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About minimalist

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    Star Forming

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    midwest, USA
  1. Ok, went out today and took a pic of the kit as it is set up at home. Bear in mind that the tripod in the photo is not the one I use when camping or backpacking. That's shown in the previous pic. This one is an old Celestron wedgepod I had, which is now more or less permanently anchored in my back yard. You can see on the right side of the mount where I glued a vixen saddle (from a nexstar mount I had) to the altitude tightening knob. The guidescope is actually mounted on an Orion geared head, to allow picking out guidestars better. The whole thing is also mounted a bit forward due to cle
  2. Here you go Scott. This pic just shows the iOptron on the Induro tripod, this was before I added the guider kit. I'll take a pic tomorrow of the current setup, although it's currently mounted on my "home" tripod, which is not as portable.
  3. If you want the "full" astro experience (guiding and goto) while still able to go backpacking with the kit, here's my solution: Tripod: Induro AT-214 Alloy AT . For astro work, remove the center shaft. Weighs around 2kg. Mount head: iOptron Cube Pro. Throw away the tripod that came with it. The mount head by itself weighs about 2kg also. To use as a GEM, use a suitable bolt to mount the iOptron head to the photo tripod. Tilt the tripod to the desired latitude angle by leaving one leg short and lengthening the other two. Use tent stakes or similar to anchor the legs to the ground. If th
  4. Ok, some updates. First off, a small update to the Celestron handbox, it now displays az/alt or ra/dec (you choose) as you slew around. If your telescope is not aligned, then ra/dec make little sense. Same thing, if you scope does not have an alt/az mode (like the CGE) then alt/az make little sense also. Let me know what you find out with yours. New doc link: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0ByZXuV0vUfw7ZmQzZGVhNjEtMjczYy00NTJiLThmMWUtMWU5NGIxMjIwYmQ1&hl=en_US Next thing, a new app, the Autostar Handbox! Very similar to the celestron one (basically same UI) but no position display fi
  5. Dave, I have no experience with eqmod as of now. As timer permits I may take it up. Is eqmod open source? One of the things that has been suggested is being able to tie this into other android sky chart apps. I was thinking something along the lines of a widget that acts as a "smart hub". You can set it to talk with the scope in whichever command set (like celestron, synscan, meade, etc) and present a common interface to android apps a la ascom. I've not studied the ascom api yet to see how close I can conform to that standard... if not, I think I can come up with something sensible, for
  6. Cool! Ok, the info. This is what I posted in another forum: ----- Ok, here's the rundown on all the hardware: CELESTRON SCOPE any celestron scope with goto controller handbox (even the old ones without numeric pads I think). I will make a version later that will bypass the hand controller, but not yet. RJ45 SERIAL DB9 adapter This is your standard adapter that hooks from your pc serial port to the bottom of the hand cotroller. An example is here: http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=105-243-470-1611 BLUETOOTH SERIAL ADAPTER There are many of them on the market, one of the cheapest I found t
  7. Hi folks, Posted this in another forum, just gauging interest in this project. I managed to write an android app that connects to my celestron scope via bluetooth from my android tablet. It currently just does slewing and injects location and time into the hand controller. I plan to enhance that as well as make a version that connects directly, a la eqmod. As I understand, synscans use the same command set, so I wonder if there is interest in further developing this. I also plan to make a meade version, if I get the correct command set. Right now I have a set for the lx200, not sure if it
  8. Ok, following advice on here and Richie's excellent article on the GaBany method, I did a reprocess. Unfortunately I overwrote the original, so the first post now contains the reprocessed image. Sorry about that. Does it look alright though? In addition to trying not to clip the blacks and eliminate the blue cast, I also left the image a bit softer. Clear skies. Daniel
  9. minimalist


    Nice start Mark! Keep getting data on this one, you'll be surprised how much more faint stuff you can pull out. Daniel
  10. Very nicely done Martin. Well, if you're going to quit, might as well do it with a bang then, and this is a pretty good bang! Daniel
  11. Very nice Nick, haven't lost your touch! Daniel
  12. Thanks guys, very much appreciated. Kevin, you're right, I think I'll have a redo of this one. Not had a chance to work on anything else, been busy catching up with the world. Paul, the setup I use when traveling is actually fairly inexpensive. The lens I use is not cheap, however you can get one that performs as well (and maybe even better) as an astro lens for a fraction of the cost. Daniel
  13. Awesome image Richie, and thanks especially to the link explaining the different processing methods. Tbh, I never thought about maintaining saturation from the beginning, I've always done it towards the end. Now I have some more learning and experimenting to do. Daniel
  14. Not sure if anyone's interested, but went on vacation to a really dark site (near Yellowstone Park in the US), horizon to horizon Milky Way. Took a few different target pics, still processing most of them. Thought I'd post this one, taken with my field setup. Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens at f4, modded canon 1000D with astronomik luminance filter, and at iso 800. 18x10min subs. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the image, and the fact that I hardly had to fiddle with the colors at all. Hope you like. Daniel
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