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.

142 1051 By Ed Wiley_WEY 2 weeks 3 days ago

New camera , considerations

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Riccardo Mon, 01/15/2024 - 10:51

Hello All, 

I'm going to enter into this world, finally after a while. I have to select a camera to start doing my first steps into photometry (I'm reading the AAVSO guides/manuals).

options are:

- KAF 8300 (full well 25Ke, 16 bit, cooled)

- IMX533 (full well 50ke, 14bit, cooled)

- IMX432 (full well 97ke, 12bit, uncooled)

Compensating for red leak in filters

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bskiff Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:02

     This paper that appeared on astro-ph recently, contains results assessing red leak in filters while observing red stars:

On the Influence of ''Red Leak''of Light Filters on the Brightness Estimates of Stars of Late Spectral Types Illustrated by the Observations of Rapid Variability of Symbiotic Stars

...looks to be the results of a student project.  It seems to involve a commercial CCD camera, but the source of the filters is not specified in the text.


BVR Transformation Coefficients for Seestar S50

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Andrew Pearce Mon, 01/01/2024 - 00:59

Hi All

I have been able to generate some B,V,R transformation coefficients for the S50.  I outline the steps briefly as follows:

1. Coefficients are based on images of the standard field for NGC 3532.  This is quite a crowded field with a large number of standard stars so I reduced the number to avoid stars close together, etc.

Player One IMX533 settings

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
knak Fri, 12/29/2023 - 01:03

I have just purchased a Player One IMX533 mono camera to replace my CCD and would appreciate a recommendation on optimal mode and gain settings for BVRI photometry.  This is the 'baby' version of the IMX571.

All sensor characteristic charts can be found here:

Choosing a gain setting - what noise is this?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
MJB Tue, 11/07/2023 - 20:56

For years I have used a fixed-gain CCD camera, first an Sbig ST-10, then QSI 532, both with the wonderful Kodak KAF-3200M chip.  The 532 has died, and finding a QSI 632 on the market, which also has the same chip, I bought it only to discover that it operates with either a high (.9) or Low (2) gain setting instead of the fixed 1.29 of the prior cameras, bringing an unwanted complexity to my program.


Camera lenses

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
CrossoverManiac Fri, 10/20/2023 - 19:45

I went back and watched the AAVSO Webinar on using DSLRs and the presenter, Dr. Barbara Harris, talked about her experience using a Canon 400D (IIRC) and the 18-55mm zoom kit lens to take images of bright stars with no tracking.  I have some questions additional questions to ask anyone in the community who ever used camera lenses for photometric work.

Neutral density filters for evscope/Stellina telescopes?

tjmaccarone Mon, 10/16/2023 - 15:03

Hi, folks,

The solar eclipse this weekend got me thinking:: does anyone know if it's possible to do solar observing with the eVscope or Stellina telescopes by putting a neutral density filter on the top of one of them?

Or as small telescopes with CMOS detectors, maybe they can even handle looking at the Sun.  I wouldn't want to try this without real assurance, but I'm wondering if anyone knows about that.


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.