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First Annual Service of the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT)

First Annual Service of the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT)

Daniel and Lee visited the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT) facility this week for its first annual service since we installed it last year. 

City of London Panorama

Panoramic view of London from the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Lee arrived on the Tuesday afternoon to get equipment ready and to check if any additional work was needed. We had a pretty full day of jobs to do on the Wednesday, so after an all-important coffee to start us off with, we began with an inspection, and some general cleaning, of all the telescopes, mount and accessories. This was followed by some mechanical work and then optical cleaning of the Celestron C14's corrector plate and the other telescopes.

AMAT - as we see it

Daniel doing some cleaning of external components
The business-end of the AMAT
The business end of AMAT

Dan doing some adjustments

Daniel doing some focuser adjustments to one of the refractors

Celestron 14" SCT Corrector before cleaning

Celestron 14" SCT corrector - before cleaning

Celestron 14" SCT Corrector after cleaning

Celestron 14" SCT corrector - after cleaning
Lee performing some checks
Lee performing some checks on the mount

DEC Motor worm block

Paramount ME II DEC worm block with motor and belt drive. 

Michael Hattey from Starlight Xpress joined us in the afternoon to perform an upgrade to the SX-46 camera. Whilst the camera was off the wide-field scope, we took the opportunity to install a photometric V filter and clean the existing filters. This was done by simply removing the filter wheel's face-plate screws rather than having to detach the whole unit from the telescope! (Neat!). We also ran an extra USB cable internally through the Paramount ME II.

Michael Hattey from Starlight Xpress

Michael Hattey from Starlight Xpress about to do an upgrade to the SX-46 camera

Filter wheel inspection

Removing the carousel from the Maxifilterwheel before adding a new V filter and cleaning existing filters

Filters read to go back into filterwheel

New V filter installed and filters cleaned. There is a scary face looking back at us from the underside of the G filter! Is it a ghost? No! Its Daniel!

Ready to go back on the telescope

Filter unit ready to be reinstalled on the wide-field refractor

Internal Cable Routing

About to install a new USB cable through the internal cable routing of the ME II

Finishing off

All finished now just putting the cable-routing covers back on

We finished off the day by updating the SkyX (and other software and drivers), and then performing some tests to make sure the mount, camera, filterwheel and all other items controlled by the computer all worked - which it did to everyone's satisfaction. 

If you would like to see a video of the AMAT in operation see:

Despite the horrible weather we had a great time. It was nice to be back at the Observatory and to see and speak to the staff there. We look forward to the next "servicing mission" next year!

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