The equipment in use at my home in Portugal

Telescopes

  • 8" F/10 Meade LX200 SCT. This is the 'classical' (i.e. old) model. It has 'go-to' capability and remote focuser. I control it using the RS232 interface (made up from some telephone extension cable and a RS232-to-USB converter) and Cartes du Ciel software.
  • 4" F/5 Helios Refractor on tripod with unregulated RA drive. Nice clear focussing and quick to set up, but not good for tracking.
  • Olympus 8x40 binoculars for a "quick look".

Accessories

  • Eyepieces: Meade Super Plossl 6.4mm, 15mm, 26mm. Helios Plossl 6.3mm, 10mm, 25mm.
  • Celestron Ultima SV x2 Barlow. Helios x2 Barlow
  • Meade F/6.3 Focal Reducer.
  • Star diagonals (x2), flip mirror
  • Off Axis Guider
  • Motor focus for LX200
  • Various filters, extension tubes etc

Cameras

  • Starlight Express MX5-C 'one-shot-colour' camera. (Not currently in use due to its need for parallel port)
  • Toucam-Pro  and SPC900NC webcams normally driven with K3CCD software.
  • Canon EOS 1100D.
  • Meade DSI with Autostar Envisage software.

Computers

  • Dell Optiplex with i5 processor and 6Gb memory.
  • Packard Bell laptop. I can run the telescope control from this if need be or sit next to the scope and see images from the camera while focussing/slewing manually.
  • Wireless network connects the machines and provides broadband access.

Software

Software used for astronomy-related activities:

  • Cartes du Ciel - used to synch and control telescope movement & focus.
  • MaxIm DL - used for initial processing of FITS images.
  • Paint Shop Pro (PSPX4) used for final histogram, contrast, brightness, colour adjustment. Used for constructing mosaic images, sizing and labelling etc.
  • K3CCD used for camera control and video image capture with webcams.
  • RegiStax6 used for video frame selection, alignment, stacking and 'wavelet filter'. Also used sometimes to stack still images from the DSI.
  • Meade Autostar Envisage. Used to drive the DSI.
  • Astrometrica for analysis and measurement of images.
  • Find Orb for orbit calculations, residuals and clone production.
  • Solex 11 for high-accuracy orbit simulations.
  • This website has been produced with MS Front Page and uses Milonic menus.
  • The Orbit Simulation and Cosmic Theory animations are written in Java and maintained using NetBeans.

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Tony Evans 2004-2014

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