Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GSSP 2014 is coming

Making my shot plan!


To continue the success of the film work last fall at Calstar, I'm planning to bring some film to the event.  Last time, I brought rolls of Acros and E200.  I worked through two rolls of each for star fields with just one camera.  The sessions were grueling and required dedicated attention to the camera the whole night, much longer than I'd originally planned.

For this coming session, I'd like to split the effort over two camera bodies so that I can shoot different focal lengths at the same target with different emulsions.  The idea is that I could shoot Acros at 165mm and E200 at 200mm.  Or some other variation. 

Ideally, the digital target would be the clouds of Ophiuchus since it would be well placed.  Getting a whole night on that target would be great.  Another option would be to revisit the areas around Sadr.

What's important to this goal is to ensure that I can break the digital and film into two platforms.  At Calstar, I had significant issues with running the second platform for film, mostly because the Gemini 1 system didn't like the low voltage and polar aligning with the Mak was painful at best.

To be tested in the coming weeks:

Run Gemini 1 (on the GM8) at 12 V to see if it can track and perform OK. 

Run SV4 with mini-guider for autoguiding to see if it can track and perform with no flexure.  Advantage is that this will allow the SV70ED to be used with the Nexguide device for automated guiding for film.

Will need to confirm side by side setup for film that it works and is stable. 

All of these "works" and "track" and "perform" conditions require a night or more of testing.  Luckily, I can do some of this in the back yard. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pentax Flashes

Learning about old kit


Today I learned something new about some flashes that I've had in my collection.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Drift Tool Android Development

Spreadsheet Development

For some time, I've been using a spreadsheet I made to figure out if my polar alignment is good enough to prevent field rotation.  This was done as a part of the effort to beat flexure.  At the time, I didn't fully realize how much of the seen drift was due to field rotation vs differential flexure.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Whale of a time at MBOSP

So I went up to MB and braved the elements two nights in a row to test the backyard exercises.

The weather was clear and cold once the clouds blew away.  First night was strongly windy, but consistent wind without being too gusty.  It was also a dry wind and it was cold - low 40s F.  Second night was wetter, more dew, less wind and not as cold (50F) but the wind was aloft - seeing was bad.

Both nights afforded a good chance to test a few things: newly calibrated SSAG showed clear, dark background with lots of stars and few hot pixels, dew shield/hood did a good job of keeping stray light from the camera and dew off the optics, and power system kept everything running with good volts.