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Re: To Robert May ...Opticast?

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Posted by Robert May on February 12, 2000 22:19:26 UTC

I have one of thier 6" mirrors. I am going to use it as an autoguider scope. The mirrors pretty much meet thier 1/4 wave spec. The caveat? The surface has a number of imperfections in the way of holes and little peaks where dust or other stuff disturbed the process. I wouldn't call it a good mirror for doing anything near the high end but it is a decent parabola and is probably about where the cheap Oddesey mirrors are for total surface shape is. I tested the mirror at RTMC last year and will probably have it there again this year. The autoguider scope will have one of the Connectix B&W cameras in place of the secondary (don't need really high contrast on this job) and should work very nicely. If you haven't seen the QCUIAG stuff, Dave Allmon at has some software for imaging with those cameras and Marty Niemi has software for doing autoguiding with the cameras. I got involved in doing the guiding code so there's some of my heart in that one. Can you believe putting together a whole autoguiding setup for your scope for under $200 ($100 scope and $100 electronics)? I find it amazing that it can be done!

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