We’re continuing to test the new rig out here in the “desert”. The DRO stepper focuser definitely is working pretty consistently. No problems there. I am noticing out here, while the sky transparency is of course excellent, the seeing is really pretty average thus far. My focusing efforts are generally yielding on average 2-3 arc seconds, which is pretty average. In fact it’s probably no better so far compared to where we were in the Northeast. One issue is collimation which is a bit more difficult with these RC scopes. Right out of the box it looks like it’s around 5-6 arc sec off. Not bad but probably not good enough. I tried playing with the secondary collimation screws but they are really tightened down so I couldn’t budge them. I believe this will have to be addressed before going forward.
At any rate we tested the guiding and did a short 5 minute exposure of M1 (the crab). Results shown here. It’s a raw image with no dark or flat subtraction. Stars are round which is great. Guide error seemed to average around half a pixel. Again this is not significantly different than what we had before with the newtonian. Still using the old ST8XME which is a non-antiblooming camera chip hence a couple of slightly bloomed stars.