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• 10/25/14
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
Just getting back into Astronomy after a long layoff. I had an observatory had to sell it and all my equipment when I became disabled. Now 15 years later I've gotten to a place where I can resume my quest to produce great astrophotos. Using a DLSR and a tracking mount these days. I might end up adding the other axis and going with a scope later but for now this is my rig. Recently I've cobbled up an encoder for the axis the camera is mounted on and I'm waiting on an Argo Navis so I'll have computerized pointing. The rig consists of a Losmandy StarLapse with a modified dovetail to fit on an Astrotrac wedge. Everything rides on an Astrotrac portable pier. A Canon 7D with lenses ranging from 40mm to 400mm I have a nice set of tools to work on my goal. Its a tethered set-up running BackyardEOS which is accessed via WiFi from inside on cold nights. I only have to face the elements to change position and polar align. 
This is the third image I've taken with my rig. Still floundering around with the processing but that will come. Main thing is the equipment is performing well this is 2 7 minute unguided images using the polar align scope with no drift align. There is a slight bit of drift but its uniform and I can chalk that up to being slightly off on the alignment that night. In the future I'm going to do a drift for the 200 and longer lenses. The subs were shot at ISO1600 calibrated then stacked and processed in Photoshop using Astro Tools actions package.
And this is an image of the StarLapse rig.
Looks heavy but its not. I'm disabled and its easy for me to get it outside. I can give you detailed instructions on the modification to use the Astrotrac products and how to construct the encoder for the camera mount axis.
Having a great time using my gear. I've missed it. Looks like we are going to have a week of clear skies after this little front moves through. I can't wait its been nasty since I completed this rig.


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