Observatory

The personal observatory houses a 14″ (0.36m) observatory class instrument – the Planewave CDK14. The telescope and imaging train have been setup with my custom layout (full article here) that allows a large field of view at a high resolution as follows:

  • Fast focal ratio: f/4.76
  • Field of view: 1.5 degrees
  • Off-axis guiding
  • High resolution imaging with image scale of 0.3 to 0.46 arcseconds/pixel
  • Mono full frame camera with filter wheel support
  • Precision focus and instrument rotation

Housed in a Nexdome fully automated dome, it is located near the outskirts of Vancouver (49° N, 123° W). Seeing is variable with summer nights being more stable closer to the low 2.0 arc-seconds and sometimes lower.

CDK14 mounted

Telescope

Optical DesignCorrected Dall-Kirkham (CDK)
Aperture14 inch (356mm)
Focal Length2563mm native or 1692mm with reducer
Focal ratioF/7.2 native or F/4.76 with reducer

Below are performance metrics of the telescope in “fast astrograph” mode at f/4.76.

Imaging Train

CameraQHY600M mono, very high QE (efficiency)
Resolution / Pixels9576 x 6388 – 61.2 Megapixels
Image Scale0.3 or 0.46 arcseconds/pixel
Filters 7x50mmChroma LoGlow, Astronomik RGB, Chroma 3nm Ha, Oiii, Sii
Focuser / RotatorOptec Gemini
OAG GuidingMotorized Optec Sagitta, ASI174mini

Mount

MountAstrophysics AP1100 GTO CP4
Tested Periodic Error +0.6/-1.1 = 1.7 arcseconds peak to peak
Typical Tracking Error0.25″ ~ 0.4″ (seeing dependent)
Counterweights106 lbs. (44kg) – Stainless-steel

Below is the tracking performance of the mount showing a very low total error of 1.7 arcseconds peak to peak:

RB Test crop2 CN

Tracking performance is enhanced further by utilizing a large pointing model and multi-star autoguiding thanks to the custom designed imaging train that allows an OAG to work in conjunction with the Planewave reducer. Below is a graph of the tracking performance:

guiding2