• Welcome to Photography Forum. Our photography community!

    Photography-forum is dedicated to those who have passion, desire and love of photography and want to improve their photographic technique. It doesn't matter what you photograph, landscapes, weddings, portraits or your photographic experience, it's about learning and loving what we do. Photography!

    If you want learn and expand your photography skills then there is one place to do it Photography Forum !!!

    You are viewing photography-forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view most forums and enjoy other features. By joining our free community you will be able to post photographs for critique, join in the monthly photography competitions, respond to polls, upload content and enjoy many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please join Photography Forum.

    If you have any problems please contact us.

    The Photography-Forum Team
  • PLEASE SEE RULES BEFORE POSTING LINKS
    Click here to see Forum Rules

Andromeda

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
I've been wanting to do a bit of celestial photography for a while, but it's a costly game to get in to especially if it doesn't stick; so between the lockdowns and the curfews we're getting here I raided the basement and built a barn door mount out of stuff we've got down there. All in with the electronics side of it it works out at about 10€ in materials with about 3,50€ unrecoverable costs.

This is first stab at it from a south-west facing balcony, it's Andromeda, just shy of 1000 seconds exposure time at 180mm, drift aligned not polar as I can't get on to Polaris during darkness at the moment. There's a bit of uneven colouration in the bottom right corner where the mount tracked through the upstairs neighbour's washing line.

RSN_2666.jpg
 

rebel06

Taking it easy.
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
19,658
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Nicely done Sean, is this a single image or stacked?
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Nicely done Sean, is this a single image or stacked?
It's stacked up Paul, currently with the situation I can't get on to Polaris/NCP to align with, and also with being stuck on the balcony I'd not put it past my other half or one of the neighbours turning on the balcony lights to have a look what I'm up to and blowing the whole thing up.
 

Mike Singh

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
9,518
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Waw that cool for a DIY job!
 

rebel06

Taking it easy.
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
19,658
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
How many stacks and at what shutter length
 

Piquet

Old Hand
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Messages
995
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Nice shot
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Waw that cool for a DIY job!
Thanks Mike! It's still a work in progress, as whilst building the machine is one thing (there's a lot of tutorials on how to put one together, none of them cover the bit between that and actually getting it to a point to use) there's also the learning curve of the photography side. When I've got the niggles worked out, I'll probably end up rebuilding it out of metal (brother-in-law does bespoke stainless steel fabrication).

How many stacks and at what shutter length
22 frames (I did for 25 but three were obscured by the aforementioned washing line) at 45 seconds a pop, then 7 dark frames on top (would have been more but the battery died).
 

Mike Singh

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
9,518
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks Mike! It's still a work in progress, as whilst building the machine is one thing (there's a lot of tutorials on how to put one together, none of them cover the bit between that and actually getting it to a point to use) there's also the learning curve of the photography side. When I've got the niggles worked out, I'll probably end up rebuilding it out of metal (brother-in-law does bespoke stainless steel fabrication).



22 frames (I did for 25 but three were obscured by the aforementioned washing line) at 45 seconds a pop, then 7 dark frames on top (would have been more but the battery died).
Sean can you outline the principle of what you built?
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Sean can you outline the principle of what you built?
When I get in to the office in a bit, I'll draw it up; it's a very old principal of a barn door mount, calculated for metric components and uses a small controller to compensate for tangent error.
 

paulmag

Always on
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
57,699
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Nice one Sean and probably more interesting than the TV series
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Nice one Sean and probably more interesting than the TV series
Thanks Paul! Definitely more interesting than the TV at the moment, and sitting out on the balcony at night is a good way to relax after a day on the crazy train at the moment.
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,017
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Sean can you outline the principle of what you built?
Here you go Mike.

Basic construction is a barn door mount; the basic principal of construction is this : https://blarg.co.uk/astronomy/barn-door-tracker, and this site has a handy calculator on it to work out the correct length of distance between hinge centre and drive bolt centre (and one of the few that seem to take in to account sidereal time instead of how many hours on a watch) : https://blarg.co.uk/astronomy/barn-door-tracker-calculator

Wood on mine is 2 pieces of 50x20x300mm pine, as it what was kicking about on the floor of the local carpenters when I went past. It's a bit soft for this purpose I think, but it does the job.

Hinge wise, a lot of folk have said piano hinges, or butt hinges, however after trying a couple of different ones found in the basement with varying degrees of slop and internal binding (jumps), I used a 4" flush mount with bearings on them like this :

IMG_20201112_120107_596.jpg

For holding the bolt, one of these inset furniture studs (though this is for a 10mm bolt, as it's easier to photograph with the mobile than the 6mm ones!), and the bolt goes through that with a dome nut on the top and on the underside of the top arm I've put a piece of stainless steel (an old paint scraper on this) on top of which is a bit of smooth plastic for a bearing. I put that on not for an actual bearing but to distribute the pressure as a dome nut would soon punch holes in to pine.

IMG_20201112_120126_541.jpg

Basically that's it, the mounts for the unit and the camera, those are just arca-swiss rails that I had kicking about in the office, saves on trying to source a few 3/8" bolts and captive nuts around these parts.
IMG_20201112_123806_246.jpg

IMG_20201112_123817_461.jpg

That contraption with the wires, a stepper motor connected to a microcontroller, as whilst one of these is good for about 5 minutes normally rotating a drive at 1rpm, it'll start throwing errors at differing times (depends on focal length); so what I'm working on with this is to calculate each rotation based on the last. That's where the magic is going to be but still not finished yet; when I've got it all worked out I'll put a proper thing on my blog about it with things like circuit diagrams and the drive code.

The elastic bands are there just for holding tension (it wouldn't be a prototype without elastic bands or bodge tape!) or vibration dampening; when it comes to being built properly, I'll be using spring tensioners and a damper mount on the motor as whilst elastic bands and straps are cheap, they fail usually at the most inappropriate times.

And to fasten it on the tripod, it's a monopod head (that's the Sirui L10 on there, really should write a review on it sometime as that's the best 100€ I've spent in the last couple of years) and the rotator plate for doing pano stuff with. The L10 is controlling latitude adjustment, and the rotator is for north/south alignment.

When it's built fully, instead of just a few bits of wood with scribbles on them, it's going to be more like this as there's more room around the frame to move the camera around.
 
Last edited:

tenchy

Rain maker
Administrator
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
208,375
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
nice job and love the set up.
I have used fire hinges (bearings) for my tilt mast base I take up the mountain top.
 
Top