My Amateur Astronomy Equipment

OK, I get to update this page. I finally got my new Losmandy G-11 mount and Gemini GOTO system.

It came to my local dealer Rex at Astro Stuff in Dover Arkansas April 1st 2001. I went to Astrostuff to pick it up and it was still boxed. Rex and I opened each box to inspect and verify the shipment. Everything arrived in excellent shape ( no shipping damage ). After a visit I loaded up my new gear and headed home. It felt like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one. Upon arriving back home on Wye mountain I carefully unloaded and unpacked all the new boxes. Like many others laying eyes and hands on Losmandy gear, I was very impressed with the machining, look and feel. So far the only problem I have found is right ascension (RA) slop. Upon inspecting I found the worm drive was loose. After testing it has been determined that eccentricity error exists in the main r.a. gear.

My Celestron C8 OTA will mount on the G-11 with a DC8 dovetail plate. With a universal dovetail plate  (DUP) and side by side plate (DSBS) I can mount other types of OTA  side by side or alone. See the Losmandy site for these accessories.

    The Losmandy Gemini GOTO  is a very well made component of the system. It is obviously designed for field use.
It is rugged and mounts to the G-ll firmly in place of the original controller. It comes with two cables and DC Servo motors. Inititial tests with the C8 and a 25mm lens proved impressive. After a rough polar align with the polar scope and an initial align of the Gemini on Pollux (Gemini) and Regulus (Leo) I ws able to GOTO objects and have them appear near center in the field of view (fov) within the western hemisphere. Later tests had them near center in a 12mm lens at f/10. I feel that images will fall on the imaging ccd with good alignment. This particular unit arrived with a poorly soldered power switch which was easily repaired.

The Losmandy Polar Scope Attaches very easily and is convenient to use. I am glad I ordered this option. While I plan to use the mount primarily in a permanent location the polar scope will be very useful when taking the mount on the road. Here is an indication of what can be seen for polar alignment purposes. Fortunately for me I am able to see both secondary stars from my home.

The Celestron / SBIG  PixCel 237 CCD camera and CPU. This is my main imaging camera. I purchased it in November 1998 from Astronomics in Norman Oklahoma. The people there were very helpful during my personal visit and later by phone. With the camera I purchased the CFW5 color filter wheel. As I was in the stage of moving to New Mexico from Arkansas at the time, I only had the opportunity to hook the camera to my laptop to verify it worked. Later in January 2000 after settling in in Albuquerque I was able to set up and begin imaging. My original SBIG ST-4 Auto Guider camera has since become very useful in stabilizing the images by keeping the mount tracking more steady. Much of the images shown are from that time though I later found darker skies in North Arkansas at my parents home. Since March 2, 2001 I have been imageing from Wye Mountain.

    I have acquired the Fastar adapter for the PixCel 237 and C8 and a  Celestron C-102HD for visual and a guidescope with the ST4 camera.
  April 2003 I began work on the observatory. Look at my Observatory section for more details. I finished the Wye Mountain Observatory in September 2003.

  Images on this page courtesy of Losmandy , SBIG and Celestron.

My previous equipment and experience to Oct 1, 2000.
My accessories and modifications to Oct 1, 2000.
Planned changes in my equipment after Oct 1, 2000.

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