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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 have...

Paramount ME
Paramount Pier
Technical innovations PD10 automated dome
All Sky Cam (not sure which one)
ACP with scheduler
Maxim and CCDsoft
SkyX pro
Flatman XL
Moonlite autofocuser
Lodestar guider off axis
optec pyxis LE rotator

And then any combination of:

72 mm APO refractor
127 mm APO refractor
11 inch edge HD
8 inch RC


SBIG 8XME internally guided with 5 position wheel
Starlight Express SXVR H18 with 7 position wheel

That's a lot of hardware. Going to take my skeshedpod down and sell it and my CGE pro.

So today it comes down, funny I have four clear nights ahead of me. But need to rebuild the deck, so time to shut it down, pull the pier out, rip up the deck, and begin putting it all back together again with solid artifical wood stuff and a more solid footing for a heavier pier setup. I'll be working this weekend that's for sure, but hell if I get my new setup going late next weekend that would be pretty rad. Totally automated amazing setup.

The only thing I could possibly upgrade from here is the OTA itself, which I won't be bothing doing for quite some time. Have enough toys to get some good shots for a while.

Complete automation, it's been a fantasy of mine for a year since Trevor and I started astrogab and mcfarlin started showing me all these astronomy tools I'd never seen before. I'm two weeks away from that, and I can't wait. Imagining PERFECT alignment, 200 point plate solved perfect measuring, etc. Game on.

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Comment by Marc Basti on March 27, 2012 at 12:23pm

Dude, you got your plate full! Good luck, it's going to be fun. Marc

Comment by Charles Dunlop on March 27, 2012 at 10:23am

I'd love to shoot small FOV, F10 on the SCT, and just nail distant objects galaxies far away. Then in nebula season pull out the refractor and go nuts with that, mosaics of medium sized nebula. Could be a lot of fun.

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