My gear

Very basic by most standards, my entire kit with the exception of my DSLR camera is worth a bit over $AU1000.

By far the most expensive item I own is a Canon 400D DSLR camera purchased new for under $AU900, which also doubles as my work camera.  I have the 18-55mm kit lens, a Sigma 55-200mm lens purchased secondhand for $AU100, and a monster MTO 10.5/1100 mirror lens on sort of 'permanent loan'.  The latter only sees duty on lunar/solar eclipses really. 

The rest comprises a cheapo 4.5" Tasco reflector on motorised Alt/Az mount ($AU400), a 'home-made' 80mm achro refractor on a ricketty secondhand SkyWatcher EQ1 mount ($AU100 + $AU70), and a NexImage webcam ($126 new from the US).  Add to that a $AU40 Solar Film filter, $AU200 diffraction grating for doing star spectra (eventually!), a cheap Barlow and that's about it!  Thanks to the generosity of "Dannat" on the Oort Cloud forum, I also have an RA drive for the EQ1, but I have not used it a lot so far - it is temporarily out of order.

**NEWS**  I now have a 5" f9.4 achromatic refractor!  It was put together using a cheap 'no-name' objective cell from Surplus Shed in the US, and a Saxon tube & focuser donated by a friend.  All-up cost including red dot finder & tube rings was about $AU250!  Intend to use it mainly for visual work, but may also use it with a webcam.  First though, I need a solid mount for it...

This link will take you to the closest thing to my reflector I can find on the web.  Mine is the same (minus RVO), but is badged "Tasco".  The GOTO does not work!!!

114 x 900 reflector


Here's where I got the optics for my refractors.  Check "Objective lenses" (the cheap plastic focuser I bought for the 80mm is under "Telescopes"):

Surplus Shed


NexImage link.  This is a bottom-of-the-range astro webcam, but still does OK:

Celestron NexImage


Main imaging rig, 2010!
I have three basic gear combinations I use:

1.  Camera on tripod (or hand-held), for widefield conjunction shots, eclipses, Iridium satellite flares, full-disc Sun etc.

2. Webcam in 4.5" f8 reflector for solar system imaging - Sun, Moon and planets - plus obtaining star spectra.  The motorised focuser shown below no longer functions unfortunately.  The mount doesn't track, and I have to capture on the drift;


3. Canon 400D piggybacked on 80mm refractor on unmotorised EQ1, hand guiding using slo-mo knobs. 
The first method I used involved a webcam (NexImage) for guiding.  I used to brace myself on the stepladder for steadiness as I slooowwly turned the RA knob, keeping the guide star on the cursor on the lap-top monitor.  Painful, LOL, and 5 minutes was about the longest you could go unless you are double-jointed!  Camera was activated with wireless remote shutter control.  This set-up was used for deep sky, comets, novae etc.
Now I've ditched the webcam & laptop, and guide by looking through an illuminated reticle (with 2x Barlow), inserted in the 80mm scope.  Hand-guiding with slo-mo knob as before on unmotorised EQ1 mount.  I sit in a chair to look through the reticle, and just use the ladder above to brace my 'turning' arm!  I now also have a wired remote shutter control giving me more control.