Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jupiter First Light with the C9.25

Last night was one of those rare nights where I could actually see Jupiter through the clouds. Of course most stars were completely invisible, but I'll take whatever I can get.

Here's the setup. I used a Philips Toucam webcam with my robotized Great Polaris, extra counterweights to balance the C9.25, and a jury-rigged (masking taped!) electric focuser. I was using QCFocus for focusing and capture, and Registax for stacking.

I had to add three 2.75-pound weights on the standard Vixen counterweight bar.

Here's a closer view of the extremely stone-age electric focuser; coupling the motor gear to the C9.25 focuser shaft was "implemented" with masking tape.

And the best image of Jupiter that I could get. This was at prime focus (no barlow lens) at f/10:

The morning after, I was able to improvise an extended counterweight bar, using a length of M16 threaded rod. With this extended shaft, I was able to dispense completely with the additional barbell weights. I'll buy one more and exercise my arms so as not to waste the weights.

I also improved the electric focuser with a mounting bracket that doesn't look like it came from a junk pile.

And here's the big scope and small scope. Our living room is a bigger nerd haven than Leonard and Sheldon's..

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