Sunday, June 2, 2024

Hiking with SeeStar S50

 Tripod can be ditched.

Ultralight base: 

Thursday, March 7, 2024

SeeStar S50 trick: No leveling nor compass ever?

Being working on the Plate Solving project myself in the past, I've figured that SeeStar firmware implementation might follow a similar math for its functionality.

That led to a few simple experiments confirming that initially. But I'm not sure anymore it's actually always working.

Please level your Seestar within recommended in the documentation tolerances until further update with the latest ZWO software.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

ZWO SeeStar S50

I have decided to get this minimalistic but full fledged robotic astro-photo rig for occasional near zero effort sky events documenting and possibly astro-photometry, some astronomy apps development ideas benefiting my main aperture (Portaball 12.5), and remote terrestrial imaging.

Zero regrets! I believe it's on par with the venerable 100% manual AstroScan ball scope in the engineering ingenuity.

Sunday, May 7, 2023


 1. From under UTA with (L to R):

A. 3D printed Secondary Mirror in Snap-on rigid protective dust cup (bottom).

B. 3D printed oversized starpiece in the focuser for RLC/BRLC (laser collimator) dual-side projection screen with Cheshire center hole. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Orion 70mm Multi-Use Finder Scope

Just would like to share my impressions with this simple purchase.

At $100 it's somewhat overpriced for what it is indeed, as at the close inspection I have figured it's just the front piece of the Orion's 70mm binoculars plus the 6 adjustment screws shoe mount stalk and some threaded adapters. But overall it might worth it in the long run.

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 just 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 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 under development]

Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

I bet you have heard dozens of answers to that already. After asking that question for over 40 years myself and trying what others doing to solve that problem I have finally got the definite answer: the TPM. Which stands for "Telrad Pattern Matching".