Category: Equipment

Thursday, July 07, 2005
PST first light
Yesterday I got my Coronado PST delivered by UPS. I mounted it on a Manfrotto tripod with video head, and around 17.00 hours local time the PST got its first light. I inserted a 12mm Vixen Lanthanum and aimed the PST at the Sun, using the Sol Ranger to centre the Sun in the field of view. After focussing the PST I used the tuning mechanism to get the maximum contrast and boy, I was really stunned with the detailed image this small telescope produces.

There where several prominences, sunspots and filaments visible, and also a very bright, almost whitish region, probably a plage. One thing I know for sure, this piece of equipment will be used very often! I will keep you updated and I hope to present you my first images produced with the PST in the next few weeks.


Posted by Math on 07/07 at 07:18 PM | (1) Comments | filed in: Equipment | Print
Monday, April 25, 2005
EQ6 on wheels!

Last year I bought a Synta EQ6 mount, and ever since I have been complaining about the weight of this heavy mount. I have been suffering from lower back-pain for more than 20 years, and carrying the parts of the EQ6 around the house and garden to assemble my telescope often kept me from observing. A fellow observer, Jo Smeets, constructed some wheels for the EQ-6 and since last week I can drive the telescope from my shed into the garden. No assembling or de-assembling anymore, and of course no back-problems! Even for just an hour of observing, it is no problem to get the telescope out. It takes really just a minute and I’m observing. And after the observing session, it takes just a minute to get the telescope inside.

The construction is completely made out of steel parts that are welded together. I painted it with Hammerite metal paint. The wheels are 5 inch in diameter and are attached to the steel construction with 4 bolts each. I have been driving the telescope around the garden through high grass. This is no problem for these large wheels.

Jo, thanks for this great piece of observing equipment!



Posted by Math on 04/25 at 07:32 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Observing chair for backyard astronomers: Catsperch Pro

I wrote an online review with digital images about the
Catsperch observing chair. In the last 8 months I have
been using this fine piece of equipment, and I can tell
you that an observing chair is one of the best accessories
I ever bought! Follow this link to read the full story............


Posted by Math on 03/10 at 07:39 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Friday, February 25, 2005
Waterproof map case

For some time I have been looking for something to store my books and maps in while observing. The problem is, books and maps always get dirty and wet when used outside. Yesterday I got a waterproof map case (A3) and I had a chance to test it last night. It works perfectly. The map case is made of heavy transparent PVC (poly vinyl chloride) and is 100% waterproof. After inserting the books into the case, you can close the case with two aluminum rails that are held together with 4 screws. In the A2 map case you can easily get two books like the Rukl Moon Atlas (See image below).


I used the map case for 4 hours last night at the telescope. I only had to open the case once to turn a page. The humidity was 80%, but when I got indoors this morning, I immediately checked the books and they where completely dry. In time I will write a more detailed report in my equipment section with some more images, but for now I can tell you that I’m very pleased with this waterproof map case.


Posted by Math on 02/25 at 04:22 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Friday, October 22, 2004
Test of the Argo Navis

Last night I had the chance to test the Argo Navis digital setting circles. About a month ago I polar-aligned my EQ6 roughly. Not all objects where in the field of view, using the Argo Navis. Last night, I polar aligned the EQ6 exactly. After that I aligned the Argo Navis on

Posted by Math on 10/22 at 10:37 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Argo Navis digital setting circles

A few weeks ago I got my digital setting circles for the EQ 6 mount, the Argo Navis DTC (Digital Telescope Computer), manufactured by Wildcard Innovations in Australia. The Argo Navis DTC has 29.000 objects in its

Posted by Math on 09/30 at 06:18 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Friday, July 16, 2004
Baader AstroSolar PhotoFilter

Yesterday I constructed a new solar filter for photographing the Sun with my Coolpix 4500 and the webcam. I constructed the filter from cardboard and Baader AstroSolar PhotoFilm with a neutral density of 3.8. This filter is only for photographic use! Do not use Astro

Posted by Math on 07/16 at 05:03 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Coronado PST solar telescope: first images and reports

Last year Coronado launched the PST solar telescope. At the moment the first reports and images are coming available on the internet. If you are interested in this 500 dollar (or 800 Euro!) solar scope with a < 1 Angstrom H-Alpha filter take a look at the following links.

1. Images taken through the PST on the Coronado website.
2. Rudolf Reiser’s hompage with a report and images on the PST (german language).
3. Andre Cassese’s website with some great images (French language)

Posted by Math on 06/24 at 10:39 AM | filed in: Equipment | Print
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