Observatory and Equipment
VISUAL EYEPIECES USED AT OZ: Shown
at right are the various eyepieces used for
visual observing. Clockwise, starting at upper
left: 41mm TeleVue Panoptic (70X, 57 min.
fleld ), 31mm TeleVue Nagler type 5 (90X, 53
min. field ), 20mm TeleVue Nagler type 2
(140X 37 min. field), 16mm TeleVue Nagler
type 2 (175X, 28 min. field), 14mm E.S.
100deg. (200X, 30 min. field), 12mm TeleVue
Nagler type 4 (233X, 21 min. field), 9mm
TeleVue Nagler type 6 (311X, 15 min. field).
Land of Oz Observatory: A 12' X 20' Roll-off roof observatory located
in Linn County, Kansas, about an hour south of the Kansas City metro area.
Construction is standard stud-wall frame construction, with exterior of vinyl
siding and roof of 16-gage corrugated steel. Interior consists of a 12' X 12'
telescope room and a 12' X 8' insulated control room.
The left-hand photo shows the
Gemini Go-To computer and its
hand controller box, as well as the
serial and USB connections from the
Gemini Controller and the CCD
camera and guider which pass
through conduit under the floor of the
observatory from the telescope room
to the control room. This allows
remote control of both the MI-250
Go-To mount and the Starlight
Express SXVR-H694C or
ZWO-ASI071 cameras from the
The photo on the right shows the
desk in the control room, with the
Hewlitt Packard Pavilion g6-201
3.1 gHz Laptop, which controls the
telescope via The Sky 6. Just to the
right of the laptop is the control box for
the MicroTouch motorized focuser,
which controls focus of the C-11, and
to the right of the MicroTouch
control is the control box of the JMI
MotoFocus, which controls focus
of the Orion 80mm guide scope.
|IMAGING AT LAND OF OZ
Set-up, hardware & instrumentation used for CCD Imaging
10/15/2012: Two close up views of the
various cables and connection for both
cameras as well as the RS-232
connection from the MI-250 mount to
the computer which is located in the
adjacent control room. These cables
run in conduit under the floor from the
telescope to the control room. Although
it looks like a lot of "spaghetti", the cables
are well bundled and are supported by a
crude but effective system using small
hooks and bungee cords to support the
cables and make sure they do not create a
drag on the tube assembly, whether the
tube is east or west of the meridian. This
ensures accurate tracking.
|10/15/17: NEW WIDE-FIELD IMAGING CAMERA AT OZ
|NEW WIDE-FIELD CAMERA SETUP: The two
photos at the right show the latest equipment
installed at Land of Oz Observatory. To the
immediate right is the new ZWO-ASI071-MC
CMOS-based color imager mounted on the Hyper
Star lens assembly. Using this configuration, the
new camera has a resolution of 1.76 arc-seconds
per pixel and an imaging field of 145 arc minutes
by 95 arc minutes (Approx. 2.5 X 1.5 degrees).
The new camera operates using MAXIM DL5 via
an ASCOM link. The first images taken with this
new setup can be seen on the Latest Images
page of this website.
UPDATE: The only problem encountered with the
new setup concerned slow and/or erratic image
downloads. This has since been corrected with the
installation of a dedicated active USB 3.0
connection between the camera and the H-P
laptop computer in the adjacent Control Room.
MAIN INSTRUMENTS: The primary instrument used
at Land of Oz Observatory is an 11-inch (280mm)
CELESTRON Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope of 110
inch (2800mm) focal length. This telescope is mounted
on a Mountain Instruments MI-250 Go-To German
Equatorial Mount. The MI-250 has a load capacity of
75 pounds, and features massive, conically-shaped
Polar and Declination axes, each driven by 7.5 inch
diameter bronze gears and matching diamond lapped
stainless steel worms.Tracking accuracy of this mount
is better than + or - 4 arc seconds. The mount is
computer controlled via THE SKY 6 software through
the GEMINI 1 controller. The CELESTRON C-11
optical tube assembly is mounted to the MI-250 via a
Robin Casady precision tip-in dovetail saddle
assembly. An Orion ED-80 80mm (3.1") Apochromatic
refractor, used for guiding, is mounted co-axially on the
C-11 tube assembly via Losmandy heavy duty dove-
tails and 150mm heavy duty rings. A 12 X 80mm
Antares erect-image finder and a Telrad reflex-type
finder are also mounted on the C-11 tube assembly.
10/15/2012: A view of the optical tube of the
C-11 showing the Orion ED80 80mm APO
guiding refractor and Orion StarShoot auto
guider mounted on the C-11 via Losmandy
heavy duty dovetails and rings. Also shown is
the Micro-Touch Stepper Motor Focuser
for the main f/2 11-inch mirror. This stepper
motor turns the focus screw 1/3000th of a
revolution per step, providing very precise
focus adjustments. The remote hand control
for this focuser, located in the adjacent control
room, has a digital readout. The StarShoot
auto-guider sends guiding corrections to the
MI-250 mount using the guiding software in
MAXIM DL5. Following adjustments to the
sensitivity settings of the software, results were
excellent, yielding round star images
during 10-minute exposures.
10/15/2012: A view of the HyperStar f/2 imaging
system mounted on the corrector lens of the C-11
along with the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C
6 megapixel one-shot color CCD camera. Using
this system, the f/10 C-11 becomes an f/2, with a
focal length of 560mm yielding an imaging field of
77 X 61 arc minutes and a resolution of 1.67 arc
seconds per pixel. This camera uses the super
sensitive SONY ICX694 detector with 4.5 micron
pixels and set-point thermo-electric cooling. Shown
to the left of the C-11 tube assembly is the ORION
ED80 80mm (3.1") guiding refractor. With a focal
length of 600mm and the ORION StarShoot auto
guider, it has a resolution of 1.79 arc seconds per
pixel. This scope is mounted co-axially using
Losmandy heavy duty dovetails and 150mm heavy
duty rings. This setup is very rigid and has shown
NO evidence of differential flexure, even during 11
minute exposures. Also shown in this view is the
massive, conical Polar axis of the MI-250 mount.
SETTING UP FOR A NIGHT OF
IMAGING AT LAND OF OZ:
This photo was taken by my good
friend Dave Hudgins in July of 2018.
Shown are the Celestron 11-inch
telescope on the Mountain Instruments
MI-250 mount, along with the 80mm
APO refractor guiding scope and the
Starlight Express SXVR-H694C camera
mounted on the HyperStar imaging
A Bahtinov mask has been mounted on
the corrector plate in preparation for
fine focusing the camera.
This setup has been my primary
astro-imaging rig for the past 5 years.
Results from this rig appear on the
CCD Images page of this website.
Thanks, Dave, for this great photo!