New Observatory

  front view


 slit open

south west

 Thanks to another local  member of the Denver Astronomical society, who is also a dealer for Explora-Dome,  I was able to  obtain  the eight foot kit at an attractive price. Since remote operation was the goal from the comfort inside the home, I decided not to install a permanent pier. Instead it was built as a deck with treated lumber, which was wrapped with roofing felt and the exposed top covered with aluminum. This was later covered with (FRP) fiberglass resin panel to provide additional protection from the Colorado rain and snow.  Completion of this project was accomplished August 2012.

The primary goal for this observatory is to accomplish deep space photography in the adverse suburban environment using various filtering means of current technology and the CCD camera.  I have also successfully utilized operation over one USB extension cable connected to two powered USB hubs to control the mount and two CCD cameras used for primary imaging and auto-guiding.  Remote focusing of the Starlight Instruments FT3025 focuser is also accomplished over the USB cable utilizing a home-brewed RC actuator motor and Shoestring Astronomy USB interface with Goldfocus mask.  The RC focus motor has now been replaced with a Rigel Systems stepper motor and will be utilizing Focusmax for control on the Meade LX850 10" F/8.

Updated 12/9/2012:  A meteor capture camera has been added  adjacent to the observatory.  Controlled by AZcendant meteor capture software known as "HandyAvi"; which can be configured to only record when meteors are detected to save storage space.  The camera is a Watec WAT-902H3 with Computar F/1.0  2.9mm-8.2mm lens in a heated fan-aspirated housing.  Compressed, edited files can be download from the home page and viewed with a .MOV viewer if desired.  This setup is in it's early stage so I hope to make improvements in the video quality.

Updated 6/20/2013: Added a Meade 10" LX850/F8 to the scope inventory for use in the observatory.

Updated 4/20/2014:  Replaced the current Atlas EQ6 mount with the new Orion HDX110/EG8 mount.  The EQ6 will now become a field mount for portable use as needed.
Updated 9/15/2014:  Explore Scientific ED80 F/6 and Williams Optics Star71 F/4.9 refractors added for wide field imaging.

Updated 7/23/2015  Celestron Skyris 274M added for solar and lunar imaging.

Updated 5/23/2016  ZWO ASI120MC-S added for color planetary imaging.

Updated 6/20/2017  Dual rig imaging configuration utilizing Stellarvue SVQ100 and SV80ST which will allow simultaneous image acquisition and increase harvest of subexposures per session.