First Light for my EQ6 astrophotography setup on homemade mobile wooden base on carrots. Worked very well worth Polemaster to polar align scope – once I’d worked out which was RA axis! 20 mins of embarrassment when I turned the declination axis instead during the Polemaster routine!! Photographed Eastern Veil and to lesser degree Pleiades (lot lesser) whilst Damian came around about bought that wonderful Bord refractor he purchased recently. It is a great little scope with wonderful views and quite a bargain! Damian is quire critical of this little scope but then he is comparing it to his Takahashi 104 which he describes as “snapping onto focus” but I think it is brilliant and, for the money he paid, a great investment. He wouldn’t have got a Takahashi for that price and been prepare to use it as a travel scope either. It delivered great views of Auriga clusters and Double Cluster and M81/82 amd Ring Nebula and seemed well matched his 20mm Pentax 70 degree AFOV eyepiece.
Attached photo is me taking flat frames on my setup.l – QHY10 + Tele Vue field flattener + Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA ON sky watcher EQ6 mount.
Polemaster attached to my EQ6 mount:
Damian’s Borg refractor:
Taking flat frames with my astrophotography gear:
After 3 months, it now looks like the real thing!
At last! My mobile base for my EQ6 is completed. Someone will note slightly extended legs and wonder why…..answer is that base is designed to take either EQ6 as is currently on it or HEQ5- and the tripod on HEQ5 (same as EQ5 tripod but different from EQ6 tripod) has long legs and wider spread than EQ6 tripod.
Two layers of Cuprinol later (left over from my wife’s fence painting project earlier in the year), the new mobile wooden HEQ5/EQ6 will be ready for vanishing with yacht varnish once it dries – and with high humidity levels at present and low temperatures I think it might take a few days before it properly dries out from the water based Cuprinol. That’s the price you pay for using left over stuff!
The next step for my new mobile base for my HEQ5/EQ6 mount was to fill any holes in plywood spaces between strips wood left when we put it together and sand it down – photo below from part way through thus process.
Now that I am doing astrophotography, it is important that I create stable, mobile base to allow me to roll the mount in and out of the log cabin. The more that can remain set-up between sessions, the easier it will be to image – especially important in the UK as weather liable to deteriorate again quickly.
Angella & Alan came around today and helped me build a fantastic base – thanks Angella & Alan!
Paul has come up with this ingenious solution to the problem of a cricked neck when looking through the polarscope on these popular Sky Watcher mounts.
The photos below show how the 90 degree viewer and fitting are assembled, noting the nut used to clamp it together.
Paul has very kindly made one of these for me using a second hand Nikon DR3 right angle camera attachment off ebay (approx. £6). He has made the hole in the plastic fitting a tight fit on the short thread of the DR3 such that no nut is needed. He has learnt how to carefully enlage the bore of the plastic fitting so it is a snug fit in the polarscope eyepiece…a bit tedious because it’s trial and error and must be done very carefully to ensure that the bore is not accidently made too large. Patience needed and lots of cups ot tea! The finished product is a tight fit and needs screwing onto the thread of the viewer. It should be a snug push fit onto the polarscope eyepiece. Paul used a 32mm Waste Compression End Plug costing £1.50 from “Discount DIY Store”, Swadlincote High Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK.
In use: Fit collar to viewer first, then push it onto polarscope eyepiece as far as possible – see photo. Try different angular positions if its too tight to go on. The collar should go over the eyepiece and over the polarscope tube as well.
To focus polarscope, Paul has found that he needs to unscrew eyepiece about 5mm so he fitted an 0-ring onto the thread for eyepiece to clamp against and keep eyepiece tight in the focused position.