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Zero budget astrophotography...
I thought it may be interesting for people wanting a super lightweight and easy to set up form of astrophotography that costs next to nothing. I've taken these three shots with my mobile phone through a pair of cheap binoculars using an ordinary tripod (it belonged to my wife's grandfather).
The intergration time for each was only a few minutes.
Orion: 157 x 1 sec
Andromeda 300 x 2 sec
7 sisters 120 x 2sec
I've made a VIDEO of the method and the surprising adventure I had taking them which you can watch here:
By Martin Perrett
After having my mind programmed into thinking that home observatories should be round or square I saw an article showing a triangular one. This altered my thinking completely. I had some plywood and other wood left from building my house so took a couple of days to build my observatory. The size was dictated by the tripod base and the movement of the telescope on the mount. I have a NEQ6 Pro and 8inch ACF. The first thing is to align the tripod along the meridian North South with the help of the sun's shadow and the time. This means that with the scope parked it takes up less room. The roof hinges over with the help of a counterweight (not shown on my first video) and the base of the observatory is a equalateral triangle about 5-5 feet high to allow the scope to see most of the sky. This setup allows for access to the scope but is really for remote viewing. The triangular base is approx. 6 feet on each side but the roof requires room on one side to be hinged over. The observatory can be built from 4 sheets of 18mm exterior grade ply and one sheet of 5mm marine ply for the roof and 3 4.2mtr length of 50mm by 100mm treated wood. The cost could be less than £200 if you can use some reclaimed bits. The video I made is about 20 minutes long and involved me thinking and working things out while building it. The triangular construction is much easier and stronger than a square or circular one. The design means I have the scope setup and ready for those short glimpses of clear sky while also able to try remote control of the scope with the roof closed. Since the first video I have put more hinges on the joint and a beam (made from hardwood I bought as an off cut) with a couple of old rail track plates used as counterweights. The next thing is to use a garage door opener to remote the opening of the roof.
So here is the link to the video. Please just see it as an example of what you can do, not as a 'this is the way to do it' video. If I was building it again it would be similar but better.
By Some Dude With A Mak- Cass
found a $40 refractor at a goodwill today. will include some pictures, is it worth the money? has a EQ mount included, and for just 40 I'm seriously considering it. tips? it has no eyepeices included, but the mount looks sturdy and the i don't yet have a refractor so i really want it.. if its worth it. pretty sure its worth over $200 but idk 4 sure.
remember that i know so little about refractors that i had to google how they worked.. again. but that mount alone would be worth it, even if the optical tube isn't. please feel free to tell me its not worth it, i don NOT want to waste money on this.