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ScopeBoss tests, Revolution Imager tests,
D7200 DSOs, iPhone Planets

Posted: 31 May 2016

Open: Monday, 30 May 2016, 1813 MST
Temperature: 92°F
Session: 974
Conditions: Clear, breezy

Equipment Used:
12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
Wireless AutoStar II handset
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
1.25" 9mm eyepiece
2" 2X PowerMate
Moon Filter

Revolution Imager
D7200 DSLR
iPhone 6s Plus

1824 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, Wi-Fi ON. Did some tests of a new beta version of the iOS app ScopeBoss. 1847 MST: tests completed.

Began setting up the Revolution Imager for more tests with the 12" LX600 telescope. Viewed several objects using the Revolution Imager. 2115 MST: ended tests with the 12" LX600. Hope to complete my review later this week.

While I was working with the Imager, I terminated three Kissing Bugs.

Viewed M57 (Ring Nebula), 102X. Then began preparing for some Deep Sky Object (DSO) imaging using the D7200 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope.

Did a focus test image using the star Antares. Then took this 15 seconds, ISO 2500, White Balance 4000K, image of Omega Centauri:


2145 MST: moved the observatory dome onto the PZT. StarLock ON for some autoguiding tests. Slewed to NGC4631 (galaxy). This is a 5 minute, ISO 6400, WB 4000K guided image:


And M88 (galaxy), 2 minutes, ISO 12800, WB 4000K:


Some autoguiding errors are visible. I tried guiding rates of 10% and 75%, but the results were the same. Still need to do more tests to refine the StarLock settings. But there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed that is discussed at the end of this report.

2232 MST: ended DSO imaging. StarLock OFF.

2247 MST: viewed Mars, 542X + Moon Filter. Seeing was not great but the North Polar Cap (NPC) was visible during brief moments of good seeing. However, I began to suspect the telescope collimation. Did some imaging of Mars and then Saturn. This is a stack of 7326 slo-mo (240 fps, 30 seconds) video frames taken with the iPhone 6s Plus, afocal 542X + Moon Filter:

Mouseover or tap on image
Mouseover or tap on image for pointer to NPC

Saturn, 917 (30 seconds) video frames stacked, afocal 542X:


When I finished iPhone imaging I did a collimation check. It appeared from the Fresnel pattern I viewed that the collimation had slightly changed since being collimated just two nights previously. Not good. And there is another issue that I've noticed: the focus shifts significantly as the telescope is slewed. It could be that either the secondary mirror or the primary mirror has become a little loose. I will be contacting OPT (the dealer where I purchased the telescope) to see what remedies are available. The telescope is still under warranty from Meade. Stay tuned...

Close: Monday, 30 May 2016, 2355 MST
Temperature: 61°F
Session Length: 5h 42m
Conditions: Clear, calm

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