ScopeDome 4M to be installed


I bit the bullet and finally ordered a Dome.  So my Roll off roof will be going away and unfortunately my warm room as well.  
The Warm Room is too close the main observatory floor and with the dome in-place.  the Dome will not clear the warm room wall as it’s built.   I would need to move the warm room or make the make floor larger and redo the Pier and I am electing not to do that.

Below are images of my Dome finishing testing at the factory.


Currently the Dome is on the Boat from Poland to Port in New Jersy.

After it arrives there it will be transferred to a flatbed then shipped to my property.

One the Dome hits the US I will start to tear down my existing observatory to the point it will be ready for the Dome

More updates to come on this project.




iTelescope – M83 LRGB Image


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Messier 83 Observation data (J2000 epoch) Constellation Hydra Right ascension 13h 37m 00.9s[2] Declination −29° 51′ 57″[2] Redshift 513 ± 2 km/s[2] Distance 15.21 Mly (4.61 Mpc) [3] Apparent magnitude (V) 7.54[4][5] Characteristics Type SAB(s)c[2] Apparent size (V) 12′.9 × 11′.5[2] Telescope Aperture 500 mm Focal Length 2262 mm (f/4.5) Imager: … Continue reading

Trying out

Decided to try out and this the initial result.

I did have troubles that’s weren’t clear from the messages.  like Not having access after paying for a plan.  come to find out if you don’t complete your member details (address for example) you can not image.

Also,  I did this in LRGB (not really a good choice for LRGB though as a test) but during the Blue pass the auto-guider had trouble and ruined the image.   Fortunately, the refund system is quite easy and got that refunded and will retry the exposure.

Below is the L image which is a stack of 2 600sec exposures

Below the image is the equipment information

I have to say,  I don’t find this as satisfying as using my own equipment


Test of iTelescope

Test of iTelescope


Telescope Optics

OTA: Takahashi FSQ Fluorite
Optical Design: Petzval Apochromat Astrograph
Aperture: 106mm (0.1 metre)
Focal Length: 530mm (.53 metre)
F/Ratio: f5.0
Guiding: External
Mount: Paramount GT-1100S

Instrument Package

QE: 50% Peak
Full Well:  ~50,000e-  Anti Blooming Gate (ABG)
Dark Current:   0.5 e-/pixel/sec. @ 0º C
A/D Gain:  2.2e-/ADU
Pixel Size:  9um Square
Resolution:  3.5 arc-secs/pixel
Sensor:  Frontlit
Cooling:  Set to -15ºC default
Array:  4008 by 2672 (10.7 Mega pixels)
FOV:      155.8 x 233.7 arc-mins
Filters:  LRGB, Ha, SII & OIII and V
Position Angle: 090º

Another 3D Printed Part

This time I designed up a holder for my Microtouch Focus Controller.   This was the First Draft of the holder.   The second draft has better corner support and slots to allow a strap to be used to secure the controller in place.   While I designed it for a snug fit I image as it heats and cools it could come loose.   I’ll attach a rendering of the new version shortly.    my 3D printer is having it’s extrusion head cleaned up and tuned up so I’m not printing at the moment.    BTW:  it took 14 hours to print this one.


For the curious,  the white PCV tube is my home made Daytime alignment tube.  Pin hole plate in front and a white Plexiglas in back to project the sun.   Made it really quick since I had to re-align the mount coarsely after removing it from the pier



3D Printed Cover for Paramount

As I mentioned in my previous post I am re-working my thru mount cabling.

I am running a SBIG power cable thru for the STL11000M, a USB and USB Power for a Hub to be mounted on the versa-plate and possibly a power cable for an older SX7C camera.

I have designed the plate in Autodesk Inventor and printing my test one to check how it fits and it’s pretty darn close.

Here is the test fitting


A quick view from the side.


For extra “Anti-Mouse” enforcement.  I added some steel wool as packing.   Though I”m not sure of what if any electrical interference it might cause (or prevent).


The larger disc is a copy of the actual back on the mount (for testing in the house) and is not part of the real part but I left it because my screws are to long and needed the extra length to attach it properly.   I will probably post to thingverse when it’s finished. for anyone to print.    I plan on painting it black to match the Paramount when finished.

Yet another long time since last update

This time I’ve been dealing with what I though was frost heave but turned out to be expansive clay.

My first sign I noticed was how raised my observatory was as seen here.   But also you can see the pier foundation raised so I took a closer look



Here you can clearly see the foundation of the pier lifted as well as the footing of the building itself.   This is not good












I using the trust level I removed the mount and checked and it has up to a 1.4 degree tilt now

















But even more the entire pier is raised 3″   that white cover over the concrete used to just touch the floor


So I monitored the pier for shifting over a period of a month and contacted a foundation repair company to check out the situtuaion and they said yes it was expansive clay and it had raised and titled it.   Expansive clay was common in my area (if I had known that I would have prepared the ground differently)   The quoted roughly 3600 to stabilize the pier by driving two piers down to bed rock but they would tear up the observatory flooring and it would be up to me to replace it.   Not having 3600 plus floor repairs I had a pass.


I posted on the bisque forum and got some good replies including this is not all that uncommon.

So first step was the re-level the pier which I did as seen here



The slight off center bubble is due to camera angle,  it is dead on center bubble.

I then monitored that for a while and there have been minor shifts due to wet/dry times.

Based on that feedback what I will need to do is a full t-point calibration run (the more points the better).   after than a normal calibration will account for any further changes to the level of the pier.   Good news.

My next task is to redo my thru mount cabling which includes a 3D printed cover for the exit point of the cables to prevent another mouse attack on my Paramount.

So to be continued…