After a two-year absence, it was very exciting to return to the Hidden Hollow Star Party! It's a small star party up at the Warren Rupp Observatory hosted by the Richland Astronomical Society, south of Mansfield, OH. The weather is usually less than ideal, but it's only a two-hour trip for me, and it's a fun group of people at a nice summer camp location in the woods. One of the awesome things about Hidden Hollow is their enormous 36-inch Newtonian telescope, "Big Blue." It's a treat to look through between the clouds!
I mounted it on my Celestron AVX. Eventually I'd like to get it running on my Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer, but for this trip I wanted slew control, target centering, two-axis guiding, etc.
What is all on this rig:
- Rokinon 135mm f/2 lens
- Red box: ZWO EAF electronic focuser. It's attached to a belt and notched circle that come with the kit to focus the camera lens. It works really well actually.
- On top: Orion 50mm guide scope + ZWO ASI120MM-S guide camera, as well as a red dot finder
- On the other side: ZWO ASIair Pro
- On the back: ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera + Starlight Xpress 5-position 2-inch filter wheel. Inside the filter wheel is an Astronomik L Type 2c luminance filter, Astronomik CLS-CCD light pollution filter, and Optolong L-eXtreme dual-narrowband filter.
Part of my goal for the weekend was to try using the ASIair to control the rig (except for the filter wheel, which is not ZWO and therefore can't be controlled by it). Unfortunately, while everything connected to the ASIair when I was at home, neither of the cameras wanted to talk to it once I got out to Hidden Hollow. I had brought along one of my capture laptops (a 2012 Lenovo running Windows 10) just in case, so I used that instead.
Here it is all set up at Hidden Hollow:
Yes it's a bit of a cable mess, but since this isn't (yet) one of my standard rigs, I don't have a cable harness made for it yet.