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Category: DIY Astronomy Project


canon-1100d-modification-4

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

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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.

hackaday_16oct2016

DIY Tracker featured in HACKADAY

Special thanks to James Hobson for featuring my project!

For other DIY projects, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

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.

tracker_eteny (1)

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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

solar_shades

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)

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.

arduino stepper

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)

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