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Cassiopeia Observatory video tests

Posted: 4 October 2020

Saturday, 3 October 2020, had thin smoke in much of the sky from distant wildfires.


I went to the observatory early to do test videos using my iPad Pro 9.7" (LTE model) on the Yoassi Tripod Mount for iPad that I had purchased in August. I have been asked to participate in a future live Explore Alliance Global Star Party so I wanted to see how video would work out, both of me and the observatory and to show what my iPhone 11 Pro Max was "seeing" when mounted on the 12" telescope. Although observing conditions would not be ideal due to the smokey sky, I could at least do the tests.

Open: Saturday, 3 October 2020, 1719 MST
Temperature: 82°F
Session: 1530
Conditions: Smokey sky

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece
2" 5.5mm 100° eyepiece

iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPad Pro 9.7"

I initially set up the iPad Pro 9.7" on the observatory patio.


I recorded my first set of iPad videos.

I then relaxed on the observatory patio bench for awhile.

1806 MST: sunset. Dome OFF (onto the PZT). Did another short video.

1830 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

1831 MST: the western sky showed the smoke.


Viewed Jupiter and 3 moons, 102X and 443X. Viewed Saturn and 3 moons, 443X.

Relaxed on the bench waiting for the sky to get darker.

1956 MST: back inside the observatory. Did a StarLock Auto Drift Align. 1909 MST: Drift Align completed. No wedge adjustments were needed.

1914 MST: viewed Saturn, 443X.

Did more iPad videos.

1938 MST: Mars was visible above the hill to the east and the eastern sky was brightening from the rising waning gibbous Moon.

1943 MST: dome ON.

Viewed Mars, still low in the eastern sky, 102X.

1952 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Saturday, 3 October 2020, 2002 MST
Temperature: 75°F
Session Length: 2h 43m
Conditions: Clear (smoke)

So how did my video tests work out? Watch it and you'll see. I did discover one glitch after the recordings were made: although my AirPod Pro was connected to the iPad I neglected to set the Camera app to use that as the microphone. Oops. So the audio volume changes for each video segment. Be patient while the 8 minute video (358 MB) loads in a new window.

Click or tap on image to view video

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