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wjwduke
2005-May-11, 09:14 PM
Hello group,

I have contacted Fraser and with his kind permission, he allowed my to post this message on the UT forum.

My name is Bill (wjwduke). I have constructed a unique (one of a kind) transportable observatory, dome and Alt/Az motorized using Mel Bartels' "scope" s/w and h/w interface. I should have started this project a few years ago. Now, due to an unexpected health and finacial setback, I am forced to abandon my project. I am going to have to relocate soon and I can't take it with me. I live in a rural area of Mississippi US. and exposure here is next to impossible (the locals here thought I was bulding a space ship) which is why I am posting this to the UT ATM'ers here. I am seeking your help as to how best to get it exposed to the amateur astronomy circles so that I can find a new home for it soon. Your expert advice, suggestions and of course critique (good or bad), would very much appreciated.

Functionally, it is pretty close to complete however, as with all projects, there are always improvments to be made. It was designed as a quick and easy "hookup and go" observatory to escape the light polluted areas most of us have to deal with. I had plans to have a planetarium I/F as well as a camera/monitor setup when it was completed so I could take it around to local schools and churches to get the yougsters interested in science and astronomy but, father time is sometimes cruel. Maybe someone out there would fulfill this goal for me. Because of it's uniqueness, I have no idea what value to place on it. Including the scope, I have a bit over 5k invested in it. I wished I were in better financial shape to donate it to a institution but, due to my situation, I am sorely in need of funds.

For those that may be interested, I put together a MS Word document with embedded .jpg pics a few months back that describes the project's history and how I came to begin this overwhelming "one man" undertaking at my ripe old age of 60+. It is quite long (650+kb) and a bit anecdotal. I don't have a web site/url and don't know anyone that does so I can't point you to pictures of it however; I do belong to Mel Bartels' Yahoo scope-drive group and they allowed me to place this document in the groups "files" folder, "Bill's Observatory". If your not a member and are interested in "motorizing" your scope, I highly recommend the group; a lot of good folks, like yourselves, with experience and expertise in this area as well as astrophotograpy, guiding, planetarium, etc. interfacing. You can find it at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scope-drive/

Thanks all for allowing me to post my message here and hope to hear your input.
Clear skies as always, Bill wjw@bellsouth.net]