Sunday, November 11, 2018

20181111 Sun

The sun surface is still quiet, 0653 (UT), taken with reducer on:


But on carefully second look, you could see two small prominence at the 1 O'Clock and 7 O'Clock direction.

So here are two shots with 5x Powermate, and reducer removed.

First at 0701 (UT):-


And then second at 0706 (UT):-


The Solarmax is not very good at imaging these.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Canon 450D modifications

Canon 450D is my first DSLR.  But after I got my 70D, this was left idle.  I always want to remove its IR filter astronomy purpose, but I never got the time and courage to do that.

As the price of 2nd hand 450D is dropping, the initiative is getting bigger and bigger.  In order to unleash its residue value, the modification is the only way to go.  Earlier this morning, I took the plunge to carry on the modification according to the information on the web.

However, those pages were updated as newer DSLR comes into the market, and thus some photographs along with the instruction might not be very helpful.  Some guess work required.

The most difficult trouble to me was those screws.  I simply couldn't remove a few of those screws, they literally screwed up!  I had to use a drill to remove them completely in an irreversible manner.  I met maybe four such nasty screws.

Here are some snapshots, the first milestone as below with bottom and back cover removed:


Next, when the daughter board was removed:


And then the metalic cover on top of the CMOS assembly:


And then the CMOS assembly:


The shutter could be seen above, and the CMOS board below.  A cutter has to be used to remove the first filter.  The first filter serves as the dust removal system and this was to be kept.  The second filter was the one to be removed.  And below that was the CMOS.


I did removed the filter, but I didn't take any photograph of it.  I placed it downward to prevent dust from falling onto it.

Re-assembly is easier but still quite difficult.  I managed to leave a few screws unused, but then the camera works without problem, no loose parts.

This is the first shot taken after the modification!  The pinkish hue is so lovely!


Finally, I had set the internal parameter for astronomy purpose.  Turn on RAW mode, remove any built-in noise reduction, turned off the flash by default and so forth.  Wish to use it in the field soon!  Together with the DIY external power supply, this is going to be my work horse under starry sky!

20181105 0644 (UT) Sun


As title, the sun is still very inactive with a dim filament on the upper right, and it seems to extend to the limb as a small prominence.

Monday, October 29, 2018

20181029 Sun

The sun comes back to my observing windows! 


But it's solar minimum, dead silent.


Taken at 0553 (UT), Ranger with reducer, Solarmax 60 with BF10, ASI 120mm.

I've tried to push up the image scale with 5x Powermate, but again nothing except a few interesting magnetic pattern.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20181027 Mars

The Mars is getting farther, dimmer and also smaller.

Pulled out my 85mm ED refractor, and 5x Powermate, ASI 120mc.

This time I reduced the ROI to 640x480 and the frame rate goes over 38fps!  Very nice indeed!

The Nexstar mount is very stable now, vibration damps out very quickly and I don't need electronic focuser any more!


Taken at 1410 (UT), 1.5x Drizzle.

Monday, October 08, 2018

20181007-1008 Camping and wide field imaging

Camping means heavy gear, you have a tent, cooking stuff, sleeping stuff, food, water, etc.

Stargazing is never light weight as well.

But I'm trying to combine these two, and I don't have a car.  I've to rely on public transportation which means very limited access both in terms of location and time - the last bus could be as early as 21:00 so that I won't have much time to observe if I had to go home.  So, it would be nice to stay overnight.

This time, I choose Shui Long Wo (水浪窩), which has better access, the last bus would be 00:00 so that I could go even after dinning with my family.  With heavier gear, the location could be reached in less than 20 minutes walk.

Water source is not too far away, but the supply could be unstable.  The toilet on the roadside could easily ran out of water due to the heavy usage from the nearby BBQ sites.  There is another water source up there in the middle of the way to the campsite, but this one could go out of order as well.

Since this is just a test of the concept trip, I brought only a DSLR with a fisheye lens on a camera tripod.  I've 15kg of stuff together with 5kg of water acquired in the middle of the road.  I believe I could further trim down the weight by 2-3kg.

The first one was taken before midnight at around 22:30, light pollution was serious.


The second one was taken around 3:00am, the dark was darker.


No more than 20s exposure could be used, or else the screen would be saturated.

It would be a bit too soon to conclude that this site is no good, since you could thin from the above that a thin layer of cloud/mist was there.

Friday, October 05, 2018

20181005 Sun

Solar minimum that it!

Half day off today, so I pulled out my Ranger with Solarmax 60 and BF10 for a short imaging session:



0542 (UT), with reducer, taken with ASI 120mm

Only a very thin filament could be seen.

I've fully enhanced my Nexstar mount so that now it has a longer controller cable, no more shake induced by the short coiled cable!  Also, I've added three very large rubber padding to reduce the vibration and they're oversized for better stability.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

20180921 Observation with Almy

I pulled out my 85ED when I saw the Mars and the moon hanging outside my windows.

I looked at the Mars with my 4mm TMB, and then I turned to the moon.

Took a couple of images, and then I called my younger daughter Almy me.  She enjoys the view through the eyepiece and she even took some afocal snapshots with her mobile phone.

All the images below were taken with my ASI 120mc, yes I was too lazy to switch back to the 120mm after imaging the Mars.

1538 (UT), processed with drizzle 1.5x:-


It is getting farther away and thus smaller...

1542 (UT):-



1543 (UT):-


1545 (UT):-