Orion Ranch Observatory Website Guestbook

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33 entries.
Dave Dave from Stuart, Florida wrote on June 14, 2023 at 1:29 PM
Thanks for posting blog. As I look around, hope to find tidbits on optimizing my new CPC1100 HD for planet photography. It augments my trusty EQ mounted C8. No prior alt/az experience, undecided on purchase of a wedge, but having fun with the mount. Field rotation is manageable.

Primary concern is that the CPC tracking is not great at f/20 with small sensor planet camera in place, and no clear guidance on how to improve. CPC adjustment secrets? Skip the wedge and go straight to EQ mount? A fool's errand?

All the Best!
Dave Stokes
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Hi Dave,

Sorry for the delayed reply. At the end of the day, you'll probably be happier with a good equatorial mount if you're going to get into astrophotography, but then again, you'll probably do more imaging with a piggyback refractor to get the wide fields. I see you already have a C8 on an EQ mount, so the C11 will just increase your light capture. It would also make a great Fastar OTA, but I haven't made that jump yet either. (ALMOST did for a used system at a steal a month or so ago, but I really didn't need another project!)

However, planetary imaging is always a challenge, especially if you're trying to push the magnification beyond your seeing (which I always want to do!). For planetary, it's critical to have a high speed sampling rate (i.e. > 100 frames/second) so that you can capture thousands of frames quickly. Then field rotation won't matter. It's then up to your post processing software to find and stack the best frames from your frame collection of mostly garbage! =)

Hope that helps,

R Nichols R Nichols wrote on May 18, 2023 at 11:42 AM
Cool stuff Michael! Nice pics. And I agree....the travel & hassle to get to the last solar eclipse was worth it.
Steve kaiser Steve kaiser from Dallas wrote on May 4, 2023 at 12:26 PM
Hi Michael
Hope you’re getting the new house and pool finished off so you can get back to the fun Astronomy stuff. Im sure you’ve noticed the weather has been against us lately. I’ve managed a few days with my Lunt 60 mm but not much in evenings. I did get lucky and was able to stay at padre island long enough to see the latest star ship launch.wow. Take care
Michiels Michiels from rang du fliers wrote on March 31, 2023 at 4:43 AM
Nice site !
Nick G Nick G from Boyds, MD wrote on March 4, 2023 at 1:27 PM
got here from Cloudy Nights
Peter Nosal Peter Nosal from Zvolen, Slovakia wrote on February 3, 2023 at 10:10 PM
Hello, since my All Sky camera model was suffering from condensation inside the dome, I searched the web for inspiration. That's how I came across your website. I really like your concept of the new All Sky camera, I think it elegantly solves the previously mentioned moisture condensation. Thank you for sharing it. I think it is very useful for people like me. I would also like to ask if you still have 3D models of the parts, as I am not very skilled in 3D drawing.
Lawrence Wolnik Lawrence Wolnik from Safety Harbor wrote on January 7, 2023 at 9:13 PM
New to astronomy
Freddy Michiels Freddy Michiels from Rang du Fliers wrote on December 20, 2022 at 1:21 PM
Just visiting
Nik Wolnik Nik Wolnik from Safety Harbor Flirida wrote on November 24, 2022 at 11:17 AM
Just visiting
John Prudente John Prudente from THE VILLAGES wrote on October 4, 2022 at 1:15 PM
Clear skys!
Cheryl R. Radford Cheryl R. Radford from PIEDMONT MO wrote on August 9, 2022 at 12:38 PM
Thanks so much for the part for our dozer, couldn't get one anywhere.
Graham Lewis Graham Lewis from Auckland wrote on July 6, 2022 at 3:40 AM
Thanks all Im looking for A GPS replacement for my Nexstar 8" CPC
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Check out this thread on Cloudy Nights. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/567421-homebrew-celestron-compatible-gps/

If you can handle a soldering iron or find someone locally who can, you can do this pretty cheap. I'd offer to help, but I'm getting ready to move so don't have time to work on this sort of thing at the moment. Shipping to New Zealand would probably be prohibitive anyway.


Stanley Schlieper Stanley Schlieper from Surprise, AZ, USA wrote on April 7, 2022 at 6:24 PM
Received my Delta Leg Spreader today. I ordered it for one of my CG5 tripods and it fit perfectly. I knew that it would because I swap the spreaders of my Celestron SE, CG5, AVX, and CGEM mounts all the time. They all use the same spreader regardless of leg diameter. I was a little worried about it being strong enough to really tighten it down for the best mount stability, but it seems to be more than strong enough!

Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Glad it worked for you! They're surprisingly tough. Had one user actually break the casting on his mount from overtightening. That was a defect in the casting and would have happened with the stock spreader too, but still shows how tough they are! (And a good lesson not to over tighten!)
Jimmy Arakaki Jimmy Arakaki from Granite Bay wrote on March 25, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Just ordered a spreader for my Meade 884 tripod. It looks like it should work, and I like the design. Very well thought out- the leg clearance slots in the 2" ep holes is a nice touch. Hopefully I can leave this on the tripod at all times so I don't lose it like I did the original...
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Great. Hope it works for you.
michael christopher michael christopher from Leander wrote on February 5, 2022 at 10:18 PM
I bumped into another Orion project website. I am sure you know about it, but in case you don't:

Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Very cool! Thanks.
Kirk Kendrick Kirk Kendrick from Burnet wrote on August 17, 2021 at 8:07 PM
Nice job on the observatory! I was looking for a leg spreader for a scope I inherited. I just ordered one!

And, I was surprised to learn that I live about 10 miles north of you -- half way to Lampasas.
Greg Field Greg Field from Charleville wrote on July 11, 2021 at 12:48 AM
Looking at vertical assembly for CBC 1100
stephen Boyd stephen Boyd from Perth, Western Australia wrote on January 31, 2021 at 10:40 PM
finally found all sky camera that fits my needs. great site with a lot of great info
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Great! Glad you found it useful. Sadly I haven't had time to do any updates with AllSkEye, but what I have works fine for now.
Stephen Griffiths Stephen Griffiths from Winter Haven Florida wrote on January 2, 2021 at 9:13 AM
I have been hunting for a replacement spreader for quite some time, glad to find this site, ordered the Printed one to try out with my Meade Tripod.
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
Welcome! Glad you found it and hope you enjoy. Look forward to hearing how it works for you.
Halford Greenlee Halford Greenlee from Cocoa wrote on September 6, 2020 at 4:16 AM
Hi. I lost the tripod spreader for my CEM60, which appears to be the same as with the Celestron 1.5/2" tripods. Anybody have one not needed? Thanks.
Admin Reply by: Michael Foegelle
You might check on Cloudy Nights. I sell a 3D printed replacement that's improved over the Celestron leg spreader. https://blog.orionranchobservatory.com/product/delta-leg-spreader-for-celestron-1-5-tripods/