Suggestions for a very low-cost remote observatory?
Greetings remote aficionados !
You may know of me as a die-hard visual observer, which still remains true. However, I have been entertaining thoughts of installing a very basic, low-cost remote observing capability on one of my dark-sky properties here in Hawaii.
I really need to emphasize "basic" - I have little hands-on experience with electronic photometry, nor do I have much time to spend on building or maintaining it either. And "low-cost" - really have little funds available for purchasing and operating this remote system, beyond what I already have available on site.
Here is what I already have available for a remote project:
A dark-sky site near 19N 156W, elevation 800 feet MSL. Nightly annual temperature range 62-75F, humidity range 50%-100%, mean annual precipitation 40 inches. No "monsoon" or other adverse seasonal factors. But clouds/showers can occur fairly frequently on short notice.
A secure site with steel shipping container. 12VDC battery/solar power, 3 Mbit/s unlimited up/down link DSL internet service. Netbook PC running Windows XP SP3, 1.6 Ghz Cpu, 1 GB RAM, 144 GB HD. Partially working GP-DX mount (The dec axis motor/gear is damaged).
Given these parameters, what would you suggest as the easiest, least costly way for me to get a remote system up and running here? I am thinking more along the lines of a BSM/ telephoto lens than a 16" RC with Astrophysics mount ;)
Mahalo, Mike LMK