Keith B Quattrocchi, MD, PhD December 20, 2005
Brief Comments: Equipment and Software Used
detailed account of the equipment used can be found on the homepage link to my
observatory. The basic concept employed
in building my observatory was to have a reliable system for deep sky
imaging. This required several
principals to be followed. The first is
a solid foundation for the telescope (my pier has a 5x5 foot base of concrete
sunk 5 feet into the ground). With our
radical weather conditions I choose a roll-off roof observatory built by
modifying the “Sky Shed” design (www.skyshed.com). The entire system, including the roof, can be
robotically controlled using Windows XP desktop remote. A reliable and accurate mount with robotic capabilities
was needed and for this Software Bisque’s
thing I wasn’t able to do was change the weather patterns over
for this system to work remotely (the observatory is some 30 feet from my house
and 100 feet from the office which controls the observatory) a USB extender was
used. Specifically, and Icron Ranger (www.icron.com/products/usb/usb_ranger_110_410.php)
was used (USB 1.1). There are USB 2.0
versions becoming available. A category
6 Ethernet cable carries the signal through the
John Smith (www.hiddenloft.com) was the consultant for this project. What was done correctly I attribute to him. I strongly recommend anyone undertaking to build a free standing observatory look for assistance and ideas in every way possible. A consultant, such as John Smith, is an invaluable asset. The mistakes (most of which have been corrected) and a few nuances in the set-up are my own.
I have endeavored to keep my software as simple as possible (if such a thing is possible). I haven’t always updated to the newest version of each program if the current one does the job well. However, it’s a good principal to try and keep most programs up to date, as everything is in a state of flux and one can easily be left “in the dust”.
Telescope Scripting (robotic control): CCD AutoPilot II ( www.ccdware.com ).
Virtual Sky: Software Bisque’s “The Sky6” (www.bisque.com )
Camera Control: Software Bisques CCDSoft (www.bisque.com )
RC-16 Temperature/Rotation/Focus Control: RCOS TCC, short for telescope command center (www.rcopticalsystems.com )
Focus: FocusMax. The focus interface for the RCOS-16 is the TCC (with the built in
RC-16 secondary focuser). With the Takahashi 106 FSQ “RoboFocus” was attached and is controlled by FocusMax. FocusMax can be found at
Robotic “finder scope”: STV Remote
Image Calibration and Registration: MIRA AP 7.25 ( www.mirametrics.com )
Planetary Image Processing: K3CCDTools ( www.pk3.org/Astro )
Deconvolution: AIP4Win ( www.willbell.com/aip/index.htm )
Color Combine and de-bloom: Maxim DL ( www.cyanogen.com )
Color Processing: Adobe CS (plug-ins include Kodak Digital Gem Professional v2.0.0). The site is www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/main.html .
T-Point Modeling: Software Bisque’s T-Point Telescope Analysis Software and Automapper II (freeware for Automapper II, courtesy of Software Bisque, can be found at www.newastro.com/newastro/downloads/automap2/default.htm ).
Periodic error Correction: Software Bisque’s PrecisionPec (www.bisque.com ).