My Cookbook Camera Project

One of the most challenging projects in my telescope making odyssey was building the Cookbook 245 CCD camera. I just have to discuss the Cookbook project as it was the precursor to the developments discussed here using the 20" RCOS and STL6303E CCD camera. I cut my teeth on this technology redesigning the Cookbook to obtain superior cooling, stray light and particulate control while allow quick disconnects of all cabling for easy assembly and dismantling. I am a mechanical engineer and was more than a little intimidated at attempting to build what seemed a pretty complicated electronic device.

I followed the electronic design to a tee based on the excellent manuals and test programs provided by the Cookbook team. I canít thank these guys ( Berry, Kanto and Munger) enough for taking so much of their time to help folks like me experience this fantastic technology. They should get an amateur astronomy Academy Award for this. The power supplies in my Cookbook are commercial linear supplies that I sourced through a surplus house. I changed every thing else on the Cookbook camera however including cabling, connectors, all mechanics, coolers etc. I had the same feelings when I turned my first telescope on the heavens as I did when I turned that Cookbook camera on the heavens. Unbelievable!!!!!!! I didn't sleep for a month and it turned me into a CCD imaging junkie. The camera worked flawlessly.

Following are some photos showing my design of the mechanical components and the power supply.

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Main Housing + CCD Connectors + Purge Ports and TE Cooler Connectors

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Cold Finger, Thermistor, and Cooling Block

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Completed Cookbook 245

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Images - Hubble Nebula thru 20 in. scope

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Images - Crab Nebula thru 20 in scope

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Images - M51 thru 20 in. scope

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Images - M65 thru 20 in. scope

Mars.jpg (1158 bytes)Cookbook 245 Images - M66 thru 20 in scope