Astronomy Equipment and Method

A selection of pages describing the apparatus and processes used to produce our images. Much of this consists of DIY and homemade efforts to reduce our astronomical spending! A I have constantly said elsewhere, making and imaging with your own equipment is a thousandfold more satisfying than using shop bought cameras and astronomy equipment - although I do draw the line at grinding mirrors!

The current "state of the art" is a 8 inch F5 Skywatcher Newtonian reflector, on a homemade mount. We use a Sony ICX285 based mono camera with narrowband filters at prime focus using long exposures (Typically 1200s). Autoguiding is done using a modified webcam and a DIY off axis guider (OAG).

Note: I have been imaging for over 10 years, and you may well have reached this page from an image I took some years ago - please find links to imaging equipment through the ages further down the page.

Observatory Setup October 2012

Update October 2012 As you can see from the photo and video below we have completed installation of the homemade equatorial GEM telescope mount which is driven by my own Arduino Telescope Control system

The main telescope is a 2003 vintage Skywatcher (Helios) 200mm F5 Newtonian telescope with a focal length of 1000mm. Using an Artemis 285 camera with a mono Sony ICX285 sensor and a 6nm Astrodon hydrogen alpha narrowband imaging filter I get around half a degree field of view at an image scope of around 1.33"/p.

The autoguiding is done using an SC1 long exposure webcam modified with a blank and white ICX098 sensor on a homemade off axis guider (OAG) unit that is incorporated with the MPCC coma corrector at the business end of the scope.

  oct 2012 of telescope mount 


Current setup:

Equipment through the years

Articles about my equipment past and present