Edward R. Byers Co.

Drive Systems

     Ed Byers was the first person to offer true sidereal rate tracking to the amateur market. Byers drives are known for their precision and accuracy all over the world. The larger, research quality drive systems have been known to have no detectable error.

     Back in the early 1950’s when Byers started to build his own 16” Cassegrain telescope, he discovered that no worm gears, specifically designed for amateur telescopes were available to amateur astronomers and telescope builders. They had no place to buy accurate worm gear drives for their telescopes. Large observatory’s had budgets to buy high-precision worm/gear drives from large gear manufacturers, which were designed by skilled engineers. Byers realized the need to supply affordable drive systems for smaller telescopes. Using his skills as a machinist and his talents as a design engineer, he dedicated a year to develop several different gear systems, having numbers of teeth that could cancel the Earth’s rotation, by using only two clock reduction gears and a synchronous motor.

     The need to couple the gear to the polar and declination shafts, required the design of a special spring-loaded slip-clutch. This clutch permitted the telescope to be moved, manually, without stopping the motor and disengaging the gear. These clutches have been used on thousands of drives and mountings around the world. Their flawless performance has been unequalled, requiring no change in design for over sixty years.

     Realizing the amateur astronomers were on limited budgets and did not have financial resources, such as the U.S. Government, Universities, and research institutions, Byers made every efforts to give them the highest quality and the lowest price. As a result, thousands of amateur astronomers, as well as high-end customers such as Observatories and research institutions, have benefited.


29001 US HWY. 58

Barstow CA, 92311


(760) 221 2127