Thursday, May 24, 2018

20180524 Moon

Moon again, with my Ranger and 5x... today on top of my new camping table.

Of course, not very stable but imaging is possible.

Using two of my favorite craters as target.

1259 (UT):-

1301 (UT):-

Quite nice, fit my small window platform very well!

I will probably bring this small table out for observation if I were to use my Nexstar mount.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

20180523 Moon

It has been sunny and extremely hot for a couple of days, I even pulled out my Canon 18x50 IS to go for a short casual observation in a nearby light polluted playground but then the sky was filled with thin cloud by then.

Tonight it seems quite clear, and I pulled out my Canon FD 300mm f2.8 to do some high power shots, but all the processed images show internal reflection, so this lens leaves me no hope for high resolution imaging.

I've tried to stack two 2x, and different combinations with a Tele Vue 5x:

Then, I pulled out my 20 years old Ranger and took these two shows with my Tele Vue 5x Powermate:

1420 (UT)

1426 (UT)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

20180520 Sun

Summer came, and the direction of the sun inside my room is no good.

Seeing 3/10, transparency 7/10 - nearly the best we can get here in Hong Kong.

0642 (UT), exposure optimized for surface detail, prominence was pushed by post-processing.

0644 (UT), exposure pushed up to show the prominence.

Relatively lack of surface detail, some nice prominence around the edge.

By poor viewing angle, there is only around half of the aperture was illuminated.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

20180501 Sun

We had a holiday today, it looks hot and shinny outside.  But when you turn your scope to the sun, you saw the moving thin cloud.

Captured a short clip on the relatively featureless solar disc, both AS!2 and Registax failed to come up with a stacked image... 

Just a record.


On placing the stuff back, I found these cheapy 18650 works very well for powering my setup.  I did 2-3 times per month on solar imaging, and I only charged them once, not because it ran out of juice, but just I want avoid them to flat out completely.

I've sold my C5, that GOTO Mark-X, and the long time partner Gitzo G106.  My equipments dropped to a minimum.

Monday, April 09, 2018

20180409 Sun

0557 (UT), yet another record during my day off.  Cloud moving around, but not too thick.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

20180408 Sun

After the cold front, seeing stabilized but then the solar surface is still quiet.

I pulled out my dark cube in the hope to try it again with my new faster laptop, but then Sharpcap hangs whenever I tried to capture an AVI.  Need to figure out why, and to solve it.

Captured by ASI 120mm, 0618 (UT).

The sun is now in a strange angle from inside my home, I anticipate that I will not be able to do solar imaging after one month or so.  Will need to wait until winter again?

Thursday, April 05, 2018

DIY focusing motor controller enhanced version

The first version is made with a junk 18650 power bank, I've to remove the original USB socket and the charging circuit so as to accommodate the buttons.  Once the 18650 ran out of charge, I have to pull it out for recharge which is inconvenient.

Later I found that there is a dual 18650 version available at very cheap price without battery, so I ordered them and carry on the modification.  The idea is to keep the power bank circuit and I will only use a single 18650, so the space left could be used for the buttons.

Once the 18650 ran out of juice, I can recharge it with a standard USB cable.  This controller could serve as a emergency power bank as well.

The whole thing costs less than $3 USD, most of the parts were recycled parts.


Tonight, when I was clearing up my messy equipment cabinet, I found that I have a motorized DEC for my Sky Adventurer and it requires a socket to control.  I used to have another controller for it, but why not consolidate them as one?

Here we go, it only means some more drilling, fitting and soldering work.

So, let's test it with the DEC motor of the Sky Adventurer:

And then go back to the focuser of my NGF for my Ranger:

I even tested to use this controller for its original purpose, i.e. a power bank.... and it works flawlessly despite it only has a single 18650 rather than two.   The blue LED lit up for this mode.  On charging from the micro USB, the red LED lit up as it should be. 

Very nice one, way better than my original one.  More powerful, compact and more beautiful.

Equipment updates

Just sold a number of stuff which I rarely use:

1. GOTO Mark-X
2. Celestron C5
3. Gitzo G106
4. Manfrotto 410

My major equipment after selling the above:

1. Solarmax 60 with BF10
2. Tele Vue Ranger with NGF-S
3. Velbon tripod
4. Nexstar mount
5. Sky Adventurer mount
6. Polemaster
7. ASI 120mm and 120mc
8. Canon 10x30 IS
9. Canon 18x50 IS
10. Canon FD 300mm f2.8 modified to EF mount

Time to tidy up my equipment cabinet and the dry box.

The equipment which I use most is the Solarmax 60 Ranger combo on Nexstar mount for solar imaging indoor.  Next will be the Canon IS binoculars for casual observation during camping, or overseas trips.

Less usage will be the Sky Adventurer mount for wide field or deep sky imaging with my Canon DSLR.  So this equipment lineup is about right for me.