The mini-WASP array – over 4 years now and still counting

Tom How just pointed something out to me that came as a bit of a shock.  The mini-WASP project has been over 4 years in the making – to be precise, my first NFO post on the mini-WASP array was 10th July 2007.  I knew this had been going on for some time but had no idea that it was actually this long.

As I continue fitting everything into the dome and get more and more scared by the magnitude of this project I find a few things I got wrong in the planning stage.  First Rog – you were right and I was wrong – I really should have gone for the bigger dome.  Not due to aperture limitations (I think I’ll just get away with that) but it is impossible to work in the smaller dome which means I’ll HAVE to route all the computing into the study through a long CAT6 cable.  I also need an extra counterweight on the Paramount (this was an inkling in the back of my mind but I wasn’t too sure).  However, it only just balances now, so when all 4 scopes are kitted up with cameras and filter wheels I definitely won’t have enough counterweights.  Fortunately Kieron of SCS Astro is on the case and is aware of my latest screw up.  Anything else?  Well the cable handling is going to be testing as I always knew, but I think it will be a little easier than I was expecting.

I don’t like GEMs!!  I don’t like the amount of volume they take up swinging the kit over all angles, and I don’t like the non-intuitive way they point to various parts of the sky.  For me an alt-az configuration on a wedge is the nicest option.

I’ll update the mini-WASP problems and solutions as they find me out 🙂

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