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March 2012 Blog Posts (8)

New deck and observatory install

Got the deck taken out, and my buddy and his small crew put in an 18 inch round pier with a T base 5 feet deep. The dirt in my hill is super strong and solid, and I'm guessing that pier base isn't moving at all if much at all. Just levelled the J bolts (except he used screws with flat square 3 inch plates on the end. It'll be solid. So, that part is done. Monday they install the actual deck, should be done my tuesday. Wed. my observatory shows up. Can't wait.

Added by Charles Dunlop on March 30, 2012 at 3:49pm — 105 Comments

Last light

Tonight will be my last night shooting with my observatory. Goodbye, or rather good riddance. Since I've had a dome my productivity per night has gone down a lot, driving me nuts. Firstly, had a six month fog bank so no telescoping, then when I got back on my CGE pro was acting funny and not tracking in DEC. That drove me nuts for months. Things are better now, Paramount ME is tracking like a champ, and thus everything is working again.

So here's what the new observatory will…


Added by Charles Dunlop on March 27, 2012 at 10:11am — 12 Comments

New setup

Just took delivery of the new camera setup:

I'll be attaching this rig to my existing ATFF field flattener. The spacing works out perfectly (~56mm). Should slide into my existing MoonLite focusers nicely. Now I just need the Paramount MX and Rob Miller tripod to show up!

Added by Jeff McFarlin on March 26, 2012 at 6:22pm — 3 Comments

Urinal, a new observatory, and a more stable pier

Today my automated technical innovations PD10 shipped, be here next week. From now until then mostly cloudy nights, so I'll take the setup down when convenient in next two days, and rip out my deck, and put in a better more stable pier. Will drill a new hole, square it, cement it up and attach an appropriate bisque manufactured pier. Pretty stoked to move on this.

Here is my new urinal, about 20 feet from my observatory. :) Urinals are nice to be sure, and I went roman emporer style…


Added by Charles Dunlop on March 26, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments


What you guys think of this? I could scoop it up right now, with a rotator and be super ready to roll and guide off axis. Thoguhts?

Added by Charles Dunlop on March 19, 2012 at 12:09pm — 42 Comments


i'm engaged!!!! First time for me. Her little sister and mine are best friends, she grew up about five blocks from me but I never met her. She graduated from Berkeley and lived in san Fransisco for six years after and just returned to Laguna, and we met and boom, never been more sure of anything in my life.…


Added by Charles Dunlop on March 7, 2012 at 8:23pm — 14 Comments

Home made cables

I recently purchased a JMI motorized crayford focuser and a C5 to shoot with but noticed an interesting thing about the focuser's connection cable and my guide scope cable. They were 6 pin RJ11 patch cables. In a desire to create an extension cable for the focuser I got RJ11 crimping tools and made a new cable out of Cat5 cable. Turns out that the focuser cable could be 100 ft long and still work.

Then I noticed that my Celestron hand controller had the same 6 pin RJ11 port. I thus…


Added by Michael Hester on March 6, 2012 at 4:33pm — 1 Comment

Deep Sky instruments RC 14 inch

This is a very nice OTA. Secondary mirror is the focuser, that is very nice. And it has heaters controlled by PC plus coolers. Wonder how real that spot diagram is, CDK might not agree, but I like this design better than any design that needs a focuser in the OTA. Eliminate flexure to be sure. Love this scope, eyeing a custom 16 inch version of it, but don't have the money, shocking!! :)

Added by Charles Dunlop on March 4, 2012 at 5:57pm — No Comments

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