New Projects Coming!!

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been able to post anything, but I have a couple projects in the works!

  1. A belt drive on a Meade LX85 mount with all parts ordered on Amazon Prime for less that $25! Update: This is cancelled, but look for a video coming for why this isn’t as practical as it first seemed.
  2. A full review and workup on the OPT Radian Ultra Qaudband filter. Is it worth the price?
  3. And… do you really need that $2500 mount for your 80mm refractor?

Here’s a sneak peak from first light with the Radian Ultra filter. This is only two hours of integration in poor seeing with an active air quality alert. The potential of this filter is amazing, but is it worth the extra $800 over my IDAS NB1?

I’m really excited about these few things and I can’t wait to get some stuff out there. Until then…

Clear Skies, Bleary Eyes – KA

I Imaged During a Full Moon Right Next to LED Christmas Lights with a One Shot Color Camera…. and this is what happened.

Clear nights are few and far between in the Midwest throughout Winter. When they come along, I just want to get out and image. This night was no exception. So I decided to do a little experiment to see how the IDAS NB1 filter by Hutech would perform in the most impossible conditions.

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Meade LX85 Mount First Impressions

I’d been wanting to upgrade/update my old LXD75 mount for quite some time. The old horse has been tracking great, but I really want to take my imaging to the next level, and I had an opportunity for a package deal with an Meade 80mm triplet refractor that I couldn’t pass up. You can check out the video below, and/or read on for some first impressions.

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Is Astrophotragphy Getting Too Easy?

Everybody should be able to take pictures of space without having an astronomy degree, IT background, or having to take out a second mortgage. A lot of us like to think our little club is exclusive, but I think it should be more inclusive. I talk a lot about how hard and frustrating this hobby is on someone starting out, so I’m all for technology making things easier on us. But are these new phone image sensors and software all they’re advertised to be? And is an upcoming all-in-one scope, mount and imager misunderstood? Is imaging space getting too easy?

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Do you have OHD?

How to diagnose and treat Obsessive Hobby Disorder.

If you can check off just one of the symptoms on the list below, you probably have OHD.

  • Do you check the clear sky chart before planning date-night with your significant other?
  • Do you find family time sidetracked by staring at a computer screen monitoring your mount’s tracking?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and instead of going right back to sleep, look outside to see if the sky is clear?
  • Have you ever called in sick to work because you were up all night imaging?
  • Do you START drinking coffee at 8PM because the sky is clear?
  • Do you disassemble, re-grease and test your mount because, Saturday?
  • Do you plan out the next 6 months of imaging wile you’re at work?
  • Is your bank account’s primary purpose to fund your next piece of astrophotography gear?
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Trip to Dark Skies

Last week, my family and I took a trip out to Galena, IL – about 3 hours West of Chicago. My wife and I frequent the area, but this was the first time we were taking the kids along. I took a video a couple days before we left, talking about my plans to shoot 2+ hours of the Eastern Veil Nebula in Chicago and then 2+ hours of the same object from Bortle 3 skies in Galena. I knew there would be a huge difference and I’d need to find a way to get to dark skies more often.

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Buying Your First Astrophotography Setup? Start Here… kind of

I often wonder if anybody in astronomy forums has had to struggle to figure out how to pay kids’ school fees and the mortgage in the same month, or forgo that pizza order to put gas in the car.

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SNR for Morons and how to Get Your Best Ratio in Light Polluted Skies

Noise mitigation for OSC (One-shot Color) Cameras in polluted skies

We all know that SNR is the Signal to Noise Ratio, and that more signal and less noise is good, right? OK, if you didn’t know that, you do now.

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5 Things Every Astrophotographer Needs

Regardless of your mount, or OTA, or camera, there are things every astrophotgrapher needs to survive. These aren’t equipment related, but something all of us can relate to. If you aren’t into the hobby yourself, and/or don’t know an astrophotographer, you’ll probably think we’re just crazy.

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