Eclipse Kit

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MapleRidge
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Eclipse Kit

Post by MapleRidge »

Good day everyone...

I wanted to share my plans for the equipment I plan to take to Mexico for the Total Eclipse...25 days away and counting ;)

I am going to primarily focus on using the DSLR (Ha modded 60D) and using my new Sigma 150-600mm zoom lens to record the event. I have a 130mm Baader film front mount filter to sue for the partial phases and it is easy to remove when totality begins. I will be packing a tripod and a Sky Watcher Star Adventure to carry the camera/lens set and track the sun.

I set it up for the first time yesterday and found that its solar tracking rate worked quite well and carried the camera/lens very well despite only a very crude polar alignment. I think that running the lens at 400mm will provide sufficient room around the FOV to capture the corona at totality in the APS-C sensor in the camera. I used a similar focal length with a little 66mm William Optics scope in Nebraska for the 2017 eclipse and it seems to have worked well.

A few sample shots are shown below:
Sigma.jpg
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Sigma2.jpg
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Viewfinder.jpg
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PST.jpg
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I used the PST yesterday when getting setup, but don not plane to take it with me unless one of my travel companions wants to bring an additional tripod to use for the partial phases.

The full camera FOV is shown below and a crop of the solar disk in full resolution is also posted below it:
z-Full View.jpg
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zz-Crop.jpg
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So far I am happy with the setup...also have a new set of batteries for the camera (just in case ;) )

I have an option to run the camera with the laptop, though I don't think the battery will last the full session, though it may be handy to check focus (far easier than on the small camera viewfinder). That's an easy one as I only need to pack the USB came for the camera and Backyard EOS since the laptop is coming along anyway.

Brian


Brian Colville

Maple Ridge Observatory
Cambray, ON Canada

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/185395281@N08/albums

10'x15 Roll-off Roof Observatory
Takahashi EM400 Mount carrying:
C14 + Lunt 80ED
Deep Sky Work - ASI294MM Pro+EFW 7x36/Canon 60D (Ha mod), ONAG
Planetary Work - SBIG CFW10, ASI462MM

2.2m Diameter Dome
iOptron CEM70G Mount carrying:
Orion EON 130ED, f7 OTA for Day & Night Use
Ha Setup: Lunt LS80PT/LS75FHa/B1200Ha + Home Brew Lunt Double Stack/B1800Ha on the Orion OTA + Daystar Quantum
WL, G-Band & CaK Setup: Lunt Wedge & Lunt B1800CaK, Baader K-Line and Altair 2nm G-Band filter
ASI1600MM, ASI432MM, ASI294MM Pro, ASI174MM, ASI462MM
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by rsfoto »

Hi Brian,

In most resorts in Mexico they have power outlets, for the power brick of the Laptop, near the pools or resting areas so at arrival I would recommend to ask them where they are and get an extension cable from the hotel or some employee and reserve your observing spot.

Give them a Sun tour and you will see they do miracles... most of the times and some CAD $ too...


:bow2


regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14
San Luis Potosi Mexico

North 22° West 101°
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by MapleRidge »

Hi Rainer...

Thanks for the suggestion that there could be power at the resort...will keep an eye out for sources.

We will do a reconnaissance on the first day to find the best spots to setup...open area without interfering trees during the eclipse, preferably on grass, and if power is available that will be a bonus. I figured we could get a lot of help with a little $$$ placed in the right hands too ;)

My son stayed at the same resort over Xmas and I asked him to send me some photos of the layout so we could get an idea of what to expect, but all he sent me was pics form the beach. I thanked him for the eye candy but it wasn't what my main interest was :lol:

Brian


Brian Colville

Maple Ridge Observatory
Cambray, ON Canada

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/185395281@N08/albums

10'x15 Roll-off Roof Observatory
Takahashi EM400 Mount carrying:
C14 + Lunt 80ED
Deep Sky Work - ASI294MM Pro+EFW 7x36/Canon 60D (Ha mod), ONAG
Planetary Work - SBIG CFW10, ASI462MM

2.2m Diameter Dome
iOptron CEM70G Mount carrying:
Orion EON 130ED, f7 OTA for Day & Night Use
Ha Setup: Lunt LS80PT/LS75FHa/B1200Ha + Home Brew Lunt Double Stack/B1800Ha on the Orion OTA + Daystar Quantum
WL, G-Band & CaK Setup: Lunt Wedge & Lunt B1800CaK, Baader K-Line and Altair 2nm G-Band filter
ASI1600MM, ASI432MM, ASI294MM Pro, ASI174MM, ASI462MM
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by astroshot »

Good stuff Brian. Looks good.

One item that's on my mind is that from Dallas, totality will occur just past the meridian.
Az = 185deg at start of totality.
I think this may require a meridian flip of an equatorial mount.
So, I might just go with an alt-az setup.

Also, the Sun/Moon altitude is 64deg, so I need to make sure the camera will not hit the tripod legs when pointed up at that angle.

If I get the weather, I'll do some trials.
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by MapleRidge »

Thanks Michael and best of luck with your eclipse expedition :bow

Where we are the eclipse starts mid morning, so don't think the meridian flip will be an issue but I'll have to watch where the tripos legs are setup to avoid the camera hitting one :shock:

Brian


Brian Colville

Maple Ridge Observatory
Cambray, ON Canada

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/185395281@N08/albums

10'x15 Roll-off Roof Observatory
Takahashi EM400 Mount carrying:
C14 + Lunt 80ED
Deep Sky Work - ASI294MM Pro+EFW 7x36/Canon 60D (Ha mod), ONAG
Planetary Work - SBIG CFW10, ASI462MM

2.2m Diameter Dome
iOptron CEM70G Mount carrying:
Orion EON 130ED, f7 OTA for Day & Night Use
Ha Setup: Lunt LS80PT/LS75FHa/B1200Ha + Home Brew Lunt Double Stack/B1800Ha on the Orion OTA + Daystar Quantum
WL, G-Band & CaK Setup: Lunt Wedge & Lunt B1800CaK, Baader K-Line and Altair 2nm G-Band filter
ASI1600MM, ASI432MM, ASI294MM Pro, ASI174MM, ASI462MM
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by astroshot »

What day are you flying south Brian?
Hope the weather plays ball for all of us!
I'm arrive in to Dallas on Thur 4th.
Driving to Houston for 2 nights, and then back to Dallas on Sat 6th.


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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by rsfoto »

MapleRidge wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:07 pm Thanks Michael and best of luck with your eclipse expedition :bow

Where we are the eclipse starts mid morning, so don't think the meridian flip will be an issue but I'll have to watch where the tripos legs are setup to avoid the camera hitting one :shock:

Brian
Hi Brian,

When the eclipse finishes at 12:32 in Mazatlán the Sun position is ~6.5° past Meridian. Take notice that Mazatlán is -7 hours to UTC.

The timing is approx. as I do not know where exactly you will be as I took the center coordinates of Mazatlán City but the difference is for sure just seconds.

Brian_Mazatlan_20240408_1.JPG
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regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14
San Luis Potosi Mexico

North 22° West 101°
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by MapleRidge »

Thanks for the info Rainer. We are just north of the city of Mazatlan, roughly 20 miles north of the centre line but the difference will be minimal.

Michael, we are currently staying in Toronto (Monday night) and have a direct flight to Mazatlan or Tuesday morning. Travelling with two long time astronomy friends and spouses, so we have a late winter holiday prior to eclipse day and lots of time to ground truth the ideal spot to setup. Best wishes for success with your plans too. Ironic, we have rain/snow forecast for home at the time we fly out :lol:

Brian


Brian Colville

Maple Ridge Observatory
Cambray, ON Canada

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/185395281@N08/albums

10'x15 Roll-off Roof Observatory
Takahashi EM400 Mount carrying:
C14 + Lunt 80ED
Deep Sky Work - ASI294MM Pro+EFW 7x36/Canon 60D (Ha mod), ONAG
Planetary Work - SBIG CFW10, ASI462MM

2.2m Diameter Dome
iOptron CEM70G Mount carrying:
Orion EON 130ED, f7 OTA for Day & Night Use
Ha Setup: Lunt LS80PT/LS75FHa/B1200Ha + Home Brew Lunt Double Stack/B1800Ha on the Orion OTA + Daystar Quantum
WL, G-Band & CaK Setup: Lunt Wedge & Lunt B1800CaK, Baader K-Line and Altair 2nm G-Band filter
ASI1600MM, ASI432MM, ASI294MM Pro, ASI174MM, ASI462MM
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by astroshot »

MapleRidge wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:15 pm Thanks for the info Rainer. We are just north of the city of Mazatlan, roughly 20 miles north of the centre line but the difference will be minimal.

Michael, we are currently staying in Toronto (Monday night) and have a direct flight to Mazatlan or Tuesday morning. Travelling with two long time astronomy friends and spouses, so we have a late winter holiday prior to eclipse day and lots of time to ground truth the ideal spot to setup. Best wishes for success with your plans too. Ironic, we have rain/snow forecast for home at the time we fly out :lol:

Brian
The bigger irony I fear Brian is that NE USA /E Canada might have the clearest weather on eclipse day! Let’s see how it pans out, still time for the forecast to improve.


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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by astroshot »

Forecast changing all the time, improving over Texas.


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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by DanielBrousseau »

I live in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada and the weather is really promising here. The statistics are against us compare to Texas and Mazatlan.
Lot of visitors actually. My club is ready, we have 300 astronomers and relatives who reserved our place. As we say here: put a rosary on a clothesline !!!
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Re: Eclipse Kit

Post by MapleRidge »

Hi Michael...

Glad to hear you are expecting good conditions and that many eclipse chasers have taken up observing sites there too. Hope that it all turns out well.

Did you escape the snow that hit some parts of ontario and I hear Montreal had quite a bit too?

Brian


Brian Colville

Maple Ridge Observatory
Cambray, ON Canada

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/185395281@N08/albums

10'x15 Roll-off Roof Observatory
Takahashi EM400 Mount carrying:
C14 + Lunt 80ED
Deep Sky Work - ASI294MM Pro+EFW 7x36/Canon 60D (Ha mod), ONAG
Planetary Work - SBIG CFW10, ASI462MM

2.2m Diameter Dome
iOptron CEM70G Mount carrying:
Orion EON 130ED, f7 OTA for Day & Night Use
Ha Setup: Lunt LS80PT/LS75FHa/B1200Ha + Home Brew Lunt Double Stack/B1800Ha on the Orion OTA + Daystar Quantum
WL, G-Band & CaK Setup: Lunt Wedge & Lunt B1800CaK, Baader K-Line and Altair 2nm G-Band filter
ASI1600MM, ASI432MM, ASI294MM Pro, ASI174MM, ASI462MM
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