Lesson 5: Equipment Overview
 Observing Equipment
 Visual System
 Imaging System
 16" Meade LX200 GPS
 ETX-90 RA Telescope
- 3.5" 1250mm f.l. Maksutov
- ETX-90 Accessories
- Eypieces: 10mm and 25mm orthoscopic
- Solar, Moon and Lumicon Deep-Sky filters
- Rigel QuickFinder
 15x80 Binoculars
- These Orion Megaview binoculars are excellent for widefield, deep-sky viewing and lunar eclipse observations. They are too heavy to be comfortably hand-held, so they are always attached to the heavy-duty parallelogram mount that was acquired for just that purpose.
- 15x80 Binoculars Accessories
- Solar filters for 15x80 binoculars (2)
 10x50 Binoculars
- These general purpose binoculars are just the right size and configuration for hand-held observing of the larger, brighter deep-sky objects, or, for familiarizing yourself with star patterns before undertaking a star-hopping endeavor with your telescope.
 Imaging Equipment
 SBIG STV:
The STV can operate either in standalone mode, storing 14 images in its non-volatile memory for later download, or it can be controlled directly by a computer using an RS-232 cable. All functions are available either with a few simple button presses on the unit itself, or with a few simple mouse clicks on the screen when controlled by computer.
Feature highlights include:
- Built-in LCD monitor to view images whether in 'real-time' as the camera collects the image or when recalled from its internal memory
- Near real-time display on the built-in screen while focusing
- Can automatically register and stack multiple exposures to build-up images of faint objects
- Autoguiding using a standard output (ST4) jack
- Motorized color wheel for tri-color photography
The complete list of features and functions for this camera are far outside the scope of this overview. But suffice it to say that this is the ideal camera system for beginning imagers and for use during public nights or educational events. The only real limitation of the system is the small size of its imaging chip -- the camera provides only 640 x 400 usable 7.4 micron pixels. In its normal operating mode, the camera 'bins', or electronically combines these into 14.8 micron pixels to reduce exposure times. A high resolution mode (1x1 binning) is available, but it only uses the central 320x200 pixels. A widefield mode uses a 3x3 binning for maximum sensitivity and field of view, but at the sacrifice of resolution.
 Dell 500 mhz laptop
The laptop computer is available for use with the STV camera system and to control the Meader LX200GPS telescope.
To provide sufficient serial ports to control the telescope, the camera and any future accessories, such as an automated focuser, there is a four port USB serial adapter with 9-pin RS-232 connections.
The software loaded on the computer includes:
- TheSky version 6 Professional
- CCDSoft version 5 (imaging processing software)
- STV Remote (the remote control software for the STV camera)
- An assortment of astronomy freeware and shareware
- This computer has a PCMCIA card network interface card.
 A/V Equipment
- Slide projector w/ fixed and zoom lens
- Slide sets
- A/V cart
- 21" color monitor
- DVD player
- CD player / FM radio
- Small sound system
- Dalight projection screen (stored in bench)
 Books, References
- Sky Atlas 2000.00 deluxe edition, laminated
- Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion
- Atlas of the Lunar Terminator
- Hatfield Photographic Lunar Atlas
- Edmund Mag 6 Atlas
- David Levy Planisphere (autographed by the man himself)
- Finder Charts of the Messier Objects (2 volumes)
 The Miscellaneous Stuff
- Green laser pointers (3)
- White board and markers
- Various small desk lamps with red bulbs
- 110v hair dryer (dew removal)
- Laser collimators (one single beam, one pattern)
- Scale model of the solar system, NighSky Network and other educational materials
- Folding tables and chairs (3)
- Red light sticks (distributed during public events)
- Power cords, strips
- Clipboards, pencils, pens, markers, paperclips, etc.
- Promotional materials (MAS business cards, membership applications, etc.)
- Tool box with complete set of wrenches, screwdrivers, etc.
- Short observing ladders with deep steps (3)
- Coffee maker, microwave, crock pot, microwave popcorn, coffee, condiments, etc.
- Floor fans, heater
- First aid kit
 In Summary
As you see, there is a lot of equipment, accessories and miscellaneous items available for your use at the observatory. Essentially, all you need upon your arrival is your key to the door -- everything else you could possibly want or need for your evening is ready and waiting for you.
And to ensure it stays that way, please put everything back in its place when you are done, either re-stocking items that are depleted or communicating the need in the Onan Discussions forum so the next user can take care of replenishing them!