Telescopes & Mount - Kenthurst Observatory

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Telescopes & Mount

Current Setup

Telescopes and Mount


The mount is a Software Bisque Paramount MEII on a Bisque 48” high steel pier.

The larger telescope is a PlaneWave CDK 12.5. The piggybacked scope is a Takehashi FSQ106EDXIII.

The D.C. power supplies on the pier provide most of the low voltage power to the various electronic items on the mount (rotators, USB hub, focusers, CDK fans and heaters and to the EOS DSLR camera). Their leads are run external to the mount up through the thick spiral-wrap visible in the right of the picture.
Power for the SBIG STXL CCD is run through the mount.

All USB connections, except for those to the STXL and to the Canon EOS 6D DSLR, are run through the mount.  Devices having serial connections run through individual serial to USB converters. These and direct USB connections, except for the STXL and the Canon EOS 6D, are routed to the MEII’s internal hub via in-mount leads. Note the additional square USB hub used to aggregate USB sources.


This is a more detailed view of  the pier attached low voltage D.C. power supplies. Unfortunately the device vendors provide D.C. supplies of varying voltage making it difficult to run a single voltage, such as 12V up the mount.

Some power supplies come with plug in A.C. supply cables, Others are plug packs and must be plugged directly into a power board. Note the 240V to 120V adapters required for several plug packs.


The steel pier from Sofware Bisque comes in a maximum standard 48 inch height. The additional height required for this observatory is provided by the concrete plinth. Calculations suggested that a longer steel pier of this diameter would have been insufficiently rigid. Four 12 mm diameter galvanized rods have been Chemsetted 110 mm into the floor of the dome. They run through the concrete plinth inside flexible plastic tubes. This is to ensure that when the pier is screwed to the plinth the load is transferred directly to the floor.

The stacked power supplies at left are for STXL camera, for the MEII and for the FSQ106EDXIII dew heater.

The power board on the right provides power to the A.C power supplies strapped to the side of the pier.

Only a single 240 Volt A.C. cable connects to the mount and scopes

The cables visible at left are all USB. One connects to the MEII. The other cable (actually two separate USB cables) provide direct USB connections to the two imagers. Such direct connections were found to be necessary to accommodate the high download speeds from the imagers .


The spiral wrapped D.C. power cable loom taking D.C. power up to the top of the mount is loosely connected to the two USB cables which connect the imagers. This ensures that all cables are held clear of the pier-mounted D.C. supplies.

Note that USB cables on are secured with cabe ties. This is to avoid problems encountered when this was not done and the USB connectors flexed in their sockets leading to unreliable connections.

The three cables which can be seen going into the rear of the mount are USB signal, mount power and power to the STXL imager respectively.

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