Equipment in the Observatory
The observatory is “almost” entirely remote-controlled from the house. The only activities that remain manual are:
1. Remove/install scope covers
2. Power on equipment
The image acquisition activities (i.e. roof opening/closing, centering objects, focusing, auto guiding, etc.) can also be entirely automated. This allow the imager to:
a) Launch an entire image acquisition session and not have to stay up until late in the night to close the roof, park the mount, etc.
b) Benefits from added comfort (i.e. Heat, humidity, cold, mosquitos).
Mouse over for component name and click for details.
German Equatorial Mount
Main Imaging Camera
Flat field illumination System
- Home made “dome” illumination system
- USB, serial, parallel, DC power, RJ11, custom (e.g. roof motor)
- Dell Dimension running Windows XP. Used via Remote Desktop from the house.
Power Supply for Mount
Observatory Automation and Image Capture
- CCD Commander (observatory automation)
- Maxim DL (image acquisition, auto guiding)
- Celestron NexRemote (interface to mount)
- FocusMax (automated focusing)
- PHD Guiding (stand alone auto guiding and video finder)
- TheSky 6 (used with CCD Commander for target location)
- StarryNight Pro (mainly used for planning purposes)
- Pixinsight (entire processing suite)
- CCDWare CCD Inspector (optics and sub-frames analysis)
- CCDWare PEMPro (periodic error correction and polar alignment)
- Homemade ASCOM dome driver (to remotely open/close observatory roof)
- Homemade dome flat fielding system (open/close flats illumination system)