E q u i p m e n t

Over the years, I've owned various types of astronomical equipment.
When I first became interested in astronomy, I started out with an old pair of binoculars. I used them for several years, slowly learning the constellations until I upgraded to a small 60mm refractor.  As my observing skills and knowledge of astronomy progressed, I built, purchased, and sold different styles of telescopes and accessories, eventualy settling on an 8" SCT as a good general purpose instrument.

Along the way, I added accessories, such as eyepieces, finderscopes, and solar filters to aid my observing.   After I became interested in video astronomy, I modified several security cameras that I use, and eventually purchased a Adirondack' AstroVid StellaCam EX dedicated deep-sky camera.
Last year, I picked up a used StellaCam-II camera, and recently added the advanced StellaCam-3.

To help make setting up my equipment more easier and comfortable, I remodeled my backyard 'barn' shed into an observatory.   For roadtrips to the regional astronomy conventions, I purchased a small teardrop camper and installed video and computer equipment.
In 2014, I upgraded the small teardrop camper to a much larger Tab model clamshell camper with permanently installed video/computer monitors in the backend.

For my roadtrips to dark skies, I currently use a Celestron CGEM mount and rotate the primary telescope between a Celestron 8" SCT optical tube or a AstroTech 6" RC. On either optical tube, I piggyback a 80mm KSON refractor and 60mm Antares guidescope. In the past, I used a StellaCam-3 analog video camera on the primaries and a SC-II vidcam on the 80mm. Currently I use a ZWO ASI294MC astronomical camera on the primary optics and a ASI290MC on the 80mm, along with a ASI120MC on the 60mm guidescope. (I decided to 'retire' my StellaCam videocams to the backyard observatory and go with all ZWO cameras on the travel scope.)

-------------------------------- Telescopes ----------------------------------

Homemade 10" Dobsonian Reflector

a 'classic' 13" Coulter Dobsonian Reflector

8" Coulter Dobsonian Reflector

8" Celestron SCT

6" AstroTech RC on a Celestron CG-5 mount

8" Celestron SCT optical tube on a Celestron CGEM mount

6" AstroTech RC on a Celestron CGEM mount
using a ASI120MC as a guider with my 60mm Antares refractor, a ASI290MC on the 80mm Kson refractor,
and the ASI294MC on the 6" RC.   So now I'm down to just a single USB cable running to the telescope!!

---------------------------------- Video Imaging ----------------------------------

'Remington' brand B&W security camera,
1/3" CCD 380 TV lines, auto shutter & auto gain.

Identical 'GSN Video' Sony Super HAD B&W security CCTV cameras. 1/3" CCD 600 TV lines, Selectable on/off BLC & ACG switch's.

'Adirondack' AstroVid StellaCam EX, 1/2" CCD with 600 line resolution, 0.00005 lux illumination, and 1/60 - 1/120,000 manual shutter speed, manual gain to 18dB, and up to a 2 second frame integration accumulation.

'StellaCam II (8 second frame integration) and a StellaCam-3 (unlimited integration)
both 1/2" CCD with 600 line resolution, and manual gain and gamma settings.

' ZWO ASI294MC Pro CMOS deep-sky camera'

'Toshiba 12" B&W HiRes monitor', 1000 TV lines resolution.   three 9" monitors switchable to 12" Toshiba and capture computer.

the 8" SCT & PST's setup for solar / video imaging.

----------------------------- Big Woodchuck Observatory --------------------------



----------------------- Solar Observing Filters & Telescopes ----------------------

      Coronado PST

      Coronado PST CaK    

Baader Solar Film filter (white-light)
1000 Oaks II glass filter (white-light)

Lumicon H-Alpha 1.5A Prominence filter


Daystar .6A T-Scanner Ha filter

---------------------------- Wazat Astronomy Camper -----------------------------

Wazat teardrop camper

Wazat & 6" AstroTech RC

Tab teardrop clamshell camper

Tab & telescope

Hope you enjoyed the visit. Come again soon!