Paul Cooke's Setup
I had always been interested in the night sky but only got actively involved in 2011, when I received the SW130 as a gift.
My other interests include photography, DIY, programming and electronics and I have used all of these other pastimes to create low cost solutions to help achieve some of my goals in astrophotography.
My aim is to produce good results without having to spend vast sums of money on equipment.
I hope to post some of my projects on this web site in the near future.
If you have any queries about my homemade projects, please do not hesitate to email me.
My first scope. Skywatcher 130 reflector on an an EQ3 mount.
Single RA axis motor. Shown off by Paul Abel.
Great all round starter scope for visual observing.
My second purchase, when I decided to get involved in astrophotography...
Skywatcher ED80 Pro APO refractor on an EQ5 mount.
Shown here with a DSLR (Canon 300D), homemade guider consisting of webcam fitted to a finder scope with hand controller hack and homemade hub to allow remote control via laptop.
I had lots of success with the auto guiding but got frustrated with the lack of goto capability.
My current setup.
Scope and mount as before.
Rebuilt the hub to include an EQAstro controller to provide a low cost goto system using the free EQMod Ascom software and drivers via Cartes du Ciel star chart program.
This hub includes a 5V supply to power a seven port USB, 7.2V supply to provide power to the DSLR, voltmeter, connections for DEC and EQ motors.
This allows just two leads to the remote PC where I can control 'almost' eveything from a comfortable location upto 10M away.
This is all powered by a homemade power tank consisting of 85Ah 12V battery with outputs for laptop, hub, dewbands with built in controller and voltmeter / ammeter.
Finder guider modified for straight USB connectivity as with EQAstro I no longer need to hack the hand controller.
Hand Controller replaced with Joypad configured to control movement of scope, tracking, slew rates, parking etc...
I have also modded my DSLR by removing the IR blocking filter and mirror lock up.
Copyright © All Rights Reserved background image by Paul Cooke (Astrocookie)