New name, new posts, new plans

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If you’ve been following us you’ve likely noticed that we’ve changed our name and URL, we’re now simply The near-term plan is to be able to image remotely. The weather that we’ve been having lately has been very flaky, often not worth the 45-minute drive (especially in the summer, when it feels like there’s only a few hours of darkness)

Out with the old (pier).
Out with the old (pier).

One of the challenges for remote imaging is obviously getting the roof to open and close, but it’s even more challenging if the scope is in the way. With that in mind, the first order of business is to get out of the realm of what’s known as an “interference fit”. An interference fit is when the telescope and mount need to be pointing to a specific location to be able to open the roof without hitting the equipment (always a good goal).

In my case, I had a 5-foot tall Software Bisque pier, and the scope had to be pointing basically to the back of the building to be able to open the roof. This worked great when I was there, but not so much when trying to image remote. I decided to remove a variable and ordered a shorter 42” pier from Software Bisque. Strangely, the lead time on the product page stated a 6-8 week lead-time for delivery, but I received it less than a week after ordering. I went with the same manufacturer as the original, which enabled me to reuse the bolts that were already in the slab, so swapping it out was easy. It looks like a 4’ pier would have fit, but not with the flip-flat open.

In future posts I’ll talk about the actual roof controller from Dark Dragons Astronomy, as well as the transition from the PySkyX scripts that I was previously using, to N.I.N.A.. Oh, and, hopefully, some new astrophotos!

Some before and after pictures