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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

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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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My Portable Equipment Part 1

Cloudy day today - no remote telescopes available when I checked - poor weather everywhere although I did see that the remote telescope based in California that I sometimes use was available at one point.

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Portable Setup Part 1.

I have been waiting for clear nights locally to test my SkyWatcher Star Adventurer mount. I initially aim to use this as a base for my Canon 40D DSLR which I can use with a range of lenses including my Sony lenses for which I have an adapter. It is capable of a number of other potential configurations.

 First of all I am trying to optimise the power supply weight/capacity balance on the portable setup. I need power to the camera and to the mount and I have separate arrangements for these. I do not want to use one of those heavy 12V units that often have cables to jump start your car!! For the camera I no longer use the rechargeable standard camera battery but have instead replaced it with a higher capacity external supply that connects to a dummy battery. The question was where to put the external battery. I used an option that I first spotted on You Tube adopted by some photographers to prolong the period for which they could shoot witout battery replacement. I purchased a "cold shoe" adaptor to fit the Canon and an adaptor plate that would screw into that. I then used velcro to allow the battery unit to attach to the plate as you can see in the image below. 



This seems to work very well. It should be possible to run the camera all night without a problem. Of course the number of images that can be stored depends upon the memory card capacity and can be a problem if you are recording RAW images. I use the Canon 40D successfully by a direct connection to my PC without card storage but that introduces additional delays in setting up and additional power requirements. At present I am sticking with card storage.