Remote Imaging and Telescope Hosting with Martin Pugh

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copyright 2017
Martin Pugh

Construction will soon commence on a new observatory that I will host at my property in New South Wales, Australia.

I aim to provide up to 3 complete systems for rental and make provision for a further 3-6 piers to offer telescope hosting.

Systems for rent will include the following:

  • 17" CDK f6.8 by Planewave Instruments on a Software Bisque Paramount ME.  SBIG STXL11002 with Adaptive Optics and LRGB Ha/SII/OIII/NII filters (Astrodon).  Image Scale 0.63 asp.

  • 12.5" RCOS f9 by RC Optical Systems on a Software Bisque Paramount ME II.  SBIG STL11002 with Adaptive Optics and LRGB Ha/SII/OIII filters (Astrodon).  Image Scale 0.65 asp.

  • 12" Riccardi-Honders f3.8 by Astro Physics on a Software Bisque Paramount ME II.  SBIG STX16803 with LRGB Ha/SII/OIII filters (Astrodon) OR SBIG STXL162002 with LRGB Ha/SII/OIII filters (Astrodon).  Image Scale 1.6 asp/1 asp respectively.


  • AP RH305 mounted on a Software Bisque PME II


  •           Fit-PC3 and Mount Hub Pro                        SBIG STXL16200 and OPTEC Gemini Rotating Focuser

  • System commissioning test image - Omega Centauri L(Syn)RGB - 30 minutes each filter.

Advantages:

  • 24x7 onsite support (me).

  • Fast Internet with provision of the National Broadband Network expected in Apr 17.

  • For telescope rentals, full hands-on.  Terms and Conditions to be published idc.

  • For telescope hosting Terms and Conditions to be published idc.

  • On site storage for equipment, crates, mount boxes etc.

  • Pricing TBA.  I expect to offer monthly rentals as a minimum, with 3, 6, 9 and 12 month options.  Rental periods will commence, where practicable, from a new moon and cease on a new moon. Hourly rentals are not currently under consideration. 

  • Weather - All Sky Camera live feeds direct to my website.  Now available here.

  • Historical weather data collection started on 13 Feb 17 and will be posted to my website each month.

  • Progress on observatory construction will be pushed by an onsite webcam to my website.

Fancy it?  Please register your interests by simply contacting me at the following email address: mpastro2001 at yahoo dot co dot uk.

 Sincerely

Martin Pugh

Update - 8  March 2017

Here are some 'DRAFT' Terms and Conditions for the upcoming telescope and hosting opportunities.

  1. Software usage - For telescope rentals, users should be familiar with the following control and acquisition software:  The Sky X, Focusmax and CCDAutopilot. Help files will be available for the use of specific equipment items such as the OPTEC Gemini Rotating Focuser and the RCOS Precision Instrument Rotator. For rentals less than 3 months, this software cannot be changed, with the exception of actual software parameters.  However, a departure from this baseline configuration will be considered on request. For rentals of 3 months or more, users can install whatever software they prefer.
  2. It goes without saying that imaging PC's are be utilised for that sole purpose and not used for peer-to-peer downloads/uploads so as to consume available bandwidth and introduce malware to the network.  It also goes without saying that the installation of illegal software and/or downloads will not be tolerated and users may forfeit the remainder of their rental period if this occurs. 
  3. Roof control - Until automation is safely implemented, and depending on the final design, roof control will be manual and completely under my control
  4. Environmentals - Wind and Humidity settings will be decided by me and the roof will close when those limits are reached.  The roof will also close when 'Very Cloudy' conditions are reached.
  5. Weather guarantee - there is no such thing and the weather is always changing.  It will be very unfortunate if a rental period is plagued by poor weather, but it simply cannot be controlled and therefore refunds not possible.
  6. Rental periods will start and end at a new moon.  This will allow a user to take advantage of LRGB and NB imaging within the same period.  Hourly rentals are not presently under consideration.  Availability of rental scopes will be published on my website.
  7. Telescope Hosting:  Users are always welcome to set up their own gear.  There are ample motels in nearby town of Yass.  However, installation can also be undertaken on behalf of the user for a one off fee. 
  8. For hosting purposes, it is preferred that users send functioning hardware and pre-configured software.   Shipping, insurance, customs fees and GST are all the owners responsibility for both inbound and outbound items.  Insurance for the equipment on site is also an owners responsibility/choice, however, the good news is that my home has been removed from being within a bush fire prone zone.  Hosting fees are yet to be published.
  9. Data retrieval - it is preferred that users retrieve their data during daylight hours.  However, this condition will be reviewed once the National Broadband Network is installed and operational.
  10. Connection method - I intend to create VPN tunnels via a TPLink VPN router.  Users will need to download and install the free RAdmin Viewer to gain access and full control over the imaging PC and the equipment.
  11. I will keep access to imaging PCs that are part of a rented imaging system, purely for troubleshooting.  My access to PCs provided as part of a hosted system will be at the discretion of the owner, but is recommended for troubleshooting purposes.
  12. Copyright and image usage.  Data acquired by users on a rented system belongs to that user.  However, I may request the use of an image to promote the site.