Gianluca Usai - Linear Mount

Location: Cagliari (Italy)
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Comment:
I am a particle physicist, but one of my favorite hobbies is astronomy at amateur level. I used so far three telescopes: Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain 200 mm f10 Televue 102 refractor 100 mm f8.6 Astrophysics EDF130 Starfire 130 mm f5.6 For 10 years my scopes were mounted on a computerized GP-DX mount on top of a Baader wooden tripod. Recently I acquired an Avalon Linear mount. The telescope I use most is the Astrophysics, which is a real piece of art and in my website you can find some of my pictures. I don’t find they are super high quality (considering that the scope is super high quality) and I think the reason is the following. Taking a good picture requires a lot of exposure time (I mean many many hours, not minutes) with an excellent tracking system first of all. Optics, at this level, is less important. If you have to dismount the scope every night then this is a problem because a single picture can require several nights (since I have also to sleep to work properly during the day). If the tracking system is not authomatic, this is another big problem. So, even with my equipment, taking a decent picture without an autoguide is a pain in the neck. For that reason in 2011 I acquired the Avalon Linear mount which has a much higher load capacity than the gp-dx and a very smooth tracking with zero backslash. The guide is now performed with a Starlight Express Lodestar coupled to a TS OAG9 offaxis guide. This is system is much lighter and more precise than the guidescope. It is insensitive to differential flexures – in particular with the C8 it is the only choice because of the primary mirror flop. First pictures are starting to come – but, still, getting good pictures is still quite some work.

 

Mount: Linear Fast Reverse
Telescope: Astrophysics EDF130 Starfire 130 mm f5.6
Camera/CCD: ATIK 383 monochrome
Autoguide: Lodestar + TS OAG9
Shot: 9 x 20 min. + Baader H alpha 6 nm
Location: Cagliari (Italy)
Go to the Picture link

gianluca-usai-ngc6888-1400-1100 Mount: Linear Fast Reverse
Telescope: Astrophysics EDF130 Starfire 130 mm f5.6
Camera/CCD: ATIK 383 monochrome
Autoguide: Lodestar + TS OAG9
Shot: 9 x 20 min. + Baader H alpha 6 nm
Location: Cagliari (Italy)
Go to the Picture link
gianluca-usai-sh2-115-1400-1100

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