Thursday, June 25, 2020

Internet of Things for amateur astronomy.

or The ultimate Telrad / QuInsight USB Power / Blinker Mod


Every light-producing telescope sighting device for astronomy use could benefit from the so called "Blinker" feature, which helps the observer to maintain the eyes darkness adaptation as much as possible during the telescope pointing flow with that type of finders simply reducing the light exposure. That allows to point with such a device using much fainter stars than with the reticle constantly shining into observer's eyes.



I had that "blinker mod" implemented over a decade ago using the trivial LM555 timer IC for my Telrad (you can easily google for that circuit and Telrad integration guides, there are plenty online). But as I have recently acquired the more advanced collimator sight the QuInsight I decided to make a more advanced blinker as well. But it turned out so advanced that I see it frankly opening the IoT era in amateur astronomy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

TPM Telrad Pattern Matching

Another writeup on the subject which is so trivial that it deserves a detailed explanation! How to use the Telrad properly? Many folks using it as a glorified red dot finder. Which is sad to see knowing its potential rivaling even most advanced GoTo systems... But let's start from afar with the most frequent question a beginner or a mature amateur astronomer is constantly concerned about. How to point a telescope to the invisible for naked eyes deep-sky target? I mean, in a reliable way? [the write up is still in development]



Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

There are dozens of answers. And after asking it for 40 years myself and trying what others doing to solve that problem I have finally got a definite answer: the TPM.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

QuInsight the Telrad successor


QuInsight is the newest telescope pointing device leveraging the collimator principle similar to the Telrad. It has been designed and manufactured in 2019 by Rob Brown. Rob has a background in Optics engineering and owns a 3D printer which he is using to produce components of Quinsight.


I believe the QuInsight design is the best thing happened to the Telrad idea in the past 40 years (since the Telrad invention).

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dob Dolly. Furniture dolly mod to carry 12" Dob.

This is a really trivial construction which I've assembled in like 15 minutes from the scrap at hands to haul my Zhumell 12" pre-assembled to the other side of the high-rise multi-apartment building I'm living in (as well as to the roof in two runs). I'm observing from home right on it. It turned to be a very sturdy, mega-convenient, and fun to use system.


I think the image is selfexplanatory but folks from one of the forums begged me to share details anyway, thus they are under the cut along with all of the benefits list.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Time left before the sunset

This is the old boy scout method of determining the time left until the sunset (or elapsed after the sunrise) "manually".


And here is how I have it criticized for my backpacking group folks:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

5 Watt flashlight conversion for $5

It's not really for astronomy use but the flashlight goes into my travel duffel. A 5 watt LED star can be easily installed into this cheap diving flashlight and powered by 14500 LiPO cells at 7.4 Volt and 2400 mAh.



Mor details under the cut.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Meade ETX125 easy collimation

I have noticed that my ETX125 airy disk developed two hot spots which mean it got out of collimation a bit.



My favorite for eons Weasner website has a lot of information on that but it's mostly "don't do that yourself", "be super careful", and very little on the actual subject with quite a conflicting tips. So here is how I've done it: