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#26 Gord

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:44 AM

Yes Randy, *extremely* heavy frost, and this was only by late evening.

This was from when I was living in Ottawa and the area seems to suffer from pretty high humidity, even in the colder months. Part of the reason it feels so cold there I think. In summer this would have just been a dewy night, but with the temps below freezing, you get frost. Really heavy frost.

I believe this was the same night as I was looking for Mars' moons (see my thread on planets for what it looked like).

-Gord

#27 rodelaet

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 03:31 PM

Hi folks,

It's great to have a specific forum for these tools. Thanks to the admins for the support!!

I have a Watec 120N.
Here is a picture of my set-up. Don't laugh! It's a little 50mm finder modified for the camera. It provides great widefield views.

Here is a link to my site where are a few shots with a 6mm lens, a 50mm lens and an ETX 105. Some shots with the Watec 120N.

I use the 50mm lens as a reference for my visual 4 inch observations. The 50mm Watec combo goes deeper than my 4 inch scope visually.

Clear skies,

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#28 AstroTasmania

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:02 PM

Hi Kent,

The main scope is a homebuilt fork mounted 12" f/5 Newtonian with drives on RA & DEC plus digital setting circles to Argo Navis and a laptop running Starry Night Pro Plus. it is one in a line of experimental designs, which are a test bed for a fork mounted 16" under construction.

Mounted on the square tube is a varied collection of other scopes, which get changed around from time to time.

I use Moonlite CR-1 Focuser's on several of my scopes, the 12", Meade SN-10, SW 150mm f/8 refractor, Tak Mewlon 210 with a Mathers mod adapter, & a 16" f/4.5 Newtonian under construction, they are all motorised for manual & electronic PC control.

Essentially: on one side is a WO Megrez 80SD (or a Megrez 90 APO) used with a Coronado 40 BF10 H-alpha system or as a guide scope. Next is a Tak FS-102 with home made motorised focuser, used for various- but often for white light solar with a Herschel Solar Wedge. Next is a Sky Watcher 102 f/10 achromatic fitted with a Baader Mark IV Ha-alpha Solar Coronograph, used visually or with either DSLR's, Video or Firewire cams. A 7" LCD monitor takes 2 video finder feeds, wide angle & narrow angle. Switch from wide to narrow.

Main 12" scope always has a camera on it of some sort, I rarely use any of my scopes visually.
The focuser & diagonal are mounted on a sliding plate to allow use of focal reducers to get me down to around f/1.3.
I need to swap to a larger diagonal when doing this.

And the smaller diagonal is used when doing planetary with the Televue 2" 4 x Powermate, racked out away from the mirror.

On the opposite side to balance the whole assembly is either a Tak Mewlon 210, for solar system objects, or a SW 6" F/8 achromat.

There are various computers for image acquisition video & still, plus a Casablanca DVD AVIO PC with a 500GB drive as a dedicated video capture & editor, which I can connect to a PC and export/import various image/video files to make complete movies. With this AVIO, I can do all sorts of video enhancements/effects, speed up a 3-hour eclipse to only 2 minutes and the list is endless.

OK, that is the gear in the 4-metre rotating observatory.

I am building a new smaller obs of my own design, to take my BIG Alhena GEM with a Tak E180ED f/2.8 astrograph, Meade SN-10 and the Tak Mewlon 210. The pier can be raised & lowered to get ow down horizon views when needed.Driven with a Astro FS2 controller, it also has twin high res shaft encoders to connect to the Argo Navis for a push to for quick all sky views for visitors.

Lastly, I have a little EQ6 as my portable mount which has a selection of scopes/cameras etc, ( SW shortened 4" f/5 with Denkmeier bino's & a PST for quick a look see at the sun before opening up the main dome. This sits on our front patio. I am setting it up with EQMOD to drive directly from a laptop and Starry Night pro Plus 6, a much better solution that the V3xx hand paddle. A Star NX-1 GPS (Chris Carson in Canada)slots into the PC and links to EQMOD.

As associate editor for SKY & SPACE Magazine, a lot of my 'spare' time is taken up with it and associated projects.

Clear skies...

#29 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:07 PM

Neil,

Here is a picture of my rig at New Mexico Skies in June of 2005. It shows my 17.5" AstroSystems TeleKit with self-contained 26 AH battery box and carry-along table for Laptop and DVD Player. The laptop is now moved off to the side as I use AirCables and SkyTools to control the ServoCAT positioning. The DVD player now sits where the laptop in the picture was and other "stuff" occupies the DVD player tray. I have cleaned up the wiring somewhat by velcoring it to the truss tubes under the shroud. I also have added a Watec-35 3.5" LCD right next to the FeatherTouch focuser to aid in focusing and menu selection. It provides the best live images of any device I have used to date. It is small at 3.5", and that is why I also have a second monitor on the table for others to look at. The camera in the picture is a MallinCam PRO DOB B&W (an older camera with no cooling and limited to 2.1 second integrations). With this setup, I was able to see all 5 galaxies in Hickson 50 while at New Mexico Skies - down to magnitude 20.

Posted Image


Jack

#30 smokin oakum

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:19 PM

Jack, That really IS one tricked out telescope. I really like the table on the back of the scope for anything you might be using that night.

Clear skies, and keep in touch!
Neil :bigshock: :bow: :waytogo:

#31 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:54 PM

Allen at AstroSystems says it is a TeleKit that no longer looks like one. I wanted to be able to carry everything on the scope. The battery on the front of the rocker offsets the weight of the table and its contents and is capable of powering the MallinCam, Watec-35, ServoCAT, Argo Navis, AIrCables and the secondary dew heater all night long.

Jack

#32 Bill Cowles

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 09:30 PM

Jack;

Any pictures of your C6-R setup? Too, how did you attach the 6.3 focal reducer to this scope? I'm just about ready to get on the waiting list, but still don't know which scope to use. I really like the refractor with the Atlas mount, but the LX200 might be an easier setup. Since I see you have both these scopes, which to you prefer, not counting that beautiful Dob.

Bill

#33 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:08 PM

Bill,

Years ago, I had a machinist friend make me the two parts needed to adapt the Celestron f/6.3 FR to the 2" drawtube on my 6" refractor. You can now buy them for a lot less money from Scope Stuff.

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_taep.htm

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_adt2.htm

Buy one of each and place the f/6.3 FR in the middle. You can now slip the 2" male end into the focuser and place a 2: dagonal in the other end - and your scope will now be f/5.

Jack

#34 Bill Cowles

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

Jack-Thanks, thought I read that ScopeStuff had such an adapter, but could never find it.

Bill

#35 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:46 AM

I really like the refractor with the Atlas mount, but the LX200 might be an easier setup.


Bill, the ScopeStuff adapters are the ones I use with my F6.3 FR on my Celestron 6" refractor. Here is a picture of mine that might help. I install mine directly into the focuser and then the diagonal...works great and comes to focus.

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#36 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 01:59 AM

Here is a photo of the AVS I took to last years Mt St. Helens Star Party. The camera used was the SuperCircuits PC164C-EX mounted behind the 4" F1.8 lens. The monitor is an LCD 7" TFT. I wanted to finally test this setup at a dark sky site. Orion showed up pretty well, Andromeda was a little weak, but no other DSO's showed up. This camera kills on the planets, moon, and the sun though, and that's on my longer FL refractors and 10" SCT.

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#37 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 02:09 AM

Here is a close up of the camera and lens.

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#38 sdbodin

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 04:40 PM

My scopes setup for high-mag viewing, doubles stars or planets. Main videocam is a Mintron 63V2HN, sold by Polaris as their DX8263SL, now superceeded by the DX9263SL. It is attached with a C-Minolta mount which then fits my assortment of camera lenses and, in this case, a 3x teleconverter. The nice thing about this setup is that it is parafocal, from prime focus thru 6x, yes the teleconverters are stackable and remain parafocal.

Also, the 4 inch guide below the main OTA is setup as a high power finder with a Samsung cam and 0.33 focal reducer.

Above is a Supercircuits PC164 on a 15x50 zoom as a general wide field finder.

All are plumbed to a viewing console with 13" color TV, one of the $89 type, a $29 BW for the finder and an SVHS for recording.

The eyepiece rack in the console has gathered a lot of dust, not much used anymore.

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#39 Bill Cowles

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 05:19 PM

Kerry - Thanks and what a grate looking video setup. I'm from Oregon and there can't be a Sunny Washington, thats an oxymoron. Are you going to equip the Green Goblin for video?

Bill

#40 Bill Cowles

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 05:24 PM

Kerry, got you mixed up with, is it Sky Captain, that has the green LB? Your the one with all the nice machined items and way too many scopes. :smirk:

Bill

#41 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 06:56 PM

Kerry - Thanks and what a grate looking video setup. I'm from Oregon and there can't be a Sunny Washington, thats an oxymoron.



Sarcastic is more like what I was shootin fer...I wish it was "sunny" here!
Born and raised in Oregon. :)

#42 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 07:02 PM

Kerry, got you mixed up with, is it Sky Captain, that has the green LB? Your the one with all the nice machined items and way too many scopes.

Bill


The "green goblin" is Jay's...mine is the white one. :grin:
Yep, too many scopes and only two eyes and no clear skies. :bawling:

I will be ordering a Round Table Platform and will put the camera on the LightBridge for sure. The 10" SCT at f6.3 is very impressive, can't wait to see what the 12" f5 will do.

#43 Sky Captain

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 07:05 PM

My scopes setup for high-mag viewing, doubles stars or planets. Main videocam is a Mintron 63V2HN, sold by Polaris as their DX8263SL, now superceeded by the DX9263SL.



Real nice Steve...how do you like the Polaris camera? I was tempted to buy one myself last year. Are they still avaliable?

#44 Bill Cowles

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 10:10 PM

Kerry - I really want to add a roundtable to my LB, but it's the Mellincam or a table, not both. I know that I will get the necessary feed back from you on the platform with your LB. I think I will start out with my C6-R and go form there. I'm also looking to do video presentations for our public star parties and a go-to is sure nice to have. Since I got the Atlas mount I tend to take the Refractor out more than the LB and over the past year our club has been adding more large Refractors and seeing less and less 10" Blue things,I do see 12" LB's however.

Did you add something to your avatar?

Bill

#45 sdbodin

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 10:30 PM

Real nice Steve...how do you like the Polaris camera? I was tempted to buy one myself last year. Are they still avaliable?



Still in the catalog, polarisusa.com. Still the best deal on the planet, $250, if you want to get your feet wet in video astro.

I can't do without it, now three years old and still ticking. But I modded it with a fan and remote cable for the OSD.

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#46 rodelaet

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:19 PM

Here is a simple portable undriven setup. It consists of a small 50mm viewfinder plus a Watec 120N. I use it with my laptop for monitoring. It provides widefield views of about 2°. The wide fov makes it easy to aim the scope without a Telrad or the like .Star trails are not visible with the shutter below or at 2,5 sec (64 frames integrated).

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#47 Sky Captain

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 10:28 PM

Still in the catalog, polarisusa.com. Still the best deal on the planet, $250, if you want to get your feet wet in video astro.

I can't do without it, now three years old and still ticking. But I modded it with a fan and remote cable for the OSD.



Sorry Steve, I didn't realize I had already bought one this past summer. I only used it once so far. Its the new model from SuperCircuits that has a super low S\N ratio...4 or 5db I think, most have 50 db to 60db S\N ratio.

Here is the link to the camera at SuperCircuits. # PC58C

#48 Sky Captain

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 10:34 PM

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Posts: 4316
Loc: Not So Sunny Washington


Did you add something to your avatar?

Bill


After your comment, I realized that "Sunny" might mean a town and confuse people, so in light of all the RAIN lately, I changed it to "Not So Sunny Washington"

#49 sdbodin

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 11:25 PM

Here is the link to the camera at SuperCircuits. # PC58C



I don't know if that is the same camera. Does it integrate to x128 like all Mintron Starlight models??

Not so sunny here either only one clear night this month :bawling:

#50 Bowmoreman

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 07:19 AM


Sorry Steve, I didn't realize I had already bought one this past summer. I only used it once so far. Its the new model from SuperCircuits that has a super low S\N ratio...4 or 5db I think, most have 50 db to 60db S\N ratio.

Here is the link to the camera at SuperCircuits. # PC58C


Just to be clear to everyone, when dealing with electronic circuits you WANT a higher signal to noise (S/N) ratio... it represents, logarithmically, the difference between the signal (in dB) and noise (in dB)... higher is better...

Hopefully the "4 or 5 dB" is a typo, because a 4-5dB S/N ratio is terrible, frankly... now, 4-5 dB better, would obviously be good...

Ha - I *did* get to use something I learned as a EE in college after all! :lol:

clear skies






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