Aug 29

DIY Astronomy Step #3

Moving along… Just finished stabilizing the mount.

Now has a new base box to bolt it firmly to the tripod.


Also a new mounting plate for the telescope itself to position the center of gravity a little better, also drilled 4 positions for it so I can move it as needed depending on the weight of the camera attached etc.


The unit is now usable again! Next step is to motorize…

Aug 20

DIY- Astronomy!


I’ve been into astronomy for a long time now, having had a few different telescopes and binoculars. My current telescope is a Tasco Galaxsee reflector with a 4.5″ mirror, 114mm x 500mm focal length.
My problem with this telescope has always been the RA mount, being confusing and time consuming to setup and find anything useful. So since I also use a computer program to track stars, planets etc and starting to get into astrophotography using a webcam, I’ve been wanting a computerized ‘GOTO’ mount to hook up to my laptop for easier locating and tracking of objects, especially to go with the astrocam applications.

Now the easiest way to achieve this goal would be to purchase one, but since they’re all about $500 upwards and that I have limited funds, I figured I should make it a real hobby and build one.

The following are the current and planned steps, I’ll blog further as I progress to the final product.

Thanks and enjoy!


Step #1: The Design:

The Sketch

The Sketch

Step #2: The 1st Build (just the mechanics):AltAzMount1aAltAzMount2a

Step #3: The Stabilised Mount: TBA

Step #4: The Motors: TBA

Step #5: The Electronic Controller: TBA

Step #6: The Computer Interface: TBA

Step #7: The Final Product: TBA

Jan 27

Gallery Online!

Another new plugin installed for testing – Alex Rabe’s NextGen gallery.

Currently still in beta testing so I expect possible bugs but so far it looks really good.

Latest ‘stable’ version is 0.74 from the above link, however if you go to his main home page theres a download to the latest test version 0.80 which is what I’ve downloaded today.

Many configurable options, allows multiple Galleries which can be grouped into albums. Photos can be uploaded in zip files (great for multiples), entire folders (with compatible browsers) and single pictures. Supports highly configurable watermarks too! The gallery setup page can also generate nested Wp Pages for you! 😉

Individual pictures or galleries can be added to posts and pages with simple tags. eg…


Two sidebar widgets are included –

  • a random photo widget – shows any number of custom size thumbnails for selectable galleries or all.
  • a slide show widget – configurable size and options like selected galleries or all.

For more information have a look at the plugin site.

To look at my photos check out the Photos page.


Jan 21

New plugin

Just installed a new WordPress Plugin called Marekkis Watermark-Plugin.

This Plugin will help me to upload some photos and let me insert a watermark.

Just to test it here’s a new photo…

kitty.JPG OurLittle Kitty 🙂

The only little prob with this plug-in is that it needs you to modify one of the WordPress core files, however it’s fairly simple to do and the mod is explained on the websites installation page. I just have to remember it’s there when I do an update so that if I have to overwrite the file I re-modify it…

My next project for this blog is a gallery plug-in – looking at one now but will post it another time..

Till then, enjoy!