Instrumentation and Equipment

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For discussions on all aspects of equipment, from building new devices from scratch, to what ready made products are the best for your current setup. Attached the "Instrumentation and Equipment" observing section.

154 1103 By bskiff 3 days 18 hours ago

Upgraded Las Cumbres 0.4-m telescope systems

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bskiff Tue, 05/21/2024 - 01:27

     Hardware hounds may be interested in the detailed description of new CMOS cameras and other upgrades to their fleet of 0.4-m telescopes.  The instruments are now wide-field PlaneWave Delta-Rho 35cm f/3 telescopes.  Various performance details, electronics modifications, etc are outlined.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2405.10408

An upgraded 0.4-meter telescope fleet for Las Cumbres Observatory's Educational and Science Programs

\Brian

CMOS W/MaximDL Experience?

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
MJB Mon, 05/13/2024 - 13:17

I am investigating the possible use of 16-bit CMOS cameras from ZWO or Player One with a robotic scope using ACP/Scheduler and MaximDL. Some years back, at least, ZWO cameras might not have played well with Maxim, but these cameras now have ASCOM drivers. Bottomline: Is anyone using a ZWO or Player-one CMOS camera with Maxim DL?

Diffusor use instead of defocus>

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Peter Bealo Wed, 04/24/2024 - 21:14

At Saturday's NEAF a presentation was given on using a diffusor instead of defocusing in photometry.

Does anyone have experience with this technique??

The paper is at:  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5dc2092b0cc0f705fcd3b180/t/5dd0b1dfb1497a3f86e0930e/1573958117246/neaic2019exoplanetpresentation.pdf

Peter

BPEC

 

 

SeeStar Automation Presentation 4/18/2024

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Peter Bealo Wed, 04/17/2024 - 18:35

This may be of interest. While he hasn't yet fixed all the small issues in getting VPhot ready images from a SeeStar, he seems to have solved at least some, like scheduling multiple objects over the coarse of an evening!

Peter

BPEC

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/0/share?slt=1AaoAQDYE4G6XPbFSnEpRwZy-_iescMnkcaadNUSjqWagKrrcDzUlx-2FKYurq0EXmYXM_5GTBScxqnJJttk9dz8C-KwwJPrrxn1zWeJ7dwOyGU0e0OYcDKEZ

Trash telescope

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
James Chase Geary Mon, 04/15/2024 - 20:14

Hello!

I just fished a homemade 10" dobsonian out of a pile of trash at the side of the road. It appears from the paper taped onto it to have been made in the 80s. The mirrors seem to be perfectly fine, so I'm super excited to have found this. I have been back and forth in my interest in doing astronomy for years now - first got into it during the epsilon Aurigae campaign way back when. I've never had a telescope, though I did do some binocular visual observations back then. 

Examples: doing photometry with the Zwo Seestar S50

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Bikeman Fri, 04/12/2024 - 18:42

So I finally managed to do some meaningful reduction of images taken with the ZWO Seestar S50. As a target I picked T CrB, it's currently at ca 10 mag V and this is a sweet spot for the S50 I guess: not too bright, not too faint. And needless to say, there is an ongoing campaign to observe this recurring nova which is expected to do its next episode of kaboom! any time now.

 

request for C-14 image train review

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
brucebel Sun, 04/07/2024 - 23:32

My Brother and I are planing to move his Celestron Edge C-14 to NM for remote observing. He has quite a few NEOs and a comet (hug-bell) to his credit and I’m a complete newby looking to get involved in observing variables. 

I’m tasked with the hardware and a wondering if someone would review this image train before I pull the trigger on purchase. This will be primarily used for photometry.  

 

Item                                                                 Backfocus in mm

Edge C-14

Focal reducer 0.7

Itelescope images good enough for photometry?

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Gianlucanigro Sun, 03/17/2024 - 07:20

Hello, 

 

I'd like to come back to variable star observing but I'm unable to set up an observation site.

Apparently there are people using services like Itelescope to gather images to analyze.

I was wondering if this is a viable option to get scientific valid data.

Looking for a smart telescope for variable star photometry

Affiliation
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bnscott13 Fri, 03/08/2024 - 02:50

I've been an variable star observer for a number of years but have only ever done visual observing.  I’ve never had that much interest in astrophotography or EAA but as I’ve been reading some accounts on here and in other places of people doing really interesting variable star photometry with the new breed of smart telescopes I’ve decided this this is something I’d really like to get into myself.