Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Feels Like the Best Christmas Toy with missing Batteries

That just how it feels right now.
12 days ago the computer was all set up and I started loading camera drivers and software only to find we were missing a huge program needed to run just about everything.
We had thought this software was included with our camera purchase but it wasn't and the fact our camera was bought over a year ago didn't help.
After calling our supplier they agreed to have the company drop ship the software to the observatory, well after a week of waiting we called them again only to find they had ordered a down loadable version which doesn't help us up here in slow Internet world.
Now I'm promised delivery this week!

Other news,
the weather has been very nice with only light snow.
I have another damn raccoon in the bird feeder and the live trap is set right now.
I installed the tracks on the neighbors jeep
and I also get to put a new radiator and fuel pump in my pickup. (lucky me)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Computer Up & Running and Camera Back Installed

Our new computer was delivered the first part of the month.
I unpacked it and played with some preliminary setups trying to maximise desk top space.
Happy with the lay out I drilled large holes in the counter top for the cables, theses holes were then finished off with desk grommets.

The main computer with it's dual monitors will run the camera, guide camera, auto focuser, telescope and Photo Shop.
The others will be split up between running the dome, weather data, observatory lighting, Internet and warm room music.
I am very happy with the quality of the monitors,
I'm extremely impressed with the whole package, it's rocket fast.
Thank you again Barry!
We received a great bang for the buck and
couldn't have done it without you.

Work in the observatory included:
more wiring both 12 and110 volt
degree indexing the inside of the dome
installing the dome rotation set-up
lighting controls
and camera back installation.

Camera back installed

Side view
click any photo to enlarge

Camera comes very close to the inside of the forks when the telescope is looking north.

Starting to get some snow

Today just a little open water left and with temp right now of 12 degree's it will be iced over solid by morning.

I promised a road update for my neighbors,
all the holes have been filled, big rocks pulled, some ditch work, the real bad mud holes dug out and filled along with the brush pushed back to open up the edge's.

all photos are from the east end of the road to where the gate was,
if you want more info or photos email me.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Telescope Camera Back and .COM Site Address

We have picked up
domain name and will be setting it up over the next few months.
Both the blog and .com site will run concurrently with the .com site containing much more technical information, easier to navigate and search and be strictly astronomy based.
The blog will continue to be more of a life journal about living in the woods and running the observatory.

Other news,
our computer will be here in the next few days and I should be able to determine just how far over my head I really am, so to be ready I started with putting the camera back together and here is a quick overview.

Back view of the QSI 583 camera with internal filter ring.

Front view.

Opening the camera to expose the filter wheel.

Empty filter wheel.

Filter wheel had to be removed for the filter installation, you can see the shutter at the top.
This is like buying a new Nikon camera, bringing it home and taking it apart to see how it works.

This is the 4 filter set from Astrodon and is the
LRGB E-Series
CCD Filters
Generation 2
Red, Green, Blue and Lumicon.

Filters installed in the wheel.

Re-installed the wheel, then the camera housing and I had no extra parts or screws!

Next was the installation of the AutoFocuser.

Jim's choice of focuser is the
I have to say that it's a very high quality piece of equipment and fit perfectly.

Last but not least is the installation of the guide camera,
again Jim stepped up with one of the best.

This is the,
StarLight Xpress
Lodestar Autoguider

The business end with it's visible CCD chip

The complete package ready to attach to the telescope.
The guide camera mounted without any kind of adapter or trouble.

I am also finishing up the wiring in both the warm room and observatory along with installing the last 2 windows in the warm room.