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Old 10-02-2019, 12:05 PM
Stefan Buda
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Stefan Buda is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Posts: 484
I did take the scope to a dark sky location for testing but I had to evacuate the place, because a total fire ban was issued for the area, before I had a chance to capture a good image set. However I did a number of tests and I'm very happy with the new front end. The focuser has a backlash of only 4 or 5 steps and the image shift is so small that I had to turn off the drive and capture star trails, while pushing the focusing buttons back and forth, to make it show up as a discontinuity on the trails.

The only issue I had was the inadequate guiding. PHD was producing an oscillation index of half a pixel, which at the CDK focal plane contributed about two extra pixels to the star sizes. The guide scope is less than a third the focal length of the main OTA. So I decided to knock up an OAG for the next test and try to improve the PHD settings in a way that will stop it from trying to chase the seeing. It will be interesting to see if my old EQ6 mount can deliver.

On another front I entered all my notes into Excel tables and worked out a very detailed costing. It turns out that the OTA, including dovetail plate and camera adaptors, contains exactly 280 parts, down to the last screw.
Calculating with a rather low hourly rate, the price worked out to $8805 including GST but without the focuser control box and dew shield. The controller will take the price to around the $9000 mark.

I would like to hear some feedback on what you guys think about commercial viability at this price. Keep in mind that this is a very user friendly, compact and capable instrument without collimation/field flattener/focuser nightmares.
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