Byers Series III Retrofit


Custom Telescope


Software Bisque Delivers 18-inch Robotic Telescope

Software Bisque recently completed a project in which we rebuilt and upgraded a Byers Series III mount with robotic control and also constructed an 18-inch carbon fiber Newtonian optical tube assembly for one of our clients.


The Software Bisque robotic telescope control system (MKS-3000) was added to the Byers Series III mount. This included the addition of homing sensors and spring-loaded right ascension and declination worm block assemblies for "Paramount GT-1100" like performance.



The Byers Series III mount now carries a Software Bisque designed carbon fiber, 18-inch f/4.5 optical tube assembly. The OTA is a "multipurpose" design for both visual observation and CCD imaging. The Custom-built OTA rings allow the tube to be rotated "in place" to make accessing the eyepiece simple, without significantly affecting the current field of view. The f/4 Newtonian design is also ideal for CCD imaging.

The following pictures show the final product as well as many of the modifications.

Completed Telescope and Mount

The pictures below show the completed, installed product.

Note the "forward" position of the optical tube assembly. Observatory height limitations necessitates mounting counterweights on the rear of the optical tube assembly.  The mount (OTA plus counterweights) is carrying approximately 164 kg (360 lbs.).

Mirror cell on the rear of the OTA.

Picture of the integrated Software Bisque robotic telescope control system (MKS-3000) with "through-the-mount" wiring.

The extremely rigid OTA spider holds the secondary mirror in place for consistent collimation.

18-inch carbon fiber Newtonian f/4.5 optical tube assembly.


Byers Series III Mount Redesign and Robotic Control System Upgrade Photos


Photographs of the Byers Mount after being refurbished.


Here are just a few of this custom modifications made to the Byers Mount.

Custom-built and redesigned worm block assemblies (for both right ascension and declination axes). Note thrust bearings used to mount the spring-loaded worm-block.


Custom mount base modifications for altitude adjustment (no photograph)


Reconfigured right-ascension and declination gear hubs (center of the gear) to improve "roundness" and "flatness."


Custom built parts to hold homing sensors for each axis (no photograph)


18-inch Carbon Fiber Newtonian Optical Tube Assembly

Precision Spider

Here is the four vane, pre-anodized, "spider" that will hold the secondary mirror in place. There are 25 custom-made, CNC-milled components in this assembly alone. No other commercial optical tube assembly employs a similar high-strength, precision-made spider.

Engineer Rob Miller holds the custom-built OTA cover. Each cover is milled from a solid piece of aluminum.




Note the custom-built 18-inch OTA rings that allow rotation of the tube.  




Large knobs can be hand-tightened for easy OTA rotation and eyepiece adjustment.


Custom-made 18-inch mirror cell weighs just 7 lbs.  The feathery (but incredibly rigid) design comes to temperature quickly. Note: Mirror cell employs a 9-point mirror suspension system.

Custom-made 18-inch aperture-stop OTA covers.


Last Modified July 24, 2007