Nikon Body-mounted Filter

•April 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

This was the long-seller filter. Finally LPS-D2 for Nikon D5200 and D7000 series are only available.

We don’t have to reproduce anything more. So this is the last stock offer.

D5300/5500 frames are sold out. So unfortunately no filters for those bodies any more.

We more focus on the filter drawer for Nikon Z instead, which gives you more filter selections.

Solar Animation in Alt-az mode

•April 21, 2021 • Leave a Comment

This is the 3.5 hours imaging session of single 70 frames in 3-minute interval. (Sorry for the annoying dust spot’s moving around at the center).

This was 1st attempt with alt-az mount with our Hindoe solar guider. This is no-cropped image taken with 400mm f.l and IMX 178 sensor. As expected, it looks perfect combination for the full disc.

Since it was captured in alt-az mode, the solar surface is oriented. That was what I expected, but surprisingly more than that.

The mount and guider were flawlessly tracking the sun and nicely passing the meridian. But I didn’t expect such large scale of image orientation. This should be painful for the close-up shots.

So next time I will convert the mount to EQ mode shown below. No image orientation, but still flawlessly through the meridian. That might be ideal for long imaging session overall.

Skywatcher mount doesn’t look the proper size, but seems to be solid enough. Let me see.

I like ALT-AZ mode since it allows to set the mount, point to the sun and sync it with SkySafari. It was quite easy to start and the smart controller along with GPS data achieves quite accurate tracking. But unfortunately not possible to eliminate this orientation in imaging. For the visual observing, it should be perfect setup.

Cooled 6D Sensor Calibration

•April 20, 2021 • Leave a Comment

This is for the reminder to someone who need to do the same and for sharing my experiences with the users who own the cooled 6D from Hutech. There are not many people though.

After I recently replaced a bayonet ring, I realized it got the huge distortion one corner. I also knew the distance was still too short when IDAS filter was in, even I calibrated once indoor.

So I thought it was the time to adjust the distance and the tilt myself. I realized this field method was very user-friendly without requiring the precision instruments. It allows to adjust while a lens stays in and checking the liveview screen. That’s so convenient. Thanks to the manufacturer.

1- First, prepare T-10 Torx driver and 1.5mm allen wrench.

I suggest to use the back focus-sensitive lens. In general, it is a wide-angle lens.

2- Torx allows to adjust the distance while allen screw is for the lock. Anyway, this is very classic push-pull method.

Still a bit too short. But the image result looked close enough at 4 corners

Originally the camera was shipped from the factory without calibrating an extra filter’s glass thickness. So when a filter is in place, the flange back distance turns too short. Not 44.00mm as Canon specs.

So if someone feel the image issue, compare two image results with a filter and without.

Generally speaking, the adjusting direction is “further” – loosening Torx bolt first.

My 6D’s cooling power seems to be weaker. But anything else still look good shape. So this calibration function allows us to maintain the camera in excellent condition long time.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anytime.

Ring Nebula thru BORG 107FL @ F7.8

•April 15, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I understood M57 was too small target for my scope. But no options for galaxies that night because of the sky conditions. So I tried anyway.

BORG 107FL F7.8 + ASI2600MC + IDAS NBZ, 120″ at gain 0

I gave up applying the dark. All seem to be subtracted. I thought I used same dark before though.

M27 should be relatively larger. I will try M27 at this configuration next time.

Mount ZERO in EQ Mode & New User Image

•April 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Is this maniac? Probably… This looks like the transformer robot. I’m sure it’s hard for everyone to understand at glance.

Since the mount ZERO’s solar tracking and guiding performed in alt-az mode very well, why not using mount ZERO and Althiba 3 controller for the deep sky night time? So I reconfigured to EQ mode. As expected, there are various restrictions. I’ve never used the motorized single fork with a guider. So I was so curious how it can be setup. This is my answer after try-n-error process.

  • Wedge is needed to offset the system balance point toward the South. This setup is still North heavy. But I thought North leg supports enough.
  • Dead angle ; Mount ZERO’s arm is not long enough. Most of scopes, even BORG 55FL had the issue for the pointing to the sky from approx. 45-degree to 90. The above picture shows a camera lens is pointing to the North pole. This was only setup which was allowed to be passing through the zenith.
  • Polar alignment: I use a polar camera. But modern software might be the solution as well.
Pointing the zenith. And in balance at RA & DEC

And Scopetech is a very smart group. They already made the threaded hole for counter-weight. If necessary, it was ready for that. The mount ZERO has a lot of secret holes. Quite fun to find them out.

Sky-watcher’s counterweight kit fit!!

The advantages for this EQ setup, at least for me, are no-meridian flip required and dual-axes dithered imaging.

I will try this out for the summer milky way.

Anyway, this should be nothing to be compared in the world. I’m not sure it will work as expected though.

Fred Eiserling send the quick feedback on the upgraded IDAS NBZ filter.

I finally had a chance to try the new NBZ you sent on a planetary nebula, and it works well. The image is from my Planewave 17 inch and the ZWO ASI 2400 camera. 8-two minute shots, unguided.

Thank you, Fred!!

M13 thru BORG 107FL @ F7.8

•April 13, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I tried to shoot with BORG 1.4x teleconverter (#7215) for the deepsky first time. The image looks a bit fuzzy. I wasn’t sure it was caused by my focus or high cloud. Maybe both.

This is one of two targets I shot because of the annoying high cloud entire night.


An another shot was M57. I’m glad to know 7215 is useful to planetary nebulae and globular clusters. And hopefully galaxies although I wasn’t allowed to point them due to the sky condition.

And a following is my friend – Hide’s new setup.

BORG 90FL F4 + Fuji X-T3 + Kenko SkyMemo RS

He just began the astro imaging a couple of month ago and now very serious of that. Hopefully we can see his result sometime soon.

Solar Tracking in Alt-Az Mode – #2

•April 9, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I was just tracking the sun at sidereal rate with a guider yesterday. So I did the unguided test today.

1)1st I switched to “solar” rate.

Besides 3 major rates, it allows to set the various tracking rates from 0.5x to 24x

2) And manually point a telescope to the sun and press sync the sun with SkySafari without setting the home position.

So this was done within a couple of minutes after I adjusted the tripod level like

Not perfect, but should be close enough

And this was the unguided result after one hour.

Strictly speaking, I’m sure the sun must be drifting toward a certain direction. But it was still almost the center even after 1 hour. This was much better than I expected.

After this test, I realized this process allowed us for the quick start.

Level a tripod, point a scope the sun(or set the sun into the solar finder) and sync the sun with SkySafari or whatever.

And I’m so glad to realize Machinaka OBS electronics and hardware work very well with Mount ZERO.

The key of this process is not to require knowing the earth direction and to manually point the sun, and sync. I’m not sure my understanding is correct. It might be too early to call. I will keep playing around.

Today’s result encourages me to try out under the night sky and see how tracking is accurate with stars. I didn’t originally expect so though. It should be worth trying.

One day I try to find out a appropriate wedge base. If this is good enough, the mount allows us to extend the longer imaging session thru the meridian. And no-backlash belt-driven motor system should achieve the stable dithered imaging as well. Only concern is the total gear ratio. I hope it should be OK as far as it is short focal length. Let’s see anyway.

Solar Guiding in Alt-Az Mode

•April 8, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Japan’s “Machinaka OBS(meaning [observatory in the city])” developed the GOTO and guiding kit for Scopetech Mount ZERO. Originally the controller called “Althiba 3” was commercially available as the universal and programmable motor control unit, which allows users to specifically set the motor and gear parameters. They have fine-tuned the program dedicated for the mount ZERO in alt-az tracking mode.

Meanwhile Scopetech originally pre-designed the motor attachment sections for the future expansion. So this retrofit doesn’t require any mount modification. It fits as it is. Thanks to Scopetech.

Here is my today’s setup.

The calibration was successfully done by1st try, and track and guide continued to be going well a couple of hours already. Belt-driven hybrid motors performs quietly. Virtually no backlash movement creates the smooth tracking and guiding.

Since mount ZERO’s wheel teeth is only 88, I was a bit concerned about the tracking smoothness. But I didn’t have to. It looks very smooth tracking even at high power viewing.

Now we can fully enjoy the solar imaging as well as viewing even after passing the meridian continuously. This gives us the huge advantage for creating the time-lapse movie for the solar activities without any concerns. I don’t think the field rotation is the issue for the sun at all.

The mount ZERO’s clutches are still functional. So we can move the scope manually as well.

CF tripod/half pillar with the mount ZERO are all solid while maintaining the lightweight. I can carry by a single hand. Probably this is my ultimate solar setup and the goal for solar eclipse trip since all gets compact including the mount like

Equipment shown above are

Double-stacked SF50


Imaging Source camera 33UX178

Hutech Hinode solar guider

Machinaka OBS motor control

MORE BLUE CF half pillar

Sightron Japan CF tripod

MORE BLUE Finder Base L – FG307

•April 2, 2021 • Leave a Comment

This is a larger version of FG304. The wider slots with M6 bolts gives us more options for the attachments. This is one example.

As shown above, it is securely set with 2 x M6. Unfortunately 1/4″-20 doesn’t fit into slots. I expect it will be the next version.

It is now in stock.

Scopetech Mount ZERO

•March 25, 2021 • 2 Comments

Finally new lot is on the way from Japan. So we are now ready to take the new order.

Same time, we begin new project. This retrofit kit gives mount ZERO the tracking, GOTO and guiding capability. This is nice extra features for the compact and solid mount.

I don’t think the tracking ability is needed for all users since slow motion controls comfortably works. But it would be nicer to keep observing planets at high power long time.

Also this should be more comfortable for solar imaging as well as observing. And sounds like Hutech solar guider works with the mount ZERO. That’s most beneficial to myself.

Giving users more options is good anyway.

I will keep posting my field test shortly. Stay tuned!!

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