About  Ted Wolfe's   Starsite






An Optical Guidance Systems 12 1/2 " Ritchey-Chretien telescope was mounted at the site, which is located on a golf course on the North side of Naples, Florida. 

While many of he pictures shown in our "Gallery" section were taken with this telescope it has now been replaced with a new Takahashi Astrograph discussed further on.

A 6' high privacy wall encloses a 15' x 15' concrete observing pad adjacent to an equipment room.

The optical tube assembly of the RC 12 1/2" scope was made of magnesium - stronger and lighter than  aluminum.  This keeps the entire weight of the OTA to less than 40 pounds.  The mount is an Optical Guidance Systems HP50 made of aluminum. An Astrophysics  reducer brings the F/9 down to F/6. 

An CCD camera by Santa Barbara Instruments is cooled by a built-in fan, and simple heat sink system using re-circulating water.  This results in temperatures in the -20 to -30 degree Celsius range when the ambient Naples temperature is in the 50's-60s Fahrenheit. (The camera shown is an ST10-XE.)

The light weight of the scope allowed use of 7 1/2" Byers' research grade gears to drive the system. This mount has now been replaced by a Takahashi EM400 - see further below.



During the day, the scope is covered with simple, marine canvas, custom sewed to form 3 bags. The telescope's electronic control box is stored inside the nearby equipment room.

A new telescope was installed in October, 2011. It is a Takahashi CCA-250 Astrograph installed on a Takahashi EM400 mount. A  Hutech 50mm guider with a Lodestar guider camera is shown on top of it. The camera is an ST11000.                   
The telescope and camera are operated remotely from a study 165' from the instrument pad.  "The Sky" is used for navigation and telescope control.  "MaxIm DL" is used to control the camera.

Processing is done with MaximDl, and Photoshop.


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