Andys Astro home

By Andy Laing

Welcome to my online home

I have been interested in astronomy since I was 10 years old and have owned various telescopes starting with a 40mm refractor, then upgrading to a 50mm Tasco refractor. When I started my first job I purchased a 3.5 inch f5.6 mirror from Oldham optics and built the heaviest wooden telescope ever which gave surprisingly good views. Next I bought a 4 inch f8 reflector on an equatorial mount by Dalserf optics. Then the wilderness years from 20 to 33 when observing was mainly naked eye or binos. After my second child was born I found that prices were now a lot more reasonable and I bought the biggest I could afford, my 8 inch f5 Skywatcher on an EQ5 mount. Next I purchased a 4 inch f9 achromatic refractor which gave similar views to the 8 inch reflector. I swapped the refractor for a 127Mak which proved to be a little planet killer. I added a ST80 for guiding. Realising that aperture is king for planetary imaging I sold the 127 Mak. Upgrading to Synscan goto in April 2011 has made life so much easier. Next I moved up to a HEQ5 mount using EQMOD to control it. Starting with imaging I used my Nikon D40 but lack of software to control the camera resulted in the purchase of a Canon 300d which I modified then replaced with a 1000d which I also modded. I bought an Image source DMK21 mono camera which I regret selling now. One of my favourite cameras was my ATIK16Hr colour camera which was top quality however One shot colour has its limitations. I bought a better quality barlow to use with my 200p for planetary imaging. I now use a asi120mc camera for planetary imaging and an Starlight Xpress SXV-9H mono camera for deep sky objects. I currently own a Williams optics Megrez 72fd refractor and a Skywatcher 200p, 150p & ST80. The HEQ5 is now my observatory mount and I have a EQ6 for a portable mount. The EQ6 is used as my portable mount because it performs better than the HEQ5 when at my dark sky site where larger aperture is also more useable.