Operation Hubble

AstroMaster 130EQ

I got a telescope a few years back and though it works well for looking through with human eyes, it's been close to impossible to use with with a digital SRL camera mounted at the eyepiece. The problem is that the camera body can't move close enough to the tube to obtain focus on objects futher away than about 20 metres. Of course, that's not very useful for a telescope (unless you'e into bird-watching).

The camera can be made to focus with the addition of a barlow lens, but the only one of those I have magnifies by a factor of two and adds some blurring, so that's not really an ideal solution either. What I really want is to put the camera at prime focus using only the primary and secondary mirror.

On one of my bi-annual google searches for a solution I stumbled across the suggestion of a Hubble style operation to mount the telescopes primary mirror a bit closer to the secondary mirror, so making the focal plane move a bit further away from the tube. However, the original post is rather low on detail.

Telescope cam creation

Transformed webcam

This is a continuation of my Telescope cam debugging blog.

Unfortunately it proved rather hard to obtain  plastic mounting feet and screws tiny enough for me to be able to put the camera assembly in a small project box. However,  I did realised I had a custom fit plastic camera housing to hand - the one I'd just cracked open.

I'd noticed earlier that metallic ring with Zeiss branding on the front of the camera was pretty much the same diameter as the 1½ inch eyepieces and adapters I have. Since I have two adapter rings (I was generously given a second one as part of a kit by mig5) I decided to glue an adapter ring straight onto the camera housing.

Telescope cam debugging

Webcam Pro 9000

I was reminded the other day that if you want to do planetary astrophotography, hacking up a webcam is a cheap and easy way to computerise image capture. Better still, software exists to process videof rames into a single higher quality still image.

A spot of researching which webcams are best suited for this found a page explaining how to hack a Logictech Webcam Pro 9000. Better still, my corner discount computer parts shop actually still stocks these for all of $35 a piece.