In an attempt to motivate myself, I'm listing some of the many plans I have for equipment modifications. Not that anybody will be interested until they're done, but I might get suitably embarrassed at how long it takes to do them! (Any words of encouragement are most welcome!)
I've listed them in no particular order, although a casual glance will show that a lot of them are related. This is one of the hold-ups at the moment - a decision on one will influence several others. I've got to get it right!
This page was created on 1998/12/04. I'll note when these projects are done (or dropped!) or others added.
So much to do, so little time...
But it has to be light enough to fit on the same mounting as the 20-cm and so it needs to be a truss-tube.
Mostly still in the planning stage. I know what I want to achieve and have a few ideas to play with, but no detailed plans yet.
The primary mirror has been made, however.
A top end has been made (left over from another project), although it might need to be "beefed-up" a bit to make sure that it doesn't flex.
STATUS 1999/05/25 - COMPLETE!!!
I also need to have another go at lining up the worms on this mount. Does anybody know a foolproof way to line up these gears to remove any play (backlash) in them but still allow them to move freely?
Planning stage still, but linked to next project (which is linked to the next project...).
STATUS 1999/07/02 - COMPLETE
I have lots of plans, but which one to choose! The best idea is to put a second CCD chip in with the first one and autoguide through the same optics as the imager, but that would require completely rebuilding the existing CCD housing. The attraction is that I can then do away with the guidescope and so save weight (which increases stability).
An alternative is second Cookbook to be used exclusively as an autoguider. Due to various reasons, I do have a second TC-245 chip which could be used, but I also have managed to acquire the body of an ST-4 (no CCD or Peltier cooler, and the electronics are a bit suspect). The TC-245 won't fit without modifications which negates the point of using it in the first place. But I have also bought a second-hand flip-mirror arrangement and the thought of merging the two seems appealing.
STATUS - no change
Now that I have an ST-8, it has an in-built guider chip. So I can guide with it, or use the Cookbook as an autoguider if I need a separate guider for the ST-8. I still use the Cookbook as a stand-alone system, but I can generally get away with no guider for the use I make of it now. (Problem solved - do nothing and wait for affluence to catch up!)
STATUS 2000/03/25 - COMPLETE
Finally put the bits together.
I've been given a solenoid that looks suitable, it's just a matter of fitting it and wiring it up. But as the Cookbook control software doesn't support a shutter, there is the little matter of making up something that will work.
I've actually had a couple of goes at this, but was not happy with them. Third time lucky?
STATUS - no change
My plan is actually to build a mounting that would be suitable for a much larger telescope (perhaps 25-inch f/5) but keep the 31-cm on it for the moment (until I can afford the big mirror!). It would be designed to be computer controlled using Mel Bartel's control system (at least for the moment - but that's another project).
I've got the steppers, and I've built the electronics to control them. Detailed plans of the mounting are needed before the next stage can begin, however.
Looping back to an earlier project, I may test the computer control on my imaging equatorial which already has the requisite steppers and gearing.
STATUS - COMPLETE!
STATUS - COMPLETE! The dome is as complete as it needs to be - but there'll always be something more that I want to do to it. You can read about the construction here.
Page last updated 2006/01/12