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Equipment

Canon 100D Full Spectrum Mod

Finally had to replace my poor old 1100D. I ran the peltier cooler below the dew point which resulted in condensation hitting the sensor. Ordered myself a new 100D (SL1) and immediately upon arrival I tore it apart to remove the IR blocking filters built into the camera. These filters prevent hydrogen-alpha light from reaching the sensor and as that is the most prominent spectrum of light emitted from nebulae (the red!) those filters had to go. I’ve never modified a 100D before and couldn’t find any guides online but since I’ve done plenty of T3’s and other cameras I decided to go for it. Took about 50 minutes from start to finish, pretty straightforward process with the exception of having to hunt down my T7 star driver for the three screws that hold the sensor carriage to the camera body. Please excuse my filthy keyboard and work area (or don’t).

Rokinon 14mm is perfect for wide field astrophotography

Yes, its very good wide open. With a decent camera (as in low noise as ISO 6400) you can easily expose the Milky Way in 30 seconds. I’ve done plenty of that, I decided to see how good it was stopped down a bit and with a much longer exposure on an iOptron Skytracker.

 

14mm @ f5.6, ISO 3200 240 Seconds

 

winter

Update!

Long overdue upgrade of the equipment page, check it out.

 

New Visual Scope!

Picked this up a few nights ago for free. It’s an 8″ F8 homebrew on a Pacific Instruments mount w/ clock drive! Got AMAZING views of Saturn and it isn’t even collimated yet!

150MM CF Newt Rebuild

I decided to rebuild my Celestron Omni XLT 150 Newtonian scope using a diy carbon fiber tube. Carbon fiber is much lighter and stiffer than the stock steel, not to mention I won’t have to refocus as the temperature changes since carbon fiber has effectively no thermal expansion. I used one layer of carbon fiber sleeving from Soller Composites for the core of the scope, one more layer in the focuser area for additional strength, and then two layers of 2×2 twill wrapped around the whole thing. I used West Systems epoxy for the resin. For the mandrel I got an 8″ sonotube (used for pouring concrete posts) and cut it to fit the same dimensions as the stock tube. That way I can use the same mirror cell and end cap. After the epoxy cured it was sanded and sealed with PPG ECS sealer and Glasurit 22 line paint. I picked a Mercedes green from the 70’s for the tube and a darker Mercedes green for the other pieces (mirror cell, rings, end cap, etc).

Here are some pics of the build:


Equiptment pics

I can’t remember if I’ve posted pictures of my setup but here it is. I’m testing everything out tonight before I spend a weekend in Joshua Tree, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten out to the desert and I didn’t want to forget anything.


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New Focuser!

I just picked up a lovely JMI EV3N Focuser from OPT for my Celestron Omni 150 Newt. Much nicer than the stock unit. (more…)