User Groups

I learned that there was a Yahoo user group for the Santa Barbara Instrument Group camera owners and thought it would be a good thing to join, to help me avoid some of my mistakes. Wow, about a hundred e-mails came tumbling through, so I thought Let's get out of this Before doing that, though, I thought I would just read one or two. There were e-mails from legendary guys, like Adam Block, Robert Gendler, Ron Wodaski, and Stan Moore and what is more they were giving constructive advice to lesser...

Few Last Thoughts

I remember my first Astronomy Society meeting at the famed Rutherford Appleton campus at Oxford, where they do all manner of exciting things and you can actually talk to people who make components for space probes. I arrived in my best bib and tucker and stood out like a sore thumb. Margaret always preaches restraint in dress, but these guys were in vivid reds and blues and greens. Hair was worn very long, and I wondered who these guys were. When it came to question time I found out a bunch of...

Mounting a Lens Directly to the Camera

Some imagers were getting splendid very wide-angle results by mating high quality lenses directly to the camera with the aid of a muscle plate by Steve Mandel. I managed to find a secondhand Nikon 400 mm lens, which gave conventional daytime images of magnificent quality at a good range. Piggybacked to the telescope the tracking was perfect because of the low magnification, although focusing seemed temperamental. I achieved some fair images but got nothing to shout home about and kept the lens...

Building the Dome

The construction of the addition went without incident (Fig. 11.7 the interior of the new addition with tower and pier in the background). After the octagonal tower was constructed and after the roof was in place on the addition, it was time to construct the dome. I volunteered to take vacation from work to help the carpenters assemble the dome. This was a once in a life-time project and I wanted to be a part of it. Fortunately, Ed did not have any problems with allowing me to help. And since...

The Ash Dome

Roller Ring Beam Observatory

Having decided on the manufacturer I now had to settle the specification. The minimum dimension across the base was 10 feet 6 inches. I would have liked a larger dome, but there was not room. From my tour at Bayfordbury I knew that this would accommodate a 16 Meade because this was the setup there. The dome could have a standard shutter or an extra wide one I opted for the latter. This I found to be a good move, since it gave a slot of about 2 hours. When imaging piggybacked the decision was...