Complete Remote Astrophotography Rig - *Sale Pending*
This is a fully installed and fully functional astrophotography rig, located under inky black desert skies.
LOCATION: Dark Sky New Mexico remote hosting facility, Animas NM. Bortle 1.5 and no light domes whatsoever. Friendly on-site support, true high-speed internet (100+down/ 100+up, very rare in this corner of the world), overnight accommodations, full RV hookups, gate and locks. 4400’ elevation gets you above a lot of atmosphere and cooler in the summer. There are 4 other piers in the building, whose roof auto opens at sunset and closes at dawn (unless clouds, wind, other indicate unsafe conditions).
MOUNT: Superlative PlaneWave L-350 direct drive mount, installed on their 32-38deg wedge and custom pier in 2019. Able to do away with meridian flips and autoguiding. Puts the object in the middle of the frame every time. Custom steel pier. Image down to the horizon SSW to NNE. Twenty degree tall wall to the East. 50lbs of additional payload capacity available, on the other side of the arm.
OTA: GSO 10” f/5 Newtonian (1250mm FL) that was pimped out for astrophotography by having the mirror refigured by Royce, a larger secondary, flocking, cooling fan, Moonlite motorized focuser with miniV2 digital controller, Baader multi-purpose coma corrector II. Installed in 2014. A manually-operated flat fielding panel is included.
CAMERA: Canon 5DmkIII, modified by Hutech for greater near-IR sensitivity, purchased in 2013, surrounded by a custom cooling box containing a thermoelectric cooler (TEC), which keeps the camera 0-15F below ambient. Provides 1.0 arcseconds per pixel and 1.5deg x 1.0deg FOV. Takes video as well as stills.
COMPUTER: Dell Precision T7810 PC, Win10Pro, 64bit. Two monitors, mouse and keyboard. Up and running with PlaneWave software to run the mount, BackYardEOS to run the camera. Moonlite ASCOM focuser program. ICRON Ranger (Starlink) USB extender connects to the mount using ethernet cable. SGP installed. PC located inside heated/cooled computer room adjoining the scopes. Placed into service in 2020.
A MULTITUDE OF OTHER INCLUDED ITEMS: Five surveillance cameras, large backup power supply, weather station, cloud sensor, tool chest full of tools, ladders, shelving, etc., etc. Many items that make installation/maintenance easier.
IMAGES: This rig has produced two magazine covers; many pics/vids that have appeared on Skyandtelescope, EarthSky, SpaceWeather, and many other websites; prints-on-metal that have been sold at many different art and science shows; live online shows of events such as lunar eclipses, planetary conjunctions and asteroid fly-bys; seven years of pure joy.
SEE FOR YOURSELF: I’ve got Instagram, YouTube (shows the site, roof opening and scope taking images), SmugMug (my best stuff).
EASY TO OPERATE: I’m the lazy astrophotographer. I can operate this rig using my phone while watching TV. It’s easy. No filters, no dithering, no autoguiding! Five minute sub-frames are great, and ten minutes is possible. Easy to take videos of the ISS, close-up.
WHY SELLING: It has been a wonderful seven years, but I’m drawn to in-person public outreach. That’s where I’m spending my time and effort nowadays.
PACKAGE DEAL: $14,000 for everything. That’s nearly A THIRD of the new price for everything, and there’s no need for you to spend a thousand on travel plus a hundred hours of time installing. You only need to sign a new lease with DSNM.
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY: I’m not currently interested in breaking this apart. So if you are seriously interested in the whole enchilada, go ahead and ask me questions.
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