1. M33 on a dewey night - this is ugly!

    by , 09-21-2017 at 01:11 AM
    This is not a good image, but in the interest of full disclosure I have to share the bad nights, not just the good ones. There were some positives, which I will get to as well.

    It was not horribly warm last Saturday, and I have been itching to improve on my M33 from last year, so I planned to get much more data on it than I did last year. It reached 30 degrees altitude at about 9:30 PM and transited at 2:30 AM Sunday morning. So I was looking at a 5 hour imaging window. I decided ...
  2. Successful test with NexRemote and all the other software.

    by , 07-12-2017 at 03:19 AM
    I have been trying for a while to get Celestrons NexRemote software to play well with Cartes du Ciel, PHD2 and AstroTortilla, and tonight I had a very successful test with all 4. It started out with with powering up the scope, with the super secret DB9 cable plugged into the hand controller. It grabbed COM3 from the available Window ports, which I verified in Device Manager. I then started up NexRemote and in the setup screen told it to use COM3 to talk to the scope, and defined COM10 as the ...
  3. Back to basics - been away from the blog for a while

    by , 06-20-2017 at 12:50 AM
    Some of you may know that I have been having issues getting the GSO coma corrector to play nicely with my setup. As a refresher, in January I installed a linear bearing two inch dual-speed focuser and picked up a spacer to get the documented 70mm of spacing between the back of the CC and the DSLR sensor. With the glut of sucky weather that has been going on around here, the first chance I had to try it out was an abbreviated session in May (abbreviated because the clouds rolled in 20 minutes after ...
  4. Benefits of balancing the rig

    by , 09-03-2016 at 02:54 AM
    Before my last AP session I posted a topic on whether rotating the OTA to face the imaging camera to the underside would be of any benefit. Among other things I got a link to an Astronomy Shed video that showed doing a two step approach to balancing the DEC axis. The first step is the normal one of loosening the clutch and swinging the tube horizontally, then moving the OTA forward or backward in the saddle until it is balanced (or slightly forward end heavy for AP).

    The second ...
  5. Astrophotography checklist

    by , 08-15-2016 at 02:09 AM
    I prepared myself a checklist for the nights when I am going to image. This is my best recollection of what I have done in the past. I will run through it in upcoming sessions and adjust as I find things that need it.

    I have created this as a spreadsheet and will share with anyone who is interested once I have had the chance to vett it myself.


    Bring gear out: scope, mount, box
    roughly position and polar align mount
    put vibration ...

    Updated 08-16-2016 at 02:19 AM by bobharmony

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