Hardware and Configuration

Here is the main hardware I utilize for Astronomy.

 

 

Telescope Scopes

 

Item

Manufactor/Model

Specs

Comments

Optical Tube Assembly (OTA)

Celestron C-11

 

Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain

Aperture: 279.4 mm (11")

Focal Length: 2,800 mm (110")

Focal Ratio: f/10

Secondary Mirror Obs: 95mm = 12%

Weight: 27.5 lbs

 

Manual

 

Primary Viewing and imaging scope.

Older model, NOT HD or Edge

Guide/Finder Scope

Takhashi FS-60C

Type: Reflector, Fluorite Doublet Apochromat

Part Number: TKA20582

Aperture: 60mm

Resolution: 1.93"

Focal Length: 355 mm

Focal Ratio: f/5.9

Tube Weight: 1.4 kg

Tube Diameter: 80 mm

SN: SV05131

Specifications

Photo/Visual System Chart

 

Currently used as finder/guide scope

Telescope

Questar 3.5" Duplex

Type: Maksutov Cassegrain Catadioptric

Aperture: 89mm (3.5")

Focal Length: 1300mm

Focal Ratio: f/14.4

 

 

Manual

 

Solar Scope

Lunt LS60THa Solar Scope

Type: Hydrogen-Alpha Solar Telescope

Aperture: 60mm

Focal Length: 500mm

Focal Ratio: f/8.3

bandpass: <20.0 Angstroms @ 656 nm

Weight: 17 lbs

 

Manual

 

 

 

 

C-11 Accessories

Item

Manufactor/Model

Specs

Comments

Mount

iOptron CEM60EC

Type: Center Balanced Equatorial Mount (CEM)

Payload: 60lbs

Controller: Go2Nova 8407+

Mount Weight: 27 lbs

Resolution: 0.06 arc seconds

GPS: Internal 32-channel GPS

Autoguide Port: ST-4

 

List Price: $3,500

 

Quick Start Guide

Manual

 

AutoFocuser

Starizona  MicroTouch

 

USB Driver: ASCOM Platform

Interface: USB 2.0

List Price: $500

 

Manual

FocusMax Star List

Used for focus on OTA

HyperStar

Starizona Hyperstar

Focal Length: 560mm

Focal Ratio: f/2.0

Largest Usable chip size: 27mm diagonal

Backfocus: 59.7mm from mounting thread to focal plane

Weight: 2.1 lbs

List Price: $1,000

 

Manual

 

Focal Reducer/Corrector

Starizona SCT Corrector (LF)

Focal Length: 2,000mm

Focal Ratio: f/7.2

Image Circle: 42mm

Mechanical Backfocus: 132mm from top of mounting threads

Weight: 1.6 lbs

List Price: $600

Used for Primary imaging

 

 

Cameras

Item

Manufactor/Model

Specs

Comments

Camera

QHYCCD QHY128c

QHY128c Camera

 

Read Noise: 1e- to 4e-

Pixel Size: 5.97 um

Well Capacity: 74ke-

Bit Depth: 14 bit

Dynamic Range: 14 stops

Sensor: Sony  Exmor IMX1238

Dark Current: 0.0006e-/p/s @ -15C

Window: AR mulit-layer

List Price: $3,500

 

Manual

FAQ

Default Gain Settings

Setting GAIN and OFFSET for Astrophotography

 

 

Camera

ZWO 174MM Mini (Mono)

ZWO 174MM Mini (Mono)

 

 

Resolution: 2.3 Mega Pixels (1736 x 1216)

Read Noise: 3.5e

Pixel Size: 5.86 um

Sensor Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.1mm

Quantum Efficency: peak at 77%

Bit Depth: 12 bit

Sensor: 1/1.2" CMOS IMX174LLJ/IMX174LQJ

Weight: 140g

List Price: $500

 

Quick Guide

Manual

Software Manual

 

Used mostly for Guild Camera, but should work fine for solar and moon imaging.

 

Lunt and Questar Accessories

Item

Manufactor/Model

Specs

Comments

Mount

iOptron MiniTower Pro

 

Mount: AltAzimuth

Payload Limit: 33lbs Primary, 10lbs Secondary

Weight with tripod: 48lbs

GPS: 32 channels

 

List Price: N/A

 

Quick Start Guide

Manual

Mainly used for Questar and Lunt telescopes.

Pier

Tri-Stand

 

 

P/N: 19338

Weight: 25lbs

 

Manual

Mount for Questar Telescope

 

 

 

 

Optics: Filters, Reducers, etc.

Item

Manufactor/Model

Specs

Comments

OPT

 

Triad Tri-Band Narrowband Filter

 

 

Primary Usage: Astrophotography Deep Sky Nebula

  • FilterType: Triband

  • Manufacturer OPT

  • Wavelengths H alpha/656.3/3nm

  • Wavelengths OIII/H beta/ Center 493/18nm

- Wavelength Chart

 

List Price: $775

 

Dealing with light pollution is the biggest challenge for astrophotographers. Until now taking narrowband color images involved the complexity and high cost of upgrading your camera with a filter wheel, 3 or more filters, adapters, and software. Now there is a more affordable all new option that delivers dramatic detailed images even in bright settings.

Triad is a revolutionary multi-band filter technology that passes only H-alpha, H-Beta, and Oxygen III emission lines enabling any color camera to now capture RGB narrowband images. It’s an affordable single-filter option guaranteed to dramatically reduce light pollution and increase your signal even in bright urban and moonlight settings.

Engineered specifically for use with DSLR, CMOS, and CCD color cameras, Triad features advanced multi-coatings and extreme tolerance glass, making it the most consistent and accurate light pollution suppression filter available. 100% American made.

Astronomik

CLS-CCD

 

Primary Usage: Astrophotography City Deep Sky imaging

Manufacturer: Astronomik

• 95% transmission at 486nm (H-beta)

• 95% transmission at 496nm (O III )

• 95% transmission at 501nm (O III )

• 97% transmission at 656nm (H alpha)

• 1. Passband 450nm to 520nm

• 2nd passband 640nm to 690nm

 

- Wavelength Chart

 

List Price: $200

The CLS-CCD Filter enhances the contrast between astronomical objects and the background. Due to the wider transmission curve compared to UHC filters, a greater amount of light will pass the filter. Stars will be less dimmed. This filter has been optimized to block as much spurious light as possible and simultaneously provide the best performance for 'useful' light. A good filter for DSLR-, CCD- and film b/w-photography as well as observation of deep-sky-objects with telescopes or photo lenses of all aperture f/3 and above.

 

Main use

The filter blocks completely emission lines of artificial light sources like streetlights (e.g. sodium- and mercury-vapor) as well as the airglow. All 'important' emission lines as well as the spectral range of the night-adapted eye are beeing passed. The supplementary IR-blocking layer allows the use for DSLR- and Webcams without an integrated IR-block filter.

Astronomik

UHC Filter

 

Primary Usage: Astrophotography City Deep Sky imaging

Manufacturer: Astronomik

  • 97% transmission at 486nm (H-beta)

  • 97% transmission at 496nm (OIII)

  • 97% transmission at 501nm (OIII)

  • 97% transmission at 656nm (H alpha)

 

- Wavelength Chart

 

List Price: $200

This filter is universally suitable for visual observation, from the city as well as from dark areas. It improves the contrasts of emission nebulae and objects in medium and large telescopes.

The UHC filter increases the contrast between emission mists, supernova remnants, planetary nebulae and sky background. Objects that you could only imagine without a filter in the eyepiece will literally catch your eye and become visible in unimaginable detail. Even under seemingly good observation conditions far outside of cities and artificial lighting, the filter achieves a significant increase in contrast by blocking the atmospheric lighting (airglow). The observation is like looking through a telescope with a considerably larger opening. With the same limit size, the visually recognizable details of the objects increase drastically.

 

Operation

The filter completely blocks the emission lines of low and high pressure lamps (mercury (Hg) and sodium (Na)) and the airglow lines. However, the lines of H-beta and O III can happen. As a result, there is an increase in contrast between the sky background and the observation object, which is larger than in the UHC-E filter due to the lower half-width. H-alpha can also happen, which is not relevant to visual observation, but adds considerable value to electronic sensors.

 

Suitability of the filter

• Visual observation (land): Very good, for telescopes of all openings with large exit pupil

• Visual observation (city): Very good, for telescope from 100mm opening

• Conventional Film: Neutral but very long exposure time

• CCD Astrophotography: Good, additional IR blocker required

• DSLR Astrophotography (unmodified): Good, although color-shifted, but improved contrast

• DSLR Astrophotography (astro modified): Very good, the white balance is very good

• DSLR astrophotography (rebuilt with MC clear glass): Good, additional IR blocker required

• Webcam / Video (Planets): Unsuitable

• Webcam / Video (Deep Sky): Good, if light pollution is a big problem

Baader

 

Moon and Skyglow Filter

 

Moon and Light Pollution filter

 

Primary Usage:

  • Visual: Moon, Planets, Deepsky

  • Astrophotography: Planets, Moon

 

List Price: $132.00

 

 

Wavelength Chart

 

With integrated IR blocker and Phantom Group Coating

Drastic contrast enhancement for all telescopes, without loss of image brightness! This filter is initially based on a development by Carl Zeiss. The effect of the element neodymium as filter material is very impressive. If used as co-mixture to optical glass, it improves the contrast and enhances the red portions of the image (especially for Mars and Jupiter). At night it blocks that part of the spectrum, which suffers most from street lighting – and it blocks the light pollution, also known as „skyglow“. And lastly, the applied UV/IR blocking coating (Luminance-coating - check the spectral trace) cuts all unwanted UV below 400 nm and NIR above 700 nm - this makes it the „sharpest contrast enhancing filter“ for imaging.

Compare with the moon & Skyglow filter before the naked eye, to test the effectiveness. Red and blue colours are extensively strengthened. If you cannot see the GRS (Great Red Spot) due to pollution try this which will allow you to see it.

In order to establish a precise plan area and to maintain the planarity despite the applied forces through the different layers of coating, a high technical effort is necessary. You have to choose from a large amount of raw glass only the best pieces in tension-free annealed quality to even hope for a good final quality may. All too easily, the glass deforms with improper preparation or coating on older evaporation systems. The final product is almost useless, if not greatest of care is taken at every stage of production.

SURFACE DETAILS ON MARS, JUPITER AND MOON AS WELL AS MANY DEEP-SKY-OBJECTS BECOME MUCH MORE PROMINENT.

• Selective contrast filter, especially suitable for all reflector telescopes

• Filters out specific wavelengths, especially those caused by streetlight and most importantly their scattered light which lightens up the night sky

• Selective blocking retains natural colours intact but with RGB significantly enhanced, differences in colour and brightness persist.

• 95% transmission in the selected spectral range.

• Fits all standard filter threads and can be combined with other filters – e.g. the planeoptically

• polished (!) Baader planetary colour filters. This way, you can see fine details better or combine several images with a monochrome camera to achieve colour images.

• The filter is at the same time optimised for Astrophotography due to it‘s full UV/IR-blocking coating. When used with DSLRs, stars will remain much tighter, because the unfocussed UV and IR parts of the spectrum are blocked out.

• Planeoptically polished; can be used without problems in front of a binoviewer or for afocal photography – far away from the focus without loosing sharpness!

• The fine-optical polish and absence of wedge error in the glass ensure perfect sharpness when magnifying more than 200x - while the much cheaper “fire -polished” filter glasses destroy the optical wavefront at high mags

• Neodymium doped optical glass

• Coatings Front/Back: 7-layer hard-BBAR-coating / 27-layered dielectrical UV/IR-cut coating

• Ultra-hard and durable Ion-beam hardened coatings – may be cleaned anytime without fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Quality Meter

Unihedron SQM-L Sky Quality Meter

 

Bortle scale

 

Manual

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astronomy

Home