Observatory and Equipment
Binocular Observing Deck at Oz.
Pictured to the right is the deck
which has been added at Land of
Oz Observatory. The observing
deck is 10' X 10', made of treated
2X6s and decked with treated 3/4"
Plywood. The indoor-outdoor
carpeting is held in place with
1"X1" aluminum angle. Pictured on
the deck is my Gruenke Binocular
Mount, a well made parallelogram
style mount, shown with my
11X80mm Celestron Binoculars
and a red-dot finder. This deck is
also used with my 14-inch f/4.5
Dobsonian telescope, which has a
Steve Swayze mirror.
VISUAL EYEPIECES USED AT OZ
Shown at right are the eyepieces used for
visual observation at Oz. Clockwise, starting
at the upper LH corner: 1 1/4" TeleVue 9mm
Nagler, 2" TeleVue 31mm Nagler, 2"
TeleVue 41mm Panoptic, 2" TeleVue
20mm Nagler, 2" TeleVue 16mm Nagler,
1-1/4" Celestron 18mm Plossl, 1-1/4"
TeleVue 24mm Widefield and 2" TeleVue
12mm Nagler. These eyepieces give
magnifications of 311X, 90X, 70X,140X,
175X, 155X, 116X and 233X, respectively.
The 41mm TeleVue Panoptic gives the
widest possible field in the C-11, 57 arc-
minutes (just shy of 1 Degree).
Land of Oz Observatory: A 12' X 20' Roll-off roof observatory located
in Linn County, Kansas, about an hour south of the Kansas City metro area.
Construction is standard stud-wall frame construction, with exterior of vinyl
siding and roof of 16-gage corrugated steel. Interior consists of a 12' X 12'
telescope room and a 12' X 8' insulated control room.
Main instruments: The primary instrument used
at Land of Oz Observatory is an 11-inch (280mm)
Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope of
2800mm focal length mounted on a Mountain
Instruments MI-250 Go-To German Equatorial
mount. The MI-250 has a load capacity of 75
pounds and features massive, conically shaped
polar and declination axes, each with 7.5-inch dia.
bronze gears and matching diamond-lapped
stainless steel worms. Tracking is superb, with a
periodic error of less than 4 arc seconds. The
mount is computer controlled via the Gemini
Go-To system. The C-11 is mounted to the MI-250
via a Casady precision tip-in dovetail saddle
assembly. An Orion 80mm (3.1") Apochromatic
refractor,used for autoguiding, is mounted
co-axially on the C-11 OTA via Losmandy
heavy-duty dovetails and 150mm rings.
A 12X80 Antares finder scope and a Telrad
gunsight finder are also mounted to the OTA.
The left-hand photo shows the
Gemini Go-To computer and its
hand controller box, as well as the
serial and USB connections from the
Gemini Controller and the CCD
camera and guider which pass
through conduit under the floor of the
observatory from the telescope room
to the control room. This allows
remote control of both the MI-250
Go-To mount and the Starlight
Express SXVR-H694C camera from
the control room.
The photo on the right shows the
desk in the control room, with the
Hewlitt Packard Pavilion g6-201
3.1 gHz Laptop, which controls the
telescope via The Sky 6. Just to the
right of the laptop is the control box for
the MicroTouch motorized focuser,
which controls focus of the C-11, and
to the right of the MicroTouch
control is the control box of the JMI
MotoFocus, which controls focus
of the Orion 80mm guide scope.
|IMAGING AT LAND OF OZ
Set-up, hardware & instrumentation used for CCD Imaging
10/15/2012: A view of the Hyper Star f/2 imaging
system with the Starlight Express SXVR- 694C six
megapixel one-shot color CCD camera mounted.
Through the C-11 at f/2, the focal length is 560mm,
giving this camera an imaging field of 77 X 61
arcminutes, and a resolution of 1.67" per pixel. It
features the super-sensitive Sony detector with 4.5
micron pixels and set-point thermo electric cooling.
To the left of the 11-inch Celestron tube is the Orion
80mm f/7.5 ED Apo refractor, which auto-guides,
using the Orion Starshoot Auto guider Camera.
With a focal length of 600mm, it has a resolution of
1.79" per pixel. This refractor is mounted coaxially
using Losmandy 150mm heavy duty rings on a
Losmandy dovetail plate. This setup is very rigid and
has no differential flexure. Also shown in the picture
is the massive polar axis of the Mountain
Instruments MI-250 German Equatorial go-to
10/15/2012: A view of the optical tube of
the C-11 showing the Orion 80mm APO
guidescope mounted on a Losmandy
dovetail plate and Losmandy 150mm
heavy duty rings. Also shown is the JMI
MotoFocus and the Orion Starshoot
Auto Guider mounted on the 80mm APO
refractor. Also shown (on the rear cell of the
C-11 tube) is the Micro-Touch
Stepper Motor Focuser for the main f/2
mirror. This stepper motor turns the focus
screw 1/3000th of a revolution per step,
providing very precise focusing. The
remote hand control in the control room has
a digital readout. The Starshoot Auto
guider sends guiding corrections to
the MI-250 Mount via MAXIM DL guiding
software. Following adustments to the
sensitivity of the program, results were very
good, yielding perfectly round stars during
10 minute exposures!
10/15/2012: Two close up views of the
various cables and connection for both
cameras as well as the RS-232
connection from the MI-250 mount to
the computer which is located in the
adjacent control room. These cables
run in conduit under the floor from the
telescope to the control room. Although
it looks like a lot of "spaghetti", the cables
are well bundled and are supported by a
crude but effective system using small
hooks and bungee cords to support the
cables and make sure they do not create a
drag on the tube assembly, whether the
tube is east or west of the meridian. This
ensures accurate tracking.