A little charging station

I like horizontal extensions :)

I like stuff that’s standard, modular, dumb, fault tolerant and degrades gracefully. The mount, the camera, the heating, the guiding — these all have different priorities, different needs and complexities. This is why I chose to use the 12V 7.2Ah standard UPS batteries, many of them, in separate circuits. This setup, obvious from the way the charging is solved, is for occasional one night sessions, not continuous deployment.

HEQ5

One circuit is for the mount. I put one or more batteries in parallel, or more like max(): the batteries are isolated from each other through diodes.

DSLR

My Canon 1100D (modified) does work from a USB phone charger, but it has its own 12V battery. It works well, non stop all night, from a single battery, without depleting it. A fellow amateur astronomer has already asked me to make him a similar wonder-box :D See details.

The DSLR was the last item that a voltage other than the one provided by the standard 12V batteries. Its own batteries meant special care, special costs, and thankfully that is over, once and for all. (tovább…)

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Uranus – 2018-10-10

Uranus with Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon

Using the N150/750 and the ASI224MC on the HEQ5 mount, I imaged Uranus, at 2018-10-09T23-19Z.  Four moons are showing themselves.

(tovább…)

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Csillagtúra az Apáczaisokkal

A tavaszi után volt most — 2018-10-18 — egy őszi túra. A felhők miatt alig látszódott valami

éjszakai fotó, városi és holdfényes éggel

.

A kép éjszaka készült

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Bye-bye camera battery

UPS battery powered Canon

I work with a modified Canon 1100D camera, which uses the LP-E10 battery. The battery pack has the tiny nominal capacity of 860 mAh (Canon original), 950 mAh (some copy) or 850 mAh (some other copy), equalling 6-7 Wh. During a long photo session, and depending on the temperature, 2-3 batteries may go out from fully charged to blinking red, interrupting the photo session, and – on the long term – mean further replacement batteries. For comparison, a UPS battery holds at around 80Wh, at least on paper.

While the form factor is proprietary, meaning vendor (or at least product) lock in, the batteries are dumb. Luckily. Luckily the battery pack has no digital identification mechanism, so some crocodile clips are enough to replace them. No need to disassemble one to use the chip or something like that. So I got to work.

(tovább…)

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Orbiting around Saturn

Saturn’s moons

I imaged the moons of Saturn with a difference of about an hour. They moved :)

(tovább…)

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The Moon – 2018-09-20

This is the first light of the ASI 120 MM camera, the most recent addition to my instruments. The Moon below is a mosaic made with the N 150/750 and through a Barlow lens.

(tovább…)

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Saturn 2018-09-20

The same file, two different processings. Raw data obtained with N 150/750, barlow, ADC, tubes, ASI 224 MC, 2% of 40k frames.

(tovább…)

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Some Saturn Pictures

Some Saturn images with the N 150/750 + ASI 224 MC gear.

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.12. 20 34 07

2018.09.14. 20 42 08

2018.09.14. 20 42 08

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.14. 20 22 49

2018.09.16. 17 13 37Z

2018.09.16. 17 13 37Z

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Looking for Neptune – 2018-09-12

Neptune and Triton, I think

Neptune is not that hard to find, in theory. Add light blinding pollution, a not so accurate polar alignment and some passing clouds, and it becomes a PITA.

The other thing is, that IF the object I photographed is indeed Neptune AND Triton, the moon is off  compared to Stellarium. I intentionally photographed a reference star too, so I could put it on a map. However, the map itself is the DSS and some stars may have just moved away.

The gear: N 150/750, 2x Barlow and empty extension tubes, the ASI 224 MC camera, on the HEQ5 mount, in the city. 2018-09-11 22:26Z, ie 2018-09-12 1:26 local time.

(tovább…)

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Mars 2018-09-10

N 150/750, 2x Barlow, TS Optics ADC, 20cm extension tubes, ASI 224MC, PIPP, Registax, 1500 out of 20k frames.

Mars 2018-09-10

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Jól kalibrált monitoron mindegyik számnál elkülönülő árnyalat látszik. Ha mégsem látszanak, akkor a megjelenített képek színhiányosan rajzolódnak ki. A monitort valószínűleg kalibrálni kell.

You should see distinct shades for each number. If those shades are not clearly visible, the displayed pictures will lack accuracy. Your display most likely needs to be calibrated (brightness, gamma, contrast etc.).