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Some images from an ultra-budget setup...

astrophotography equipment
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#1 tmillhou

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:08 PM

I'm a long-time lurker on CN, but I thought I'd finally share some images from my ultra-budget setup. I am a graduate student right now, so my budget for astrophotography gear is very small. I thought others in my position might appreciate getting some sense of what is possible with a very limited budget under relatively dark skies. Feedback/advice is very welcome--so long as it isn't to buy something more expensive! lol.gif Better quality png images can be found on my profile. All images taken under Bortle Class 4 skies.  
 
Mount: 4se on Homemade EQ Wedge and Tripod
Telescope: Orion ST80 (w/ GSO 2" Focuser)
Camera: Canon Rebel Xsi (stock)
Acquisition: Sequence Generator (free)
Processing: DSS + GIMP 
 
M31 (60x45" exposures): Link w/ Better Quality

2_16_20Draft1WEBJPG.jpg
 
M45 (80 x 45" exposures): Link w/ Better Quality

02_15_20Draft0WEBJPG.jpg


Edited by tmillhou, 17 February 2020 - 09:28 PM.

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#2 tmillhou

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:09 PM

M42 (30 x 1' exposures + 60 x 16" exposures): Link w/ Better Quality
 
1_25_20DraftWEBJPG.jpg


Edited by tmillhou, 17 February 2020 - 09:30 PM.

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#3 wrnchhead

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

Homemade mount and tripod! Very impressive!
Would love to also see photos of your mount.
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#4 Lukes1040

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:32 PM

I agree with wrnchhead. Let’s see some pics! Great andromeda!
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#5 sunnyday

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:36 PM

very nice pics 

I would like to see this Mount: 4se on Homemade EQ Wedge and Tripod.


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#6 jerobe

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 10:28 PM

It may be a budget set up but you have some top notch images. I agree with sunnyday about photos of your mount.


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#7 tmillhou

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:06 AM

Glad you liked the pictures! Here is a little more about the setup. I am not sure the tripod was the best design. The side braces (see below) are necessary to keep the hinges from pulling loose--I learned this the hard way. If I rebuilt it, I would use different/sturdier hinges. The spreader is attached by a long carriage bolt which can flip over when switching between EQ and Alt/Az modes. The EQ wedge works really well thanks to some outside consultation with my father. Some notes about the wedge: First, the feet are just three nail-in nylon furniture glides with some plastic spacers. Second, screws serve as the axles for the turnbuckle screw eyes, but I used a nylon bushing around the screw (hidden by the fender washers) as a bearing. Finally, there was some slop in the turnbuckle threads, so I used a PTFE plumber's tape around the tips of the screw eyes. Now there is no slop, and they turn more smoothly. 

I don't have any pictures of the Xsi/ST80 on the mount, but I do have a picture of my 4se and my planetary camera (my one splurge item).

Planetary Setup: (I was still figuring out how to manage the cords.)

 

4seonEQ.jpg

 

Mount & Wedge:

 

MountAndTripod.jpg

Mount & Wedge (edge on):

MountAndTripodProfile.jpg


Edited by tmillhou, 18 February 2020 - 02:06 AM.

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#8 polarstjerna

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 03:06 AM

wow..
Nice work..  in every manner... 
I really enjoy posts where ppl do DIY / make the best of what you have-, and gets good results..
 


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