Sleaford Roll-Off Observatory
Scott and I were out at Sleaford a couple of days this week getting all the control wiring done, and Kim and I went out again today to sort out some computer issues. I captured the videos on my phone just now through the Reolink app while running MaxDome through TeamViewer on my laptop.
I have a few odds and ends to finish setting up on the computer, and we're waiting for the telescope mount to arrive in ~February to finish off the pier and install the telescope, but this marks a significant milestone towards setting up the Skynet robotic telescope at Sleaford, and participating in multi-messenger astronomy at the U of S!
The Saskatoon Centre's (New) 16" Telescope
The agreement to use the U of S facility means that for some of the time, the U of S will have exclusive access to the telescope for astronomy labs, typically September through November on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday between 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm. At other times, the scope will be available to RASC members who have been trained to use the roll-off building and the 16" scope. (Other scopes within the roll-off may also be available for use with training). The telescope will be located on the east-most of the 4 piers in the roll-off.
The photos of the scope were taken at the October 16 General Meeting of the Saskatoon Centre when we were given of tour as the telescope was being checked out in the Physics department basement. The telescope will be final mounted on a custom polar aligned pier fabricated by the U of S and paid for by the RASC under the Sleaford joint-use agreement. The telescope has go-to capability, and with such a large instrument, this is certainly an asset. The telescope has a hand-controller by which the scope can be slewed, but best control is achieved by controlling movement and positioning with a computer that will run Earth Centred Universe (ECU); the standard planetarium and control software used by the U of S.
An RASC training manual for the roll-off & telescopes is available here. A copy of the Meade manual is available here. If you anticipate using the telescope in the future, please read the manual in advance of your training. Most of the training will be conducted by Richard Huziak. If there are other LX-200 users in our club that might want to assist in training, please contact Rick. We are currently figuring out all of the details about keys, training, manuals and operation, so please be patient, but remain excited!