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My prototype cell phone telescope mount.

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#1 GpB311

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

Until I finish school, I know I wont be able to afford to properly set myself up for astrophotography, but I still like to work with what I have just for the experience and challenge. So far Ive mostly used my droid razr held up to the EP with better than expected results, but since my xt8 isnt motorized, working with the telescope and cell phone just wasnt working.

My phone doesnt fit the existing cell phone mounts properly due to its unique shape, so I designed one specifically for my phone as part of a school project. My professor has an xt6 and therefore liked my idea enough to have it printed out on one of our rapid prototyping machines.

I bought the proper bolts/nuts and it works quite well, but I left those pics on my home computer, so heres some of it before assembling and also what it looked like when I used some zip ties just to get a pic of it on my telescope. Since its made of plastic instead of metal, I built the shape of the bolt head into the body since that end of the phone needed to be propped up anyways.

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Heres Jupiter and a moon(Europa?) from two nights ago-25 seconds of video, only stacked/edited with registax:
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#2 tnranger

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

Wow!

Your cell phone camera image looks ten times better than the direct-to-my-eye image I'm getting with my 10 inch f4.7 and the stock 11mm eyepiece. Was that picture taken with an eyepiece in place? If so which one?

BTW, nice job on the holder, too.

#3 GpB311

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

Thanks! I designed the clasp part which holds the EP to fit my standard sized 1.25" EPs, so I started with my 32mm super plossl, but ended up switching to my 9mm plossl for that pic since the view with the 32mm was simply too bright.

I wish I could try it on my 18mm meade 5k hd60, but the EP is way to large to fit. Id have to have a second clasp printed out.

Id like to get something to replace my 9mm plossl or maybe even go a with a slightly lower FL, but it needs to be a standard sized "body" to the EP. Would those of you familiar with ES eyepieces be able to recommend whether theyd be a good choice/fit?

#4 bhpnbr

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Thats an impressive image with a Dobsonian and cell phone camera! :waytogo:

#5 tnranger

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

Which 9mm eyepiece, if I may ask?

#6 GpB311

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:29 PM

Its the cheap 9mm gso super plossl. Provides decent enough views for the price, but its not very comfortable to look through and I know I could do better.

#7 rick-SeMI

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

You will be able to afford astrophotography once you convince the prof that you can place your excellant looking camera holder(s) up for sale.
This is the prototype correct?
Jupiter looks marvelous!

#8 GpB311

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Its really just modeled after Orions steadypix for the iphone except the dimensions and certain features positions were modified to fit my specific phone.

#9 GpB311

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:09 PM

I designed it using small knobs from Mcmaster-carr, but theyre rather expensive, so I went with wingnuts from my garage. They interfere with one another in certain positions, but just barely.
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#10 Metalmanstan

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

So that picture of jupiter was a 25 second video? I have tried that with my incredible 2 and registax and it is difficult. For some reason it doesn't focus on anything when I try to select a focal point. Is there any tricks to use? That picture is amazing!!! I want to do that picture!! Oh, yeah, I don't have one of those cell phone mounts, I was holding the phone up to the eyepiece and let it drift across the view. Is that wrong?

#11 GpB311

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:17 PM

That picture is from my first and only time using the cell phone mount because our weather has been awful since I had it printed out...(Sorry to my fellow So Cal residents, the clouds are my fault this time.)

My other pics/videos arent quite as sharp, but were made using the same method as you. Find a good spot for the camera/phone, move the scope so Jupiter is at the beginning of its motion across the fov, then record as long as you can.

I try to use lower power in order to get the moons and such, but it ends up too bright even with my exposure all the way down and two ND filters.

Heres the video I used to make that pic:
Jupiter.Cam mount
If you check my other videos, youll see they arent quite as nice. I will add though that youtube added a shake reducing feature, so they were actually less smooth in their raw form.

#12 GpB311

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

Just taking a picture through using the mount yields ok results, but stacking the video is def where the detail came out:
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#13 Metalmanstan

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

Would you make and sell any of those? I want one!! Yea that's what the picture of jupiter is like when I just do a point and shoot picture.

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#14 GpB311

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

It was made using one of the departments 3d printers at my school, so Im not sure I could get them to print another one for me. I was only allowed to keep this one because they wanted me to get pics of it assembled and on my telescope, plus pics taken using it so they can use them in a display of some sort.

Are the dimensions of your phone similar to a razrs? The place in the center of the main body where the bolt comes through is raised to conform to the weird curve on the back of the razr, it helps keep the camera surface flush with the mount, so it might just push your phone to an odd angle if it wasnt shaped similarly.

#15 Steve Drapak

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

I would imagine that you can get them made quite reasonably priced overseas, if you're open to that. Areas like Shenzhen are famous for making low cost prototypes and product runs for people. You'd just have to pass them the design data to make it.

You might want to look into a patent as well, you have limited time to file one once you go public with the idea.

#16 GpB311

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

Given how similar it is to the Orion Steadypix for the iphone, just modeled for the droid razr specifically instead, I really didnt have any intention to take it beyond this stage. I know absolutely nothing about patents and such though, so maybe Im just mistaken about what my options are.

#17 JimMo

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

That's really neat. Amazing times we are living in, some of the futuristic star trek gadgets like the tri-corder and the replicator now have real counterparts like your smart phone and the school prototype printer. :cool:

When I studied industrial design in college many moons ago we had to work with styrofoam to make some of our prototypes and cut and paste was actually cutting with a scissors and using real paste or rubber cement.

#18 GpB311

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

Ive always been into technology and such, but before taking these classes I really didnt realize the extent these machines have advanced.
I think even more impressive than the technology is that theres an 11 year old boy as a student in my class. Hes real smart and has some cool ideas, but it can be a little weird when you snap to and realize youre discussing the flow of material through a mold with a child.

#19 Roy McCoy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:26 AM

You can have them made online an shipped to you.

All you need is a STL file of the model.

Cost would probably be between $30 and $50.



updated link: red eye on demand

#20 GpB311

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for the link, I may just see what their quote is on it. Id probably only have a few made though since Im just looking to use this for personal use.

#21 GpB311

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

Got the new knobs from McMaster Carr today. They look much better than the wing nuts and even though they sent the black anodized knobs for two of the three, its still a huge improvement. Now Ill probably trim the bolts just slightly with my dremel.
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#22 GpB311

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

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#23 Roy McCoy

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

Looks good Garrett!

Do you know the material it is made from?

#24 GpB311

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

Thanks! It was printed out on a fdm(fused deposition modeling) machine which uses two materials. One is the material the part is made of, abs plastic in this case I believe, while the other is a filler or support material which is removed once printing is done.

#25 Metalmanstan

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

@GpB311 - how did you get so much detail on jupiter through the video? We're you using a filter that made it darker? Every time I try its way to bright to get any detail!! Simply amazing photos from a cell phone!!






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