Equipment Used For Astrophotography


Orion StarShooter Guide Cam

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Just about to start 'guiding' during my long exposures. Currently, I can do up to 90 second exposures before the dreaded star-trails begin to appear. Once I get the guide cam figured out, I should be able to do exposures of much longer duration...depending on what the camera can take

Altair GPCAM2 IMX224 Colour

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A smallish, entry-level colour camera, intended as a lunar or planetary camera. Also well known for it's use as a great tool for video astronomy, also known as EAA (Electronic Assisted Astronomy) which is projecting a telescope's view through a video display (albeit with some electrical wizardry).


This should be cool with one telescope's view projected on a screen


Also, if I ever need to use this as a guide cam it should play nice with my guide scope

Starwave 50mm Guide Scope

A great little scope that my guide cam will be looking through...yet another frontier to conquer...

A great little scope that my guide cam will be looking through...yet another frontier to conquer...


Turns out the manufacturer of this guide scope is also the manufacturer of my recently acquired OSC camera, an Altair GPCAM2. 


  

 

Computers and software

IBM ThinkPad E545

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The old trooper. Turned a normal everyday laptop into an AP powerhouse. This laptop has been with me from the beginning, and started acting strange just before Christmas. I then realized that if this thing dies, I would have an extremely difficult time imaging without it. Although I went and got a refurbed Dell laptop with Windows 10, something told me to look into salvaging this one. Turns out, you can STILL upgrade to W10 if you have a licensed copy of Windows 7 or 8...apparently Windows never did cancel that option when 7 & 8 were released....shhhhhhh...

Dell Latitude

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Buying slightly used off-lease computers is usually  a wise choice, especially with a good warranty.


I went with this as initially my main machine, but it so happens that my 2+ year old IBM , with a few upgrades, is still a better performer than this almost 1 year old machine. This will serve as a backup/ standby unit, and most likely a remote control station for when I move up to remote imaging from the garage or sitting beside the fire in the cold winter months...dreams

Camera Control, Focusing, Framing & Live Monitoring

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An amazing piece of software developed in Canada, by an astro-photographer, with the astro-photographer in mind.


It's software like this that puts the capabilties in more amateurs' hands, simplifying the rather complex process

Deep Sky Stacker

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A free program that stacks multiple images for astrophotography and other types of photography.


Free magic...

StarTools

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A licensed program designed for editing astrophotography images. There a few other noteable ones out there, but so far this one has served me well.


The art of astrophotography is not just taking the shots. The time spent pre- and post-processing is sometimes equal to or greater than time spent with the scope.

GIMP

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A free program, very similar and almost as powerful as Photoshop...


It's a  vast program, as is PS...but I use it as a final touch-up for colour and fine details

Visual/ observing


Where possible, if I think I can build it myself...GAME ON!