My Astronomy


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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book



My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

Astronomy Blog Index
About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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The Optical Tube Assembly or OTA was taken from my Meade LX200 Classic that I bought in the 1990's.The OTA optics are fine but the Meade Control System failed on more than one occasion. Details of the OTA are given in the LX200 Classic Instruction Manual here. It is attached by tube rings to the Paramount ME and I have a heating tape at the objective end of the tube connected to a DC 12V power supply to eliminate dewing. The major problem with this OTA is that it predates the focus lock added in later versions. Mirror flop makes automated imaging difficult as at certain positions the mirror will flop - making a bit of a mockery of the carefully centred images using T-Point.  Using the focus knob also causes image shift which makes automated imaging difficult.



The LX200 mirrorI use a focus lock device to clamp the mirror fairly firmly - not tightly  which prevents the mirror flop and has improved things considerably. I need to add an external focus mechanism to get around the image shift problem but have not done so as yet! The principle of operation of the device is described here.