EEA?

Am I going to get involved in EEA? (Electronically Assisted Astronomy) I think I am already so might as well see where it goes.

The trigger was the amazing images I was getting from my eFinder with just a 1 second exposure. Here’s M13.

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The eFinder will only be used when I have the 18” set up, and so I could usefully use it almost any time.

I had also realised that the top of my conservatory roof was a good mounting point. My All SKy Camera is up there and It can see most of the sky, especially to the south.

Enter my new toy. A Skywatcher Az-GTi. I knew they can be upgraded to work in EQ mode and it would certainly be able to carry the eFinder scope and camera. The first one delivered had a dodgy RA drive, the second had lots of Dec backlash but that was fixable. In taking it apart to adjust the backlash I was impressed with the internal design and build quality. Good value for money I think.

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Here it is in my workshop getting ready to go on the roof. It works seemlessly with Kstars, including plate-solving and goto refinement. Its connected to the Pi via wifi, but I’ve also got an EQDIR cable which works nicely.

I’ve discovered PiSynScan which is a fully functional Python module that allows direct control of the mount.

© AstroKeith 2021