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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 11/13/22

 Astrophotography with a Platform
 MallinCam Imaging
 MallinCam at the 2010 OSP
 Image of the Month Updated 2/27/23



Equatorial Platforms
Phone/Fax 530-274-9113

Visits Since March 1999



The Compact Platform

Economical Platforms for most Dobsonians

  • Accurate and quiet tracking for any Dobsonian up to 25".
  • A full 75 minutes of tracking at a time, with a 5 second reset.
  • Suitable for high power visual viewing and some astro-photography, such as piggy-back and short exposure prime focus photography.
  • Extremely stable, yet lightweight mount -- weighs 20-35 lbs (depending on size) but can easily carry a large telescope.
  • Beautiful apple-ply plywood construction with a multi-layered weatherproof finish.
  • New quartz drive is now standard on the Compact Platform. Runs on a single 9V battery (included) for a long time. It offers quiet and precise tracking.
  • Reasonably priced from: $975.00 (plus crating/shipping and CA sales tax, if applicable). See price list for details.


"The weather finally broke here in the Midwest and I wanted to let you know your Compact Platform for my 12.5 inch truss dob is fantastic. The rocker box fit perfectly on the Platform and the whole scope is very stable. Tracking is absolutely perfect - objects just sit in the eyepiece. Since I've never had a tracking telescope before it was kind of weird to watch M57 just sit there. The interface with the SkyCommander encoder and azimuth bolt is very easy to install and take down. The color and finish of the platform really matches the scope well. I have attached a couple of pictures.



As I've said before, it was a real pleasure doing business with you. One of these days when I'm older and richer, I'll build a 20 inch scope and get another one of your Platforms. Worth every penny."

Tom Lindsay Columbus, IN


"Just want to let you know that my first light with the new Compact Platform exceeded all expectations. It is easily the most enjoyable night under the stars since I started observing about two years ago. The Platform blended in seamlessly with my Orion XT8i dob. Jupiter remained in the eyepiece at 120X for well over 1/2 hour after a quick polar alignment using the Polar Alignment Tool even without doing any drift alignment. What is more, the Object Locater of the Orion dob worked extremely well with the Platform (with the sidereal clock turned off), placing objects accurately within the field of view at 120X. The Compact Platform is indeed a superb piece of equipment, well worth the price. It is also the most beautiful object in the family room.

Please feel free to use this note to help others thinking of getting a Tom O platform."

Wingko Yung Toronto, Ontario


"Finally had a clear night when I had time to observe! Set up the equatorial platform with a quick visual alignment to Polaris, then leveled it using the bubble level mounted on the platform. This took about a minute. My scope then tracked Jupiter perfectly at 400x. Not a hint of vibration, not even a little drift. Your Compact Platform makes high power observing with my dob really pleasurable instead of frustrating. Thanks very much for making such a high quality product."

Michael Weinrich   Baltimore, MD

"I was at a club 'Sky Watch' this Monday, and used my Compact Platform 'for real' for the first time.
I've been showing people Mars at such times, but I'm used to having to re-find the planet every minute.

This time I eye-balled the polar alignment of the Platform against Polaris, put the telescope on top and pointed my scope at Mars. And Mars just _sat_ there in the eyepiece. I was able to use the full 215x on it,and let one middle-schooler or parent after another look at Mars, and I didn't have to re-find the planet!

I knew it was going to work, but I'm still surprised by how well it worked and how easy it was."

John Bishop   Nashua, NH

"I had the chance this past weekend to use my new Compact Platform with my 14.5" Starmaster and as one member of our club said, 'It's the cat's meow.' Set up was a snap. A rough alignment using a $2 compass provided excellent tracking. Also, the way you set up the azimuth bearing to accept my Sky Commander's encoder is great. Using the scope felt the same. No instability was introduced as a result of the Platform.

I have already become spoiled. I love the idea of being able to find a target, take notes at a leisurely pace, look up information in one of my observing guides, select a new eyepiece, and then return to the eyepeice to find the object hovering just where I left it several minutes earlier. It also makes sharing the view all that more enjoyable as people can just step up and look without me having to be worried that the target left the field of view.

The Platform really completes my telescope and I look forward to using it for a long time. In fact, I'm adapting a couple of smaller scopes to take advantage of the tracking capability provided by my Platform."

Mitchell Gerdisch   Naperville, IL

"After using my Compact Equatorial Platform for nine months, I would like to let you know it is worth every penny I paid for it. My Equatorial Platform has revolutionised my observing, making the use of high powers a pleasure instead of something too impractical to consider. I now routinely observe the moon at 560x with my 8" Dobsonian. The Platform tracks beautifully, and it is very economical to run -- the 9V battery providing many hours of use before replacement is necessary."

"For the cost of an equivalent Newtonian on a German equatorial mount, I have the unltimate user friendly telescope: the facility of the Dobsonian mount but with the advantage of tracking -- the best of both mounting systems."

Graeme Clement   North Perth, Australia

"Just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the Compact Platform you sent me. My scope has been improved about 1000%! The Platform arrived about 10 days ago and last night was the first chance I had to use it and it worked great. Objects stayed right in the center."

Ray Patrick   Portage, PA

"I just wanted to let you know how the Compact Platform that I picked up yesterday works: Great! The alignment was very easy, and I was amazed at how well the objects stayed in the field of view. I was able to use a 5mm ortho eyepiece that only has an 8 arc-minute field of view (I hardly ever used it before, because all I wound up doing was continuosly pushing the tube). It was great to be able to look through this eyepiece (at 311x) at Jupiter and Saturn and M2 for as long as I liked without having to touch the tube. Also, I think the workmanship on your platform is just superb. Thanks for a wonderful product that has greatly enhanced my joy of using my telescope."

Peter Schneider   San Ramon, CA

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