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Losmandy Astrotrac Hybrid mount

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#1 griz11



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Posted 13 January 2015 - 11:17 PM

I wanted to do some AP with my DSLR. Looked at all the trackers and decided on the Losmandy StarLapse as the base for my rig. Didn't like the sturdiness of it on a regular video tripod so I modified the dovetail so it would fit on an Astro Trac wedge and pier. Now its nice and sturdy but still lightweight 22 lbs without the camera and lens. Didn't take long to figure out that I needed something to help me find the targets. Can't see them through the viewfinder and snapping pics and doing platesolves just took too long so I decided to go with a DSC setup. Problem is there is no encoder available for the camera mount (Dec) axis of the mount. But there is the shaft the camera saddle attaches too so I sourced an encoder wheel and sensor that would fit and put it all in a little aluminum box. Fits perfectly and looks like its part of the mount. Hooked that up to an Argo Navis. The StarLapse is upgradable to a full Gem with the addition of the Dec Axis. I have that one the way so I can do some narrow band and other things that require autoguiding. I'm setting that up now. Dual saddle with a mini Borg and guider on one side and the 7D2 and lens on the other. I would have come out cheaper had I bought a GM-8 and put encoders on it but this set-up is more versatile. I also like to do timelapse and the SL is an awesome motorized panning adapter with 16 speeds. Its been tracking great I've done up to 10 minute exposures unguided with it and gotten nice round stars. The Losmandy polar alignment scope is a 3 star and gets it very close. Its all worked out great and I'm having a ball with it. The 7D2 is a huge upgrade from the 7D for AP. Its very noise free compared to the 7DC. More sensitive in the red range as well. The first couple of images out of it blew me away. Even with my newbie processing skills they look really nice.







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DSLR Imager - Hill Country of Tx. Canon 7D -- Canon 7D MkII -- EF40mm F2.8 STM -- EF70-200 f4L USM -- EF400 f5.6L USM -- Tamron SP 70-300 f4-5.6 Di VC -- Losmandy StarLapse with Dec Module mounted on an Astrotrac wedge and Pier -- Argo Navis -- Astronomik clip in filters -- ADM saddle and dovetails