Equipment

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Detailed list as of June 2008

This page contains the complete description of my equipment: I will try to keep it up-to-date every time I change my setup. When time allows, I will provide links to product pages and reviews, either written by myself or by others (off-site links).

Optical Tube Assemblies

  • Celestron 11-inch SCT tube with 8×50 finderscope
  • Celestron 9.25-inch SCT tube with 6×30 finderscope
  • Skywatcher ED80 80mm f/7.5 ED refractor
  • Vixen ED103SWT (103 mm f/7.7)
  • Night Technology 80mm f/6 achromat
  • Skywatcher 70/500 refractor guidescope

Mounts and tripods

  • Losmandy GM-8 with tripod
  • Two Losmandy G11 mounts with tripod
  • Vixen GP with wooden tripod
  • No-name lightweight equatorial mount (to be used only astro tracker for daytime and short FL photography)
  • Astromeccanica TL-110 tripod with custom-made adapters for GM-8 and EQ-6 mounts
  • Manfrotto 055C photographic tripod with head
  • Slik photographic tripod
  • Cullmann compact tripod

Cameras and scanners

  • Praktica MTL-3 SLR
  • Olympus OM-1 SLR with 1-8 focusing screen
  • Nikon F-3 SLR with clear focusing screen and DW-4 magnifier
  • Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera
  • Canon EOS 300D (aka Kiss/Digital Rebel) DSLR camera
  • Canon EOS 350D (aka Digital Rebel XT) DSLR camera
  • Nikon LS-30 slide and negative scanner

CCDs, webcams, filters and focusers

  • Atik 16HR CCD camera
  • Lumenera LU075 camera
  • Philips Vesta Pro webcam
  • Magzero MZ-5m camera (used only for autoguiding)
  • Philips ToUcam Pro webcam (modified with B/W sensor)
  • Philips ToUcam Pro webcam (normal)
  • Mintron MTV-12V1C-EX high-sensitivity B/W camera
  • Microfocuser Analogic PC for SCTs
  • FeatherTouch manual focuser for C11
  • JMI Motofocus for Celestron C11
  • Atik manual filter wheel
  • 4-filter manual selector from Coma
  • Baader IR-cut filter
  • Schott RG695 IR-pass filter
  • Set of three color dichroic filters (R, G, B) from Astromeccanica
  • Schott BG-12 violet filter (for Venus imaging)
  • Baader U-filter (for Venus imaging)
  • Astronomik LRGB CCD filter set (31.8 mm)
  • Astronomik H-alpha 13 nm bandpass filter (31.8 mm)
  • Baader Filters for CCD narrowband imaging (31.8 mm): H-alpha 6 nm bandbass, OIII, SII
  • Solar filters: MTO 1000 (Mylar), SW ED80
  • Tiffen 58 mm 8-point star filter
  • Tiffen 58 mm fog filter
  • COMA 1.25-inch filter slider

Photo Lenses

  • For Praktica MTL3 (M42 thread): 24 mm f/3.5 (Pentax), 50 mm f/1.8 (Pentacon), 135 mm f/2.8 (Petri), 200 mm f/4 (Jupiter), 300 mm f/4
  • For Nikon: 50 mm f/1.8 AF (Nikon), 28-210 zoon lens (Tokina)
  • MTO 1000 mm f/10 catadioptic lens
  • Pentax 500 mm f/4.5 telephoto lens (with bayonet for Nikon lenses)

Motors and drivers

  • Astromeccanica Losmandy motor kit
  • Losmandy motor drive
  • Astromeccanica DA-1 dual axis drive
  • Astromeccanica DA-2 GoTo drive
  • Astro Electronic FS-2 GoTo drive (with Astromeccanica motors)

Eyepieces, barlows and optical accessories

  • Meade 6.7 mm OR
  • Lumicon 25 mm Plossl
  • Unitron 4 mm
  • Meade series 4000 31 mm
  • Baader Hyperion 21 mm
  • TeleVue 20mm Plossl
  • Celestron Ultima LX 20 mm (2-inch) eyepiece
  • COMA 14 mm and 40 mm eyepieces with thread for Nikon Coolpix 995
  • Lumicon Cassegrain Easy Guider with extension tubes
  • Meade 12 mm illuminated reticle eyepiece
  • Meade f/6.3 SCT focal reducer and field flattener
  • TeleVue 2.5x and 5x Powermates
  • COMA 3x Apo barlow
  • Televue 3X Barlow
  • Celestron el-cheapo 31.8 mm diagonal
  • Lumicon LumiBrite 2-inch diagonal

Adapters

  • Homemade 1.25″ Philips webcam adapter
  • COMA 1.25″ Philips webcam adapter with filter thread
  • COMA T-ring/Philips webcam adapter
  • T-Rings for: M42 (Praktica), Olympus, Nikon
  • Meade Variable tele-extender
  • M42 female thread / 1.25″ female (for using eyepieces with the MTO and other M42 lenses)
  • Nikon bayonet-1.25″ female for using eyepieces with Nikon lenses
  • Several Vixen and Losmandy (older GM-8 and G11 type) dovetail bars (both custom-made and bought off-the-shelf)
  • 2-inch->T2 adapter ring from scopestuff. It unscrews into half, thereby revealing a matching male/female SCT thread (2-inch, 24TPI). Useful for attaching common SCT accessories, such as a f/6.3 focal reducer

Miscellaneous accessories

  • Custom-made double-side plate for GM-8
  • 90 mm internal diameter custom-made guidescope rings
  • 12V DC/220V AC 300 W power inverter
  • 12Vin / 12-24 Vout switching power supply for field laptop operation
  • Trust USB2 A/V editor (for grabbing images from analog sources)
  • Several step-up and step-down rings for photo lens filters
  • 15-mW green laser, used only for educational purposes in public sessions (e.g. with my astronomy club)

Stuff I’ve used / owned

  • Meade 8-inch LX50 SCT (my first “serious” scope: optically good, mechanically poor)
  • Meade 8-inch OTA (white-painted LXD version: a real lemon!)
  • Celestron Nexstar 8 SCT tube (very good quality optics)
  • Skymaster 4.5 Newtonian reflector. I no longer own it, but I remember the beautiful views it offered of many planetary and deep-sky objects. An entry-level instrument that helped boost my knowledge of the heavens.
  • Lumicon deep sky filter (48-mm diameter)Meade OR 10 mm eyepieceIanus M-Foto mountCelestron 40-mm Plossl eyepiece
  • Skymaster 60/700 mm altazimuthal refractor (my very first scope ever!)
  • Synta EQ6 mount
  • SBIG ST4 CCD: considered to be one of the best autoguiders out there, I never managed to get it working. Finally replaced with a Mintron Camera-USB2 video grabber combo.

Myself in my backyard (February 2011) with part of my imaging rig: 8″ RC OTA from GSO + ST-10XME CCD, Night Technology NT80 guidescope + SX Lodestar guiding camera, Losmandy G11 mount with FS2 motor drive, RP Astro pier.