This page:
My Viewing Log
My Equipment
My Astrophotography
C80ED Autofocus

Astronomy links:
Astronomy Daily

Hardware links:
Celestron Telescopes
Meade Telescopes
Scope City
Software links:
Stark Labs
K3's Astronomy Software
Registax Image Processing Software
Barko Software - GuideDog & More
ASCOM Standards - Scope Control Drivers
DSLR Focus - Digital Cam Control
Astrosnap - Imaging & Guiding
IRIS - free image processing
Image Plus - image processing
Groups, Clubs and Resources:
QCUIAG - Quick Cam Group - Meade's LPI
Meade Advanced Products Users Group
Yahoo Digital Astrophotography Group
Yahoo SCT Users Group
Yahoo Canon 300D Astro Group
Registax Tutorial
Light Pollution Removal Tutorial
Telescope Reviews
Other People's Pages:
Robert Gendler's Astroimaging
Hap Griffin's Imaging Infinity
Chris Hendren's Astrophotography

Astronomy Related Weather:
Lancaster, CA Clear Sky Clock
Edwards AFB Clear Sky Clock
Mt Pinos Clear Sky Clock
Papoose Flat Clear Sky Clock
Walker Pass Clear Sky Clock
Mesquite Springs Clear Sky Clock
Current weather map
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Since 21 Dec 06:

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Telescope: My main telescope is a Celestron Advanced Series C8-SGT. It's an 8" diameter, 2000mm focal length Schmidt-Cassegrain with Celestron's XLT Starbright optics coatings. The scope is mounted on the Celeston Advanced Series CG-5 computerized "goto" mount and tripod. This mount has a hand controller that lets you select any one of more than 40,000 objects in the sky and it will point the telescope there automatically. The mount is a German Equatorial style mount very similar to the Vixen GP series. This type of mount moves the scope exactly how the stars move in the night sky which lets you take very long exposure photos of the night sky.

My second scope is a Celestron 80mm ED apochromatic refractor. I use it for wide field viewing and as a guidescope. I use an ADM Mini-Dovetail System and 125mm rings to mount it to my C8.

Eyepieces: I currently have only one eyepiece, a Celestron ELux Plossl 25mm. Looking through this eyepiece gives you an 81x power telescope. Different eyepieces can be used to vary the magnification of the telescope, but the 25mm is a very good size for this scope and many of the objects in the night sky.

Cameras and adapters: I have several cameras I use for astrophotography. My primary cameras are a Meade Lunar Planetary Imager (LPI), a Canon EOS Rebel XT and a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The LPI is basically a webcam designed to fit in a 1.25" eyepiece telescope mount. The LPI has a fairly cheap 640x480 pixel CMOS sensor, but is ok for taking photos of bright objects in the sky.

I use the LPI primarily for autoguiding. I typically guide with the LPI capturing guide shots through the C8. While autoguiding, I take the actual photos using the 5D through the C80ED. For autoguiding I plug the LPI into my laptop USB port and my telescope handset into another USB port through a USB to serial converter. I use PHD Guiding to take care of the autoguiding. PHD Guiding automatically captures images from the LPI, analizes them and gives commands to my telescope to track a specific star for as long as you want. My limited results so far show PHD Guiding can keep my scope pointed within 3 arc-seconds of where I tell it to track. To explain this a little better, if you stand pointing your finger at north and turn completely around, you have pointed through 360 degrees. Each one of those 360 degrees is made up of 60 arc-minutes. Each one of those arc-minutes is made up of 60 arc-seconds. So, the 3 arc-seconds tracking I can get with PHD Guiding and the Meade LPI is equal to 1/1200 of a degree. That's not perfect, but 1/1200 of a second is pretty small!

While autoguiding, I use Nebulosity linked with PHD Guiding to snap the photos. This program combination lets you dither your shots in between each frame.