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My first M45 with my barn door tracker

Guest peepshow

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Guest peepshow

Recently I took my first attempt at a DSO using my newly built tracker.  There is still some work to be done on  it as the stars are not round.  (the camera arm needs stiffening)


This was taken before the sky was completely dark hence the bright image.

Taken with a cheap M42 thread 200mm Chinon lens on a Canon 450d.


Just a single 5 minute exposure and only a jpeg image.  Must get onto RAW soon.  :)


Then frigged around a lot with it in  FastStone and trimmed it.


I was very thrilled to see that some nebulosity had been captured although this image of M45 is poor by the big boy's standards.. :)

But a 5 minute exposure using a 200mm lens is not a too bad a start for my barn door tracker.







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The barn door tracker is working - just needs a tweak to eliminate a tiny bit of trailing - but otherwise a very good result for "first go". It can't be too far off if that's 5mins. Well done! :)


(Nice colours too btw)

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I think that this is very impressive, especially when you consider that the barn door tracker is completely homemade and designed and built by Richard himself.

No EQ6 with PEC and PA software :)

Five minutes is a long time, that is going to show up any small errors needing adjustment.

Well done :)

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Richard, you should post some new pics of your marvellous barn door tracker. I see the old pics from your previous construction posts have disappeared due to the forum update a while back.

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Guest peepshow

Thanks very much guys for encouraging remarks.  Much appreciated...........

.....just for that I will wish you all a very Merry Xmas and a cloudless new year. :D



Incidentally M45 was sighted using my little laser gizmo, placed on the end of the lens barrel.


Lens focus is also dodgy, which doesn't help star images. :)

I am planning to use either Backyard EOS to help here with focusing or

a video output from the x 10 live views of the 450d

into a small monitor used normally for car reversing.  We shall see. 


Pete requested another looksie of tracker so here it I with its the arms shown wide open.

  It needs a small mod to prevent star wobble as it were. 


The tracker  motor is a crystal controlled stepper motor running at exactly 1 RPM,

so adjustments are only mechanical.


For anyone planning to build one too ..............

PA was  initially done with a compass and a Wixey.


 Then a series of 30 second exposures were  taken every 10 minutes on stars.   These images were examined and animated in RotandStack to establish both  PA errors and tracking speed. 






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Looks good and is doing its job.


Even if the neighbours think you are bonkers and have no idea about building bird tables :D .


Innovation and ATM techniques at its best. :thumbsup:


Great stuff Richard :notworthy:

Edited by petersull
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