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LX200 CCD Imaging

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CCD Imaging and the 10" LX200 f6.3 Telescope

6/14/01

 I thought the 10" would be a nice compromise between the 8" SCT that I was using for imaging and my 12.5" Astrosystems Dob. The best part would be that I could actually image with a bigger scope not to mention the GOTO ability which I thought would make Imaging easier. After reading a lot of posts on SAA and looking over MAPUG I went out and bought the thing. I got sucked into believing that I could actually take good pictures using the Meade field derotator. After spend 5 night trying to get the thing to work (I ended up being able to get 100 second images at 2x2 binning but that was about it). Thank God the nice people at Woodland Hills Camera allowed me to swap my derotator for the super wedge. What an immediate change! After only 2 nights getting used to polar aligning (using the iterative method) I can now consistently get nice round stars 1x1 binning for 200 seconds. I am thinking I should easily get up to 300 seconds no problem. Now if I can figure out how to get this thing focused correctly I'll be in great shape! For those of you wondering about the 10" LX200 it is a very nice scope! The optics are wonderful! Not quite as good as my Dob but close. It is a big scope! If you are used to an 8" its twice the size. Mounting this sucker on the super wedge is a chore! But well worth the effort! You can't beat the price either for what you get! It's very cool to be able to point and shoot without getting out of your seat! The GOTO works very well and is fun to use. You still can unlock the dec and alt bearing and cruise by hand for those nice warm calm nights observing. So far I really love it! The following are some of my first efforts.

7/25/01

After working with this scope and the super wedge for about 2 weeks now I can honestly say that I really do love this thing!  By using the iterative method of polar alignment I can get pretty solid 3 minute unguided images with a 15 minute setup time.  Not bad considering I am setting this sucker up from scratch each time!  I have noticed that it seems to track better in some parts of the sky than others.  I believe this is a balancing issue that I will address in the coming weeks.  My images are slowly getting better!  I am also more impressed with the optics everyday!  We took it up to Mt. Pinos and compared it against a German 7" f7 doublet refractor.  My 10" held its own very well!  Not to mention the vast size difference!  Anyways, here is a list of my equipment as it stands now:

LX200 10" f6.3 w/ Telrad Finder                                                Meade Super Wedge                                                              Meade Field Tripod                                                                 Meade Electronic Focuser                                                        Bob's Knobs for Collimation                                                    Meade 6.3 Focal Reducer                                                        Televue 2" Visual Back

SBIG ST7E w/ 2" Nose Adapter                                                SBIG CFW8 (old Filters) & 2" IR Blocking Filter                             Hutech 2" CCD Sky Glow Filter                                                   IBM 770 Thinkpad                                                                  Maxim DL/CCD v2.0 Software

 

 

Sample Images taken from my backyard in suburban Los Angeles Ca.  Click on a thumb to get a bigger image.

M27 Dumbbell Nebula   1x1 F4 15mL+2mR+2mG+2mB

M17 Swan Nebula          1x1 F4 15mL

NGC4565 Galaxy          2x2 F4 20mL

M20 Trifid Nebula         1x1 F4 20mL

M16 Eagle Nebula        1x1 F4 15mL

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy  1x1 F4 20mL

M13 Great Hercules Cluster 1x1 F4 5mL