The Equatorial mount bolted to the new pier. Kevin, Lanna and Grandma Thompson. Circe and Lucky in the foreground. Grandma Thompson looks like she's from the "old country", it was really windy out, hence the scarf.
305mm F/4 newtonian with the 80mm Orion short tube refractor on top. The concrete pier consists of 1600 pounds of concrete and rebar. The steel part of the pier is a 8" steel box beam.
Great spot for an observatory!
Lanna and Grandma Thompson
New R.A motor and mechanical modifications. This is a zero-backlash drive. All of the reductions are accomplished with precision timing pulleys and a 11:1 friction roller drive.
Orion Nebula. Using the 80mm short tube refractor, ATIK 428EX ccd imager and H-alpha filter. Total integration time was around 10minutes. I was surprised at the decent imaging quality that came out of a small inexpensive refractor. Imaging in narrowband with the H-alpha filter eliminated chromatic aberration effects.
M51 with the 305mm Newtonian + Paracorr 2. Canon 1000D DSLR, approximately 10 minute integration time. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a cheap consumer grade DSLR, you can pick this same camera up on amazon for $200.
M42 with the 305mm Newtonian + Paracorr 2. Canon 1000D DSLR, approximately 10 minute integration time.