- LO Flatfield
- GPDX Goto
- 20cm Newton
- 32cm cassegrain
- Cooling a
- Flip mirror
- Modified Canon DSLR
- DSLR shutter
- Signal Noise Ratio
MY ASTRO CLUB
Hello Starfriends, i am Antoon Maeseele, I was born in 1947. I am a retired electronics technician.
I live in Belgium. My coordinates are 50° 59' 48" North and 3° 06' 27" East.
Since my youth my attention was strongly captured by astronomy. Until today I've build a lot of telescopes. At least i called some of them, telescopes. When I was ten years old, my first scope was made with a simple lens from a pair of spectacles. The eyepiece came from a toy microscope. The tube was made of toiletpaper cardboardrolls. With that 'telescope' I saw mooncraters, sunspots and even some doublestars. The images were full of colorshift, but I didn't care at that time. I was a happy boy, until I pointed the scope at the Orion nebula. What a disappointment ! Only a few stars to see, and no sign of the nebula itself. It was obvious, I needed more light. So the quest for a better and greater lens began. In the early sixties it was not easy to find better optics. There was simply almost nothing to find. The optic shops in the city could offer some complete telescopes, but the price was way too high for me. At a certain moment I managed to obtain a 5cm achromatic lens from an old projector, and a few days later my second telescope was a fact. The images were remarkebly better. Almost no colorshifting anymore and a reasonable sharp image. What could I wish more ? Well, I still wished more light because the Orion nebula was still almost invisible, and I was obsessed by the pretty pictures in the astronomy books I devoured at that time. A few years later I met a couple of enthusiastic astronomy amateurs who were about my age, We started an astro-club called 'Orion', an from then on, aperture lurked. We learned how to grind our own mirrors. I tried this a couple of times with changing success. But the most important thing was, that more and more astronomy stuff came in the reach of the amateur. After grinding a few mirrors, I was not satisfied with the result. So I decided to buy a factory-made 15cm f/8 mirror. That was the start of my first 'big' telescope. I made a heavy metal equatorial mount, and finally some deepsky objects came within reach, I could even fotograph the mooncraters and the sunspots, watched a Mars eclips etc.
Years went by, and my astronomy ambitions had their ups and downs. But there was one dream I still wanted to realize. that was the possession of my own observatory. And now after so many years this dream became a reality.
On this website You can read how I've build my own observatory. You can read also how I've build a 20 cm newton telescope, a 12.5 inch cassegrain, a 245cookbook camera, how to change a Vixen GPDX into a goto....etc.... Besides that you can read about home-made small systems and improvements, who make the life of an amateur astronomer easy and more enjoyable without spending tons of euro's. For example, with a modified Canon DSLR camera one can now take astronomy pictures, who are comparable with those who were taken by professional astronomers some 10 or 15 years ago. As the saying goes 'The sky is the limit', that is certainly the case if you have a CCD under your belt. Fifteen to twenty years ago some amateur astronomers made an annual trip to southern France with a car fully loaded with telescopes, mounts and cameras. They exposed hours and hours on gas-treated film, to get some nice deep-sky pictures. Those days are long gone. Despite this, some die-hards are still making the trip, trying to get the best of the best. They are now equipped with top-quality CCD cameras and hi-tech mounts. And when their work in the field is done, they spend hours and hours behind the pc-screen to process and improve the images. And of course the results are there. The pictures of these guys are mostly really amazing. So, I certainly do not pretend to compare my pictures with theirs. The other side of the coin is the price of all those 'toys'. Maybe the saying must change in 'Your budget is the limit'. And that counts for me. I prefer to build my own equipment at a reasonable price. That gives me a great satisfaction, and I hope there are a lot of amateurs who feel like me.