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 airydisc







CURRENT MOON
(North America)
Telescopes
Item: 
ST80
Brand: Orion
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: 80mm achromat.
Use: Guide scope
Item: 
VC200L
Brand: Vixen
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: The VC200L is a "modified cassegrain". It has no corrector plate, but uses a hyperbolic primary mirror and a corrective lens element in the focuser. The native focal length is 1800mm (f/9), but I use it with an f/6.4 focal reducer for an effective focal length of 1280mm.
Use: Photographing medium size DSOs.
Item: 
AT111EDT
Brand: Astro Tech
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: 
111mm triplet refractor. Natural focal length is 777mm (f/7), but I pretty much always use it with a focal reducer/field flattener, which makes it effectively 622mm (f/5.6).
Use: 
Used (almost) exclusively for astro photography.

Mounts
Item: 
Mach1GTO
Brand: Astro-Physics
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: 
This is my best piece of astronomy gear.  After struggling for years with mid-range mounts I finally bit the bullet, sold a bunch of other gear, and went into debt to get this mount.  Winter has prevented me from using it a lot, but so far it has performed wonderfully.  Just a pleasure to use.
Use: 
I plan to use this mount both in my home observatory and for dark sky trips.  It will carry either the AT111EDT or VC200L easily.
 
Item: 
GP2
Brand: Vixen
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: 
I got a good deal on this mount as an upgrade to the SkyView Pro (which I have since sold).  I wouldn't recommend it at the retail price, but in most ways it is better than the SVP.
Use: I put a camera on this mount with up to 200mm lens for wide field shots.

Eyepieces
Item: 
6, 9, and 18mm HD orthoscopic
Brand: University Optics
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: Eyepieces? What's that? Seriously, I rarely use them since I spend all my scope time either shooting pictures or preparing to. However, they are sometimes necessary and even more often, fun to use.
Use: I think that the popularity of EPs with very wide AFOV is directly related to the popularity of large Dobsonian telescopes: If you have a big scope that doesn't track you need a lot of AFOV to avoid having to move the scope every 10 seconds. Since I use an GEM, I don't have to worry about that. I also can't justify spending a lot of money on EPs since I rarely use them, but I do care about getting the clearest image possible and think that orthoscopics are the way to get it.

Astrophotography
Item: 
350D
Brand: Canon
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: I bought the camera body used and modified it by removing the IR blocking filter to improve hydrogen-alpha response.
Use: This is my main imaging camera due to the H-alpha sensitivity. I also use it for terrestrial IR photography.
Item: 
DSI Pro
Brand: Meade
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: Original monochrome DSI CCD camera.
Use: Guide camera.
Item: 
QSI 583ws
Brand: Quantum Scientific Imaging
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: Because I need to shoot narrowband to get much use from my home observatory, a cooled, low noise, monochrome CCD camera is a necessity. There are numerous cameras based on the same CCD, but I chose the QSI for its exceptional low noise and the integrated filter wheel that allows use of 1.25 inch filters.
Use: In addition to narrowband (H-a/O-3/S-2) imaging at home, I use this camera at dark sky sites for LRGB imaging.

Gadgets
Item: 
Prius
Brand: Toyota
Acquired Date: 11/30/-0001
Description: Yes, I am talking about the car. Mine's silver.
Use: Since I don't have a gas-guzzling RV (not that I wouldn't - I just can't justify the expense), the Prius is actually my most important piece of astronomy equipment. It takes me and all my gear to dark skies, provides shelter and comfort for sleep and (here's the best part) it powers all my electronics. Now any vehicle can provide 12V power, but with others you have to either leave the engine running or risk killing the battery. I turn the car completely off at night, but the rest of the time it is on. "On" means that it is providing 12V power, but it only starts the engine when it needs to recharge its battery, which is generally a very small percentage of time. It's great. I have even used it to run a small microwave oven!

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