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Mount - solely for Jupiter fireball patrol

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#1 Thomas Ashcraft

Thomas Ashcraft


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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:56 PM

Topic : Jupiter fireball patrol telescope

I want to set up a telescope and mount with one sole dedicated purpose, which will be to track Jupiter through the night for continuous video using a DMK 41 camera. The goal would be videography rather than astrophotography which means that I would only need the mount to track Jupiter and maintain Jupiter relatively centered in the camera frame. I would not need the tracking precision required for astro-photography work.

The mount and scope will essentially be unattended except for turning it on before I go to bed and turning it off in the morning. ( I suppose I might still need to do a meridian flip. Not sure about that.)

I am thinking that a 10" SCT will be an adequate telescope to detect larger fireballs. Weight of this scope might be about 30 pounds or so.

The mount will not need any go-to functions.

Money is a factor. I figure that if I shop for used equipment I can manifest some sort of mount and scope for $1,000 or less for this purpose.

Any thoughts or recommendations welcome and I thank you in advance.

If I can clarify anything please ask as I am in the initial stages of this project but am ready to manifest what is required.


Thomas | New Mexico

PS : I already built a prototype system using an Orion ED 100 refractor and a CG5-gt mount. But, to do useful science I see I will need a bigger telescope which may or may not require a larger mount.
Here is a link for a short prototype video of what I am trying to do. I definitely need more aperture.

#2 orlyandico


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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:23 AM

a fork mount would remove the issues with meridian flip... ideally something like a Meade LX200 or LX90 would do. These are pretty good at keeping objects centered for many hours.

On a small budget, buy an Autostar 497 and Meade DS motors, and make a home-made fork mount.


as the Autostar 497 is the same one used on the LXD55 / LXD75, you can get pretty decent performance. You can buy the controllers and motors on ebay from lipstickonapig or scopehed1 (ebay ID's).

Another approach is to buy an old fork-mounted SCT like a C8 or Meade LX10, and get the Meade DS/autostar motors to robotize it. There's a Meade 10" OTA for $300 - $400 on a-mart right now... but a C8 fork mount can be had for $350.

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