Equipment Evolution

Current Setup Inside Skyshed POD with Platform and PZT - click for details

C14 carbon fiber OTA with imaging train and C11 with spectrograph on a Paramount MME.

First Setup Inside Skyshed POD

Sketch with dimensions of a tappered pier that puts the declination axis 2" above the 48" high POD walls for a Losmandy G11 with 4.25" high Losmandy MA pier adapter cylinder. The numbers with an asterisk are revised figures for the Paramount MME installation. The extra 6" of height from the PME installation initiated the building of a raised POD platform.

The imaging train on the back of the C11 is: Optec 2" Pyxis rotator, SBIG AO8 tip-tilt optic, SBIG CFW10 filter wheel with LRGB+UBVRI filters and SBIG ST8XME camera. The tapered pier allows for imaging over 3h past the meridian with the scope of the west side. Eventually the declination shaft runs into the RA worm gear assembly. The hanging cylinder is a wodden dowel wrapped in lead sheets (covered in duct tape). It is used to provide a constant unbalance to the east irrespective of telescope position. This way the same part of the worm gear is always engaged on the worm wheel and the worm is always pushing "uphill".

Tuning the G11 - Tracking Logs

Original Backyard Setup

Celestron 11" Schmidt-Cassegrain with Robofocus stepper motor focuser system mounted on Losmandy G11 with Gemini Goto system.

ST7EI, SX716 attached to LHIRES III spectroscope.

Taurus Tracker III Off-axis guider with a ST7EI, a SX716 for guiding and an illuminated reticle eyepiece. OAG is attached to the scope via a 2" Astrophysics visual back