DIY power supply adapter for Canon 1100D

In astrophotography where DSLRs are expected to take images continuously for several hours, spending on expensive spare DSLR batteries may not be the best investment. The DIY modification below shows how I used an old DSLR battery and a DC adapter as an alternative way of powering your DSLR during an overnight stargazing event.

DIY power adapter for powering DSLRs from an external 12V battery. A voltage regulator called ‘7808’ is used to ensure that the voltage output remains at 8 V.

Related article: Improved Field Battery

For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Canon 1100D Modification

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Modified Canon 1100D

I was requested by a friend to modify a Canon 1100D DSLR for astronomical use. The modification involved the removal of the stock UV-IR filter, making the camera more sensitive to H-alpha wavelengths emitted by most deep-space nebula. For more images of the camera modification, click here.

To view other my other DSLR modification projects, follow the links below:
August 2014 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (improved sealed chamber prototype)
March 2014 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (sealed chamber prototype)
February 2014 Modified Canon 1000D DSLR (Baader BCF filter replacement)
December 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (custom-fabricated lens mount)
November 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for  Astro-imaging (sealed chamber prototype)
February 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging

DIY Tracker featured in HACKADAY

If you are into DIY projects, you most probably have come across some projects featured in HACKADAY. One of my DIY projects, the Ultra-Portable Tracker Setup was featured yesterday, October 16, 2016.

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DIY Tracker featured in HACKADAY

Special thanks to James Hobson for featuring my project!

For other DIY projects, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Star Roman Star Projector

I have recently come across what I would describe as the best low-cost (around 4 dollars) pinhole star projector that I have seen to date—a Kenko Star Roman star projector.

Star Roman Planetarium (1)
Constellations projected on the walls and ceiling of a room using a Kenko Star Roman star projector. To learn more, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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Ultra-Portable Tracker Setup

I have recently assembled an ultra-portable tracker setup. The intention is to build a simple yet fairly accurate sky tracker capable of capturing wide-field targets, particularly, the Milky Way.

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Ultra-portable tracker built from a telescope’s RA motor (geared stepper motor)

To learn more about this tracker, click here.

For other DIY projects, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Solar Shades

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Specialized shades for viewing the Sun during solar eclipses. Without proper filters, looking directly at the Sun will result to permanent eye damage.

I have just finished making a couple of solar shades for the upcoming solar eclipse on March 9, 2016. To learn more about the specialized safety filter I used in this solar shade and what other low-cost alternative can be used, click here.

Related links:
Solar Eclipse on March 9, 2016
Solar Eclipse Observation featured on GMA 7 (May 21, 2012)
Solar Filter

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

DIY Stepper Controller using Arduino

In 2011, I have acquired a 1990 model Kenko NES mount. The mount was sold to me for only 140 USD because it has some missing parts, particularly, the counterweight and the hand controller. The counterweight was easy to replace. Fabricating one only requires a visit to a machine shop. The hand controller that will drive the stepper, however, is far difficult to build.

My first version of a stepper controller uses a 555 timer chip and a 74LS194 shift register. The tracking rate is controlled by the 555 timer chip through a resistor and a capacitor, and by changing the values, the tracking rate also changes. The solution was to use a variable resistor to speed up and slow down the rotation of the stepper. Since the timing signals are controlled by analog components, the tracker suffers from tracking issues related to the tracking rate. It usually requires ‘tracking rate adjustment’ (to match the movement of the sky) at the start of an imaging session. While it has served me for four years and have used it to image some interesting targets, it is clear that an upgrade is needed.

Upon learning some basics about Arduino, I immediately saw the potential to use it as a stepper motor controller. I started looking at some excellent tutorials on the Internet and was able to build the simple stepper controller featured in this article.

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DIY Stepper Motor Controller

To learn more about the DIY Stepper Motor Controller, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

DIY Logitech 4000 SC1 mod (Serial Port)

This is an update to my previously-built Logitech 4000 SC1 modification in 2011. Note that the modification was originally designed to work with Parallel ports. Since such ports are now obsolete, changes to the circuitry have been implemented to allow the modified camera to be connected to newer laptops via USB ports (by using a USB-to-Serial Port adapter).

DIY Guide Camera (Logitech 4000 SC 1 modification)-post
Modified Logitech 4000 web camera

It is strongly recommended that you read the article about the previous version of this camera (link provided above) along with the comments left by the readers as this will give you a brief background as to why this update is necessary. A lot of details in this article will not make sense if you are not familiar with the history of the project.

To proceed to the article, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

 

DIY Phone Camera-To-Telescope Adapter

phone to telescope adapter
DIY phone camera-to-telescope adapter built from scrap wood, rubber bands, screws, and a hose clamp.

Just finished building this cheap mobile phone camera-to-telescope adapter. It’s a very simple solution for those who usually take images of the moon and planets using a mobile phone camera and a telescope. The adapter allows any mobile phone camera to be mounted directly onto any telescope. It only takes an hour to build, requires simple tools, and costs just less than a dollar ($1)! This adapter will also work with other optical instrument such as binoculars and microscopes.

Being able to take astro images using only a phone camera and a telescope setup could inspire an astro-enthusiast to pursue astrophotography. If you feel you are now ready to try out a more complicated imaging setup (instead of using phones cameras, you’ll be imaging using digital cameras), try to building your own version of a Universal Camera Adapter :) This setup will most likely yield better photos and will enable you to take advantage of digital cameras’ zoom (optical) capability, which is useful for up-close shots of the moon craters and planets.

For other DIY projects useful for astrophotography, click here.

Related links (for advanced imagers):
DSLR for Astrophotography
Other Types of Camera-To-Telescope Adapters

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Modified 450D’s First Light

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With the built-in filter removed and replaced with a Baader UV-IR filter, the camera now has an optimized sensitivity to red, particularly, to H-alpha light. H-alpha light is perceived by the naked eye as deep red hue. It is important to astrophotographers because certain types of nebula emit light at this wavelength. Image taken with a modified Canon 450D and a Sky-Watcher 100ED refractor. To view highest resolution available, click here.

To view other my other DSLR modification projects, follow the links below:
August 2014 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (improved sealed chamber prototype)
February 2014 Modified Canon 1000D DSLR (Baader BCF filter replacement)
December 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (custom-fabricated lens mount)
November 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for  Astro-imaging (sealed chamber prototype)
March 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging (sealed chamber prototype)
February 2013 Modified Canon 450D DSLR for Astro-imaging

For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
To visit my astrophoto gallery, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)