[Astronomy Club of Akron Logo] New Observatory Scope


 

The ACA's new 16" LX200ACF was ordered from Farah at Woodland Hills on June 10, 2013.
We received the shipment via truck freight on 6/27/2013 and installation occurred on Sunday July 7, 2013 at 9:00am.
Many club members were in attendance and all assisted with the installation.

Special thanks to Farah Payan at Woodland Hills for the generous price break on the 16" LX200ACF.
Special thanks to Gary Stover of Stover Construction who donated the expert cutting and drilling of our concrete pier and anchors for mounting the pier plate.
Special thanks to Joe Golias from AstroZap for his donation of a brand new 16" dewshield in "Meade Blue" to exactly match our telescope in exchange for our used gloss-white one donated by member Lenny Marek.  Joe also donated a front cover for this dewshield.  Update: Rick Burke has picked up the dew shield and cap which was installed at our "Astronomical Doubleheader" on Saturday 7/13/2013.
Special thanks to Ron Keating from DewBuster for his discounting the purchase price of one of his fabulous dew-heater controls and getting it to us much sooner than expected.  It arrived on Friday 7/12/2013.
Special thanks to Ashley Stevens from Precise Parts for custom making us the adapter necessary to mate the custom-made Van Slyke focuser we had for the 14" Meade to the new 16" Meade and getting it to us extremely quickly.
Special thanks to Firestone Polymers for their generous financial assistance as well as to several ACA members who dug deep and contributed enough to keep our treasurer happy and supporting the project.
Special thanks to Ron Kalinoski, our Observatory Director, for designing and coordinating the entire process and LOTS of trips to the hardware store!
Special thanks to all the ACA members who contributed to this effort with well-wishes, donations and/or physical effort.  Without you, this project could never have taken place.
Special thanks to Lew Snodgrass for calling media contacts and getting us a great write-up by Beacon Journal staff writer Paula Schleis in the newspaper dated Friday 7/12/2013.

First light occurred on July 13, 2013 for our "Astronomical Doubleheader!"


Be sure to click the thumbnail images to see the full-size versions


Taken by Ron Kalinoski, our Observatory Director:
Preparing for pier cut
Preparing to cut 9.5" from our 25 year old steel-reinforced concrete pier which has a cross-section dimension of 16" x 14"

Cutting the pier - they did a magnificent job with a cut that looked as if a laser had done it!

Delivery of the new 16" LX200ACF telescope. In the rain, of course!

Delivery truck trying to leave the observatory and having some difficulty with the 53' long trailer

Cut pier with anchor bolts with one of the three large shipping boxes containing the new scope and forks

Cut pier with anchor bolts and two of the three large shipping boxes containing the new scope and forks

First box opened! The lower fork section.  This thing is HUGE!

Second box opened -the base drive section.  This is huge, also!

Third box opened - the optical tube assembly.  You guessed it - HUGE!

Leveling the pier plate on the newly cut pier.

Drive base mounted to the leveled pier plate

16" LX200ACF telescope checkout after completed installation

Installation crew (1)
Sadly, some of the crew members had left before this photo was taken

Installation crew (2)
Sadly, some of the crew members had left before this photo was taken

16" LX200ACF mounted in the ACA observatory awaiting our new dew shield, dew heater controller & adaptor for our Van Slyke focuser

Taken by John Crilly:

Final inspection OK!
       

Taken by Lenny Marek:

Inspecting & reviewing job to be completed

Nothing as good as some humor to make the job go easier

Ron had the drive base already mounted to the pier plate

Holding the upper tube assembly while tightening to lower tube assembly

More hold while aligning the upper tube assembly to the lower tube assembly

Obvious joy at the job being nearly completed

Bright outside while dark inside

Very beefy pier plate from our original observatory from 1988

Look at that!  It actually works!
 

Taken by Dave Jessie:

Thinking about the job at hand and what remains to be done

More thinking and reviewing...

OK, a little more thinking

Lenny lending a knowing hand

Inspection of the cut pier and attachment of the pier plate

Review of installation steps to complete job

That Lenny...always the showman!

Connection of internal wiring harness while upper forks are held in place

More internal wiring connecting while forks are still held by Gary Whiston & Lenny Marek

Review hardware necessary to secure lower forks to drive base

Let's see...I think these are the correct bolts...

Hmm.  Wrong bolts

Take 'em out and lets try this again

Rick tells us where we went wrong

OK, NOW we've got the correct bolts!

Tightening the lower forks to the drive base

Tightening the lower forks to the drive base

Ron jumping to FTL (Faster Than Light) speed!

One last torque on the Allen wrench to tighten the lower forks

Tightening down the inspection cover

Many hands assist in the lifting of the upper forks to the lower forks

Inserting bolts to hold upper forks to lower forks

Tightening bolts holding upper forks to lower forks

Oops! Re-alignment required and bolts retightened

Tightening the bolts holding the upper to the lower forks

Taking a breather since the job is almost done

Assembling the upper forks to the lower forks

Securing the upper forks to the lower forks

Putting anti-seize compound on bolts

Checking the DEC (altitude) scale

Looking at a job well done

Completed external wiring for DEC motor & GPS communication

The "business end" of the OTA awaiting dew shield & starlight
   

Taken by John Shulan:

Inspecting the mounted drive base

Completing installation fo the lower fork arms

Inspecting the OTA cooling fans

All finished.  Now, what else do we need to get?
 

Taken by Rick Burke:

Our new AstroZap dewshield donated by Lenny Marek & Joe Golias with cap, too!
       


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