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Camera Backfocus

Today I have had to educate myself about backfocus as i want to enjoy the frustrations of Astrophotography and have built my kit up to the point where i am almost ready to take my first photos. So back focus is the distance the sensor in the camera has to be away from the rear of the flattener in order to achieve pin-point focus / flattening. I can only talk about my setup as being new its the only one i have any experience with, but i am sure the lessons translate to other brands and setups.

Kevin17

Kevin17 in 02

Before you buy.

Before you buy, decide what you want to do.   Do you; want to look at stuff or take photos of stuff? Or do you want to do both, but not as well as you could do if you dedicated yourself to one field. I decided i wanted to be able to do both reasonably ok and accepted that with my first scope (WO 91 FLT) that I wouldn't be able to view the planets as close up as perhaps I would have like to, but that i would be able to take clear images and move on to astrophotography (as is my goal).

Kevin17

Kevin17 in 01

JWST Data retrieval and processing

The James Web Space Telescope is now in position, fully calibrated and sending its data back. All of the data has been uploaded to the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes AKA MAST For those people who don't know this archive comprises archived data from many space telescopes and it is fully searchable. Much of the data is publicly available and can be downloaded anonymously. However some data from active missions is protected during an Exclusive Access Period or EAP. This is so

An Astrophotography NAS

The main logistical problem with astrophotography is where to store all those precious hard won data files. It's cheap to buy hard disks of quite large capacities nowadays. Indeed 12TB drives are easily available and can be utilized. However there is an issue with magnetic harddisks and to a lesser extent SSD drives. If the electronics in the drive die then you stand to lose all your data. So why not copy your data to two or more drives as a backup. Yes you can do that and it works very w

More Mods to the HEQ5 Pro Mount

The latest was to change the bearings in the HEQ5 Pro to SKF and TimKen bearings as I have already covered in this thread https://www.backyardastro.org/topic/1736-heq5pro-bearing-replacement.   I followed AstroBloke's excellent Youtube video showing how he did it and also took the opportunity to clean out all the factory grease. I replaced that which SuperLube PTFE based grease and didn't have such a heavy hand as the SkyWatcher folk did. The mount now moves free and easily in both axi

TerryMcK

TerryMcK in Astro Musing

WilliamOptics ZS73 and RedCat51 side by side.

I recently bought a WO RedCat51 (the WO FanBoi I am) deciding to mount it side by side with the WO ZS73 to maximize imaging in the fickle UK environment. The 73 has the x0.8 reducer flattener to give an equivalent focal length of 344mm.     The RedCat on the other hand has a focal length of 250mm.   With some magic from PixInsight or APP I should be able to merge the images acquired by these two into a reasonable sized image. Maybe use the Redcat as the

TerryMcK

TerryMcK in Astro Musing

Small beginnings.

I have started a small astronomy group in my Village ~ Astronomy on the Green. For sometime I have been posting my images in the the Village Facebook page, this has been a popular feature. I have made a call out to a private FB group, I now have four members and I’m looking to have an inaugural meeting over the next couple of weeks.

GreenmanOTG

GreenmanOTG in Outreach

FIRST DATE FLOP BUT SECOND DATE SUCCESS!! - 16th/17th July

Well, the night had arrived. Time for a first date. The day of the 16th had been beautifully clear, lots of sunshine, and the evening was shaping up rather well. I started to set up and things were still looking promising. I got my alignment done and had a quick bit of visual on Luna. Wow, the view was outstanding through this scope! I couldn't believe how much closer I was able to get just with a 10mm eyepiece. Adding the x2 barlow was phenomenal! Anyway, that was short lived because I had spot

Vicki

Vicki in 8" F5 Newtonian

IT'S A BALANCING ACT - 4th July 2021

Today I had to sort out one of the spider vanes as it was a little crooked. Yikes, I've not had to do anything like this before! After seeking advice, I managed to return the vane to it's original state, or as near as damn it! Phew, one hurdle down. Next, was to realign the secondary with the primary. Again, something I'd never had to do before. This took some time because I wanted to know what screws moved what and in what direction.( This is a huge achievement for me, like, massively because I

Vicki

Vicki in 8" F5 Newtonian

DELIVERY DAY!!

On the 21st June, I was like a kid at Christmas. It was delivery day of the new scope! I couldn't believe the size of the box and I thought to myself that it couldn't be that big, surely?! I felt excited opening the box and seeing it was the size of the box pretty much, I couldn't help but be slightly taken aback. I just stood and looked at it for a while. This thing is massive I thought to myself. Then I thought whether I'd manage getting it out the box given how small I am! I managed to get it

Vicki

Vicki in 8" F5 Newtonian

Mods to the HEQ5 Pro Mount

Puck replacement First of all I replaced the frankly rubbish Star Watcher puck that comes with the HEQ5Pro mount. The screws on this mar dovetails no end.   for the far superior Primaluce Labs Big Dovetail clamp. This has both Vixen and Losmandy capabilites. It is a proper clamp with large clamping knobs and plenty of fastener holes.     It also gave me the opportunity to mount a lightweight frame seen in Ferrari red below which I designed and built that

TerryMcK

TerryMcK in Astro Musing

The Amber Cat Observatory

It used to be called The Jousting Tent Observatory which was because my roll on roll off roof was actually similar to a medieval jousting tent.   This isn't it by the way but you get the idea.   Mine looked more like this but if we had chose to do some jousting in the garden we could have used this to shelter from the British summer weather.   Mine was on detachable wheels that could be pulled over the scope at a moments notice. No problem with trying to

TerryMcK

TerryMcK in Astro Musing

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