Auburn Astronomical Society

Loaner Telescopes

Terms and Conditions 

One of the  benefits of membership in the Auburn Astronomical Society, is the availability of the telescopes and binoculars.  There is also an Electronic Color Imaging Eyepiece that can be used with either of the AAS scopes or with ones personal telescope for use with a TV, monitor, tape or DVD. 

AAS Loaner Telescope FAQ

1)  Who is eligible to borrow AAS Loaner Scopes?

All of the AAS loaner scopes are to be loaned out to AAS members only and on a first come, first serve basis, with official society functions always having the highest  priority.   Due to the size and weight of the 12.5-inch, and because of the value, technical nature, and weight of the CGEM 1100, additional rules, requirements and restrictions will apply to these scopes.  We'll require that a minimum of two able-bodied members will be available to load, transport, unload, and set-up these scopes.  A van or truck will be needed to transport the 12.5-inch scope. 

2)  How does an AAS member reserve time for a loaner scope?

Allen Screws is the AAS Loaner Scope Steward for all loaners.  Make your request to borrow a scope with Allen Screws

3)  Who is responsible for damage to the loaner scope?

The telescope will have a joint inspection with the borrower and the Scope Steward, with any anomalies noted by both parties upon check-out and return.  Incidental repairs incurred through due diligence use, such as  minor broken hardware with a replacement cost of less than $25.00, will be absorbed by the society.  Damage to major components whether through accident, neglect, or abuse, will be paid for by the person responsible.  You must agree to these conditions before checking out the loaner scope.

4)  How long can an AAS member keep the loaner scope?

We haven't set a hard and fast limit for the time a scope can be loaned.  To date, this hasn’t been a problem.  For members who live outside the Auburn-Opelika area, a month would seem a reasonable length of time and would not place an undue burden to return the scope before the next meeting.  As in the past, common courtesy on the part of the borrower, should keep this from being a problem.  Rhon will let the borrower know if someone else is on the waiting list so that the period that the scope is loaned can be adjusted to suit the needs of the AAS members as a whole.  If a conflict arises, Rhon will be the final authority. 

8-inch Dobsonian PST Solar Scope ETX-90 Maksutov
Astroscan Rich Field 20x80 Binoculars CGEM - 1100 SCT
 12.5-inch Dobsonian
Orion 8-inch f/6, SkyQuest XT8

This is a good general purpose telescope and an excellent choice for beginners.   It's large enough to show detail on the Moon and planets as well as all of the objects in the Messier catalog, yet small enough to be portable.  Its simplicity will require a knowledge of the sky.

This kit includes:

  • 6x30mm finder scope
  • Telrad unity finder & Batteries
  • 40mm 1.25 -inch Plossl eyepiece (30x) 
  • 25mm  1.25-inch Plossl eyepiece (48x)
  • 10 mm 1.25-inch Plossl eyepiece (120x)
  • Sighting Tube Collimator
  • Laser Collimator

Personal Solar Telescope

This is a single purpose telescope, optimized for safely observing the Sun in the narrow bandwidth of hydrogen alpha light.  This scope will show prominences on the Sun's limb and granularity on the it's surface.

The PST kit contains:

  • Padded aluminum case
  • Tripod/Mount case
  • 40mm Ha PST
  • 12mm eyepiece
  • RA and DEC slow-motion attachments
  • Clock drive
  • Tripod accessory tray
  • Tools:  Screw driver, Allen wrench, Multi-purpose wrench, 
  • Declination axis wrench
  • Observers Manual

Meade ETX-90
Donated by Mrs. Diane Swanton in memory of her husband, Lyle G. Swanton

This is the one you want for the Moon, planets, and splitting binary stars.  The Maksutov design allows a long 1250mm focal length in tube of only 11 inches.  It's not a Go-To, but once polar aligned, the EXT's clock drive will track celestial objects.

  • Table top tripod legs, 
  • 1.25-inch Series 4000 eyepieces: 
    • 40mm, (31x) 
      26mm (2), (48x) 
      12.4mm, (100x)
  • T-adapters (2), 
  • 8x21 finder, 
  • 2x barlow, 
  • 45degree erect viewing diagonal,
  • Assorted allen wrenches, 
  • Star and Planet Locator (cardboard planisphere)
  • User Manual

Edmund Scientific Astroscan
Donated by Mrs. Diane Swanton in memory of her husband, Lyle G. Swanton

The short focal length will not do justice to the planets, but the wide field really shines when sweeping the Milky Way.  You'll be able to see the brighter deep-sky objects. 

  • 28mm RKE, (16x)
  • 15mm RKE, (30x)
  • Eyepiece extension tube, 
  • Table top base, 
  • Shoulder strap, 
  • Peepsight finder, 
  • Nylon tote bag, and 
  • All original documentation
  • Star & Planet Locator

Celestron 20x80 Giant Binoculars
Donated by Mrs. Diane Swanton in memory of her husband, Lyle G. Swanton

These binoculars are too heavy and have too much magnification for hand held use, but now are mated with a Orion Paragon-Plus Binocular Mount and tripod. In this configuration, the binoculars will reveal the moons of Jupiter and most of the objects in the Messier catalog.

  • Multi-Coated, 
  • BAK-4 prisms, 
  • 3.5 degree field

Barker Memorial Telescope
CGEM - 1100 Computerized Telescope


In memory of Cyrus Lloyd Barker

24 Nov 1981 – 13 Jan 2012

Because of the value, technical nature, and weight of this telescope, additional rules, requirements and restrictions will apply.

Computerized Mount Features

40,000 object database with over 100 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects

Proven NexStar computer control technology

Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motors making them capable of driving the telescope even when not perfectly balanced

New "All-star" Polar alignment uses any bright star for a quick and accurate Polar alignment

Software Features include: Mount Calibration, Database Filter Limits, Hibernate, five Alignment Procedures

Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet

Meridian preference for slewing - allows you to approach an object from the side of the Meridian that maximizes tracking (and imaging) time

Solar System alignment method - allows you to align your telescope and view the moon and planets during the day

Custom Rate 9 feature allows you set maximum slew rate

Tandem mode allows you to star align the mount even when positioned for tandem scope use

Custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number: the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; variable stars; solar system objects and asterisms

Permanent Programmable Periodic Error Correction (PEC) - corrects for periodic tracking errors inherent to all worm drives

Drive Motors - Low Cog DC Servo motor with integrated optical encoders offer smooth, quiet operation and long life. The motor armatures are skewed to minimize cogging which is required for low speed tracking

Internal Cable wiring for trouble-free setup and transportation

Designated six-pin RJ-12 modular jack, ST-4 compatible guide port

Autoguide port and Auxiliary ports located on the electronic plate for long exposure astrophotography

Double-line, 16-character Liquid Crystal Display Hand Control with backlit LED buttons for easy operation of goto features

RS-232 communication port on hand to control the telescope via a personal computer

Secure power plug ensures that the mount's power source is not accidentally disconnected

Includes NexRemote telescope control software, for advanced control of your telescope via computer

GPS compatible with optional SkySync GPS Accessory

COUNTERWEIGHTS:  2 @ 17 lbs = 34 Lbs.

Photos of the debut of the CGEM 1100 at the March 1, 2013 AAS Meeting

General Features
  • 11-inch (280mm) f/10
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain  telescope
  • CGEM Computerized Equatorial Mount
  • StarBright XLT coatings
  • 9x50 finderscope 
  • Ultra sturdy 2" steel tripod 
  • Accessory Tray


Celestron Power Tank 

1¼-inch Star Diagonal

Celestron vinyl dew shield.

1¼-inch 40mm E-lux Plossl eyepiece 

Zhumell Plossl Eyepieces: 

  • 4mm 
  • 6mm 
  • 12.5mm 
  • 32mm 
  • 2x Achromatic Barlow
1¼-inch color filters:
  • #12 Yellow
  • #21 Orange
  • #23A Light Red
  • #56 Green 
  • #82A Light Blue
  • Polarizing Moon Filter
1¼-inch UHC/LPR filter
1¼-inch O-III filter

Sky SyncGPS Accessory

Download the PDF 
CGEM 1100 Manual

Basic assembly video

12.5-inch f/7 Cave Scope

This is the flagship of the AAS loaner telescope fleet and used primarily for public events.  Due to the size and weight of the 12.5-inch, we'll require that a minimum of two able-bodied members will be available to load, transport, unload, and set-up the scope.  A van or truck (with a padded floor) will be needed to transport this scope.  It will not fit into a small SUV.  Expedition/Suburban class vehicles should be large enough.  You should have a 6-foot step ladder if you plan to observe near zenith.  It's also suggested that if this will be your first time using a Dobsonian telescope, that you get your feet wet with the 8-inch Loaner before using the 12.5-inch.

Weights and Measures

OTA Length 80 inches (6'-8")
OTA Diameter 16.5 inches
Cage Diameter 27 inches
Rocker Box 39.5" high x 27" deep x 25.5" wide
Eyepiece zenith height 80 inches (6'-8")
Total height at zenith 8 feet
Rocker Box weight  85 Lbs
OTA weight  75 Lbs


Aperture 12.5 inches 317.5mm
Focal Length 87.5 inches (7.29 ') 2222.5mm
Focal Ratio  f/7  
Eyepiece Magnification Exit Pupil
32mm 69 4.6
10mm 222 1.43