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AAVSOnet status, 2018-12-23

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AAVSOnet status, 2018-12-23

This has been a busy time for the network with some positive and some negative news to report.

BSM_Berry's camera failed.  The SBIG repairman does not have a replacement analog board, so we are in the process of replacing the camera.  Greg Bolt has graciously provided a spare ST8 camera until a replacement can be shipped to him.  This has kept BSM_Berry on-line and producing good data through some clear weather stretches.

BSM_Hamren has been off-line for a while.  The ST8-XME camera failed and needed to be replaced.  Dick Post was kind enough to donate his ST8 camera, which is now in Hawaii and ready to be used.  Mike Linnolt offered to move BSM_Hamren from his rainy house to his much drier observing location, which was a great incentive to revisit the hardware and bring everything up to full robotic operation.  Gary Walker is making a new enclosure (see BSM_NH2 below), and we're integrating the entire system at his house before shipping to Mike.  I expect BSM_Hamren to be off-line until March.

BSM_NH has been shut down.  Instead, it has been reborn as BSM_NH2.  The reason for the name change is that the new system is dramatically different from the old one.  We're using one of the loaned Tzec Maun Paramount ME mounts, the original AT65EDQ OTA, and a new ZWO ASI183mm-pro-cool CMOS camera and filter wheel.  All of this is contained in a new Rollup enclosure, designed and built by Gary Walker.  BSM_NH2 has been operational since September and is producing higher-quality data than the original system, with better tracked images and finer angular resolution.  The original ST8-XME camera will be sent to BSM_Berry.

BSM_NM is back on-line.  It was moved to a new pier at Bill Stein's observatory in early October, but otherwise is identical, using one of the Tzec Maun Paramounts.

BSM_S is operating normally.

A new BSM system, BSM_TX, is being configured and should be ready for operation shortly.  This system is owned by Dave Cowall, who is providing it for use by the AAVSOnet community.  I'll have more to report on this next month.

SRO is back on-line after the summer monsoon (which lasted later this year).  There have been a couple of outages due to dome hardware.  A far bigger issue was that, while the monsoon shutdown was underway, transfer scripts were modified at HQ to improve the image flow.  However, a typo introduced at that time prevented new flats from being transferred, so images during October and November were processed using flats from July.  This is a closed optical system (corrector+filterwheel+camera), so old flats *should* be ok, but we made the decisiion to reprocess those Oct/Nov images.  Those of you getting data from SRO will see these reprocessed images showing up.  I recommend analyzing a night and see if you have major changes in your photometry.  If not, I wouldn't bother reanalyzing these reprocessed images.

OC61 is on-line, after some dome issues.  A new focal reducer was added to the spectrograph optical path, which should enable spectra of much fainter objects to be obtained.  I don't have any data to report on that project yet.


AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484