Scopehill Observatory
Welcome to Scopehill Observatory



Welcome, you have just discovered ScopeHill Observatory. It all started, "long, long ago in another

galaxy", in the Fall of 1981 to be more exact. We moved from inside a small Kansas town to living

outside the city limits in the dark countryside. I started "looking up" for the first time since High School

Science class. Slowly but surely the passion has kept things moving ever since. The existence of

this web site is to share the ideas, design and construction tips of my observatory buildings, telescopes

and the various paraphernalia that goes with it. Heck, who knows, eventually I may actually take

some images again too. The original observatory stood the test of time for over 20 years and the

construction on the new observatory complex was started in December 2009 and completed in the

Fall of 2010. Since then I have been trying to hone my imaging skills and learned a lot with my

old RCX400  telescope and the Meade DSI cameras (I had all three version I and II Pro models and

the DSIIIIC an OSC model. So be sure and see the "Original ScopeHll Observatory" and the

"New Observatory Construction" pages, but don't forget, there's a lot of detail in many other pages too.

Enjoy! cool

October 8, 2015: It's been a long time since I appended this site!

I have added a few images and text on the CGE Pro page and the Imaging page, along with updates on many

other pages too. Which have more informationon the mount, scope, CCD camera and the warm room addition

which can be viewed at the bottom of this page!

May 11, 2014: Celestron CGE Pro GEM mount and Meade 12" F/8 ACF OTA!

It's been a long time since I updated this page and it's probably high time I did. This addition of a new

mount and OTA to ScopeHill is a milestone in the observatory's history and has prompted this update.

This hopefully with be the ultimate setup that I will be able to use throughout the rest of my career

as an amateur astronomer/astrophotographer, which I hope is long lived!

March 27, 2012: I Purchased a new QSI683wsg monochromatic CCD camera

with the 8 filter wheel earlier this month.

This camera is such an upgrade over the previous two Meade DSI's I've had it isn't even funny!

The quality of the images is not anywhere near what I was used to, at least a 100 times better! The

TEC cooling to -45C is awesome too, making darks so much easier as well as cleaning up the raw

images so much so that an individual sub looks as clean as a stack of multiple images from the DSI's.

The depth of the images is also way better, no wonder the DSI are called entry level cameras.

This QSI is definitely one of the best, if not the best, higher level cameras I've used! Unless you want

to spend  well over $10,000 on a camera, I don't think you can beat the QSI branded cameras! They

have several models ranging from all imaging chip sizes and sensitivities you could imagine

January 23, 2011: The latest updates are on the "Meade Ultra Wedge

Modifications" and "Motorizing The Roof" pages.

This is a picture of me as I was hitting the "on" switch of the RCX for the first time in almost 2

months since I had dismounted it from the old building. That's when I started to finalize the pier and

Meade Ultra Wedge modifications. I even had all the covers off the scope and took a peak at all the

boards and connections inside (cleaned a couple of bugs out from in there too). I even changed the

CR-2032 battery in the base for the first time ever on the 2005 vintage scope! Needless to say, I had

a moment of trepidation as I hit the switch for the first time.

Christmas present from my kids, 2014:  

Star Trek, The Original Series, Captain Chair! My five children custom built

this from plans and electronic parts they got off the internet. They had me locked out of my own shop

for over two months in this labor of love! I have this set up at my command center in the warm room,

complete with a Star Trek Console Panel to hold my monitors and keyboard. This is where I do my

imaging, surfing the web and general "astro stuff" when it's too hot or cold to be over in the

observatory with the telescope. I do enjoy sitting out with the scope as much as possible

and of course, it is controllable from either building through the wonders of a local network.

Pretty cool, huh!



A few more pics of my "Captain's Chair"



This is the "Clear Dark Sky Clock" for ScopeHill Observatory. It is a neat little software that

gives you lots of information about the current and upcoming conditions at the observatory.



Click on the image above to see ScopeHill Observatory's Clear Dark Sky Clock web page,

which contains a full explanation of how it works and just what it means. Thanks goes

out to Attilla Danko and The Canadian Meteorological Center for providing this weather chart!

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 October 2015 23:59