Current Telescopes

CA300

The acronym CA300 stands for carbon astrograph 300mm. It is a homemade Newton telescope dedicated for astrophotography.
Initially it was built to operate with my full-frame SBIG-STL11k and a 3″ Wynne Corrector. On an old Vixen Atlux mount, it was a mobile scope. Finally the scope has been retired and after some years it came back with the purchase of a Skywacher EQ8 mount which now resides in my backyard.

NameCA300
TypNewton
Aperture300mm
Diagonal Mirror120mm (40%)
Focal lenght1200mm (F/4)
MirrorOrion UK Ultra Grade
Strehl = 0.993
CorrectorASA 3KORRW 3″ Wynne Corrector 0.95x,
Lacerta GPU
OAZJMI 3″
FocuserDIY ASCOM Focuser Pro v1
TubeCarbon sandwich, homemade. Mount without tube rings
Thermal control8 Point diagonal heater 2W, 3 Fans 50mm
Weight17,5kg

Backyard Astrophotography Software-Hardware Chart

Software- and Hardware Stack

BA200

It is an extremly fast Newton telescope, optimized for photographic use. BA200 is a acronym for “Boren-Simon Astrograph 200mm”, because it has the same optical system design as the famos commercial 8″ Boren-Simon Newton. The primary goal was to built a scope for narrowband imaging. My dream was to finish an object per night. The telescope is normally used with my Moravian G2-8300 CCD camera. First light was in June 2012 shooting M13.
After initial difficulties this scope has been a great success. At this point I have decided to let it imaging unattended in my garden. During the night, temperature drift was not a problem, but filter change required refocusing and I had to get up from bed. A motorfocus and autofocus stands on my wishlist. I tried Robert Browns myFocuserPro and this was the begin of a great DIY success story. Today, all of my three photographic newton telescopes have this motorfocus. Robert Browns design and software works stable and reliable and it is very well documentated.

Primary MirrorGSO 200mm f/4
Secondary MirrorOrion UK 75mm diagonal
FocuserFeather Touch FTF2008BCR
ReducerASA 2″Korr 0,73x
Messured focal length with corrector618mm (f/2.9)
Carbon Sandwich TubeKlaus Helmerichs
Faserverbundbauteile
MotorfocusRobert Brown: myFocuserPro v1
Misc.Integrated secondary mirror heater
low profile vixen style rail, no tube rings

Takahashi Epsilon 160

The new Takahashi Epsilon 160-ED

Optical DesignHyperbolic Newtonian
Aperture160mm
Diagonal Mirror63mm
Focal length530mm
Focal ratio1:3.3
Corrector2 Lens, one ED

With a f/3.3 scope focus is always critical, therefore a motor focus is necessary. As with all my telescopes I use Robert Browns DIY focuser, here in version myFocuserPro II.
Takahashi sells tube rings seperately, so I decided to design and print my own with a my 3D printer. This was quite challenging, because my Prusa i3 MK3S+ has a print zone of 25x21cm. I used Prusament PETG Galaxy Black filament, a very nice color. Printed with five contours and 0.2mm layer height and a adaptive cubic infill. A small 6x2cm pocket at the bottom houses a aluminium profile with two M6 threads. The printer stops at a certain layer so I could hide this profile. Slightly painted with a glue stick it will overprinted well. This aluminum profile makes a good mechanical connection to my 3″ Losmandy style rail.
Other 3D-printed things are the motor brackets and the electronic housing which provides power connectors, motorfocus board and space for a small USB3.0 hub.

Skywatcher Esprit 100

The Skywatcher Esprit 100 is a triplet apo suitable for full frame cameras. It came with a complete package: finderscope, tube rings, all adapters for photography like an M48 adapter, Canon M48 ring and a special designed field flattner. Unlike the FSQ106 the temperature drift nearly close to none. The first light was in May 2014 imaging the antares region. Many images made with this scope are in my STL11000 gallery. In October 2019 a myFocuserPro1 was added to the scope. I sold my SBIG 11k in 2021.
My new ASI6200 CMOS is a great successor of the SBIG.


Camera History

1988 – 2004 Revue ML SLR
2002 – 2003 Audine CCD
2004 – 2007 Canon EOS300D
2008 – 2018 SBIG STL11000M C2
2006 – 2012 Canon EOS20Da
2011 – 2020 Moravian G2-8300
2013 – now Canon EOS 6D
2014 – 2017 Canon EOS600D
2017 – 2019 ZWO ASI1600
2018 – now ZWO ASI183
2020 – now ZWO ASI2600
2021 – now ZWO ASI6200
2022 – now Sony Alpha 7iii (ILCE-7M3)

Revue ML

The Revue ML was my first camera at all. This 35mm SLR Camera originally produced by Kombinat VEB Pentacon in Dresden as Praktica MTL5b.

35mm Film

Kodak Technical PAN 2415hyp

Color Positive Film

Audine CCD

During an astro vacation in the summer of 2001, Jürgen Lamprecht, Stefan Haas and I decided to replicate the Audine camera. A little later Rainer Gröbel and Norman Schmitt joined our team. In total we built six Audine cameras. Five with KAF400E and one with KAF1602E. Many features of the original Audine design were changed.

Audine CCD Homemade

Kodak KAF400

M22

SBIG STL11000M C2

SBIG STL11000M C2 full frame interline CCD camera. I never wanted such a big thing, but there was a good chance to purchase a used one in June 2008. Camera sold in 2021

Moravian G2-8300

Moravian Instruments G2-8300, EFW-2S-10, Moravian OAG, QHY Guidecam. Photo made at Kiripotiop Namibia
Camera sold in 2021.

ZWO ASI183 MM

ZWO ASI183MM with EFW7, TS 9mm Off-Axis Guider, GPU coma corrector. Filterwheel has 36mm Baader filters (LRGB,Ha, SII, OIII)

ZWO ASI2600MC

ZWO ASI2600

ZWO ASI2600MC Pro adapted to a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2,8 L IS II USM Lens and a belt driven myFocuserPro1 motorfocus

ZWO ASI6200MM

ZWO ASI6200MM with ZWO EWF7 and ZWO M68 Off-Axis Guider. QHY Guiding Camera shown left was replaces with a ZWO ASI120mini. Filterwheel has 50mm unmouted Baader LRGB Filters and Baader CMOS optimized Filters for Ha, SII, OIII

Spacewalk Infinity 16″ Dobson

Spacewalk Infinity NL 16″ Dobson for visual use. I bought this wonderful scope from Spacewalk Teleskopes

Rocker Box

Primary Mirror400mm (16″)
Focal Lenght1700mm (f/4.3)
Primary Mirror Weight6.3kg
Secondary88mm
OAZMoonlite 2″
Eyepieces
Meade 4000 40mm43x
ES 17mm LER100x
Meade 4000 UW 8.8mm193x
TeleVue Nagler 7mm243x
ES 5.5mm309x

Special purpose telescopes

Lunt Ls60T Ha B1200 CPT

Pentax 75

TMB 115/805mm
TMB Refractor is mainly used for solar observing and the moon

Celestron C9.25
a special scope for moon and planets