DFM Engineering, Inc.
1035 Delaware Ave. Unit D
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-678-8143
Fax: 303-772-9411

University of Montreal - Mt. Megantic Observatory
1.6m Perkin Elmer Telescope Maintenance
  mt. megantic observatory at university of montreal

Mt. Megantic Observatory

It has been over 10 years since DFM Engineering retrofitted the 1.6m Perkin Elmer telescope at the Mt. Megantic Observatory for the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. At that time, major mechanical and electronic components were replaced, new motors and encoders installed, an instrument rotator was motorized and encoded.

1.6m Perkin Elmer telescopeIn all, over 800 lbs. of outdated or nonfunctional pieces were eliminated. To finalize the overhaul, a new computerized DFM telescope control system was installed.

It was a major upgrade and has gracefully stood the test of time.

Since then the astronomers, students and physics department faculty have made great progress in the quest for advancing astronomy at the University of Montreal. The 1.6 Perkin Elmer telescope was transformed into a wonderful astronomical instrument providing many hours of study and discovery.

In October of 2012, Mr. Mark Kelley and Mr. Ian Huss of DFM Engineering returned to the Mt. Megantic Observatory to perform telescope and control system maintenance.

1.6m Perkin Elmer telescopeSince the same team from DFM originally performed the retrofit in 2001, they were familiar with the large, impressive telescope and it’s history. They were also aware of the necessary accommodations needed to service such a large telescope.

Access to various components often required two or more technicians to remove plates and then secure them again after the inspection, cleaning, and lubricating had been completed.

The staff of the University of Montreal was very accommodating in assisting with the servicing logistics and care of the telescope.

1.6m Perkin Elmer telescopeThe DFM team performed a thorough inspection, cleaning, maintenance check and collimation of the telescope. The optics were carefully checked and cleaned.

The Telescope Control System also received special attention. The computer was completely replaced and the software was upgraded to DFM Engineering’s latest edition.

1.6M Perkin Elmer telescopeAmong the list of many maintenance items checked were:

  • telescope bearings; inspect, clean, lubricate
  • toothed belts; replace
  • worm gear; adjust mesh, mechanisms
  • motor drive chassis; inspect, replace
  • motor drive chassis circuit; test, repair
  • RA drive; adjust, optimize tracking performance
  • timing belts; adjust alignment
  • servos; adjust, optimum cold temperature performance
  • auto-guiding system slipping problem; identify, correct
  • optics; check, clean
  • polar axis; check, align
  • instrument rotator; check, readjust
  • instrument rotator brakes; inspect, replace

In addition to regular cleaning and collimating, special attention to this type of thorough maintenance of the 1.6M telescope, with its sturdy mechanical structure and extraordinary optics will preserve the observing efficiency and performance for many more years to come.


University of Montreal Telescope Initial Upgrade

Congratulations from University of Montreal

Retrofit Telescopes

Retrofit Telescope Consulting