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 in my adult life and slowly but surely evolution 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 have learned a lot along the way with my RCX400 and Meade DSI cameras.
May 11, 2014: New Celestron CGE Pro GEM mount and a 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, unless you want to spend well over $10,000 on a camera!
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.
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!