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Tasco Bob tracks the Moon...

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#1 Kokatha man

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:14 AM

Some might remember my recent thread re the little Tasco/Towa 14TE I bought for $20US a couple of weeks back here: https://www.cloudyni...tascotowa-14te/   

 

Last night I decided to put it through its paces on the Moon using a mono camera (ASI290MM) & to see just how difficult it would be to track the Moon using just the flexible slow-motion controls of the little EQ2 style mount it came with.

 

I'd misplaced the ir570nm flter (orange longpass) that I'd used for the Yamamoto/SYW 80mm f18.4 a week or 2 earlier, hoping to use that filter to help with poor seeing a bit...but had to settle on a luminance filter (ie, ir/uv cut filter) which was really a poor choice in so-so seeing, but the only one I had free. frown.gif

 

I made things even more difficult searching everywhere for the 570 filter & by the time I decided it was lost I was very rushed: I'd used a very rudimentary levelling setup (I'll purchase a small bullseye bubble level to fit on the mount in the future) & set the latitude with an old childs' plastic protractor, aligning the little mount N-S by approximating this using a straight edge to 2 legs of the tripod set against the semi-permanent legs of the nearby EQ8 tripod on my back lawn...

 

Being rushed with clouds coming, in I simply stuck the camera into the focuser tube & immediately found the Moon - not hard when it over-filled the camera sensor, but that little "toyish" finder did a great job tbh, it showing the Moon smack dead-centre on the X-hairs, still well-aligned from the first outing I had with it...

 

I really should have oriented the camera so that the Moon was not drifting much in Dec but it looked pretty good with only some downward drift in that direction, so being rushed (& lazy) I left it there...rather silly because over the recordings the Dec drift was appreciable & I had to control both RA &Dec...not too difficult but it would have been much easier to track had I done so, because then the accuracy of this little mount would've only needed RA correction.

 

Despite having this dual-correction necessity & rough & ready setup I was quite surprised just how well the whole exercise was: the image outcome was far from shabby also imo & I now have much more regard for just what these little 60mm scopes & EQ mounts are capable of, such that I'd like to do more of this type of imaging at greater scale in the future..! (my hand-tracking with the mount was centred upon keeping the Montes Apenninus region roughly in the centre of the camer's fov)

 

Moon_103902_L_061219_Driz15@75%.png


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#2 marsbase

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 10:36 AM

Nice image! I will have to try that with my Sears 60mm. That was my fist scope when I was a teenager and I still have it.

I used it to take photos of the 2016 Mercury transit. In fact I use that image in my avatar.

 

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#3 DeWayne

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 12:58 PM

Ha, thanks! Photographic proof we are not crazy when we talk about the great views through our little telescopes!  Thanks for posting.  


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#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 02:21 PM

Very nice! A propos hand tracking, then check out what this guy is doing:

 

https://nikon8cm.exblog.jp/

 

He's doing hand tracked DEEP SKY imaging with a 80mm f/15 Nikon triplet and an old consumer digital camera in AFOCAL MODE! Rules of thumb for deep-sky imaging? Throw them out the window, because this guy is breaking them all. 

 

And the images look really good, too. They have a startling resemblance to the view through an eyepiece, perhaps more so than I've ever seen before. Detail-wise, they're nothing special, but technically and artistically, they're really special.  

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark 


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#5 rolo

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 03:11 PM

Man that brings back memories. I used to manually track a Meade 6" f/8 Newtonian with ISO 400 film. I remember getting pretty good results after going through a roll or two for practice. I also traveled to a dark site down in the Florida Everglades.


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#6 Russell Smith

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 04:42 PM

We dont need no stinking clock drives.


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#7 Astroman007

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:09 PM

Very nice! A propos hand tracking, then check out what this guy is doing:

 

https://nikon8cm.exblog.jp/

 

He's doing hand tracked DEEP SKY imaging with a 80mm f/15 Nikon triplet and an old consumer digital camera in AFOCAL MODE! Rules of thumb for deep-sky imaging? Throw them out the window, because this guy is breaking them all. 

 

And the images look really good, too. They have a startling resemblance to the view through an eyepiece, perhaps more so than I've ever seen before. Detail-wise, they're nothing special, but technically and artistically, they're really special.  

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark 

His work is very good! I agree, very close to an eyepiece view! Could be shown to those wondering what to expect when taking up the hobby.


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#8 Kokatha man

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:26 PM

We dont need no stinking clock drives.

lol.gif

 

Ha, thanks! Photographic proof we are not crazy when we talk about the great views through our little telescopes!  Thanks for posting.  

These sentiments were a little part of my motivations: I anticipate we (my partner Pat & I) doing a bit more of this at times & apart from being much more organised when we do it next I want to work on the focuser a bit more, it could do with a bit more smoothing up tbh. I've even sourced a small bullseye bubble level to fit between those 2 upright yoke sections that support the polar arm & EQ proper, it is just over an inch wide there for such a device for ensuring level...then I can use the Wixey for a more accurate latitude setting. 

 

That way (with a more accurate camera orientation) I should be able to track much more easily...who knows, might even try some M42's etc with these features rising steadily here now, although the little Royal Astro 4" Newt would be best suited for that when it's operational. smile.gif

 

I have the 60mm Eikow & Sears 6333 to do "shoot-outs" with lol.gif - Tasco Bob's EQ mount has the clamshell bracket which will accommodate the Sears, which doesn't have a mount of its own - the little Eikow doesn't have an azimuth adjustment, but being honest its EQ mount seems much better engineered & more stable. (you have to align the tripod to get N-S, no big deal really 'cos that's what happens with the Tasco mount anyway)

 

All in all an enjoyable (& satisfying) little activity & one which will certainly be done again. grin.gif


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#9 rolo

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 11:54 PM

We dont need no stinking clock drives.

A lot easier to do today with digital cameras and processing software...




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