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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Douglas
Vendor - Night Vision Astronomy
*****

Reged: 05/21/07

Loc: Pound Ridge, NY
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: midway199]
      #2049252 - 12/13/07 06:40 PM

Jim, you're gonna hate me ... that shot was during an almost full moon! And ... it was my first shot with the camera!!

Matthew: I purchased the wireless video transmitter/receiver from www.vfmstore.com and purchased optional high gain antenna but often I use the small stock antenna with no problem. I am sending the signal about 40 feet, to my living room. The signal goes through the exterior wall of the house but I also have a window and keep the receiver near the window. There isn't direct line of sight but the transmission is still strong and stable. I have used the system without having the receiver near the window and it still works. You can order the transmitter/receiver on a 2.4 or 1.2 Ghz signal.

I hate the cold but love the winter targets, this is the way to go when it's too cold out there.

- Doug


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MikeML
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/09/04

Loc: NJ
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Douglas]
      #2049414 - 12/13/07 07:40 PM Attachment (518 downloads)

Here's my Watec 120N set up as a guide camera on a William Optics 66SD. I feed the video into my laptop with a generic video to USB converter even though I was given a B&W CRT with the camera. The CRT is just too much bulk to haul around.
I've used the camera for guiding, out reach and to capture some images (just to show what it can do).
It's a fun piece of equipment.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: MikeML]
      #2049553 - 12/13/07 08:48 PM

Here's an old picture of my MallinCam Pro (B&W) in action one frosty November evening a couple years ago. Mars was the target at the time if I recall correctly.



It's really cool to see video astro start to be discovered by so many people (and get it's own place on the forum too!)!! I've had a lot of fun in the almost 4 years I've been using mine, and I'm still on ancient tech compared to what is available today.

If anyone is interested in seeing the various things I've done with mine (using various different scopes), have a look in the photos section of the forums here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/photopost/showgallery.php?ppuser=2069&cat=500

Some really cool looking setups you guys all have BTW!

Cheers,

-Gord


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b1gred
Enginerd
*****

Reged: 04/01/04

Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Gord]
      #2050026 - 12/14/07 12:36 AM

Is that ice and frost on your scope?

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kent
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/16/06

Loc: P.E.I. Canada
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: AstroTasmania]
      #2050162 - 12/14/07 04:11 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights Shevill! Great video of the eclipse! Boy looks like you have your hands full there in that picture. Could you give us a rundown on all your toys there? Is that a fork mounted square reflector? Like I said glad you could join us here at C-N

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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: b1gred]
      #2050564 - 12/14/07 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


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rodelaet
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/28/06

Loc: 50°56' N - 4°58' E (Belgium)
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: smokin oakum]
      #2051095 - 12/14/07 03:31 PM Attachment (526 downloads)

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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AstroTasmania
member


Reged: 12/12/07

Loc: Tasmania Australia
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: kent]
      #2053381 - 12/15/07 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...

Edited by AstroTasmania (12/15/07 07:11 PM)


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: smokin oakum]
      #2054781 - 12/16/07 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.




Jack


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smokin oakum
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/24/07

Loc: Wilmington, NC
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #2054808 - 12/16/07 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


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: smokin oakum]
      #2055457 - 12/16/07 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


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #2055828 - 12/16/07 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


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #2055913 - 12/16/07 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


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #2056035 - 12/16/07 11:18 PM

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

Bill


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Sky Captain
Metal Whisperer
*****

Reged: 11/07/04

Loc: Loc: Loc:
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #2056169 - 12/17/07 12:46 AM Attachment (332 downloads)

Quote:

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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Sky Captain
Metal Whisperer
*****

Reged: 11/07/04

Loc: Loc: Loc:
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Sky Captain]
      #2056236 - 12/17/07 01:59 AM Attachment (395 downloads)

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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Sky Captain
Metal Whisperer
*****

Reged: 11/07/04

Loc: Loc: Loc:
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Sky Captain]
      #2056243 - 12/17/07 02:09 AM Attachment (376 downloads)

Here is a close up of the camera and lens.

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sdbodin
super member


Reged: 02/04/07

Loc: Eastern Washington State
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: smokin oakum]
      #2057317 - 12/17/07 04:40 PM Attachment (419 downloads)

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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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Sky Captain]
      #2057387 - 12/17/07 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


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Post a picture of your Assisted Visual Setup. new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #2057400 - 12/17/07 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.

Bill


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