What you need to begin
So you want to know how to get started and exactly what you need to begin? Here we provide you with those answers. Read through our requirements, suggestions and tips to setting up your system for use with Riverland Dingo Observatory Telescope Farm.
Your Robotic Telescope Mount
We require your mount to have absolute encoder so it does not need to be re-synchronised with the night sky after a hard power cycle.
This means you are able to turn your mount on, home it and begin slewing - without the need to synchronise.
We suggest one of the following Mounts:
- Paramount GT
- Paramount ME
- Any mount with Software Bisque MKS Control System
*Please note we will not accept any mount without absolute encoders. This is because the costs to support the mount remotely are prohibitive.
Your Fast Reliable Computer
Your computer needs to be fast and reliable.
Based on our working knowledge and extensive experience, we have found that brand name computers do survive the test over time over home built computers.
We can also provide you with a remote power switch which enables you to reboot/power on/power off any 220v volt device.
Brands of HP, Compaq and IBM are all good starting points and all system interfaces are required to be native - no serial to USB converters please.
We also require all PC's supplied to be fitted with a USB external hard disk drive for backup purposes and an Ethernet card.
Your Quality Telescope
- RC Optical Systems
- Celestron OTA
- Meade OTA
Please be advised that inconsistent results can be expected from a focusing system that does not use absolute positioning. Other systems may work but are not considered reliable and suitable for remote operations.
Your Remote Control Software
There are many software products that provide remote control of your desktop computer securely over the Internet. An option is GotoMyPC which is more responsive in remote operation than Radmin but at a slightly higher cost.
We suggest that you use software from:
Extras you will need
Uninterruptable Power Supply
We also suggest you provide or we supply you with a UPS with power filtering to protect your remote equipment.
The Nitty Gritty - Stuff to Remember
Shipping & Taxes and Duties
Typically it costs around $700 to $1,800 USD to ship a whole 12" system including the mount from USA to Australia via non-priority air shipment.
All shipments being imported into Australia that are valued more than $1,000 AUD will attract Australian Goods and Services Tax of 10% PLUS any duties applicable to your shipment plus any miscellaneous airport charges and handling fees.
The good news is that most telescope equipment is duty free, expect for cables.
As an example: You would expect to pay for a fully insured shipped system valued at $60,000 of around $3,800 to $4,200 AUD in GST taxes and shipping charges.
Get protected: Local Insurance
Get protected: Insurance - We can provide all site details to your insurer, including broad security details.
Our Design and Consultancy Service
Are you still not quite sure where to begin or wanting a little advice - we can take care of it all for you and set you up from here.
We can offer you a comprehensive design and consultancy service as part of our service where we draw up electrical diagrams, computer wiring and optical diagrams to detail the complete specification of what is required to setup your system remotely for you.
This process adds extra security in setting you up quickly, as we do not miss out on any cables required that you forget to ship or errors in sending us an incorrect power supply for Australian conditions.
Those hiccups hold up the installation and we know you want to explore the skies as soon as possible and we want to help to get you started.
You're ready - Installation!
Now it gets exciting! Installation of your system will be completed shortly after the full package of equipment has been received at our site in Moorook, South Australia.
We will collimate, polar align, PEC train, build a T-point model, create focus model, and configure your system completely, as per the designed and consultancy documentation that we agree on before you shipped your system.
You're looked after - Ongoing Maintenance
The ground crew takes a proactive approach to supporting your system and maintaining it for you
They will alert to you any potential problem and will not make any changes to your system without your prior consent, unless it's deemed to be an urgent safety issue.
The ground crew will also be available to take support request from around 7:00pm local time to around 1:30 am in the morning, with calls after these hours being performed the following day.
So, what are you waiting for, come and explore the skies with us!