Advanced Imaging Conference (AIC) 2010
October 22-24, 2010
Santa Clara, California


Dream Mount and Telescope!!!
This year, we collaborated with PlaneWave Instruments to showcase their 24" CDK (Corrected Dall-Kirkham) Astrograph on the Astro-Physics 3600GTO German Equatorial. From left to right, PlaneWave staff: Allan Keller, Joe Haberman and Rick Hedrick; Astro-Physics staff: Roland Christen, Marjorie Christen, Howard Hedlund and Walter Piorkowski

It took only a few minutes and five guys to lift the 240 lb. instrument into the new Astro-Physics 16.5" Saddle Plate made specifically to accomodate the PlaneWave CDK scopes. We draped a bit of bubble wrap over the mount to protect it, just in case. The 3600GTO was mounted on a 12" Advanced Telescope System (ATS) pier. Many thanks to Steve Eubanks for building this portable pier for us.

Walter put the finishing touches on the balance.

Roland Christen demonstrated how the 3600GTO (El Capitan) mount can easily hold (and track) with a 24" PlaneWave in an inverted position (scope underneath the counterweights). The scope weighs 240 lbs. and the counterweights are an additional 240 lbs. The mount never broke a sweat.

It was quite a sight to watch the 24" PlaneWave CDK slewing. Ray Gralak took some videos showing the 24" CDK slewing from the position shown here to the inverted position shown in the previous photo. Enjoy at this link: 3600GTO slewing 24" CDK. You can also view additional videos and photos.

Roland Christen and conference attendees around the Astro-Phyics booth.

On Friday evening, the organizers of AIC graciously allowed each Sponsor an opportunity to give a 10-minute presentation. Ken Crawford welcomed Howard Hedlund, from the Astro-Physics Technical Support team, to the podium. Ray Gralak captured Howard's talk on 3 videos that he posted along with additional videos and photos.

Howard announced that the Astro-Physics Command Center application, developed by Ray Gralak for Astor-Physics, is about to enter wider spread beta testing. It allows complete control of an Astro-Physics mount with a GTOCP3 controller and a new version of firmware. It includes safety features such as horizon and meridian limits, performance features such as dual hemisphere tracking/pointing models, and convenience features such as a 3D View of the telescope and a 4-port virtual COM port hub.
This exciting project is finally becoming a reality!
Ray Gralak prepared a 3-minute video that describes the 3-D mount/scope modeling feature in further detail. You can also view the video at this link.

Picture this combo in your observatory!!

 

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This page was last modified: November 2, 2010

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