Equipment


Current Equipment

AP1200 GTO CP2
The Astro-Physics AP1200 is my dream mount. I cannot imagine ever outgrowing this outstanding piece of engineering.

TEC140 Refractor
Yuri Petrunin is an optics master. I love my TEC-140 refractor with the dedicated field flattener.

Celestron Edge14 OTA
My first 14" scope. I picked this up used on Astromart and have not really used it as much as I was hoping yet.

QSI-583wsg
The Quantum Scientific Imaging 583 camera coupled with the TEC-140's 1000mm focal length yields a near perfect 1 arcsec/pixel iamge scale.

Celestron C-11 XLT OTA
After reforking the NS11 and selling it I picked up this C-11 with XLT coatings. This sample has very good optics. I use it mostly for visual observing and public outreach events.
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Casady Saddles and Tandem Bar
I love the quality of Robin Casady's Astro Accesories.
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Focuser
My wife gave me this excellent Feather-Touch SCT Microfocuser for Christmas several years ago. It provides a course and fine focusing knob. Very nice!
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Sold or Retired Equipment

Mini-Borg 50 OTA
Purchased off of Astromart in June of 2006. The 250mm focal length makes it much easier to find a guidestar.
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Takahashi FSQ106N Refractor

QHY8 CCD Camera

Vixen VC200LDG OTA
In June of 2006 I traded the Meade LX200R OTA for a Vixen VC200L.
arrival | initial collimation issues | mirror cell adjustment

Light Boxes
Here are the light boxes that I made for taking flat frames.
flat frame details

Custom CW Shaft for MI-250
I bought a 12" long piece of 1"-8 Stainless steel threaded rod to make a shorter CW shaft.
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Meade 10" LX200R OTA
In May of 2006 I purchased a Meade LX200R OTA. I could not get round stars so I returned it.
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Intes MN61 OTA
In the early part of 2006 I made a very short-lived foray into the world of "pure" reflectors. This was a nice scope but even after upgrading the focuser I could not get a low enough profile to get the 350D to reach focus. I sold it at about the time that the LX200R came in.
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Orion ED80 Refractor
I picked this one up off of Astromart, upgraded the focuser to a nice two stage unit from William Optics and added Robo-focus
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Canon 350D DSLR
This picture also shows my custom wrapped cable. I was getting tangled up in all the cables and decided to bundle everything.
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Robo-focus Bracket for VC200L
Details of the homemade bracket that I fabricated.
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Vixen Flip Mirror
I find this very useful for framing guide stars.
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Vixen 60mm Extension Tube
When not using the VC200L focal reducer this accessory give the necessary back focus.
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NexImage Planetary Imager
I am now using this camera for guiding and for planetary imaging. I modified my NexImage for long exposure.
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Celestron NexStar11 GPS
This was a great scope. It rekindled my love of astronomy and got me started on this fascinating (and expensive) obsession with astrophotography.
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Canon 300D DSLR
I just switched to a 350D for the higher transfer speed and lower dark noise.

Canon Shutter Control Cable
The guts of the serial port controlled shutter release cable I made.
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CGE Pier Plate
I made an adapter plate out of aluminum stock to attach the CGE mount to my pier.
cge plate details

Red-dot finder
I replaced the stock Celestron finder scope with a simple unity magnification, "red dot" style finder.
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Original Pier
This is the pier I built right after buying my NS11 with the plate at the top for alt-az mounting. Sometimes when I'm fed up with computers, bias frames, focusing and all that I think that I may just go back to this sort of setup.
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Hartmann Mask
I made this cool orange hartmann mask from a Home Depot bucket lid. It fits the NS11 perfectly.
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Home-made Wedge
My dad helped me construct this super heavy duty wedge. It's welded steel and only good for my latitude.
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APT Wedge
An outstanding adjustable wedge. I sold it when I went equatorial.
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Meade Lunar and Planetary Imager
I used this camera mostly for guiding but I've switched to a NexImage now.

Guide Scope
This is an 80mm f7 refractor from Apogee that was for guiding and wide field observation.
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Guide Scope Mount
My first guide scope mounting hardware came from Scope Stuff.
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Counterweights
I got the rail and two 1lb. weights from Scope Stuff. This turned out to be way to light to counter-balance the 80mm guide scope so I picked up two 2.5lb. Cap brand dumbell weights from Academy, painted them black and added them on.
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