Presidents Message – September 2000

Posted On September 1, 2000

State of the Club Telescope - Part Two

Last month I reported on the good work that is being done on the Kuhn 22" telescope. While the telescope is operational for visual work, there are a number of tasks that need to be completed to bring it up to research level dependability. Much of this work is being done by John Hoot. Minor White is doing some of the software work, and Tom Quinn is advising both men on various aspects of the telescope and CCD camera. Our thanks go to all three of these dedicated amateurs.

The following items have been completed:

Cleaned the optics
Tightened the clutches (improving tracking)
Lubricated the yoke bearings
Revised the firmware in the controller (on going) which is/will improve absolute positioning.
Improved the periodic error tracking.
The following items are on the current work list:

We are looking at what needs to be done to the mirror. Recoating? Refiguring?

We are developing a "first order flexure model" to the software.

Prior to beginning work on the telescope 25-33% percent of the research images had to be rejected because of inherit tracking problems. Our goal is to get that down to 5%.

We are working on adding an autoguider to the telescope. We hope to have that operational this fall or winter.

We might create an LX-200 style controller interface for the software. *note

Making the Kuhn Telescope a dependable productive research grade instrument is a major priority this year. While the telescope is already contributing to the body of astronomical knowledge (more than ten asteroid discoveries in the past year), the future of OCA research will be much brighter when we complete this telescope-refurbishing project. I can't wait. How about you?

"The goodness of the night upon you"
Othello Act 1 Scene 2

Russell Sipe

*note an LX200 style controller will mean that our custom built 22" Kuhn telescope will be compatible with almost every piece of software which supports the Meade LX200 telescope. This would allow us to use packages such as The Sky, MaximDL, SkyMap pro and many others to control the telescope. Great news if I may say so. Liam Kennedy OCA Webmaster

(and LX200 owner).