 minutes trying to find was still centered in the field... I am delighted."

David Bunbury        Antigonish, N.S

"Your Platform has helped me to see things not possible otherwise. I couldn't be more pleased. Lots of compliments on your work from others as well."

Vernon Kifer        Glendale, CA

"My platform arrived Monday about lunchtime. A friend at work helped me unpack it on the spot. Needless to say, your workmanship is impressive. The platform possesses furniture-like quality - even more so than I expected. Even the folks at work commented on how great it looked.... M15 looked remarkable last night at appr. 400X. How nice to take a good long look without moving. The crescent moon also occulted about a 10th mag star last night. Tracking the moon and watching it close it on the star was neat. I used about 400x on M57 and was amazed at how much more I could see. I have always known that high powers with deep sky often revealed previously hidden detail, but always avoided the higher powers. Now I know I can use these powers to greater advantage."

Allen Davis        Enfield, NC

"Tom, the Equatorial Platform you sold me is perfect. It has performed flawlessly with my 22" Obsession style scope. After spending five months building the scope, putting it on your Platform added tremendous enjoyment of it. Everyone has been astonished by the workmanship and all agree that your Platform is wonderful. My friend Dave who purchased his is also just as ecstatic.

Gazing at the trapezium the other night allowed us to go to high power search for the G star. The mount was as smooth as glass and rock steady. Having just built the 22" almost identical to an Obsession scope (with many thanks to Dave Kriege), I can imagine the difficulty in building one of those platforms. They are worth every cent. I can't say enough about your Platforms. They combine old world craftsmanship and high tech performance."

Don Taylor        Lodi, CA


"I needed something larger than an 8-inch, yet smaller than a 20-inch. The 12-1/2 inch Portaball exactly hits the mark! It is as portable and easy for one person to set up an an 8-inch SC, yet has more than twice the light gathering capability. Every detail of this telescope is exquisitley made with functionality in mind. The Equatorial Platform compliments the telescope exceedingly well. It is light weight, sets up in about 30 seconds, and runs so smoothly you forget it is there. It is great when viewing at 300X or higher magnification to have the object remain in dead center. Anyone who would like to discusss either of these two outstanding products can e-mail me at elykid@gmail.com."

Gene Townsend        San Antonio, TX

"I love the platform! I get lots of comments, congratulations, and am constantly recommending your work. At the Texas star party alone I'll bet at least 5 people fell in love with it and decided they needed one. MY system had a lot of pictures taken of it, and got alot of compliments. I had my system drifted in good enough for a star to stay dead center in cross hairs at over 200x for over 30 min."

Bob Cuberly        Clinton, IL

"I love my Equatorial Platform. It holds the image steady on my 12.5" Dob with a 9mm eyepiece. The wood finish is handsome and Tom has been very helpful in answering questions and promptly replacing a part which I lost."

Dr. Al Scopp        Mountain View, CA