Re: Which to Choose; Absolute Encoders or 92 mm Stowaway

Robert Berta

I agree donating to a school isn't a good idea....won't get much use unless you can get a dedicated teacher that is willing to be there at night....without pay.  I highly recommend donating to a scout will get a lot of use year round for scouts working on their astronomy merit badges.  I designed, helped build, and am now manager of an observatory in a huge scout camp in S/E Michigan. We have a 16'x20' roll off roof building housing a 14" Celestron SCT HD on a Celestron CGE PRO mount. We also have two 12" DOBS and a Lunt 60mm Ha solar scope. When the roof is slid back it covers an equal sized area with benches for classes and video talks. We also have capability of video from the telescope to the big screen TV via a Hyperstar setup....but only used occasionally. Normally it is all visual. The outside of the building has  additional concrete pads isolated from the wooden deck to setup the dobs and Lunt solar scope.As far as I know it is the largest astronomy facility in any Scout facility in the world

The camp gets thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts plus younger Cubs and Brownies, Jr. Girl Scouts, etc. We would have AP mounts but that was out of our price range. All the gear and building are through donations and volunteer labor.. We found that Scouts tend to have more interest in outdoor activities than other children of the same age due to the emphasis by Scouting on outdoors activities and STEM. Some of those Scouts join one of the 4 astronomy clubs locally.. There have been 4 Eagle projects (one by my son) at one of the clubs  (Warren Astronomical Society).That club has an AP 1200 GTO supporting a 8" D&G refractor. Needless to say astronomy is a big deal here....when the weather isn't fighting us.

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