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.

39 388 By STHO 1 week ago

Jupiter-Saturn conjunction daylight obs

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
SGEO Fri, 12/18/2020 - 16:57

The planets will be 6' apart on Monday, 12/21. That fits nicely in my 15' FOV. But after dusk they will be below my horizon. :(

But what about daylight observing?

I have a CMOS camera (on a 12" f5.6 system) and using SharpCap software can run it at 12fps. I tried it out earlier this week; I posted the session on youtube:

AM_FlatFieldIlluminator Project

Bruceaust Thu, 12/17/2020 - 05:57

Hi ,

I was wondering if any progress has been made on this project.

Personally i am in need of a flat fielding system and the idea of illuminating from the OTA is very appealing. I the past i have built flat field "boxes" using LEDs and diffusing the light thru white Acrylic. Fine for portable systems but not so good for implementing an automated system in an observatory.

I will be persuing these ideas and install a system in my own observatory in the near future.

I will be using White expanded polystyrene as the "screen".

AIP4Win no longer requires registration

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Richard Berry Wed, 11/18/2020 - 22:49

Hi all--

You may be aware that Willmann-Bell, Inc. is no longer accepting orders. The closure occurred unexpectedly without advance notification to W-B authors. Willmann-Bell books are still stored in a warehouse, and will eventually become available to buyers again, possibly through a different publisher or sale entity. 

Fast Newtonian and Field Curvature Effect on Photometry?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
msheald Sat, 11/14/2020 - 14:23

Hello! I've started my ATM project - a 10" f3 scope that I would use with a full frame coma corrector (like Paracorr or TS Optics Wynne correcetor) and an IMX455 camera, like QHY600.

    My question - what effect would field curvature have on photometry over the full image frame with such a fast scope since a coma corrector does not affect field curvature? Thank you and best regards.


Help requested for flat field rig

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Ed Wiley_WEY Wed, 10/28/2020 - 02:46

I would like to set up a rig to take flats similar to that in Smith, Henden and Starkey (“Flat Field Calibrations for the AAVSO Photometric All Sky Survey (APASS)”) but with LEDs. The scope is an 80mm refractor I am set up for bright star work in my remote observatory. Filters are BVI, so the LEDs will have to be a mix that includes near-IR. (Commercial EL and light panels I have tried do not cover near-IR well, I had to buy a special-made light panel for the C11 with near-IR bulbs included.)

flat black paint

HQA Sun, 10/18/2020 - 14:29

I just finished painting a light-tight enclosure and used the Krylon 4290 Camouflage ultra-flat black paint.  I've found it to work well in the past.

I also have a bottle of a special flat black acryllic paint that Gary Walker gave me: Blk3.0 from  A similar product (Black 2.0) is available from the Stuart Semple brand through Amazon and other online stores.  I've also used the Testors EPM25-2549 flat black marking pen when doing things like blackening filter edges.