16" Meade LX200
Meade 16" LX200 equatorially mounted but runs in alt/az
mode on mobile platform. Soon to be housed in a new
dome in AZ and used for exoplanet transits.
In the spring of 1999 we purchased this 16" LX200 and modified it for spectroscopy. Extensive work to the focusing mechanism allows it to hold focus through 90 degrees of arc. The telescope feeds the fiber with an F10 beam at prime focus. The scope is pointed using The Sky software by the onboard computer linked to the control center via a Cybex keyboard extender. Remote pointing is assisted with a video camera coupled to a gun scope mounted on top of the tube.
This view from the back of the scope shows the various attachments to track and hold the star on the fiber. The AO-7 tip/tilt mirror couples to the ST-7 and tracks the target star through a precision pick-off mirror. The eyepiece video is used to initially align the star on the fiber and is imaged by the servo-controlled flip mirror. The flip mirror is out of the beam for normal exposures. MaximDL software controls the AO-7, and custom modifications allow for precise tracking on a specific pixel. The eyepiece is parfocal with the fiber and exchanges with the fiber holder easily.