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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 www.dallmon@par1.net has some software for imaging with those cameras and Marty Niemi www.ameritech.net/users/mniemi000/index.html 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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