Twin 55FLs

•February 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Several days ago, I took up Ha monochrome image taken by Nakanishi san here. After that, he has finished up the color image combined with his one-shot color image.

55FL(オリオン大星雲・馬頭星雲 ST-8300M・C)s1 ST-8300M (28 x 10′ thru Ha + 20 x 10′ thru LPS-V4) + ST-8300C (24 x 10′ thru LPS-D1)

55FL(60φマルチバンド 旧バンド ダブル撮影)A lot of faint details and beautiful color!!, and great field of view with 8300 chip.

Piggyback Plate for Camera Rotator

•January 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Originally this plate was intended to be used with Takahashi portable mount.

tak1218aAdding several holes, it turns the proper piggyback plate for a camera rotator too. Here is 2nd prototype.

The plate allows to set a guide scope or some other accessories at the top. I don’t think a guide scope is needed for short focal length lens. But a guide scope makes dithering. That should be very effective. Also generally it’s not easy to find out how to set a guide scope with telephoto lens. This gives us the solution too. Probably small c-mount lens & 1.25″ camera must be the best match for this setup. I will try to do later on.

A plate is expected to be commercially available early of next month.


BORG Discontinued Items & Solar Flare

•January 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Some BORG items have been discontinued.

  1. 60ED (#2260) – Final stock unit has been sold out. So 2260 has been completely out. This was quite long-selling item.

  2. 0.7x super reducer (7870) – Stock offer only. Less than 10 units just left. Once it will be sold out, no astrograph package including 7870 will be available either.

  3. 150mm long white tube (#7150) – Stock only. Will be replaced with a black one (#7151).

  4. Series 80 tube assembly set (#6003) – No longer available. No stock either.

  5. Series 80 drawtube (#7137) – No longer available. Replaced with following 7790.7790Unlike previous types, front-baffle is aluminum-made. And replaceable.

  6. 6290 – white 90FL set is no longer available either. White objective is still available.

Here is the today’s solar result. It was 840mm focal length. But I’m not sure I got focal length advantage. This close-up frame shows big flare.

This was about 4 hours sequence.

Prominence Taken By Panasonic GX-8

•January 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This was my 1st time-lapse movie trial with Panasonic GX-8. The battery has run out the middle of session. So this was only 52-frames movie in 5-minute interval. GX-8’s sleep mode didn’t look letting wake-up from a remote controller.  So I set sleep mode off. That was painful or I might not know all about the camera menu yet. Anyway, DC coupler is on the way. So it should be problem next.

As initial feeling, I might have more-pixel advantage as expected. Unfortunately today’s prominence didn’t show up actively much though.

0125Solarscope SF50 + BORG 89ED + Panasonic GX-8 + Hinode SG

Since the sensor is still large enough for longer focal length, I will try with 1.4x teleconverter next time. I’m afraid the slower shutter speed though. Eventually I might have to modify the camera for faster shutter speed.

Anyway I feel good with GX-8 so far. At least I don’t have to take out a notebook and an AC cable. That’s at least comfortable for me.


55FL with FTF-M57 – #2 & QSI

•January 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I think a Takahashi 80mm holder looks the best fit for 55FL F3.6 Series 80 setup, which allows for relatively easier weight balance and makes more clearance space for dedicated cooled CCD cameras at the back end.


Then, this achieves to control focusing from PC without sacrificing anything and still to set a guide scope at the top.

Following pictures are another 55FL F3.6 setup one of local customers – David Lozano did with his QSI camera. Originally he wanted to use his 3″ FTF motorized focuser with 55FL. But it was obviously too long. So for easy start-up, he decided to pick the original package including a helical focuser. He brought his QSI and mounting plate to my office today to double check mounting issue.

He uses Losmandy unit to raise the scope up to create the clearance space for QSI camera. Losmandy unit is high enough for 8-filter wheel and allows to adjust weight balance back and forth. So I wanted to share his setup as one example with BORG users. AOK-made clam-shell type is used, as mentioned yesterday. Since a focuser is set in front(behind the objective lens), camera side is totally rigid.

BORG 55FL F3.6 with Feather Touch Focuser

•January 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

As mentioned here several times, FTF setup in 55FL F3.6 is very challenging. After playing around while changing the combination of many parts, I have concluded this looks best possible configuration.

ftfs2555 + 7680 + 7026 + FTF-BORGII + FTF-M57(replaced 7459 with 7901) + 7880

Original FTF-M57 comes with two 7459 at both ends of FTF drawtube. A rear 7459 had to be replaced with 7901 for shorter light path.

Now there are some issues.

  1. As shown, clamping section for tube ring is very narrow. 7026 is 25mm long. Probably there is only 38mm long including both adapters.
  2. Another challenging issue is how to mount the scope without interfering with a plate and the tracking mount. One idea I came up my mind is to use a following camera rotator. This rotator raises an optical system up. So this gives a plenty of room for plate or mount. This should be very convenient for DSLR users since the above system doesn’t include 7352 – M57 rotator, which was too long to reach the focus at the infinity.

cr110But I have no specific idea how to set coolded CCD camera bodies. That’s what we have to carefully look into more. Probably it might go the usual way to clamp a tube. 2 x 7085 fits.  AOK Swiss makes following the clam-shell type. This looks good one too.


Finally take a look at ST8300 chip’s field of view by 200mm focal length.

55FL(オリオン大星雲・馬頭星雲 Hα ST-8300M 10分x28)s2BORG 55FL F3.6 + SBIG ST-8300M with Ha filter, 10 minutes x 28 taken by Naoki Nakanishi

And field of view by full frame sensor.

ngc1499_ic348_d810a_55fl-200_lprn_hdWith Nikon 810DA by Yutaka Numajiri

Solar Imaging with Panasonic GX-8

•January 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

As expected, GX-8’s a tilt EVF was helpful for focusing. The sky was not totally clear. But I was eager to use a new camera.  Since the sensor got larger, I switched to BORG 89ED (=600 mm).

0120cIDAS UHB broadband solar filter 82mm + BORG 89ED + Panasonic GX-8

Single shot(no stacked), 1/3200″ at ISO800

Unfortunately, the sky didn’t allow me to continue to work including switching to Ha filter. High cloud came up quickly. Further test will continue.

Now I’m interested in taking a lowpass and IR blocking filter out from the camera and making GX-8 the dedicated solar camera.


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