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NEWSLETTER JULY 2003


www.awrtech.co.uk

REFURBISHMENT CONTRACT

AWR are pleased to announce that telescopes at the Space Science Centre, Herstmonceux, the former home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, are having upgraded drives fitted by us. This work is part of a bigger project for upgrading the facility and is subject to a heritage grant.

The Thompson 30" reflector (photo right) has had a new handset fitted and is now running to its previous performance level. It is intended to be used for viewing small, compact objects at the Coude focus.

The YAPP 36" Cassegrain telescope is also operational once more, with stepper motors on both axes and a full RA worm wheel over one metre diameter, but only a sector plate for the Declination.

Further progress will be reported in the next Newsletter.

IMMINENT ARRIVAL OF DATABASE

The Intelligent Handset is being greatly enhanced by the addition of a database. The connection to the PC, running a Planetarium programme has sufficed up to now. "Point and Click" GOTO operation is possible, but this needs a computer attached.

The work in progress is to make a database of objects available within the Handset. There is space for around 20,000 objects, which will be selected by catalogue type, catalogue number or object type. Modern data is being used to correct the known errors in existing catalogues, so if the catalogue entry is for a real object within your magnitude range, you will be able to find it.

The database is made up of individual catalogues, which are to be downloaded from the AWR website into the handset to programme the onboard flash chip. The menu software is being written in such a way that it will recognise each new catalogue added. Thus, it is intended to have a wide range of catalogue data available so that the user can build up their own set of catalogues for the database. It will be possible to orientate the objects towards Deep Sky, Variable Stars, Multiple Stars or a mixture. Odd specialist catalogues will also be available, such as the Collinder star clusters.

It is hoped that the process of creating your own database will be fairly straight forward to do, but it is taking a lot of work to achieve a bug free version of this. The initial offerings will include the Historically Revised versions of NGC and IC, from the NGC/IC project (see www.ngcic.com).

Feedback and comments are always welcome.

Further information on the web for IDS OWNERS at http://www.awrtech.co.uk/ih/
There is an extra article detailing the experiments on Periodic Error which was carried out on an EQ6 mounting recently. This has been much delayed because of the aweful weather we have had in South East England over the past 10 weeks. You can download this from the INFORMATION section on our web site.

NEW ARRIVALS

For index pulse generation we have "slotted top hats" for fitting onto slow motion shafts and optocouplers.

If you have an EQ6, we have a set of internal bearings and a precision gear to replace the factory versions on the RA slow motion axle. Ours have been shown to dramatically reduce the 10.2s period visible, and should reduce one source of random jumps.

Contact Alan Buckman at AWR if you are interested in these.

GALLERY

If you have a picture of equipment using our drives, or photographs taken through telescopes driven by our equipment then you are invited to send in some pictures to post on our GALLERY page.
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AWR Technology
The Old Bakehouse
Albert Rd, DEAL, Kent CT14 9RD
alan@buckman-hardy.co.uk
01304 365918
2003 AWR Technology