Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Final Preparations

1. Site visit: I went to the potential observation spots this morning at around the time for the eclipse tomorrow so that I know exactly where the sun will be, and whether the composition would be good enough.

a. Sycamore/Willow playground: this is a very small playground (mainly football and basket ball field) very near my home, this place is alright for the observation since the sun cleared all the obstacles already. However, the surroundings are not as nice for wide field shot.

b. Nam Cheong playground: this is a much bigger playground for 5 more minutes of walk, this place is alright for the observation since the sun cleared most obstacles already. However, there is a few tall buildings around which could block the view, and there are so many people there in the morning. The composition would be nice for wide field shot due to the trees, etc.

This is outside of the playground, less people, just the road side:-

This is inside the playground, there's a sitting bench around:-
A few minutes later in the same place:

On using simulation software, the sun might be blocked by that tall building during the first contact, so I will go to (a) instead. But (b) is more flexible indeed... still waiting for confirmation, maybe decide on spot!

I will go to Nam Cheong park for the sake of my friends.

2. Time synchronizations: I've updated my phone clock, my cameras' clock so that I know better when the eclipse will begin, I will also use the time from GPS.

3. Decision, decision, decision:

I will need to finalize my equipments as follow.

a. H-alpha should not be missed because it's great for close up, white light close up is meaningless since there's no sunspot. Therefore, I shall bring my Ranger, Solarmax 40 with BF10, and they will be tracked on my TG-SP II. I will need that 12V SLA to power my notebook as well as my DMK.

b. White light close up will be done with my Canon 100-400mm handheld, the Kenko 2x will be left at home with the absence of sunspots. Thousand Oaks Type 2+ will be used for the filtering. I shall also take a few wide field shots (at 17mm or 50mm?) say in around 10-15 minutes interval.

c. White light close up video will be done with my KM Z5 with DIY baader filter, it will do its work on the TG-SP II as well, mostly from the very beginning (5 minutes), the very middle say 20 minutes, and the end of the eclipse (5 minutes).

d. An umbrella and a big bottle of water for myself.

4. Finalizing everything:

The business end, one scope for H-alpha close up and one DC for video recording in white light:-

The dirty end, I really felt sad, Windows is running slower and slower everyday, and now I can only use 3.5 fps in order not to have any drop frame, even 7 fps will not do, crazy indeed! Time to upgrade my notebook (but where is the money?!):



1. Fastpack 350:

- Canon 450D with kit lens for wide field shots
- I gave up the Canon 10x30 IS
- All filters were placed on the top part
- Ranger/Focuser in the bottom half
- KM Z5, filter, DMK also in the bottom half
- Bottle of water on the side

2. Another bag

- All cables (hopefully really all)
- Mount, counter weight, battery
- Mounting plate

3. Canon 100-400mm in its own bag, should fix on my belt

4. Tripod handheld, one more umbrella

I hope nothing important were left at home.


Willis Chan said...

Good Luck! I will go to Clear Water Bay. I also need to handle several equipments which is too much for me. BUT I will try my best!

Oldfield said...

Don't worry, partial eclipse is easy to handle, you can managed 5 cameras (at least) without problem.

Totality is another story totally.