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If you have an image taken through your telescope or a picture of your telescope showing equipment that we have supplied that you would like to share with others then please submit to us for inclusion on this page.
Warwick MAY 2013

News from CARDIFF

Moelwyn Thomas from Cardiff has just sent in this photo of M51 taken through a 4 inch apochromatic telescope and a Canon camera. The mounting is a Fullerscopes MK IV mounting with the AWR Intelligent Drive System fitted. The motors are fitted inline with the slow motion axle as per Bob Garner's entry later on in this Gallery Page. This photo is the result of 12 images each 6 minutes exposure, stacked and then processed in Adobe Photoshop. This is a thumbnail which loads in a much larger image, but still much reduced from the original 20 MByte.

The advent of digital photography and new processing techniques have made it possible to get good deep sky images even from heavily light polluted city skies.


AWR attended the opening of Bruce Kingsley's Observatory earlier in 2008 by Sir Patrick Moore. The octagonal dome and telescope is ex Sir Patrick and has been lovingly restored and improved by Bruce. You will know Bruce's photos as many of his planetary shots have graced the pages of 'Sky At Night' magazine and programme. AWR brought the 1906 Browning mount up to date with a powerful GOTO system fitted. A worm and wheel (Phosphor Bronze rim by Beacon Hill Telescopes) was supplied for the Declination and intricate sprung motor brackets fitted to both axes. You cannot imagine the weight of the individual bits of the mount .... the 70mm dia DEC shaft and tube support weighed 40kg, the bell shaped pillar weighed 80kg etc. Transport to our workshop was hard but making the final azimuth adjustment for polar axis alignment was definitely very difficult!

The payload has been tested up to 36kg with no noticable problem in tracking or goto performance at our workshop. The original 8 inch Newtonian in its cast iron tube is shown in the pictures. It is destined to take Bruce's 16 inch SCT.

..... The Mount ......
Sir Patrick Moore seated, with a high resolution image
of the Moon taken by Bruce (right).
The Garden Party
Here is that first quarter moon picture available shot through
the 8 inch at high resolution taken at f16 using a Canon 350 DSLR.
The image is a six frame mosaic made of 60 sub-frames.

An example image from Dave Childree. Attached is a recent picture that took recently...thought you might enjoy it. It is M100 (and friends) 10 minute LRGB composite. This image has not been cropped. The field of view is ~ 1°. Note the lack of coma. His scope is an f/4.5 Newtonian. The ASA group makes a killer Newton-Wynne coma corrector. Using AWR SYSTEM 3 drive corrector.

You have just got to see this at full resolution (140k byte).

Images taken with a 12 ins Newtonian telescope supplied by Beacon Hill with AWR Intelligent Handset and Microstep drive system. The images were all taken at about f25 using an ‘Imaging Source’ camera and processed using Registax. ENJOY!
from Dale Taylor.


Here is the prototype Astroparts heavy duty GEM mount. It has the AWR heavy duty motors (MOTOR/210) driven by the AWR Microstep system and Intelligent Handset. It is in use by David Jackson who has supplied the pictures of celestial objects to show the following capablity. The affixed telescope is a Takahashi Epsilon 160 (f3.3) Newtonian with CCD camera in the focal plane.

David is going to try his 12 inch f6 Newtonian next. It should have a load carrying capacity of 90lb with 10 inch diameter worm and wheel reductions. If you are interested in a heavy duty mount then maybe this one is for you. Please contact Astroparts about the mount and AWR about the Drives and GOTO system.

This shows the Rosette nebula, and was taken with the Takahashi Epsilon 160 (f3.3) 10 m exposure L, and 5 m RGB binned 2 x 2,. using the Astroparts mount. The tracking log was essentially a straight line with less than +/- 0.5 pixel (pixel size is 7.5 microns).

36 inch installation - FINLAND
Here is the ASTROFOX 36 inch telescope being installed in its dome for the Amateur Astronomers of Finland - URSA. AWR provided the motors, Heidenhain encoders, Microstepping drivebox and Intelligent Handset (all operating at 24 volts) to get the ultimate in performance from the mechanics. Designed encoder resolution is below 10 arcseconds, yet slew speeds up to 0.8 degrees per second. The external encoders go through our Quadrature Decoder Box and then into the Intelligent Handset instead of the normal virtual encoders. This means that the pointing accuracy and GOTO performance is as good as the external encoders and allows for some mechanical inconsistencies in the drive train. For further information contact AWR or ASTROFOX
Mounting with 0.9m RA and DEC drive wheels Most of the scope...1
Most of the scope...2

AWR at Astrofest 2007 in London
If you missed us here we are. It was busy!

LX200 8-inch Refurbishment
This is the big one! A complete strip out of manufacturer's motors and electronics and replacement by new gearboxes and microstepping motors. AWR have designed the brackets and made the modifications. Just a few photographs here but an in-depth page of the LX Refurbishment to study. This is worth doing because the optics are excellent. The end result is a telescope with excellent tracking ability, slew at up to 2.4 degrees per second and it is quiet! The periodic error pulse is retained and now only has one period of 7 minutes 12 seconds. Backlash is minimised by keeping the sprung loaded worm. We can supply the items as a GOTO kit for you to fit.
RA Internals
DEC New gear wheel fitted

John Welsh Astro Pics

John has an ALTER D6 modified by ourselves with the AWR ALTER D6 KIT. He has taken traces to show the periodic error which we have analysed here. This is typical of the pictures he takes. Further images are available on his website.

300mm SPX Orion Optics Newtonian F5.3
Guided with 80mm refractor F6
SXV Guider
AWR Alter D6 mount
AWR drive system
Aquired and guided with AstroArt 3
Processed in AA3 and tweaked in PS CS2
M16 (above), M82 (below)
M16 was taken over three nights and is a combination of H-Alpha and individual RGB frames. (106 images combined!). This object was only 21 degrees above the southern horizon from Liverpool. It could not have been done through the light pollution without the H-Alpha filter to provide the luminance data.
The Moon taken through RGB filters. The R in this case is actually a Hydrogen-alpha filter so it imparts a slightly surreal quality to the image. The image should have the spectrum of the Sun so the surface features have markedly different spectral characteristics and different types of features stand out remarkably.

Guildford Astro Soc
We could not resist in putting these pictures of their telescope. It shows the 11.5 inch worm wheel just assembled by AWR onto their 0.52 metre Newtonian. The DEC motor is being offered up prior to fixing with a bracket onto the fork. The MOTOR/210 motor and pulley reduction are shown. There was no provision for Dec slow motions before our work. The RA axis is also a MOTOR/210 with pulley and belt drive onto the existing slow motion axis. The telescope tube without the mirror and the cast iron mirror cell weighed about 200kg. Balancing such a huge beast is not easy but was achieved with a spring balance checking for equall pull in both directions with the tube in many aspects around the sky, starting with it pointing to the zenith. A total of 25kg had to be added to achieve balance.

Most of the telscope and mounting is original 1896. The RA phosphor bronze worm / wheel is about 0.5m across in a large cast iron chamber providing the mass to keep the fork assembly and tube in place. It had several incarnations of tube appearance but now is a skeleton with A frame supports for the top end optics.

Visit Guildford Astro Society log on the refurbishment

Autoguider supplied for NJP Mount
I am putting in a few of Mike Sidonio's images (from Australia). The telescope is an AP152EDF. On this image he got an average error of 0.5 arc seconds during the long autoguiding period. He is going to try future images at f/15. The autoguiding was made possible by an interface box taking the standard autoguider pinout and converting it to the electrical and connector requirements of the NJP mount.
NGC 6397 in Ara. Globular cluster mag +5.3 size 31 arc minutes

Fullerscopes MK IV Conversion
This is typical of a conversion using our largest motors (MOTOR/210 + OLDHAM COUPLINGS). Note the substantial metalwork in order to keep the motors stable. The Fullescopes MK IV mounting is capable of carrying a very heavy load. The worm wheel sets are phosphor bronze / steel with 359 teeth on 6 inch diameter. This mount does need servicing from time to time to check the bearing surfaces. It has a microstep drive system with 59 steps per second for sidereal rate. The motors drive the slow motion axes directly. Bob Garner.
The galaxy Arp 6 (NGC2537) is magnitude 12.3 and
approx 1 arc minute in diameter.
Gyulbudaghian's Nebula is variable at
20h 45.9m +67 58' (See S&T Aug 1979).
350mm f4.6 Newtonian at prime focus,with a Starlight Xpress MX7 camera & narrow band filters. Most images had exposures of over 2 hours using the three filters & auto guiding.

Click on the image to download a larger one (about 250k byte)
The ToUcamPro webcam needs 12 fields of view to cover the half Moon at my prime focus (1092mm). The full Moon (or Sun) would probably need 20. Taking a mosaic of this number is difficult - you lose count of where you are, and when to change direction. This isn't easy on the Moon and would be even harder on the Sun, with many fewer features. I used the ToUcam Pro webcam minus lens at prime focus - 1092mm fl. Exposures were mostly 10msec or less, and I used 12 video files of ca 300 frames each, and stacked about 60 from each. I processed them in Registax then Photoshop elements. This is my first ever attempt at a panorama so the colour matching, if not the registration, is not perfect.

I set the telescope on the moon, and timed the passage of a lunar feature across the field of view, which enabled me to easily set the travel segment. I then put the Seeker at the centre of the Moon, and took successive frames till I'd covered the lot. It took about 18 frames - some were blank sky which I discarded - I was expecting this and I carried on till the Seeker refound the Moon surface. I tweaked about three of the placings where my common sense suggested it, but it was not really necessary to do this - I'd have just ended up with having to merge about 15 rather than 12 frames!

With my rather sloppy drives, the mosaic looks a bit messy, but the very problems with my drives would have made the task very much harder WITHOUT the Seeker. I intend to use it on a mosaic of M42 when I (belatedly) really get to grips with my Starlight Xpress CCD camera! What I've NOT looked into at all is the extent to which competitive telescope control software provides this facility - i.e. just how 'exclusive' this facility of the seeker is. It's a valuable usage of the instrument that I will certainly be using, and recommending. The original panorama is 2.8 megapixels, and the attached low res file doesn't really do it justice, though it does minimise the visibility of the imperfect seams!

John Kemp

18 inch Serrurier Truss telescope
18" F4.4
Supplied by David Lukehurst/Norman Optical
Imaging camera - MX7C / 716
guide scope, Vixen 120S with MX5 ccd
Finder, 70mm Vixen
Tube assembly Double Serrurier Truss, mass without mirror 20kg
Mount Equatorial fork, home made, mass 100kg
Drive 14" worm gear supplied by Beacon Hill Telescopes, both axes Motors and control, AWR Technology Intelligent Drive System
Pier 0.8 metre high 0.5m diameter concrete, set in a 1m cubed concrete foundation block
Observatory 3.2m dome, homemade
For more information visit the owners site, Keith Venables.
Calver 10 inch
CALVER with AWR IDS fitted
An excellent Victorian Calver telescope updated over the past ten years. Fitted with AWR drives it achieves a GOTO pointing accuracy within 30 arc seconds and moves this really massive telescope at 2.5 degrees per second with 3 Amp per phase motors and a 350 Watt power supply. Browse Chris's site for much more!

Starfinder 16 Starfinder 16

These came from Doug in Canada who has re-engineered his Meade Stafinder 16 inch using an AWR Intelligent Drive system. You can view much higher resolution images by clicking on the thumbnals. (The big pictures are up to 150k each).

Starfinder 16

This has come from Max in Australia. It is a major refit of a Meade Starfinder 16" telescope. New engineered equatorial head using the 1.5 inch Meade shafts in bearings, locally made worm wheel sets and AWR MOTOR/120 with a MICROSTEP Drive system providing GOTO performance with a maximum slew speed of 0.5 degree per second. To give an idea of scale the Drive Box is 28cm long. Intelligent Handset out of the picture.

CLICK to view a high resolution image (64k)

M27 This stunning image of M27 was with a Starlight Xpress MX916 CCD camera using STAR 2000 autoguiding and four separate exposures of 10 minutes through LCMY filters. The telescope is a 50cm f4.6 Newtonian telescope driven by AWR SYSTEM 4 with autoguiding option. 12th August 2000 through haze in the presence of strong moonlight.

CLICK to view a high resolution image (74k)

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