I’ve built an aluminum plate for my equatorial mount to allow it to carry the main telescope and the guide scope for autoguiding purposes. In autoguiding, it is important to minimize flexing between the imaging telescope and the guide scope, thus, a plate with suitable thickness helps address this problem. This DIY plate measures 12 cm by 20 cm by 1 cm and made from a solid aluminum plate from a local metals supply shop. Holes have been drilled on the plate to allow attachment of various loads such as DSLR cameras and different telescopes.
I’ve built a wooden tripod for my Vixen 80 mm f/11 telescope on an altitude-azimuth mount. The tripod legs were built using 2 inch by 1 inch wood, with length that approximates the length of the optical tube assembly (1 meter). I’ve also built a crate that will hold the telescope and tripod as one unit, for easy transport and storage.
This is a 1990s Vixen 80 mm f/11 achromatic refractor on an altitude-azimuth mount. I cleaned the lens, repainted the optical tube assembly, and adjusted the mount. This telescope is primarily used for public stargazing events. It is easy to transport, easy to use, and well suited for viewing the moon and planets such as Jupiter and Saturn.
I’ve built a remote shutter switch for my Canon 50D to enable it to take exposures longer than 30 seconds, which is essential in astrophotography. Since the camera already has a battery grip, I just bypassed the battery grip’s shutter button and put an external switch. To make it removable, I used a wire that plugs into a socket hidden neatly in the battery compartment. To watch a demo video, click here.
Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and the crescent moon formed a celestial grouping on March 11, 2021, visible to the unaided eye. Also observed was the moon’s earthshine, in which the crescent moon’s darker surface is illuminated not directly by the Sun, but by sunlight reflected off the Earth.
This is an image of the Sun showing the sunspot AR 12192, the largest sunspot of the solar cycle 2010 to 2020. This image was taken at solar maximum when the sun is most active during a cycle. It was imaged in October 2014 in Quezon City using a 4 in f/9 refractor and a Baader ND 5 solar filter. The textured surface of the Sun and a number of sunspots are visible in this photo. Never observe or image the Sun without the proper solar filters.
A narrowband filter such as an Oxygen III (OIII) filter inserted along the optical train lets the light from the stars and nebula pass through, but block out everything else, particularly light pollution. This image was taken in Quezon City with a Canon 450D and a 4 inch f/9 refractor, exposed for 30 minutes at ISO 1600, tracked and guided.
Smartphones can be used to image the moon by holding it next to the eyepiece of a telescope. For smart phone cameras, a mid-power eyepiece such as a 25 mm eyepiece yields good results. To hold the phone camera steady while taking a photo, a smartphone-to-telescope adapter may be used.
This imaging method is called afocal imaging, in which a camera with its lens is mounted next to another image-forming optical system such as a telescope with an eyepiece or a pair of binoculars.
The Milky Way is most prominent in the sky during months of March to May each year, visible to the unaided eye in the southeastern horizon at around 2 to 3 am. The maps below show how the Milky Way would look like in the Philippine sky at various times of the year.
To learn how to capture the Milky Way, click here.
I’ve built a DIY battery adapter for a Canon 1100D using a 12V power connector, a power supply regulator, and housing of an old battery. The DIY adapter provides power to the DSLR from a DIY field battery for extended use during imaging sessions.
I have built a Morse code straight key using brass plates, small bearings, brass shaft, and some brass screws from power supply binding posts. The key is mounted on the same aluminum plate with my home-brewed electronic keyer with paddles and desk microphone. With this customized straight key, I hope to get a better sense of rythm in sending Morse code.
To watch the straight key in action, along with the electronic keyer with paddles, click here.