The Rig


As of Summer, 2015, our home dark-sky observatory has been retired.
Since then we have had the pleasure of using several telescopes made by PlaneWave Instruments at Sierra Remote Observatories in California.

The current set of equipment includes the following:

Planewave CDK17 17" f/6.8 Cassegrain

Planewave Ascension 200HR Mount

Apogee Alta U16M CCD Camera

Astrodon LRGB, H-alpha and OIII Filters

Astrodon Monster MOAG Off-axis Guider


Over the years we've also used...

Officina Stellare (formerly A&M) 14" f/8 Ritchey Chretien Cassegrain

Astro-Physics 1200GTO German Equatorial Mount

Clement Bellerophon Focuser

Planewave CDK17 17" f/6.8 Cassegrain

Ceravolo Optical Systems Astrograph

ASA N8 8" f/3.8 Astrograph

SBIG STL11000M CCD Camera

Yankee Robotics Trifid-2 6303E CCD Camera

SBIG ST-402ME Guiding Camera

Astrodon ROAG Off-axis Guider

Finger Lakes Instruments CFW-7 Filter Wheel

Finger Lakes Instruments DF-2 Focuser


SBIG ST-4 Autoguider

Parallax Instruments 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien Cassegrain

Celestron C-11 Schmidt Cassegrain

William Optics 4" f/8 Apochromatic Refractor

Stellarvue SV152 6" f/8 Apochromatic Refractor

Stellarvue SV4 4" f/6.4 Apochromatic Refractor

Stellarvue SV102T 4" f/8 Apochromatic Refractor

8" f/4.5 Newtonian

Stellarvue Nighthawk 80mm Guidescope


Below are photographs of some of our equipment setups...

Here is the Officina Stellare 14" f/8 Ritchey Chretien


Here is the ASA N8 Astrograph.

This is me with the system we began using for astrophotography in 1994: a Celestron C-11, an Astro-Physics 1200 German Equatorial Mount, and a home-made aluminum tripod. One thing I've learned is that the mount needs to be "overkill" compared to the telescope. This photo demonstrates what I mean!

Photo by Tony Hallas

Here is the Parallax RC and A-P 1200GTO, taken from the Mt. Pinos parking lot.

Photo by Grant Hiestand


Here's the 8" f/4.5 Newtonian at the Hallas Observatory Annex, in Foresthill, California. To the left is Tony's 14.5" f/8 Classical Cassegrain (pre-RCOS upgrade) in his roll-off roof observatory.

Photo by Bill Williams