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Progress on the C14 Telescope

New equipment has been installed on the C14:

  • An in-house fabricated dew-cap which allows use of the original dust cap. A new counter balance plate, weights and fixing screws are being made for the front end to balance out the new equipment. Also a third counter weight has been fitted to the R.A. axis.
  • A Van Slyke Engineering Omega 2.7" focuser. It is controlled by a Robo-Focus stepper motor through CCDsoft software and also controls the camera.
  • A VSE "Mega-Port Sidewinder", which allows the use of either of the two installed eyepieces (or additional cameras) by rotating an internal mirror or sliding out the mirror for using the main CCD camera. It also has a fourth port to allow for an auto-guiding camera.
  • A new SBIG STL 6303-E CCD camera, complete with additional remote guiding head, is mounted on the back end of the VSE "Mega-Port Sidewinder". The chip has 6.3 million 9x9µm pixels in an array of 3072 x 2048 giving a field of view of 18 x 24 Arc minutes on the C14. The camera's USB 2.0 connection allows a full frame download time of approximately 15 seconds. To overcome cable length restrictions we installed a powered USB extender utilising Cat5 cable, extending the USB range from 5 to a maximum 50 meters.
  • A second computer screen keyboard and mouse have been installed on a custom built mounting in the dome for demonstration and maintenance purposes. A third screen/TV monitor in the control room enables us to control the CCD camera and view images from it and video cameras fitted to the telescope.
  • A stainless steel railing has been fitted around the pillar to prevent personal injury or mechanical damage when slewing the telescope.

In addition, a purpose built table will be constructed to fit on the circular raised floor area to optimise the observing platform work space.

Check back soon for the test results and images.