My Astronomy


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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book


My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

Astronomy Blog Index
About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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Day 126 Saturday 26th July 2014 Perfect Pointing maintained

When the Paramount ME Mount was homed and slewed it went directly to the first target selected. The object was perfectly centred.

This is the advantage of having a mount that has an absolute mechanical reference position.

Pointing is with reference to that position so as long as the mount is not moved and that homed position is synchronised with the sky and linked to the T-Point model to account for the mechanical variations between "identical" mounts   it will give good pointing.

I note that telescope hosting companies will only accept mounts with absolute encoders as that is the only way they can be used as remote "robotic" mounts.

I believe the SkyWatcher EQ8 can be homed in a similar way bit would need to check that. This is an early preview.

Here is a review from a user positive and negative.

Meanwhile back with my Paramount - the pointing is maintained by the SkyX but my camera software is CCDSoft. I generated an Observing List of galaxies using the SkyX and converted this into an Orchestrate script to automate the pointing and imaging. When I tried to link the camera into Orchestrate it told me that I need a later build of the SkyX software to be able to connect the camera. I thought that I could use the SkyX pointing accuracy with CCDSoft intstead to control the camera -  unfortunately for some reason when I use the SkyX (as opposed to the Sky6) in collaboration with Orchestrate the naming system broke down so that images were being numbered but the object name was not included. Not much point in having a couple of hundred image files without names. I had to abandon the imaging. I could have used the Sky6 but would then have lost the accurate pointing.