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

Pentax 10 × 50 SP WP Binoculars

Any two identical telescopes placed side-by-side is considered a pair of binoculars, from the words bin which means “two” and ocular which means “of or connected with the eyes or vision”.

pentax_10x50_sp_wp
Pentax 10 × 50 SP WP, the newest addition to my astro-equipment.

Like many other astronomy enthusiasts, I also recommend investing on a pair of binoculars first before buying a telescope. Any pair of 7 × 50 or 10 × 50 binoculars should be more than adequate for exploring the night sky particularly the Milky Way.

Early this year, I have acquired a Pentax 10 × 50 SP WP. I have been testing it for more than 8 months now, and I am very much pleased with its built quality and more importantly, the optical quality of the lenses. In future posts, I’ll be sharing some of the insights I gained in the process of choosing this pair, such as the features and specifications I’d recommended for a pair that will be used for astronomical observations.

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)

Telescope Hard Cases

Telescopes and other imaging equipment must be handled with extreme care. They must be protected not only from moisture but also from shocks that may lead to misalignment of lenses. Below are the hard cases I use in moving my telescope and its accessories, especially when travelling to remote observing sites.

How do you protect your equipment? Share a link to photos of your equipment cases in the comments section below :)

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)

Celestron Travel Scope 70

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a small telescope designed for viewing distant land-based targets (such as birds and trees) and for casual astronomical observations. While many enthusiasts would purchase this telescope perhaps as a grab-and-go telescope, my intention for acquiring one is different since I intend to use it as a guide scope for my autoguider setup (if you want to know more about it, click here).

I have been using this telescope for several months now, and I believe I now have a firm grasp of what it can and cannot do, and its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I intend to share some of my insights about the Celestron Travel Scope 70, particularly in the context of visual observation and astrophotography.

CelestronTravelScope70
Celestron Travel Scope 70 used during a public observation (left). Actual moon image taken with a Celestron Travel Scope 70 (right).

To learn more about the Celestron Travel Scope 70 and how it can be used to photograph the Sun, the Moon, and the moons of Jupiter, click here.

If you would like to know more about amateur astronomy and astrophotography, kindly follow the link: Getting Started.

For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

USB Guide Port Interface (GPUSB)

Autoguiding requires a means for a computer to send guiding signals to a telescope’s mount. For most mounts, especially the entry-level ones, a separate device can be used to enable the computer ‘talk’ to the mount—an example of which is a USB Guide Port Interface or GPUSB.

GPUSB_ShoestringAstronomy
USB Guide Port Interface (GPUSB)

To learn more about this device and how it is used in astrophotography, 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 Canon 450D DSLR for astro-imaging (August 2014)

Here is my most recent prototype of a Peltier-cooled Canon 450D DSLR intended for astro-imaging. The intention was to incorporate improvement into each version. In this particular prototype, the camera is housed in a smaller plastic case, making it more compact, lighter, and more sturdy.

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Modified Canon 450D DSLR for astro-imaging (August 2014) mounted on a Sky-Watcher 100ED refractor. View test shot here.

A custom-fabricated aluminum lens mount is used to allow the modified camera to accept standard Canon lenses and T-adapters. A Baader UV-IR filter is used to optimize sensitivity to H-alpha wavelengths, which also serves as the sealed chamber’s optical window. During operation, sensor temperature drops to 30 degrees C below ambient. To avoid dew from condensing on the optical window, coils of fine nichrome wire were used.

Dimensions: 16 cm x 12 cm x 7 cm case with 7.5 cm x 7 cm x 6 cm heat sink protruding on one side
Weight: approximately 1250 grams
Temperature: up to 30 deg C below ambient
Power supply: 12V 12A for the Peltier module, 8.4V 1.5A for the camera

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

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)

Modified Canon 450D DSLR (March 2014)

Modified Canon 450D DSLR (March 2014)
My most recent project: a camera that can take photos of deep space! It has special filters to make it more sensitive to galaxies and nebula, and operates at freezing temperatures to minimize sensor noise.

Shown in above is my most recent version of a TEC-cooled (Peltier) Canon 450D DSLR intended for astro-imaging. This one has been housed in rigid plastic case with custom-fabricated aluminum lens mount to accept standard Canon lenses and T-adapters. The camera’s stock filters (both the IR and the dust-cleaning filter) were replaced with a Baader UV-IR filter to optimize sensitivity to H-alpha wavelengths and also serve as the sealed chamber’s optical window. During operation, sensor temperature drops to 35 degrees C below ambient.

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

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)

Cooled DSLR with custom-fabricated Canon lens mount

Shown below is my most recent version of a TEC-cooled (Peltier) Canon 450D DSLR intended for astro-imaging. This one has been housed in an aluminum case with custom-fabricated aluminum lens mount to accept standard Canon lenses and T-adapters. The camera’s stock filters (both the IR and the dust-cleaning filter) were replaced with a Baader UV-IR filter to optimize sensitivity to H-alpha wavelengths and also serve as the sealed chamber’s optical window. During operation, sensor temperature drops to 35 degrees C below ambient.
Eteny_Canon450D_Dec2013

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

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)