Wallace 16" Telescope

picture of 16-in

General Information


The 16-in and its dome are located to the west of the main building.


Instrument - SBIG STL-1001E imaging CCD camera
CCD Characterization Data:



Originally designed as an instructional telescope, the 16-in and its dome were constructed in 1971. It was used by students in observing subjects until 1999.

The telescope drive has been completely refurbished by Alan Midkiff in 2008 and is now actively computer controlled using ComSoft's BBox and The Sky software.

During the summer of 2009 the Lhires III spectrograph was installed. Shortly there after, the ComSoft TCS computer blew up and was replaced. Students began using it for 410 projects Fall 2009.

During the spring of 2010 the optics were completely removed by Tim Brothers and Michael Person for recoating and polishing. It was reassembled that summer and is now restored to its original state. The secondary focuser was disabled in favor of an Optec TCF-S3 electronic focuser mounted on the rear of the telescope, right before the spectrograph entrance. Focus can now be controlled remotely through CCDSoft. The original autoguider platform has been replaced by a rigid system that has greatly improved the autoguiding capability of the C8 mounted on top of the 16" optics. An Orion X-Y stage is now used to select autoguiding targets.

The StellaCam3 video camera, which was often a source of trouble, finally died after 2 years of limited use. It was replaced with a Super Circuits pc165dnr camera.

WAO 16-in (41 cm) Telescope Information for Users from 1998.

During the summer of 2013 Tim Brothers, assisted by UROPs :, tore out the TCS control system and replaced with Sidereal Technology's Servo II brushed servo controller. With this upgrade, there are now axis limits, Home position sensors, improved autoguiding capability, more robust PEC functionality, reliability, one computer required instead of two to control and a factor of two improvement in pointing. In addition we added a new camera, the QSI 683s and a new autoguider camera, the SBIG ST-i.