Boon Hill Amateur Astronomy   

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Observatory Maintenance

Posted by dbock1 on June 21, 2018 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)
Over the next 6 weeks or so, I'll be doing some much needed maintenance on the observatory. The track and rail system is 34 years old, and needs components replaced, since the outrigger wood has warped over the years. The plan at this point is to run new rail beams, and steel runners. In addition, new doors need to be built. Once these are completed, a new drive system for the roof needs to be designed and built, to allow this old guy to open it up easier. We may replace the shingled roof with a metal roof, to lighten it, and make snow removal in the winter, a bit easier.

I'll setup some working weekend events on the facebook page, soon.

Spring Star Party 2018 at Boon Hill

Posted by dbock1 on May 14, 2018 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)
May 4 - 8, 2018 We had our first star party of the year at Boon Hill. The weather was clear to mostly clear for 4 nights, which gave us an opportunity to do a lot of viewing through the 18" Dob. In addition, I was able to get 3 nights of time lapse images recorded. The first night the dew was heavy, so that nights data acquisition didn't work out, but the next 3 nights did. We also took a short field trip to Paul Murphey's observatory, where he has a new C11 setup in his 8x8 rolloff roof. He asked us to check out the setup to verify all data was entered correctly, since pointing accuracy was giving him a problem. We did our best in the time alloted, and hoped he would be successful that night in getting it pointing well. Back at the club house, Bob Halsall had his 10" SCT setup, and we had to collimate it Saturday night since there were issues on Friday night. It performed very well the rest of the weekend. The weather for the weekend was outstanding with temps in the 60's to lower 70's each day, and at night in the 40's. Very nice observing weather with no bugs. See you next time. ;)

TheSky X

Posted by dbock1 on April 12, 2018 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)
I decided to update from TheSky 6, to TheSky X today. Very different user interface. A couple of nice features right off the bat are the importing of comets and asteroids is a direct link. In 6 I had to go get a file from MPC, and import it into the application. From 10, you just push a button and it gets it for you. Another feature which I won't use yet, but could, if I want the plug ins, is managing the camera and autoguider and plate solving. These are plugins for more money. Since I have SGPro doing all of that I don't need those plugins. However, that is not to say that I wouldn't go that route in the future. The other reason I upgraded is that TheSky 6 hasn't been supported for quite some time. Plus I had to find a 3rd party plugin to get it to run the losmandy mount. I did that over a year ago, and I can still run that version if so desired. I had purchased version 6 about 14 years ago, and have gotten good use out of it. However, 10 is supported at the moment, with updates every few months. I have to hook it up to the mount yet, and will give a report on how that goes and what features I might find, etc. Cheers Doug Bock

Installing the new pier @ NCO

Posted by dbock1 on October 8, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)
We installed a new sub pier for the dob in the observatory.