ScopeYard

 
 
 
Welcome to the ScopeYard!
Site by amateur astronomer for amateur astronomers.  
 


 
I have met very nice and usefull website and astronomy society I would recomend everyone to visit:
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Added small article  - Equatorial Mount List
 
List of equatorial mounts for amateur astronomers, with links.
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Started new telescope recovery project, covering it in My workshop section.
 
Direct link for this project is this: Atlas Explorer recovery project
 
 
Will post updates as they follow.
 
 
 
 

 



Life gave a little twist and my setup had to be sold. I hope It will be good scope for a new owner, and deliver some outstanding views to enjoy.

To keep me bussy, fortune proven to be present and so I found trashed and thrown away telescope. It's nothing major or big, but here it is - Atlas Explorer 114mm appreture and 900mm focal lenght Newtonian on EQ2 mount. It is in "total mess" condition. Been thrown outside without endcap, optics are totaly dirty, but as it looks from first examination they could be OK. Focuser is basic Rack and Pinion. Mount misses counterweight bar, accesorie tray. Well, it's a good base for next restoration project.

Pictures to follow.







Made a nice imaging session on Moon. Result is my first mosaic.




I see it as slow, but still improvement comparing to my first moon image.







Recent weather gave few very nice clear night to observe and try-image.

Had a very nice view on M31 Andromeda Galaxy and new scope gave a good view on its siter galaxy M110.

Had a nice first view of Pleades, magnificient cluster!

Enjoyed a view of Albereo, double star one blue one yellow.

Also had go on imaging Jupiter with DSLR camera, my best attempt was something like this:





Still million lightyear away from something to be proud of, but a wast improvement from my first image!










Finished work on refurbishing of SkyWatcher 250p OTA.  Very happy with how it worked out.

Completed in this project:

1. Tube restored, primed, vinyl wraped.
2. Flocked.
3. Accesories, tuberings repainted black.
4. Tube rings re-felted.
5. Cooling system installed.

Some pictures of completed OTA.







Made a cooling system for my SkyWatcher 250p primary mirror.

Covered in detail in workshop. 

Primary mirror Cooling









Recieved GOTO upgrade for my EQ6 mount and installed it.

Covered in detail in this article

How to install EQ6 GOTO upgrade kit







Done some work on applying vinyl on OTA, so it now looks good and stylish.  More on this in workshop.



Also floked OTA from inside, so tube is now ready to be assembled.


From this  picture you can clearly see floked and not floked part of OTA and why floking is needed.





Finished Work on SPC900 Mod. Fitted in new housing with internal cooler. Looks smart and compact.








Made some development on OTA renovation. Primed tube, focuser base plate, finderscope tube.



Washed mirrors and put a How to clean telescope mirror article to use as a guide.






Renovation on my new scope has started. Done some good work on tube repair and fitted my new focuser with correct base plate.

Its covered in detail in:  SkyWatcher 250p Renovation project




Added article on: How to place Revelation Crayford Focuser on SkyWatcher 250P it may be usefull for thoese willing to attach Revelation focuser to their tubes without drilling tube itself and need to cover excesively large hole in OTA







Found a very nice deal on ebay and now I am owner of SkyWatcher Explorer 250p on EQ6 mount.

Had to sell my current setup to support new, but its an upgrade on mount and scope is really nice one as well.

As it was listed OTA was used. Hard time. It will require repainting. Some holes drilled in OTA need to be covered.

Focuser need to be changed. But optics are just perfect, collimation was spot on than scope arrived and it was much smoother to collimate this OTA comparing to 200p.


I have ordered Revelation two speed crayford focuser to place it on this OTA.

Now alot of work needs to be done on OTA, and it will be covered in My workshop

Comparing to my previous setup. OTA is much bigger. Mount is just rock solid and also visually much bigger than HEQ5.

Some pictures:









Made progress on Focuser project. Uploaded video of its operating and controled by simple Processing applicaton.


Also added video of my moded SPC900 webcam






Made big progress and now ready to reveal new product.

SPC900 LX+Amp Off



Will rehouse it to new housing to accomodate cooling fan for main sensor. Also need testing run to make sure everything works according to expectations.

But so far so good! Looks very promissing.






Finished work on adapter for my EQTooth. It allow to use this device on EQ6/NEQ6 (Synscan and Syntrek models) mounts. And look nice too!






Added Article section to site. First Article is this: Choosing your first telescope from amateur point of view
 
 

 
 
 
Last night I had a first go at DSO imaging, more like to test how HEQ5 was holding target and such. Images are ofcourse nothing to be proud of, but I am  still happy.

My setup was: SW200p on HEQ5, 2xStock SW Barlow, Canon 400d DSLR, Exposure 30 secs unguided. Images are one stack, adjusted abit in Photoshop.

So first was Ring Nebula M57



Second target was
Great Globular Cluster in Hercules M13



Last but not least is Andromeda Galaxy M31



I know it is nothing to compare with I mages you can see on web, but actualy these are more or less what you see if you look in eyepiece of your telescope. Something not so magnificient compare  to images from Huble.






Just realised I have never sad, I did upgraded mount from EQ5 to HEQ5. Though EQ5 was a very nice mount for visual observations with my 200p and I realy loved how it performed, I wanted to go for motorised mount and preferably more stable for imaging. So than chance came and one very nice person was selling his HEQ5 I went for it and now I am happy owner of this baby



My old trustworthy EQ5 went to a good hands, hope it will bring much joy to you BIll! Clear Skies!





Just had a small patch of clear skies and Jupiter popped out in window. Fast scope assembly and setup. And I had a magnificent view on Jupiter and its four moons. 
 
Three moons was clearly visible, and one was just near Jupiter itself but still visible. Magnificent view. I'm very much impressed. 
 
Sky was getting cloudy again, and on last few minutes I took some pictures. Was a fail attempt as I have not been prepared completely, but still its my first ever view of Jupiter and I wanted it to be preserved. 
 
So here is faint picture of Saturn with taken in prime focus x2 barlow and DSLR 1sec exposure. 
 



And here is 5 second exposure, redone in Photoshop heavily to show its 3 moons visible as small faint lines. It's a fail as photo, but to show it's moon I had no other choice so far.










Many updates on site. 

Added Products section, in there I will list products I offer for public.

Some progress been made in Workshop concerning Autofocuser project. Electronics nicely coming together now.


Added Contact Us section, so If Anyone wants to contact me regarding product enquiries or any other question, do drop me an email.





ScopeYard is pleased to present you its first product:
 
 



Flocked first part of my scope today. Used flocking self-adhesive material from local Hobbycraft shop. Very happy with results.

More information here: Flocking Newtonian telescope







Ordered and recieved from FLO T-Ring adapter to fit my Canon 400D camera to scope. PErfect service once again from FLO, thumbs up!

As for a product itself, it was very nice made and feels solid. PErfect fit to camera and scope.

Some pictures of it alone and fitted to scope directly and thought 2x Barlow.







Started new project in My Workshop tab  Autofocuser project  - Autofocuser based on Arduino board with encoder to servo mechanic.  More info inside.





Yesterday had a second go on a moon. It was almost full moon this time and observing it was hard even with Neutral Density filter. Though it did helped my eye alot :)

Took few pictures and tried to stack them in Registrax, the outcome is this:






Full moon in my taste is not best to observe, as it looks flat, no shadows from side light. still a nice plate to watch :)





Today was observing moon for first time, bad weather and bad possitioning of house was restricting me from viewing it earlier.

First impressions was very possitive. Had a good look at it through 10mm X-cel, lots of details seen in this magnification. using barlow gave more details, but was much harder to focus.

Very nice view also gave 30mm eyepiece. Moon was in full beauty.

Take a picture with my Canon 400D prime focus kinda.. I mean I taken off eyepiece from scope and lence from camera, and was holding it by hand to the focuser. I need T-ring!

here is my first ever astro photo :)

The First Moon!



I enjoyed it alot!





Today arrived Latitude adjustment bolts from Astrodevelopments. Perfect service. Perfect product.
 
Bolts look very professional, feel solid and long lasting.
 
 
Read bolt have very nice feature of handle lock and release, it very much helps operating this adjustment bolt.
 
 
 

 
Added My Workshop section to website. In there I will list DIY projects I make. May be some will find them usefull at some points.
 
 

 
 
Just had a breef session till clouds arrived.

Seen my first Saturn. Wow

Amazing look than you don't expect it. Scope performed really well, even though sky was still bit bright. I used Celestron X-cel 10mm and than Barlowed it x2 Without barlow it was crystal sharp. With barlow it was harder to get it in focus, but than I did, it was worth a million. It looked like this -> 
 
 
Slightly yellowish with shades on a rings and some shade on a Saturn from rings. 

 
 

 
 
As replacement latitude bolts are on the way, I had to remove old bent bolt from mount.
 
First I unbent screw alit bit, so I was able to unscrew it half way. Unscrewing it more could have damage thread on aluminium mount, so I decided to cut bolt in the middle using a fine file.
 
 
Steel is really soft, so after a little bit of effort, it went apart smoothly.
 
Using fine grip I have unscrewed bold from inside and safely removed it from mount.
 
 
No damage to mount thread or mount was present.
 
So all I need now is a new replacement bolts to arrive.
 
 

 
First Light!
 
Though I couldn't set my latitude right, I have done my first light observation this night. First it was cloudy, but closer to midnight it cleared out and I have been given a 3 hours of good clear sky.

My first impression is just great!


As I am only learning sky, navigating was kind of hard for me. Using finder scope was complete mess. And I believe I want to upgrade my setup with a red dot finder.

I tried to find some DSO's in Ursa Major, but failed. Somehow I couldn’t find nor whirlpool galaxy, nor anything else but I have split Mizar in two. It was relay nice to see how it went apart showing Alcor and Two closely located Mizar stars.

Just browsing the sky was a joy in itself, but later at night, than Andromeda came out from my rooftop. I had a great view on m31, great meaning a good big smudge with distinctive core and fudgy surroundings.

All in all it was a great first night. Sky definitely looked back in me!
 
 

 
 
Short daylight test
 
1 pic - Naked eye
2 pic - 10mm
3 pic - 10mm with 2x Barlow
 
 
 
 

 
And the day has come!
 
Today coming back from work I have found two big boxes in my living room.
 
 
 
 
Unpacking and setting up was intuitive, using instructions wasn't needed realy for basic asembly.
 
 
 
 
 
As I have bought previously used scope, I was worried a bit about condition. But as seller told it was used once, and it definitely looked this way.
 
Collimation was almost good than scope arrived, I recollimated it using Cheshire collimator.
 
 
 
 
One problem i found bit later trying to see if everything on a scope and mount was in order.
 
Damn latitude adjustment bolt was bent, and I mean BADLY bent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
I have contacted seller, and to best his regards, we agreed he will compensate me with a upgrade replacement bolts from Astrodevelopments
 
 
Now I need to find a safe solution to get a bent bolt out of a mount. Problem is it is screwed in almost completely, and it does not rotate.
 
Need some thinking done here.
 
 

 
Postage happy day for me :)
 
Received my Revelation package including Wide Field of view 2" monster eyepiece and two 1.25" filters.
 
Eye piece is Revelation Superview 30mm - 70 Degree field 5 Element 2"
 
First impression is... as usual... BIG. I noticed so far, all equipment I receive leave me with this impression, so take into account - how hard you try to imagine from pictures on websites, you will underestimate real sizes of your equipment :)
 
After I will learn more on observation and my liking of particular equipment, I will make more in-depth review on individual pieces.. so far they all to me big and shiny :)
 
 
 
First filter: Moon filter ND25 Neutral Density filter to reduce moon glow in dark sky
 
Second filter: Red filter No 25 Full Red colour filter A great filter for Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
 
 
Tomorrow THE package arrives!
 
Oh, and I uploaded and made a link on a right side going to Messier object list , there I will make notes of my observations, so you could see how objects appear to a new starter and see how I will develop. 
Now a wait for a scope itself...
 
 

 
 
Received a message today, my scope is ready for shipping and should arrive within next few days.
 
Here is some pictures of it packed and ready to be delivered.
 
 
 

  
Day was good for post packages, and I received a Philip's Planisphere. 11" monster :) Impressions are... Very well made, laminated, easy to use. Hope it will help me learn stars in incoming nights.
  
To accompany my first purchase I ordered Neutral Density moon filter and Celestron X-cel 10mm eyepiece to use on mid-high / high magnifications using it with and without Barlow lense.

 
 
Received a early gift for my B-day today. Collimating Eyepiece (Cheshire). First impression is also... Big and robust. Again compliments to FLO about timing and handling of orders.


 

Just received my new 10mm piece from post. All in time and perfectly supplied, best compliments to FLO.

First impression for a man who sees his first eyepieces... damn its more than I expected :) size and quality wise! Its big and looks soooooo good :)

I am really afraid now about sizes of big 2" Wide field of view eyepieces... they will hunt me in my dreams now :)


 


 
My first gear setup will be SkyWatcher Explorer 200p Telescope on EQ5 equatorial mount.
 
This is Newtonian telescope with focal length of 1000mm and aperture of 200mm. Quite a good scope for a beginner I must say, with big potential viewing capabilities.
 
It will look like this assembled:
  
Eyepiece will be from this model line:
 
 
  
 
 
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