Astrophotographers who regularly travel to remote observing sites require a reliable power source to last an overnight imaging session. In this article, I will describe how to construct a DIY field battery — the most essential component of any portable imaging setup. I will also discuss how to calculate the total power requirement of your system in order to determine the recommended battery capacity (ampere-hours) that will provide continuous power that will last overnight (longer than 12 hours).
Anyone familiar with basic camera settings like shutter speed, ISO, and aperture (f/ratio) is more than capable of capturing decent astrophotos like constellations, meteors, planetary and lunar alignments, Iridium flares, ISS flybys, star trails, and even the Milky Way. In most cases, only a DSLR-on-a-tripod setup is required. In some instances, however, an additional accessory called a cable release becomes a necessity, and without it, it is simply impossible to take advantage of the most useful feature of a DSLR camera: the bulb setting. This article explains why such an accessory is important and how you can build one (for Canon DSLRs) that performs technically the same function, equally as reliable, but costs just a fraction of the commercially available counterpart (and the best part is, you actually built it yourself!).
A DSLR now serves as my dedicated camera for astrophotography, which may be used with typical camera lenses for wide-field shots of celestial objects, or may be mounted onto a telescope for closeup shots of galaxies and nebulas. Read more.