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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Months of Cloudy Skies & New Gear

I haven't posted in a while, I've had months and months or cloudy, cold weather. Instead of getting rid of my gear I decided to upgrade!
 I purchased a Celestron 11" EdgeHD on a CGEM-DX mount and it arrived one week ago. I had a brief opportunity between clouds to use it twice in the past week. The sky conditions weren't the best and it was very cold and windy. I'm really happy with this first image though, Jupiter's moons actually even showed some detail. Can't wait for good conditions to try again.
I also wanted to test the FOV of the QHY9M camera with the 11". I managed one 2 minute exposure of M42 taken through a Luminance filter. I combined this single sub-exposure with color from an older M42 image. The setup wasn't quite ready for imaging DSO's and I had many guiding issues.

I made a comparison image of the FOVs I had been used to.....

Today I finally got all the final parts and pieces together to setup the rig for imaging.
I built a temporary cart to wheel the heavy setup out of the garage. The whole rig stands over 6' tall and the garage door opening is 7'. It didn't leave much room to try to carry the 150 lb setup out the door.

I added an ADM dovetail to the top and piggybacked my AT65EDQ. Once I installed the QHY9M camera I need more counterweights, so I added a 3lb weight in the front of the OTA and an 11 pound CGEM weight to the counterweight bar. The CGEM weight has a 3/4" center hole so I drilled it out to the 1/ 1/4" for the CGEM-DX shaft.

Hopefully the weather forecasters are right and I should have a few clear nights ahead!