Author Archives: George C Lutch

About George C Lutch

I am an avid AstroPhotographer and Gearhead that loves to solve problems.

Galaxy Season is upon us.

This year I promised myself that I would get everything ready for Galaxy season and bypass the drama of trying to get everything together and working during prime AstroPhotography time.  I think I am mostly there.  My usual host of issues is back focus and the setup of the image train.  This is my Celestron OAG setup for the Celestron Edge HD 1100. So far it has worked out very well. One of the issues I came upon early was procedural.  I would get everything set up and forget to prefocus the two cameras, Main and guide before the evening imaging run and have to do that to get guiding functional.

Below are the images of my imaging train. In both from the telescope side back you will see the 2.2″ visual back adapter that came with the scope for use with the 1.25″ adapter. Next is the 1.5″ M48 Blue Fireball adapter sold by Agena Astro which connects to the m48 adapter on the OAG followed by the OAG itself then the M42 adapter.  I have a Baader filter slider followed by the ZWO ASI071MC Pro in the first image. In the second image it is the same all the way till the M42 OAG adapter then I have a 5mm  M42 spacer followed by the ZWO ASI1600GT Mono camera. Both these setups allow for the proper back focus of 147mm from the .7reducer to the camera sensor.  I also am able to focus both cameras which is as important as the back focus.

I hope this helps people who have a setup similar to mine. Clear and calm skies.

AstroGeorge

GoBox 3.2

I recently revisited my needs for powering and controlling my rig while doing Astrophotography. What I came up with is a 5 gallon Craftsman tote sold at Lowes home center with a 12v powerwerx power supply, an Anderson power poles distribution block, a Beelink i5 headless P.C. that runs on 12v, a 120v power strip for all the items that need the 120v ac power, a Starizona Microtouch focus controller all inside the tote.  On the outside I put 4 water resistant anderson power poles connectors, an rj12 port for the starizona microtouch controller cable to connect, a USB 3 powered 7 port hub and a male water resistant three pronged 120v ac power port. You will notice that I did not include a battery for running off grid and this is due to the fact that I do not go many places that I don’t have shore power and for those places I do need a battery I have an EGO Nexus power station which will run my system for multiple days before needing a recharge and for that I came up with a way to charge it via solar. Anyways below is a photo of the actual GoBox 3.2.  GoBox 3.2

GoBox 2.0

After I built the GoBox 1.0 and used it I figured out that I mainly used it connected to an AC power source. I also decided that I needed to downsize the unit to make it easier to transport and I also wanted more options for connections on the exterior of the box.  I think I succeeded in accomplishing both in my latest version of the GoBox, the 2.0 version. It has no internal battery but has a 30 amp AC to DC switching power supply, an Anderson Power Poles connector with 7 output connectors, a 7 port powered USB hub and an i3 based P.C with 256 gb SSD drive.  On the exterior of the unit I have six USB 3 connectors that allow me to connect it to my rig. I have even added a USB C powered monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse to allow me to visually control the unit without a laptop.  And since I use Voyager to control my rig I can use a tablet to manage my imaging session.

I use a product called Hotspot to allow my GoBox 2.0 to provision IP’s to my laptop or tablet so even though I am not at a site with WIFI I can work with my rig over a wifi connection.

I used a 5 gallon plastic tote to contain it all and I used a fan in the bottom of the tote to draw air into the tote.

As to the off the grid power I chose to use the EGO Nexus Power system to power everything as my mount uses the EGO battery packs for it’s power and the system will shortly have a solar charging option.

 

Go Box 1.0

So I had a bit of fun creating a power source that allows me to go off grid and also allows me to be on grid if available.  It inclueds the Epic PWRGate charger and power failover. A PWRcheck keeps tabs on the juice left in the battery and to power/charge it all a 30 amp fixed/adjustable power supply from PowerWerx or when the sun is up a 200 watt portable solar panel.  The battery is a 76.5 AH Li-ion battery I built from scratch.  The Go Box has my focus controller, a headless P.C., Powered USB hub and allows connectivity via ports in the rear of the box for USB, AC power and DC power for the mount and camera. I’ve attached a picture of the insides for your looking pleasure and will upload more photos once I get a chance to take them.