The mega-WASP upgrade has been completed

Nice way to start off a new month.  After 4 days of drilling, cutting, taping and wiring – the upgrade converting the mini-WASP array to the mega-WASP array is now complete.

Additions to the top plate are another Canon 200mm lens with M26C Trius OSC CCD and an Altair finder scope with web cam (a Lodestar can be swapped for the web cam if necessary).  A fifth computer was installed in the north dome ready for the new goodies and I am sharing the monitor between camera 3 and camera 5 (since both won’t be used at the same time) so only 4 monitors in there instead of 5.  Got to admit it looks a lot like a car wiring loom in there now, but I’ve done a LOT of tidying up of cables while I had to make the changes so it is a lot less messy looking now (though it is still pretty messy looking).

So that’s it for the parallel array imaging system – no more places to fit any new stuff – time to send along the good weather so I can put this thing through its paces.

Still plenty of setting up to do though before it can be let loose in anger.  Both 200mm lenses need to be aligned to the rest of the system.  Need to get good V-curves for both lenses and check that the autofocuser works o.k.  Need to move the array all over the sky and check that the Megrez 80 guider can also point through the aperture with the 2 x Canon 200mm lenses.  If it can’t then the web cam comes off the Altair finder and a Lodestar goes on for guiding – a bit of a pain, but not too bad.  With the web cam on the Altair finder I will need to get good polar alignment again as all this weight change will definitely have thrown it out a bit.  Probably a dozen more things will need sorting as I go along – but that’s the “fun” of this hobby isn’t it?


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