We created a Nutation Astronomy Calculator.
Since I was a little disappointed in the point-and-shot camera afocal configuration on the LightBridge, I remembered seeing that there were smartphone adapters. Orion Telescope had two types. I also found a blog post with reviews. This lead me to the HookUpz 2.0 IS-200 by Carson.
My first issue with the point-and-shoot configuration was the camera only had some many controls. Manual focus wasn’t an option. The adapter was flexible but too flexible. The images could only be viewed by removing the SD card. With a smartphone, HookUpz looked very easy to connect and disconnect. The smartphone camera would be very close to they eyepiece and the images would be synced via wireless to my computer.
So, I ordered a HookUpz to try it out.
I experimented with connecting a Canon T3i to an ETX-90EC. I purchase the necessary T-apdater for the ETX along with the T-mount for the Canon. The connections all went fine. I focused in the eyepiece and the flipped the mirror. I add to refocus for the camera. The first images were okay.
I looked up in the Canon manual how to get the Live View not to turn off too quickly. I then read the section on Live View and learned how to manually focus. It was much better once I learned how to zoom in on the Live View. The automatic focuser was great but still not sensitive enough. Later, I found out there are speed settings on the focuser so will have to try that.
Overall, the configuration worked fine and ready to test on astronomy objects.
The first step on astrophotography on the LightBridge was to attempt an afocal setup using a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS point-and-shot camera. After the counterweight issue was resolved, the next issue was to get the camera into position using the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount. The SteadyPix was completely adjustable but also made it more confusing to get everything to align but finally I did.
One problem was getting the image to look centered in the camera and also not have random spots displayed. I zoomed in a little and that fixed the issue.
Once the image looked good, I experimented with camera settings. I switched to the P mode manual option. I then set the ISO to either 1600 or 800. I changed the metering to “spot” but left it on Auto White Balance (AWB). I set it to the highest resolution JPG files. I turned off all flash settings. Lastly, I set the self-timer to 2 seconds to avoid any motion after clicking the shutter.
I took some test shots of an electrical pole in the distance. Overall, the images were fine though not as focused as looking through the eyepiece but the next step will be to try with astronomy objects.
Overall, the setup was fine but the SteadyPix was a little too complicated to get everything set. I had to remove the camera a number of times to remove the SD card to check the results on my computer. That wasn’t really the fault of the SteadyPix but made the overall configuration less than ideal.