Deep Sky Imaging Kit

A new Vixen AP-SM mount has arrived as a grab and go platform. It will be used with my standard imaging setup:

  • William Optics GT81 Triplet Apo;
  • Canon 1000D DSLR, minus the standard IR filter but with an Astronomik CLS filter instead;
  • Kendrick DigiFire 10 Dew Heater.
Vixen AP-SM mount on a APP-TL130 tripod, with GT81
Vixen AP-SM mount on a APP-TL130 tripod, carrying a WO GT81 refractor.

Here are a few pictures of the AP:

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Vixen AP Micro USB
Vixen AP Micro USB

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Vixen AP on APP-TL130 Tripod
Vixen AP on APP-TL130 Tripod

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Vixen APP-TL130 Tripod
Vixen APP-TL130 Tripod

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Vixen AP Starbook One Autoguider Port
Vixen AP Starbook One Autoguider Port

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Vixen AP Counterweight
Vixen AP Counterweight

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Vixen AP Azimuth Adjustment Bolts
Vixen AP Azimuth Adjustment Bolts

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Vixen APP-TL130 Tripod
Vixen APP-TL130 Tripod

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Vixen AP Polar Axis
Vixen AP Polar Axis

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Vixen AP Hotshoe and Polar Scope Thread
Vixen AP Hotshoe and Polar Scope Thread

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Vixen AP Dovetail
Vixen AP Dovetail

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Vixen AP Dec Slow Motion
Vixen AP Dec Slow Motion

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Vixen AP Starbook One Red Light
Vixen AP Starbook One Red Light

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Vixen AP Starbook One
Vixen AP Starbook One

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Vixen AP-SM RA Motor
Vixen AP-SM RA Motor

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Vixen AP Battery Compartment
Vixen AP Battery Compartment

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Vixen AP Polar Scope
Vixen AP Polar Scope

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Vixen AP Polar Scope Reticle
Vixen AP Polar Scope Reticle

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Previously the deep sky shots were taken with Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro mount.

Here is that setup in the sunshine, waiting for the night:

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William Optics GT81 on a HEQ5 Pro mount

For a quick look at the night sky I have recently bought a Vixen Porta II mount, which allows me to be observing in a couple of minutes. I had some concerns that the aluminium tripod might be flimsy compared to the HEQ5’s steel legs, but in fact it gives the perfect balance of stability and portability, especially for a short-tube refractor.

Grab and Go GT81

The GT81 is a scope to admire during the daytime, or if the clouds roll in.

Some of the older pics used a WO Megrez 90 or Equinox 120ED; both great scopes now with new owners.

Here is the Megrez with our cat Sid. Normally he works the laptop.

Megrez 90 with Sid the Maine Coon


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The Night Sky above Somerset