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.

143 1055 By lbarneo 2 hours 5 minutes ago

DwarfLabs Dwarf II telescope for variable star work??

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Peter Bealo Wed, 10/11/2023 - 14:30

I will soon be receiving a Dwarf II telescope (see: to evaluate for variable star imaging.

1) If any reader has experience using this system, please reach out! Advice is welcome.

2) If readers would like to have certain variables imaged. Please send me your (hopefully short) list.

I'll post progress here, and will share FITS files with folks who use VPhot.





C11 on a Skywatcher EQ6 R Pro for PEP

British Astronomical Association, Variable Star Section (BAA-VSS)
Calculad Wed, 09/06/2023 - 19:07

I finally have my Skywatcher EQ6-R PRO mount.

Talking to some imaging contacts, they seem to think this mount is not up to a Celestron C11 for astrophotography.

However PEP with Optec SSP3 (with its 30s integrations) is of course more forgiving than AP.

Is there anyone out there who is doing PEP on this or similar Skywatcher mounts with a C11.

The spec does claim up to 20kg load for AP. C11 OTA is 12.5kg and SSP3 adds another 1.5kg from memory so it seems well within limits to me.

How to build a Weather Sensor Box

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
SGEO Fri, 08/25/2023 - 16:24

This is a project for you Astro Makers out there: Astronomers who like to make things to improve their observing experience.

The WeatherBox project is a sensor package that you can deploy near your observatory site and that can report back to you the local weather conditions. This report can be used to generate programmatically a safety signal when it is urgent that you close your observatory because of inclement weather.

The Need for Cooling? - Thermal Noise Versus Light Pollution

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
zinnanti Fri, 08/18/2023 - 21:33

Hi All, 

I'm new here. 

I live in a ~ Bortle 6/7 zone. When it comes to exposing in regard to light pollution, just how important is it to reduce thermal noise with cooling? It would seem that the shorter exposures for light pollution would obviate the need for cooling. 

ZWO (and some other manufacturers) have these nifty cameras that are not cooled. I wonder why they would put them on the market and to whom they're marketing.

Any comments are appreciated. 

Thanks - 


QHY600 mono cmos camera installation problem (Win 8.1 - 64 bit)

Bundesdeutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Veranderliche Sterne e.V.(Germany) (BAV)
Bernhard Fri, 08/18/2023 - 13:18


I have a brandnew QHY600 mono cmos camera and it's not working.


The Stable Ver. 20220817   All-In-One Pack (Driver, SDK and Software) for WINDOWS   is not working.



Also, after the last Beta Ver. 20230509

CCD gain, CCD readout noise & CCD dark current per second

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Krzysztof Z. Wed, 08/02/2023 - 17:56

Hello All,

To calculate photometric errors, AstroImageJ requires you (in Aperture Photometry Settings) to give it certain values, these are:

- CCD gain [e-/count]

- CCD readout noise [e-]

- CCD dark current per sec [e-/pix/sec]

I can easily get the precise estimate of the first value from the FITS Header (EGAIN keyword). However, I have some questions about the second and the third one.

Pentax Monochrome DSLR

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
PKT Tue, 08/01/2023 - 21:46

I just received an email ad from Ricoh - the maker of Pentax cameras. 

The new K3 mark 3 will feature an APS - C  sensor WITHOUT a Bayer filter array!

DSLR observers should find this interesting- I’d buy one immediately, if I had the dollars. This could potentially eliminate the effects of star color with DSLR observations. 


B, R and I magnitudes

Cledison Marco… Mon, 05/22/2023 - 19:50

Hello everybody. I will monitor two stars in Lup in B, V, R and I and from what I can see the AAVSO tables are only giving the V magnitude and color index of the star. Do you suggest, or do you think it's worth using the values ​​of B, R and I from Simbad, or Vizier? Is there any method for these values ​​to appear in the photometry table?

Thank you so much.