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Meade 14" in Dome

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  • gymbow2001
    We are considering putting a 14 LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 7 1:10 PM
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      We are considering putting a 14" LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.

      Conditions & Use:
      - Highly light polluted city area, so will limit use to visual observing at night and solar observing during the day.
      - Telescope is located on a 2nd story platform accessed by stairs within the dome. Note, the pier mount is isolated from the observing platform.
      - Space on the observing platform is limited, want to make sure we have enough room to accommodate up to 5 patrons plus 2 people running the scope.
      - Prefer to set-up the telescope in ALT/AZ mode rather than Polar as this should provide more space for people and should allow a more comfortable seating position for visual observation for the museum patrons. Note, we can mount the scope on a wedge if needed, but this is considered a back-up approach.
      - The bottom line is that we'd like to use the scope in ALT/AZ mode and have the alignment procedure be as simple as possible between power shutdowns.

      Questions:
      - Is getting a GPS fix from the telescope possible within the dome? Note, the dome doors open to view approx 20-25 degrees of sky from horizon to the meridian.
      - If the answer is NO to the above question, is it possible to set-up the scope in ALT/AZ mode and 'Park' it so that the next time it is used, we can easily align the telescope without initiating a full alignment procedure?
      - Any other comments or suggestions on how to use the scope in an ALT/AZ mode and have a simplified alignment procedure between power shut downs is appreciated.
    • barringtonri
      Hi ? My 14 LX200GPS is the first one Meade shipped and it s been living in a 10 X 10 observatory under an 8 Exploradome since Dec 2006. See
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 7 1:49 PM
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        Hi ?

        My 14" LX200GPS is the first one Meade shipped and it's been living in a 10' X 10' observatory under an 8' Exploradome since Dec 2006. See www.peterson-web.com/wish

        Using a Meade 14" in Alt-Az mode certainly reduces the footprint, especially after having used a GEM.

        This is a heck of a lot of aperture for solar observing, and your resolution will be atmosphere limited anyway.

        GPS signals are strange. I've heard of them being blocked by a piece of sailcloth. But my scope sees them just fine thru the polyethelyne dome. I find the GPS slow and normally don't use it. The scope is parked when fired up, and I manually enter time and day - which would also work if your GPS was blocked by, perhaps, a metal dome.

        Pete Peterson

        --- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, "gymbow2001" <gymbow2001@...> wrote:
        >
        > We are considering putting a 14" LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.
        >
        > Conditions & Use:
        > - Highly light polluted city area, so will limit use to visual observing at night and solar observing during the day.
        > - Telescope is located on a 2nd story platform accessed by stairs within the dome. Note, the pier mount is isolated from the observing platform.
        > - Space on the observing platform is limited, want to make sure we have enough room to accommodate up to 5 patrons plus 2 people running the scope.
        > - Prefer to set-up the telescope in ALT/AZ mode rather than Polar as this should provide more space for people and should allow a more comfortable seating position for visual observation for the museum patrons. Note, we can mount the scope on a wedge if needed, but this is considered a back-up approach.
        > - The bottom line is that we'd like to use the scope in ALT/AZ mode and have the alignment procedure be as simple as possible between power shutdowns.
        >
        > Questions:
        > - Is getting a GPS fix from the telescope possible within the dome? Note, the dome doors open to view approx 20-25 degrees of sky from horizon to the meridian.
        > - If the answer is NO to the above question, is it possible to set-up the scope in ALT/AZ mode and 'Park' it so that the next time it is used, we can easily align the telescope without initiating a full alignment procedure?
        > - Any other comments or suggestions on how to use the scope in an ALT/AZ mode and have a simplified alignment procedure between power shut downs is appreciated.
        >
      • Andy Eskelson
        The GPS signal will depend on the dome, the antenna, and the receiver. Modern GPS units are much better then the sort of receivers used in the LX scopes. A
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 7 4:29 PM
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          The GPS signal will depend on the dome, the antenna, and the receiver.

          Modern GPS units are much better then the sort of receivers used in the
          LX scopes.

          A metal dome could cause a lot of problems.

          If the GPS module has an external antenna socket then that's one obvious
          solution.

          If not then you can get a GPS repeater unit, but these are not legal in
          all places,. so that will depend on where you live. You may be able to
          get a passive repeater, which is simply two antennas connected back to
          back, one in side the dome one outside.

          Andy





          On Tue, 07 Aug 2012 20:10:41 -0000
          "gymbow2001" <gymbow2001@...> wrote:

          > We are considering putting a 14" LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.
          >
          > Conditions & Use:
          > - Highly light polluted city area, so will limit use to visual observing at night and solar observing during the day.
          > - Telescope is located on a 2nd story platform accessed by stairs within the dome. Note, the pier mount is isolated from the observing platform.
          > - Space on the observing platform is limited, want to make sure we have enough room to accommodate up to 5 patrons plus 2 people running the scope.
          > - Prefer to set-up the telescope in ALT/AZ mode rather than Polar as this should provide more space for people and should allow a more comfortable seating position for visual observation for the museum patrons. Note, we can mount the scope on a wedge if needed, but this is considered a back-up approach.
          > - The bottom line is that we'd like to use the scope in ALT/AZ mode and have the alignment procedure be as simple as possible between power shutdowns.
          >
          > Questions:
          > - Is getting a GPS fix from the telescope possible within the dome? Note, the dome doors open to view approx 20-25 degrees of sky from horizon to the meridian.
          > - If the answer is NO to the above question, is it possible to set-up the scope in ALT/AZ mode and 'Park' it so that the next time it is used, we can easily align the telescope without initiating a full alignment procedure?
          > - Any other comments or suggestions on how to use the scope in an ALT/AZ mode and have a simplified alignment procedure between power shut downs is appreciated.
          >
          >
        • Bruce MacEvoy
          i have a 2010 vintage 12 ACF and the GPS works absolutely reliably with my metal roll off roof observatory, even when one half of the roof is closed. line of
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 8 9:27 AM
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            i have a 2010 vintage 12" ACF and the GPS works absolutely reliably with my metal roll off roof observatory, even when one half of the roof is closed. line of sight blockage might be the main problem. 

            for that matter, a split roll off roof very likely would be a more robust solution for shelter than a dome. nothing to crane hoist as a single unit, the cheapest construction cost, the lowest wind profile, the fastest possible cooldown, nothing to orient and track during observing or switching from one target to another, nothing to block the GPS and no thermal "chimney" through the dome "window". the main (only?) reason to use a dome is for cold protection in severe winter weather ... and because "it looks like an observatory". 

            i absolutely agree, ALT/AZ is the only way to go for visual work with an SCT. be sure you get a very easily adjusted observing chair and a really good crayford focuser, people will be tweaking those a lot. 

            the meade GOTO is often spooky accurate (centered targets at high magnification), and with the current models you can park the scope at shutdown and it remembers alignment exactly. i have gone weeks without realignment on my unit, and realign primarily because i've bumped into it in the dark. 

            bruce



            >________________________________
            > From: gymbow2001 <gymbow2001@...>
            >To: Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com
            >Sent: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 1:10 PM
            >Subject: [MeadeUncensored] Meade 14" in Dome
            >
            >

            >We are considering putting a 14" LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.
            >
            >Conditions & Use:
            >- Highly light polluted city area, so will limit use to visual observing at night and solar observing during the day.
            >- Telescope is located on a 2nd story platform accessed by stairs within the dome. Note, the pier mount is isolated from the observing platform.
            >- Space on the observing platform is limited, want to make sure we have enough room to accommodate up to 5 patrons plus 2 people running the scope.
            >- Prefer to set-up the telescope in ALT/AZ mode rather than Polar as this should provide more space for people and should allow a more comfortable seating position for visual observation for the museum patrons. Note, we can mount the scope on a wedge if needed, but this is considered a back-up approach.
            >- The bottom line is that we'd like to use the scope in ALT/AZ mode and have the alignment procedure be as simple as possible between power shutdowns.
            >
            >Questions:
            >- Is getting a GPS fix from the telescope possible within the dome? Note, the dome doors open to view approx 20-25 degrees of sky from horizon to the meridian.
            >- If the answer is NO to the above question, is it possible to set-up the scope in ALT/AZ mode and 'Park' it so that the next time it is used, we can easily align the telescope without initiating a full alignment procedure?
            >- Any other comments or suggestions on how to use the scope in an ALT/AZ mode and have a simplified alignment procedure between power shut downs is appreciated.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • gjwcac
            If this is a new installation, I d recommend putting the 14 OTA on an equatorial mount made by a different vendor. Observatory scopes don t benefit from GPS
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 13 10:35 AM
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              If this is a new installation, I'd recommend putting the 14" OTA on an equatorial mount made by a different vendor. Observatory scopes don't benefit from GPS and once aligned, they don't require any fuss at star-up. Put that OTA on a Paramount MX and your only concerns after turning on the power will be "what shall we view first?"

              Jim M.

              --- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, "gymbow2001" <gymbow2001@...> wrote:
              >
              > We are considering putting a 14" LX-200 ACF in a domed observatory at our local Museum and have a few questions. This would replace a 30 year old C14.
              >
              > Conditions & Use:
              > - Highly light polluted city area, so will limit use to visual observing at night and solar observing during the day.
              > - Telescope is located on a 2nd story platform accessed by stairs within the dome. Note, the pier mount is isolated from the observing platform.
              > - Space on the observing platform is limited, want to make sure we have enough room to accommodate up to 5 patrons plus 2 people running the scope.
              > - Prefer to set-up the telescope in ALT/AZ mode rather than Polar as this should provide more space for people and should allow a more comfortable seating position for visual observation for the museum patrons. Note, we can mount the scope on a wedge if needed, but this is considered a back-up approach.
              > - The bottom line is that we'd like to use the scope in ALT/AZ mode and have the alignment procedure be as simple as possible between power shutdowns.
              >
              > Questions:
              > - Is getting a GPS fix from the telescope possible within the dome? Note, the dome doors open to view approx 20-25 degrees of sky from horizon to the meridian.
              > - If the answer is NO to the above question, is it possible to set-up the scope in ALT/AZ mode and 'Park' it so that the next time it is used, we can easily align the telescope without initiating a full alignment procedure?
              > - Any other comments or suggestions on how to use the scope in an ALT/AZ mode and have a simplified alignment procedure between power shut downs is appreciated.
              >
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