Roger Pickard

The "Jack Ells Automatic Photoelectric Telescope" was designed and constructed principally for the observation of eclipsing binaries. It is a 212 mm f/4.0 Newtonian reflector, housed in a run-off shed, and driven via stepper motors from a BBC micro-computer, which is also used to capture the data.

The telescope saw "first light" around April 1988 and, apart from the two years following Jack's untimely death in March 1990, the telescope has been in use ever since. It was re-located to a darker site in 1992 where it is operated by members of the Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society. (See JBAA 107, No. 6 Page 321 for a summary of observations from 1993-1995).

Once set up, the telescope has the capability of observing a set of stars all night without further human intervention. Requests are always welcomed from both the amateur and professional community for observations of suitable objects; i.e. those requiring continuous observation throughout the night, as with eclipsing binaries, but not fainter than about magnitude 9.0.
Contact: Roger Pickard