| I got out the B. Park and was able to take some pics with the 16" Jones-Bird telescope in late October (10/17/2010). I am posting some of the pictures and what I learned about the scope. || I am not posting any of the 5x barlow ones today. The conditions that night were not great as clouds were forming and drifting past the moon. While I had a few good individual frames, any attempts at stacking haven't worked well (yet). The ones posted here were taken using a 1.25" Celestron 2x Ultima barlow and my T1i Canon camera. Most were between 600-900 frames with the top 33% used (as measured by AVIstack.)|
| Benefits: It is hard to list all the benefits of the scope. It is very manageable in size for a 16". No ladders or stuff like you see on most 16". It is there and ready to go any time. The optics are very good, and so it is a great performer.|
The new focuser is a great improvement over the old focuser and the dual speed is great. This scope can sure get down into the craters!! On what was a mediocre night with clouds forming and crossing the moon it got some wonderful pics.
Overall, this is a great setup to use!!
| Arzachel & Alpetragius|
| Concerns: The new focuser requires a rather unusual set up to take moon pics. The 2" tube does not come to focus with the T1i. My 2x 2" Powermate and my 1.7x 2" barlow did not come to focus either. The adapter to 1.25" allows one to get in closer than the 2" and so my 2.5x barlow and 5x powermate do come to focus. While that works, there is a set screw in the adapter that is depressed that holds the barlow or camera that is more difficult to use than the normal hand one as you have to keep the little wrench handy if you wish to change barlows or cameras. Not a major deal, but one does have to pay attention to that little wrench. I guess I am a bit neurotic as I kept worrying about whether that little screw was tight enough, or whether my barlow & camera were going succumb to gravity. They did not, so all was okay.|
The guiding system is kind of neat. As I understand it,the skycommander XP4 gives it the current RA & DEC and the guider holds those constant. Unfortunately the instructions for the XP4 don't seem to have heard of the moon. Since the moon goes eastward its own diameter each hour, there is a built in drift when looking at the moon. It is minor, but when you put the power to the camera (2x barlow or above) it is noticeable. I tried the 5x barlow and found it was difficult to get more than a couple of hundred frames while keeping a feature in view. With the 2x barlow I could get 600-900 frames before the drift became excessive (at 20fps). I normally take 1200-1600 frames so this seems a bit short. I would like to figure out a way to get the beast to track the moon a bit better. This might be a case where the IS 640x480 camera could be great. At its rated 60 fps, it could get 1800 frames in the same time I was getting 600. Since I felt I could push more detail out of these image, but they became noisy, more images would have meant less noise.
| Longomontanus|| Bullialdus|
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