We have decided to include another big aperture with fast optics system to serve as a great NEO (Near Earth Object) hunter, namely comets and asteroids. Some of the more interesting work involved asteroid occultations which requires a very high level of precision.
OPT happened to have a great OOUK16 in stock so we took the plunge. After an interesting delivery, that missed the mark by 6 hours, we ended up receiving this massive scope in its crate at 10pm. everything arrived in great shape. Right after, we acquired a 3 inch Feathertouch rack and pinion focuser with its accompanying Optec QuickSync 30. I think this solution is great for lifting the Atik 11000, the new Atik EF3 7 position x 2 inch filter-wheel, and the 3 inch Wynn coma corrector.
OPT helped us figure out the spacing required to adapt the camera and filter-wheel to the coma corrector, they then ordered the right custom part from PreceiseParts. The unit looks great and offers great stability which is required for this level of precision. After assembling the CCD train, it turned out to be a colossal installation as you can see from the picture below.
In an unfortunate turn of events, it does seem that the focuser has a tilt problem. As demonstrated with the 300 sec. luminance image below, this maybe due to the rotation thumbscrews not being tightened down enough. As with any focuser, a few adjustments have to be made to make everything super smooth and reliable. Special Note: I have never experienced any problems with Optec's TCFS focusers that I owned.
Fortunately, the newtonian produced images that were acceptable enough to shoot a 206 point, T-point model in theSkyX to see how "stiff" this system is. To my big surprise, it produced a single digit allsky RMS error which tells me the configuration can go unguided. The goal to simplify imaging has always been an aim of mine, even to where guiding is not required. Check out the image below.
Even though collimation is not great, and I need to acquire more advanced collimation tools, I think this setup can deliver nominal good quality. I shot 16 x 300s Luminance frames of M106 last night to just see how bad it is. To my surprise, it is actuallypretty decent.