Introducing the AstroSaloon
With the Astroshed nearly complete I thought that it was time to post some pictures of the progress and what all has gone into this project.
Groundbreaking! Building a home for the AstroSaloon
This post isn’t about astrophotography, but rather a place to do it from. My yard is pretty much out of the question, trees all around, with only a view of the northern sky. You know what else is north? Uptown Charlotte. I was thrilled when I learned that our local astronomy club had an observatory with much darker skies than I have.
Finally got back out under the stars
It’s been quite a while since I was able to get out to the observatory and actually manage to capture some photons.
First Light with the Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4, Paramount MyT, and Atik 16200 Mono
After waiting so long for the equipment, I finally had all the pieces of the puzzle. Miraculously, the first Saturday (July 14, 2018) after finally getting the last piece (another counterweight) it was clear with a fairly new moon. I packed up the family truckster with my stuff (I really should take pictures along the way!) and headed out to the observatory.
The Mount: Paramount MyT
I ordered pretty much the entire rig at the same time– the mount, OTA, camera, filter wheel, filters, guide camera, tripod, and an extra 10 lb weight for good measure. I already had a guide scope that I planned to use. About half of the equipment was in stock when I ordered, but I was aware that my mount wasn’t going to arrive at the same time as everything else; it was quoted as about a six-week lead time.
Power, Control, and Dew, oh my!
The last chunk of stuff from the initial bullet list (see “Pulled the trigger…”) I want to talk about together.
I needed a way to control all of this stuff
I needed a way to power all of this stuff
And definitely needed a way to prevent dew from wreaking havoc on everything
The Filter Wheel: Atik EFW3 and the case of the missing Astrodons
As far as the filter wheel is concerned, the frontrunner was actually one by FLI (I read several reports of folks having trouble with Atik’s EFW2). After talking with Larry at OPT I learned that Atik released a new filter wheel, specifically for the the 16200, the EFW3. That made the choice easy. I was quite glad that he mentioned it, since it wasn’t yet on OPT’s website. It’s really good to have someone help you with this process!