AAVSOnet Status, 2019-12-17

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 18:48

BSM_Berry  fully operational.

BSM_Hamren  fully operational, at Gary Walker's house on Cape Cod.  We're running the system on clear nights to continue testing this massive upgrade of the BSM network.

BSM_NH2  fully operational.

BSM_NM  down - the Paramount ME has failed.  We're in the process of getting it repaired.

BSM_S  fully operational.

BSM_TX  down - filter wheel and mount appear to be having problems.  We're waiting on repairs.

OC61  fully operational.  We moved over to Windows 10 and ACP V8 in October, and have run on about 14 nights since then.  Unfortunately, we use dawn sky flats, and every observing night has had issues at dawn!  Hopefully we'll get flats soon and then process the older nights.

SRO50  dome has broken.  We're waiting for repair parts.

TMO61  operational, but we're dealing with scheduling issues.  Hopefully we can get things working smoothly within a couple of weeks.

The Tzec Maun Foundation has loaned us additional Takahashi E-180 astrographs, and so we're in the process of upgrading all BSM systems to E180/Paramount/ZWO ASI183 cameras.  We'll keep you posted as to progress in this upgrade.

The OC61 camera and the OC61 telescope mount controller are issues with OC61.  The mount controller does not have full ASCOM functionality (especially missing tracking on/off) and should be replaced with a SiTech Servo Controller II ($895 base price).  The OC61 camera has Residual Bulk Image issues and 50% QE that together yield about a 2 magnitude loss in throughput for faint targets.  It would be nice to upgrade this camera to something better.  One option is the QHY600, which gives a slightly smaller field of view (14x8arcmin instead of 14x14arcmin), but with 90% QE, better readnoise and no known imaging defects.  That upgrade would be about $6000.  Another option is an FLI PL4240 E2V backside illuminated CCD that gives 8x8arcmin FOV at $26K.  I lean towards the QHY600.  Hopefully we can find a solution, as a 24-inch telescope in the southern hemisphere is rare and should be optimally supported!

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Star Analyser gratings active on BSM instruments?

Are the gratings stll active on these instruments? If so, can we make it better known on the spectroscopy forum?