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Found a way to get the mount my CCD camera at the same angle every time

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#1 nateman_doo

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:14 PM

I used to have such troubles mounting my camera, that I could never get it at 90°.  Always was off.  So the other night I placed it as accurate as I could and I finally got it at 90°.  I knew I had NO desire to move the camera if I couldnt get that back again, so I designed an adapter that I can attach to the camera so if I take it out for transport I can get it back in the same spot.  (+/- 1° or so).  

 

Starting to cut out the adapter out of some Delrin I had laying around:

QUrEguLh.jpg

 

Finished cutting and level installed:

kRvspqOh.jpg

 

A 4-40 screw (with helicoil installed) pulls the unit together and clamps it into place:

uLrdyQJh.jpg

 

installed pictures:

okcnv1Ih.jpg

sTc3lUmh.jpg

Sgzc3Jbh.jpg

rntkgOMh.jpg

83Wscawh.jpg

 

 

The unit can go on and off in seconds.  All I have to do initially is plate solve until I get the camera at the desired angle and then put it on, and rotate it until its level and lock it in with a few turns of the screw and I never have to worry about it again.  Seems to be a universal CCD camera size with the body being roughly over 3" in size.   Not sure if anyone else had problems, but it was a simple part to design and machine in the course of an evening while I was imaging M13.  The delrin is good to probably -40°, and in any case there is zero stress on the part.  Really is solid, yet subtle.  

 


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#2 iwannabswiss

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:24 PM

Very nice way to solve your problem.  I just painted a line on the camera and focuser and match up the lines.


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#3 nateman_doo

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:33 PM

Very nice way to solve your problem.  I just painted a line on the camera and focuser and match up the lines.

I thought about that, but I thought there would be a better way that wouldnt wear off.  I found the use of micro levels very handy.  I installed them on the RA, and the DEC, and I found that with a good polar alignment, when I started up my computer and clicked on an object in stellarium it was actually in the imaging.  details here  

 

When I clicked on the moon when first turning everything on, this is how close it got to the moon: 

baMNkHnh.jpg


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#4 BenKolt

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 10:16 PM

Very nicely done!



#5 tjugo

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 10:24 PM

Hi,

 

Another way to do it is by platesolving your images. When you plate solve, along with the image scale and central coordinates you also get the rotation angle.

 

Cheers,

 

José



#6 nateman_doo

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:49 AM

Hi,

 

Another way to do it is by platesolving your images. When you plate solve, along with the image scale and central coordinates you also get the rotation angle.

 

Cheers,

 

José

thats how I knew I had 90°, I just wanted a way to get it back to 90° every time I take it off and put it back on.  That was step 1 of my process, get the camera to 90°, then never have to do it again.



#7 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 08:40 AM

I bought several tiny bubble levels (only about 1/2" long and 1/8" thick) and simply used a dab of silicone sealant/adhesive to mount it to the back of the camera.  Works great!


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#8 elmiko

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:04 AM

Good job Natemandoo! I like it.



#9 CharlesW

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:39 AM

It’s a nicely done piece of work but I have to ask, why not just leave the image train attached to the scope? Your bubble only really works if your counterweight shaft and saddle are dead-nuts vertical.



#10 nateman_doo

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:44 AM

It’s a nicely done piece of work but I have to ask, why not just leave the image train attached to the scope? Your bubble only really works if your counterweight shaft and saddle are dead-nuts vertical.

If I go anywhere, I break down my scope:

WidLioTh.jpg

 

it fits like a chap in this amazon hard case, so at least now I have a way to get it back to the way it was.  

 

 

I bought several tiny bubble levels (only about 1/2" long and 1/8" thick) and simply used a dab of silicone sealant/adhesive to mount it to the back of the camera.  Works great!

normally that is more my style (and thats what I did the the RA portion of my mount) but I liked not having the draw on the camera, scope or putting glue on the camera if I ever want to sell them later on.  The next owner may not have the same needs or tastes as I do.


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#11 Dan Crowson

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:51 AM

I leave my camera attached as CharlesW mentioned. It also allows me to go for months (or more than a year) on a set of flats. When I used an AT6RC (it looks like yours is the 8), I had just modified the styrofoam it came in to allow for the camera (and moonlite focuser).
 
Another option is to use P-Touch tape. I've printed out three strips of -------- . I attach those when the camera is in place and then use a blade to cut where it comes apart. This makes it easy to line up if I remove the camera to clean.

Dan



#12 nateman_doo

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:11 PM

There were no real surfaces that could mate up that I could put tape, or even a mark if I wanted to that would give me the accuracy of the level.  Also nice that it fits multiple camera bodies like ZWO as well.

 

Also I could make another and put it on at 90° for other objects, or just design a new one with a level on the side, which I think I just may do.  There are things (like the double cluster) that look better imaged at 180° vs 90.


Edited by nateman_doo, 18 February 2019 - 12:25 PM.


#13 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:09 PM

It’s a nicely done piece of work but I have to ask, why not just leave the image train attached to the scope? Your bubble only really works if your counterweight shaft and saddle are dead-nuts vertical.

It's for this reason that I have small bubble levels on the RA and DEC axes of the mount.  For the most part I do keep the image train intact.  But I switch out cameras sometimes and of course for travel setup the bubbles are nice.  I've gotten it so that I can still re-use flats even if I break down the kit (as long as I don't notice new dust spots etc).  




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