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.

103 792 By 21 hours 25 minutes ago

Cleaning dirty sensors and photometric filters

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
CrossoverManiac Tue, 05/17/2022 - 04:36

How do you clean the spots from your CCD sensors?  My SBIG ST8 has spots on the sensor, and I've been using Lens Wipes, soft cloth rag for glasses, etc and so far I'm still getting spots on the sensor.  Also my photometric fields still have spots on them.  Any advice on cleaning my CCD sensor lens



Chat Room Wed, 05/04/2022 - 13:37

Good morning folks,

I'm writing to let you know that AAVSO has an ongoing "Chat Room" daily at

It's just a place to hang out, ask a question of live real people, or just to say hi.

I'm on an hour of two a few days a week. Several others are on virtually all day every day.

Maybe we'll see you there.




New Section Leader Introduction

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bpablo Thu, 04/21/2022 - 20:04

Hello Everyone,

I would like to introduce you to our new Instrumentation and Equipment Section Leader, Peter Bealo. Peter has graciously agreed to take on the day to day tasks of the section from Richard Berry, who will still be around, but has found himself busy with AAVSO Board duties. Peter is a long time amateur astronomer and member of the Antique telescope society. He will be a great asset to the section and I hope you will join me in welcoming him.

Bert Pablo 
Staff Astronomer, AAVSO

3D Printed Variable Star Decors

Za(Ks)t Wed, 04/20/2022 - 14:23

I made a post on Variable Star Astronomy facebook group about my DIY 3D printed variable star decors, and it was suggested to me to post it here :)

Some time ago I 3D printed those variable star decors for my Friends, Adam Nowak (NADA-V120) and Gabriel Murawski (MGAB-V266). Maybe some of you would be interested in such decors? I have no idea how to price it but it's for now: 40 usd + shipping for version with backlight and 25 usd + shipping for version without backlight.

UBVRI photometric filters - I found some!

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)
Scott Young Tue, 04/19/2022 - 18:43

David Astro ( in Montreal, Quebec, Canada has some Baader filters in stock. I just got my 2" V and also ordered a 1.25" R. Not sure what else is left, but after 3 years of trying to get some filters I ordered them when I saw they were in stock.

Focal Reducer

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
arodgator305 Wed, 03/30/2022 - 15:10

If I average seeing between 1-3 arc secs and equipment is celestron c8 (non-edge), starlight xpress H35 (9 micron pixels). I seem to be having a hardware issue with 2X2 binning that im currently working out with SX.  So I maybe only have 1X1 binning option to me.  Is this going to be an issue?  What would the effect of adding a focal reducer to optical train have?  Is it ill advised?  


Is anyone using the above setup for photometry?