About a year ago (November 2011), I started constructing a home-built autoguider, a tracking device astronomers use to automatically follow the motion of sky objects, enabling any aspiring astrophotographer to image distant galaxies, nebulas, and many other deep-space objects. The key to imaging targets beyond our solar system is accurate and precise tracking, only achievable with the use of an autoguider.
In an attempt to help those with no electronics background to fully understand how the setup works, I have used the simplest circuits available (that is, no coding/programming required!). In future posts, upgrades to these circuits will be implemented to improve its efficiency and reliability.
Astronomy need not be expensive! Even the modest do-it-yourself (DIY) equipment will produce outputs comparable (and I must say, in certain instances, better) to commercially available counterparts. With a little ingenuity and access to the right tools, you could literally create prototypes from scratch! Feel free to browse the details of the project below, which is presented in 4 parts:
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)