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After getting my feet wet with the DSS-7,  I was ready to attempt more challenging spectroscopy projects.  First I moved the C-14 off the pad in the backyard and built a rolling support similar to the one I built for the GT1100/RCOS 10- inch.  Then I purchased a SBIG ST-i guiding camera for the Lhires III.  I brought the Celestron 102 mm F-5 refractor out of storage and mounted it as a wide field imager with a ST-402ME. Below is the current setup.  The ST-8XME used to image the spectra has water cooling to bring the temperature of the CCD imaging chip within the camera down to -20 C (-4 F).  Why three monitors?  With running three separate CCD cameras, I run two CCDSoft imaging programs.  One program (on the left screen) runs the ST-8XME (spectra imager) and the ST-i (guiding).  The other CCDSoft program (right screen) runs the ST-402ME (wide field image).  The upper monitor runs TheSky software program to aid in finding objects.

2024 Solar Eclipse


This telescope is non-robotic unlike the Paramount GT1100 that I use for imaging and photometry.  So with that, I have to manually point the telescope to the star on which I want to do a spectra.  I use an old set of (JMI Advanced Astro Master) digital setting circles (vintage 1989) to guide me while I move the telescope.  A little old fashioned, but it works just fine.  The Lhires III also had been modified by the prior owner to automate the movement of the internal neon bulb into the light path and also to turn it on.  This is a nice convenience to have while taking calibration frames during the night.

In the image below you can see how I mounted the power supplies for the ST-8XME and ST-402ME to the fork arm.  I also have a Kendrick dew heater controller mounted to the top of the arm.

Well up until we sold our home in Valley Center, that pretty much covers the hardware setup.  As I have heard over the years "life gets in the way" so now that we are on the road it's time to get down to some stellar photon collecting.  You can see below the current telescopes I have for the road. I bought a ALPY 600 spectrograph to use during our travels.   But next is just collecting data, processing it, calibrating it, and trying to understand it!  Here is the current setup for traveling, but like all my gear, it will change as my experience expands.


All the images in this site are Copyright 1999 to Infinity by Kevin Hearst.
Commercial use of these images without the prior written consent or knowledge of the author is strictly prohibited...