MiniWASP major upgrade 17/02/2022

I have just completed a major upgrade to the MiniWASP array, specifically the 2 Canon 200mm f#2.8 prime lenses.

You can now see there are a pair of red cameras on the back instead of the usual black ones. These are ZWO ASI 2600MC-Pro CMOS cameras, 24MPixel!! I have one on the Hyperstar rig and I have been so impressed with it that I swapped out the cameras on the 200mm lenses for the same. Absolutely nothing wrong with the original cameras, but the new cameras give me 3.88 arc seconds per pixel, whereas the original cameras were 6.13 arc seconds per pixel, and consequently the images looked “soft”. The problem was basically me picking the wrong camera for the job!

The other major change on the array is also to do with the 200mm lenses. Can you see the two autofocusing rigs with the toothed belt drive are gone? They have been replaced by the utterly brilliant Astromechanics focusers which talk directly to the lens electronics and are connected to the computer via USB 2.0. Autofocusing is now not only a doddle, but it is also EXTREMELY quick. Another major benefit is virtually zero backlash, which makes it all very easy to run in FocusMax.

I guess we can expect cloud for at least the next year, and to start things off we have gale force winds predicted for tonight.

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