Monday, November 29, 2010

20101129 Sun

It's just not suitable to do any imaging today, cloud moving around with exceptionally low transparency. I've to use 1/60s for the exposure even during the absence of cloud. Seeing and transparency were both low.

Just a record.

taken at 1509 (GMT+8).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

20101127 Sun

My wife is using the computer so that I've to use my netbook for the capturing. This time, I ran everything from DC, even the mount and the netbook. The Asus Eee can sustain around 50 fps I would guess. Not bad afterall, and things went on smoothly.

Seeing 3/10, transparency 7/10.

1254 (GMT+8):-

I also had a look through my Nagler 13mm, very nice filaments can be seen.

Celestron C5

After selling my C5, I have been staying with a 4" refractor but it's too long for indoor purpose. Yes, the quality is better but the usability is lower.

I sold that 4" refractor eventually, and now I'm trying to do some planet observation and imaging again with my Ranger (my only telescope at the moment), and I soon feel the limitation.

Now without a heavier mount but only my iOptron Cube and my Takahashi TG-SP II, I can only opt for something like a C5 again. It's just unique in its class. By going to a C6, you are way heavier, approaching to the weight of a C8! Thus, there's little reason to go for a C6 except for its price. By going a step backward to a 4" Maksutov, again, it could still be heavier than a C5!

Guess what, I might go back for a C5 eventually. Again, Borg 101ED is another choice, could be better too! Of course, I could go a step further by upgrading my Cube to a higher model, but that would be too complicated for me right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

20101122 Sun

Very low transparency today, there's no cloud but the sky is white. Seeing quite good, but it's hard to evaluate since you cannot go high power due to the low transparency.

Again, taken with my Ranger which is now my only telescope on hand. Tracked by iOptron Cube, and captured with my LU070M.

1405 (GMT+8):

Tested the parfocality of my LU070M, and the Widescan Type III is no longer an exact match, but it's still the closest among all of my eyepieces. Might sell it eventually as a result.

Friday, November 19, 2010

20101119 Jupiter

Now I only have my Ranger with me. Jupiter was hanging outside, so I pulled out my Ranger to place it on my iOptron Cube for a quick look. Since my setup was well aligned to south and parked carefully after each solar observation session, a quick GOTO to the Jupiter was very accurate, the bright dot could be seen with my 20mm Widescan already. I moved it to the dead center and had it sync'ed.

Pushing it with a 2x barlows is easy, and then I soon decided to use my 5x Powermate! Then I moved again and sync'ed the mount again.

I first pulled out my Lumenera LU070M to get a short clip. I adjusted the frame rate to 15 fps in order to use exposure at 1/15s and by adjusting the gain, I get correct exposure without problem. The Jupiter disc was pretty clean on the screen, great and low noise performance. After capturing the clip, I moved back to visual observation.

Observing with a 5x Powermate + 20mm Widescan yields 120x, the Jupiter disc is nice despite pretty poor seeing tonight. Chromatic abberation is definitely there; by replacing the Widescan with a 13mm Nagler Type 6, magification goes up to 185x but the chromatic abberation is much reduced! To my surprise, the iOptron cube tracks pretty well, Jupiter stays in the dead center after five minutes and require only minimal adjustment after 10 minutes.

I enjoy the visual observation time, frankly, I was pretty exploited by the view of bigger telescopes, but I never feel bad only because there're some photons from the celestial objects hitting my eye :-)

Registax finished and here's the result:

2400mm effective focal length, and 1.5x resized after stacking.

a nice short and comfort observation session at home! I've to move back to my revision on Greek :-)

Before selling my DBK, I was thinking that I could always use my DSLR in video mode to capture color planet, but then I found it pretty troublesome. DSLR is much heavier and have a much different focus plane than a webcam or industrial camera, so setting it up would be more time consuming and it could even mean re-balance which is not easy for a small setup!

Monday, November 15, 2010

20101115 Sun

Foggy and cloudy... poor seeing and transparency.

1504 (GMT+8):-

Just captured a short clip during the best transparency.

I've tried to use my 5x, waited for so long without proper chance, so gave up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inventory Checking

Small adapters were not checked.


1. 70mm f=500mm achromatic objective mounted with 77mm thread
2. Tele Vue Ranger
3. Canon 10x30 IS
4. Fujinon C mount 75mm f1.8, Computar 6mm f1.2

Eyepieces, Barlows and Diagonals:

1. Pentax 40mm SMC XL
2. Tele Vue Nagler 13mm Type 6
3. Tele Vue Powermate 5x and 2x Barlows
4. Japanese Widescan Type III 20mm
5. Japanese Ortho 7mm
6. 0.5x binoviewer corrector
7. Tele Vue 1.25" mirror diagonal
8. Chinese 2" mirror diagonal


1. Gitzo G106
2. Manfrotto 410
3. iOptron SmartStar GPS
4. Takahashi TG-SP II

Camera and accessories:

1. Lumenera LU070M
2. JMI NGF-CM with Tele Vue Ranger adapter
3. Solarmax 40 with BF10
4. Thousands Oak Type II+ for Ranger


As one can expect, with this combination, it's natural to look for something bigger... The bottleneck is on the mount, so what's the bigger aperture that I can get with my current mounts? C5 would be marginal, a Borg 101ED might be lighter but longer... maybe a 90mm Maksutov?

On the other hand, maybe it's wise to switch the NGF-CM to something with longer focus travel?

Right now my setup is obviously optimized for solar observation and wide field imaging, visual observation is pretty limited due to the small aperture, similarly planet imaging is limited as well. An upgrade to moderate aperture like 5" would be a nice step but then it might push the mount a little bit.


What I love to do?

Over all these years, I guess that I know what I really love to do and what I can really do. First of all, when imaging is concerned, I will love to do solar/lunar/planetary and also short exposure (several minutes) wide field portable imaging. Secondly, when visual observation is concerned, I love wide field scanning for brighter deep sky objects.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Orion 100ED + Unistar Lighter SOLD

Just passed it to a local folks who was primarily a photographer but he wanted to get into astronomy as well. A very nice guy and the transaction is very smooth.

Wish that he will enjoy this nice telescope, and better yet, enjoy astronomy as a very nice hobby!


Now, I've enough room inside my equipment cabinet. I can even put my TG-SP II inside, and when I've time, I shall also clean it up and re-organize everything inside.

I'm thinking to see what else can be sold. Like those small adapters, a 70mm objective which is now also used as macro filter, FCUSB, dovetail saddle, various filters....

Monday, November 01, 2010

20101101 Sun

Seeing very poor today, I won't even rate it... transparency at 5/10.

1501 (GMT+8), with reducer:

All the rest with 2x barlows:

1504 (GMT+8):-

1505 (GMT+8):-

1506 (GMT+8):-