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.

131 996 By Calculad 1 week 3 days ago

Capture software & stuff

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Digopak Fri, 02/03/2023 - 17:53

Súper newbie here,

and here I am, another Astroimager taking the plunge; and looking for some low hanging fruit.

Please don’t judge!

Can I use Nina , in  any extent for capturing data?

They came up with a new plug-in regarding EXO planets that can come up with variable and comparable stars.

Can I use Pixinsight, on any extent, to process, calibrate, and maybe even measure a curve?

my equipment

2 TOA150eat with an ASA 6200 MM with Narrowband and broadband filters.

Measurements of my photometric filters

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
TRE Thu, 01/12/2023 - 03:55


If anyone would like the graphs and photos from this article, just email me via the contact here or attempt this URL:

(1) Measurement of Photometric Filters | LinkedIn

New photometric filters were purchased. Some photometric filters had been reported as having out of band leaks. I wanted to measure the actual response of my filters.

Negative pixels with I filter

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
knak Tue, 01/03/2023 - 20:34

I've been doing BV photometry for a few years now and recently moved on to adding R and I.  But I'm finding that with the I filter only, I'm getting many negative pixels in my calibrated images (SBIG ST8XME).  What's the best way to handle this, add an offset to my raw science images before applying darks and flats?  It would only take about 30-50 ADU.



Lab tests of QHY411M camera

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bskiff Mon, 11/14/2022 - 00:28

     Hardware folks may find the following report of interest, which appeared on the astro-ph preprint server last week:

StarDICE I: sensor calibration bench and absolute photometric calibration of a Sony IMX411 sensor

Betoule et al, accepted for publication in A&A


Sponsored Site for Hosting Telescopes?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
msheald Sun, 10/09/2022 - 14:45

Hello! After I've moved to eastern Tennessee, at a location that is limited by tall trees in the horizon and lots of nights with clouds, I miss being able to image at a site that has more clear nights.

    Does the AAVSO sponsor a site that members could pay for/manage  to host their equipment (or are others interested in sharing the costs for a site)? I've looked at a number of sites, though most of them are expensive since they cater to astrophotographers rather than photometrists.

Dew Control?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
msheald Wed, 09/21/2022 - 10:25

Hello! I just set up my Meade LX200 Classic telescope in humid east Tennessee after moving from dry southern New Mexico. I've never had to deal with such dew before!

    I've been looking dew controllers.

    For those of you with SCTs who use dew control strips - do you put a strip around the corrector plate AND the primary mirror, or just the corrector plate?

    Is a small strip useful on the tube where the CCD connects to the telescope back as well? Thank you and best regards.


Photometry with smart phones?

Bundesdeutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Veranderliche Sterne e.V.(Germany) (BAV)
MatthiasK Thu, 08/25/2022 - 11:54


has anyone ever used a smart phone camera for photometry? In combination with a telescope or better even without?

My interest is not really scientific applications but rather education. I want to give a course at a local "junior university" (for kids aged 14+) and I assume most of them do not have DSLRs anymore but certainly all have 1-n smart phones...

Custom Silicon Chips at NO COST Wed, 08/17/2022 - 23:16
For those who have a product idea that needs new silicon chips, Skywater (ex-Cypress I believe) offers designers FREE chip fabrication, assy and demo boards for open source projects. Not the most recent node, but what the heck!! See: This appears to be a periodic offering. Peter BPEC