A lot has happened since the last post on this topic.
First off, I decided that rather than putting this lens on the mini-WASP array, I would piggy-back it on the C11 as I did originally. Why? Because otherwise I don’t think the poor old C11 rig in the south dome would be getting any use. Fine. I resurrected the old mounting board and got everything put together. Initially I had the M25C and SXV guider for imager and guide camera, and I got some work done in the Cygnus region. It then struck me that I might be better off using the Canon 5D MkII on the 200mm in the south dome to differentiate the work from the 200mm in the north dome. So I set up the Canon 5D MkII for an evening’s work and then switched on the SXV guider to start guiding – it was dead 🙁 Now that is slightly annoying as it was working perfectly just a few days earlier. Never mind, these things are sent to try us, especially in deep-sky imaging.
So as the Canon 5D MkII won’t connect to an SXV guider it was now clearly a good time to buy a stand alone Lodestar x2, which I now have installed in the south dome. The defunct SXV guider is with Starlight Xpress for repair, so that if in the future I want to revert to the M25C and SXV guider – I can.
Final part of the story. The Lodestar x2 doesn’t want to know about Windows XP 64-bit which I have on the main south dome computer. Fortunately I have an earlier Windows XP 32-bit astronomy computer just sitting in the study doing nothing – so that has been re-commissioned and is now back in the south dome again, this time running the Lodestar x2.
So there are now 2 computers in the south dome, one running the Lodestar autoguider, the other running the Sky 6 and driving the C11, and also Remote View for the Canon 5D MkII. Both computers go to a Gigabit LAN switch which then has a cable up to the study so I can control proceedings from indoors.
If we ever see a clear Moonless sky again I will be able to control both the north (mini-WASP) and south (200mm lens 5D MkII) domes from indoors and also run both systems in parallel.
Only 6 more days to go before opening up the BIG pinhole camera 🙂