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My Balcony Rig

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This is what I am currently using while confined to my balcony. The intention is to get back out into the fields around the corner, where the LED lighting doesn't intrude so much. The actual skies around here are not bad at all (around Bortle 4/5 in the right place).


I also have a Samyang 135mm f2 and a Samyang 14mm that will attach to the ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera for even wider fields.


The WO Redcat 51 is my current grab n go scope but I also have an old Skywatcher 80ED (Gold) in the cupboard, awaiting a new permanent (or at least semi-permanent mount).


The 'Red Beast' is designed to be as portable and fuss-free as possible, as I have to transport the whole rig while using crutches. All polar alignment, capture, guiding, auto-focus (and eventually goto) is controlled via the ASIair controller using the Skywatcher Star Adventurer as tracking mount.



IMG_0726 2.jpg


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  • 5 months later...

It’s changed quite a bit over the last year. Have optimised the setup so minimal fuss is required to change between the Redcat and the Samyang 135 f2. The EFA works with both using the ProAstroGear Black-CAT mount. 
Also added a ZWO filter draw for easy changeover between Narrow/Broadband filters. 


Wiring loom is same for both home and field use. I have a regulated power supply in a weather-proof box, plugged into a weather-proof mains socket on the balcony. Same cigar cable connectors are used for this as for the Jackery 240 Lithium Ion supply in the field. 





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  • 10 months later...

Things have moved on quite a bit since I last posted on this thread. 

The ‘Red Ring’ is now firmly in the portable field kit role and an EQ6-R Pro has taken it’s place. The emphasis is still on modularity though. 

I’m now in the process of making it as easy as possible to swap out the piggyback scope and also share roles as far as imaging/guiding is concerned. 

The latest change has been to put the EFA on the 80ED with a view to buying another for use on the Redcat as before. 

The addition of decent scope rings has allowed Losmandy main dovetail and the addition of Vixen clamps for piggyback options. 


Here’s a bunch of photos to show the evolution. 










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  • 2 weeks later...

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