I joined AAVSO while attending a joint AAVSO/RASC meeting in Quebec, Canada, in 1983.
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Like most new members I started by observing long period variables. This lasted until 1986 when I attended an AAVSO workshop on photoelectric photometry in Toronto. I found this new field (photoelectric photometery) very much to my liking and switched to PEP from visual observing, acquiring an OPTEC SSP-3 in the process.
At the time, all readouts from the SSP-3 were written down manually. That, coupled with a horrendous periodic error of my telescope, made useful PEP observing all but impossible. In 1989 I switched to the visual Supernova Search program. In 1995 after acquiring new drive motors and a computer assisted downloading program, I made a partial switch back to PEP, doing SNS in dark sky and PEP in bright sky (from first to last quarter moon). In 1999, I decided to dedicate my observing solely to PEP of variable stars.
I am now retired and live in Deep River, Ontario, Canada. I spend my winters in Florida, but still manage 120-150 hrs observing time between April and October.
I am quite comfortable doing PEP. All stars on my observing menu are brighter than 10th magnitude; most are brighter than magnitude nine. Bright star photometry seems to have escaped the interest of many observers. But it is an important field and one in which amateurs can make a valuable contribution to science.
Presently I am using a computer controlled C-14 Schmidt Cassegrain with an SSP-3 Photoelectric Photometer. The scope is permanently mounted in an electrically operated 10 ft. dome. The computer is housed in a heated room adjacent to the dome.
I am still actively involved in the search for supernovae, having joined the Puckett Observatory Supernova Search Team in September, 2000.
Last Updated: July 22, 2010 - 10:56am