My Equipment
Brook and Scott's Celestron Telescope
Our Newfoundland, Brook
and my telescope

Information About My Equipment

My current equipment consists of a lot of old mixed in with a bit of the new. I took some of my earliest digital astrophotos without equipment to guide the telescope, and this limited my individual subexposures to about 30 to 45 seconds. I slowly was able to adapt my old mount to use an autoguider, and this has allowed me to take longer subimages while maintaining better tracking accuracy.

My latest inventory of equipment
(at least the equipment I actually use) is:

Telescopes: Explore Scientific 152mm f/8 APO Triplet w/Carbon Fiber tube and 3" Feathertouch Focuser

Nikon 600mm f/4 ED IF (150mm aperture)

1981 Celestron C-8 8" Schmidt Cassegrain with 2000mm focal length and f/10 focal ratio

Other lenses: Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM, 50mm f/1.8 Olympus Zuiko lens

Cameras: QSI 690wsg-8 with Astrodon Gen II Series E RGB filters, Astrodon 5nm Ha filter, 5nm OIII filter, 5nm Red Continuum filter

Hutech modified Canon 6D

Canon refurbished Canon XSi (450D), modified by Gary Honis to replace UV/IR cut filter with Baader UV/IR filter

Focusing: Robofocus 3 electronic focuser for all telescopes and 200mm lens.

Mount: 1984 Custom built Schaefer German Equatorial Mount with 7 1/2" Byers drive gear, one Hurst DC stepper motor on each axis (replaced original AC synchronous motors).

Drive Corrector: Losmandy 492 Digital Drive Controller. (replaces a previously used home made drive corrector with AC on both axis, and mechanical relays. I had modified the Hand controller to wire in a ST-4 compatible autoguider port)

Drive corrector interface to computer: Shoestring Astronomy GPUSB

Guiding: QSI690wsg Off Axis Guider

Autoguider: Starlight Xpress Lodestar Autoguider

Image Capture/Control Computer: Lenovo T400

Dew Control: Thousand Oaks Digital Dew Heater Controller, Kendrick Dew Straps

Software Used:

Image Capture/Camera Control: Images Plus 6.0 by Mike Unsold and Sequence Generator Pro by Main Sequence Software

Focusing: Robofocus Focus Control program

Autoguiding: PHD2

Planetarium: Google Earth />
Plate Solving: PlateSolve2

Photographic Session Planning: WhatsUp

Image Stacking and Calibration and initial Post Processing: Images Plus 6.5

Post Processing: Photoshop CS5, HLVG, Carboni's Actions-Astronomy Tools, Registar, Focus Magic, Gradient Xterminator, Pixinsight 1.8