We did however get first light in Central Illinois this past weekend when I went up to look at the progress and provide further input into some of the design features. It is so feature laden for visual, astrovideo, binoviewing and DSLR applications that I will save that for another post.
The scope has a Lockwood 20" 1.25" thick Pyrex f/3 primary coupled with a 5" m.a. Lockwood secondary. The JPA custom mirror cell was tested by Lockwood under various bench conditions with the unfinished primary and has been optomized for the thin mirror to operate in all positions. The mirror cell is a work of art all by itself with the use of spherical bearings on each triangle and roller bearings on the lower mirror edge supports. Views of Jupiter's GRS and surrounding ovals at 219x under less than ideal conditions still showed very detailed and colorful images. The unfinished podium on the non-viewing side includes wired and wireless handpands, 12" ultrabook computer, power supplies for the computer and eventually a heated shield that will prevent the computer screen from dewing up. All wiring is internally routed and the entire scope will be powered by one external 12v wire going into the powered ground board.
Mike Lockwood, the optician on this project, is a former electrical engineer/research scientist/ATM that went into the optical business and is building what are arguably some of the finest and most consistent sub f/4 optics on the planet in sizes up to 60" and f ratios as fast as f/2 (he recommends no faster than f/2.75 for Newtonians and I have viewed through one of his 28" f/2.75's that was an absolute stunner). John Pratte, the scope builder, is a chemical engineer, manufacturing executive, former world champion NHRA car tuner/builder, optician, machinist and all around nice guy.
I have included a picture that Mike Lockwood took this weekend as we all experienced a group first light.