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AT12 install (continued)

Collimation (redux)

I did some more reading on properly collimating an RC, because I felt something was off last time around. I was getting a defocused star shadow out of alignment, on all focused bright stars. Post processing that out of the images would prove quite a task, plus I think it's just a symptom of optical misalignment. Since there were no star elongations anywhere on the frame, I have ruled out the issue being camera tilt.

As it turns out, the focuser needed a little tweak to get the laser inside the center dot of the secondary. I then tweaked the secondary to send the beam back to the laser source. I am using the Orion Deluxe collimator, along with the precision centering adapter. It appears that the laser dot is now pointing smack in the middle of the laser source. The primary will be collimated under the stars using CCD Inspector. I will also be checking for tilt while at it.

Robofocus install

Once rough collimation was done, I then tackled installing the Robofocus. To clarify, Robofocus enables automated remote focusing ability that is crucial for any kind of remote setup like this one. I received the correct shaft coupler in the mail last week. That went in without a hitch, using the existing aluminum mounting bracket I had on the 8'', by slightly bending it to shape.

Re-cabling

I had to spend a few hours tiding up existing cables, and weeding out unused ones. Since I will not be using the AT66 any time soon, and there is no need for a dew heater on this scope, I have removed the wires for the extra robofocus, dew straps, dew heater temp sensor, additional USB extension. I also gave much needed slack to the filter wheel's power cable and tested by pointing the scope southeast and southwest where wires stretch at max.