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My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

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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

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 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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« Day 97 Friday 27th June 2014 - Camera Orientation. | Main | Day 95 Wednesday 25th June 2014 »

Day 96 Thursday 26th June 2014

Another problem I had last night was with the Telrad glass - it kept sliding out of the finder. This had happened before and broken and this was a replacement glass. A good feature would be to have some sort of catch that holds the glass in place. In the meantime this morning I used my tube of trusty UHU glue to put a couple of spots at the base of the glass holder - that should keep it in place! It is very hot already though so the heat might affect the glue setting time. It is 11:15 a.m.  now and the thermometer says 29 Celsius in the shade. The Telrad is out in the full Sun although I have covered it over. It gets very warm in the afternoon. Time for a coffee now that I have my Tassimo with me!

I checked the balance this morning and made a very slight counterweight adjustment - it seems OK to me - I know the ME can cope with some unbalance very easily.

My plan for tonight is to delete all of the T-Point data and start from scratch:

1. Delete pointing data.

2. Switch on the ME and home it to its fixed mechanical position. Of course it is fixed in relation to the mount but not the sky yet!

3. Slew to Saturn when it is near the meridian (about 11 p.m. local time) - but not too near to avoid a horizontal counterweight bar.

4. Adjust the mount in azimuth and altitude to centre Saturn in the centre of the camera images. It is vital not to touch the joystick or use the laptop software to move the telescope.  I will need to take the laptop out to the telescope and use a short USB lead to replace the long one that runs 30 metres into the house. When this has been done the mount should be roughly polar aligned.

5. Rotate the camera to get the optimum North-South alignment to correspond to the Motion Controls in the SKy software.

6. Synch on Saturn and map a point into a new TPoint model.

7. Test the pointing near Saturn.


It is now 11:33 a.m.and I can hear the wind beginning to blow - only slightly - it seems to be a pattern here. Most days it is hot and sunny with winds increasing from late morning until late afternoon and then it dies down - but not always! It has been completely still air this morning until now.

I will keep an eye on it! I find wind very annoying.