Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Minimalist Solar Eclipse Setup

I think I shall still cut down the total setup again.

First of all, the H-alpha and the DMK will be left at home, the project in my mind could be accomplished even for partial eclipse, so I should better leave it for later local opportunities. The DMK won't work very well with my slow notebook indeed.

I'm wondering if I can also leave the Borg at home. For visual observation, I have the Canon 10x30 IS which should be great enough for the short eclipse. Switching between equipments could be wasting time especially when the totality has only less than 2 minutes! The Borg could also be useful for drift alignment, but again, I don't think I need that much accuracy.

Finally, the notebook could be left at home as well. To control the DSLR, I can always buy a timer remote which should be far more compact. Of course, a small notebook computer is always a nice item for other purpose especially if there's internet connection (unsure about that).

After some thoughts, I don't think that I will spend too much time during the nights there as well, for the weather is very hot there in the day, so I must catch time to sleep at night, so the potential wide field imaging time is greatly reduced to around 2-3 hours at most.

So it seems like now the equipment line up will become:-

1. Gitzo G106 + TG-SP II as the mount
2. Canon 10x30 IS for visual observation
3. Canon 450D + 200mm f2.8 for night usage, and with Kenko 2x for total solar eclipse shot
4. A timer remote or the Sony Vaio U3 to automate the eclipse capture

Nothing else?

Additional remarks on 5th of July:-

I've submitted the form, I will bring the Borg but not the Solarmax and the DMK. The Borg will be used for guiding, or drift alignment at night, and also be used for high power visual observation if I dare to, during the totality.

I will probably also buy a timer remote to save the trouble about potential notebook issue, or battery problem. The timer remote will also help in future portable trip where a notebook could be troublesome.

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