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No doubt many of you already know about this but I came accross this free ebook and I thought some of you might be interested ...
The book has 188 pages and includes around 70 odd black and white images of nebulae and clusters captured in the few years at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s.
One example is plate 55, the Trifid Nebula
The ebook can be downloaded for free from : http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36470
To have all the needed equipment easy to use and functional is important out there in the dark. I have earlier built an astroserver and put it in a box with wheels together with a car battery. That was in mind of to be portable. The astroserver work as a standalone unit and I control it remotly. As I see it it's a lot of advantages to have it like that when doing astrophotography.
You can read about the details here:
But now when I'm ready to start to use my new observatory there is some different needs that the astroserver and it's power unit must be corrected for. My old astroserver works very well so I will keep most of the parts but remove the battery from it and have the battery stationary in the observatory. There are some other details that I have corrected too.
As usual I have taken some photos and written text to it so you can follow my work:
I hope you find something you can use, or at least one little small detail.
New everything... observatory, mount, Hyperstar, ... it was also rather novel having a clear sky on the night of August 10, between about 11pm and 1am. On the down side, there was quite a bright moon. Still, you can't have everything.
This was a shake-down session with all the new gear, so nothing really adjusted or tweaked to any great extent, and I wasn't expecting anything special. As usual, I just set the exposure to 60 seconds (except for M51 where I got it wrong) and pointed at a few things. Came to an end as the laptop ran out of power (mains power since connected!) Some findings from the session:
What a joy not to have to set everything up (or break it down again.) Mount:
I'd done a rough PA on an earlier night, but checked it again with SharpCap (which says it got me to within ~45") My previous mount (HEQ-5 with belt mod) was OK, but this one (Avalon M-Uno) is spectacular in stability, pointing accuracy, and zero backlash. Didn't bother with guiding Hyperstar:
I checked the collimation on Altair, and without any adjustment it looked fine focused with a Bahtinov mask - so easy to get spot on the with Avalon FOCS focuser drive controlled by the mount made no attempt to route the camera cable neatly (something for later) need to improve my fixing of a dew shield (think it led to some vignetting) Here's a few processed images from the night. Not very good - much room for improvement - I think I've remembered to do the left-right flip in each case. When I checked everything in the morning, I was appalled to see how much grime was on the corrector plate (there was a heavy dew by the end of the session - need to investigate options to remove this). All this with an Ultrastar mono camera and no filters (with bad pixel map, bias, but obviously no flats!)
M51, 22x 30s. ... because I know what it looks like from previous equipment M101, 11x 60s. ... ditto M13, 5x 60s. ... lots of stars Pelican nebula, 11x 60s ... I had no idea what to expect here: quite pleased with the result. Ha filter next time! Anyway, it's a start. Stars are not great - especially the bright ones - but adjustments yet to be done.
New member, ancient ATMer.
I have joined to directly access Pulsar dome owners' fund of information.
I am building a raised platform 8' off the ground to provide a much bigger sky.
Trees and hedges surround and interrupt our dark rural property.
Our modest 1.5 story home is on the southern border of our large garden.
Fortunately neighbours with security lights at a hundred yards south and SW are safely hidden by the house.
Increasing age demands shelter from the almost constant wind.
My two main OTAs are now much too heavy for easy lifting:
I am using a chain hoist and nested stepladders!
I have a 10" f/8 reflector with premium optics and a 7" f/12 R35 iStar refractor. [Presently folded.] Both ATM builds.
My almost completed, massive DIY GEM has 2" shafts and lots of heavy aluminium. ie. Immovable!
It is running AWR IH2/ASCOM drives to 11" and 8" Beacon hill wormwheels.
The images show my mounting on a temporary test stand.
Now the real reason for my unscheduled interruption: [Much as I like talking about myself.]
I am torn between a DIY all aluminium, rotating "dome" of the cylindrical roof variety or buying a Pulsar 2.7m. dome only kit.
Making a hemispherical dome is a long term exercise in geometrical and sealing frustration IMHO.
The off-the-shelf Pulsar 2.7 is rather cramped for my 2 meter long Newtonian even when the dome is mounted on a much larger "box".
Does any recent Pulsar 2.7m dome purchaser have the minimum internal dimensions between opposing quadrant ribs?
I understand the 2.7m is actually 2.6 from Pulsar's own drawings but that may be external.
With so little clearance available I really need an accurate figure.
Thank you for your patience if you have reached this far.
I'm considering building a small scale observatory - remote imaging to keep the form factor small. The problem is I only rent my house, so I can't exactly go all out. My landlord is fairly forgiving though, so I can do minor damage as long as it's repairable when we eventually have to move.
My plan then is to repurpose a steel frame (40mm tubing) which I will clad and insulate. This will be easy enough both to build and to move/remove if necessary. However, I'm not sure what I should do about the mount.
My setup isn't massive - TS Optics 6" f4 reflector on an NEQ6 with a WO 66mm refractor guide scope. However, I'd like something more stable than the NEQ6's standard tripod as I'd like to not have to do PA every time I go out. I'm looking for ideas for a pier that will be sturdy enough, yet that I don't have to immerse in concrete. I've no worries about burying the base of it just in the ground, but I'm not sure if that'll be stable enough. My thoughts were to use some 160mm HDPE pipe, bury it to a depth of about a metre and fill with sand. The bottom end would be capped so the sand doesn't run out and the top end would be plugged with (something as yet undecided) to hold a pier plate.
How stable to people think this would be? As I'd be operating remotely, I'm not worried about disturbing it whilst imaging, but I am concerned it might shift with temperature changes etc.
Is this a rubbish plan? If so, any ideas about an alternative?