Backlit Photo Frames

For many years Wa-chur-ed Observatory has offered Backlit prints of original astro-photography in various sizes. These have always proven to be wildly popular and this did not go unnoticed by other astro-photographers, who requested that I make backlit prints of their images. But the stunning appearance of backlit images is not limited to astro-photography, so I am pleased to now offer these backlit frames and prints to everyone – for any image you want; your favorite nature photo, family portrait, even your own astro-photo! Why Backlit? Images printed on paper can never have a contrast ratio of more than 100:1, […]

Sectional Prints

The problem with large prints is that framing them is expensive, but without framing they are very difficult to manage; they tend to curl and get covered with fingerprints when you try to straighten them.  From my perspective, they are also a problem for shipping, whether framed or not. Sectional prints solve this problem by breaking the image into 20 x 20cm sections, printing them on heavy, washable, synthetic paper, and connecting the sections with plastic “snaps”.  The assembled print is easily hung on a wall, without framing.  And the whole kit ships in a small, flat box.  The look […]

Permanent Focus

The PerfectStar controller has always had a “shutdown” feature that stores the current position in non-volatile memory so that there is no need to set the zero position the next time you use it.  Furthermore, the shutdown feature is invoked automatically when an ASCOM-connected application disconnects from the controller.  Building on this feature, Permanent Focus (available in firmware version 5.2) also remembers the last established reference position and temperature (the “reference point”) for temperature compensation (TC).  To use the Permanent Focus feature, simply enable TC before executing the shutdown/disconnect.  When the controller is next powered up (or if the shutdown/lock […]

Astro-Photo Prints/Images/Calendars

Calendars:  The 2017 “Night Visions” calendar is now available.  As in past years, it has 13 images (including the cover), each 9″ x 12″.  It includes a sky chart on the back cover showing where each object is located.  The calendar includes all the major astronomical events happening in 2017.  A new feature for this year is that the events are marked to indicate whether they are visible (in most cases this applies only to North America).  Inserted into each calendar are 2 separate sheets containing additional information on the calendar and astro-photography in general.  A 3rd insert provides useful […]

Astro-Flash USB Drive

Astro-Flash is a USB flash drive (available in capacities of 8 to 32GB) that is pre-loaded with more than 45 high resolution astro-photos from Wa-chur-ed Observatory. Each image is optimized for screen display in 8 different sizes, four wide-screen and four traditional. These images can be used as computer desktop wallpaper and/or screen saver.  Astro-Flash can also be plugged into a Smart TV for a big-screen celestial slide show, or you can transfer the images to a cell phone or tablet so you always have them with you. NEW FEATURE Astro-Flash now includes a special viewer program for Windows-based computers.  […]

Hotech SCA (Self-Centering Adapter)

Almost every customer for our MRT adapter has asked, “This is great, but how do I attach it to my telescope?”  The answer has always been that a direct threaded connection is best, but since most telescopes don’t have T-threads, the next best solution (and one that is far more universal) is the SCA made by Hotech.  So to make it even easier for you, we have arranged to be able to offer you this brilliant product. The SCA is like a standard 2” nosepiece-to-T-thread adapter, except that instead of using one or two thumbscrews to secure the adapter (leaving […]

MRT (Mister T) T Mount Adapter

Astro-photography with a DSLR camera is a great way to go for high quality images with minimal expense and headache, but the traditional T mount adapter was never intended for this application and leaves much to be desired.  MRT solves the problem. First, MRT has 3 set screws that tighten against the lens flange of your camera to dramatically improve the rigidity of the connection between camera and telescope.  The set screws have nylon tips, so they won’t mar the finish on your camera. As if that wasn’t enough, MRT also provides a much better camera rotation capability.  Standard T […]

PerfectTemp Temperature Sensor

Temperature compensation is a great feature of the PerfectStar focus controllers (excluding PerfectStarLite), but to perform to its full potential the sensor must read the temperature of the telescope accurately and not be influenced by the surrounding air, since they will change at very different rates.  That is, the sensor must be thermally coupled to the telescope tube and insulated from the air. This can be done with the standard sensor, but requires some planning an effort on the part of the user.  PerfectTemp makes it much easier:  Just place the sensor block face down on the telescope tube, secure […]

PerfectStar Focus Motor for SCT

The PerfectStar Focus Motor for SCT is designed to provide precise control of focus with Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (SCTs).  Although intended specifically for use with the PerfectStar Focus Controller, the motor is also compatible with controllers from many other manufacturers.   The standard mounting for the PerfectStar motor works well for most refractors and Newtonian reflectors, but required customization to work with the typical SCT focus mechanism, which works by moving the primary mirror rather than moving a draw tube.  With the PS SCT Motor it is now very easy to install a focus motor on an SCT. The motor is […]

PerfectStar Focus Motor

The PerfectStar Focus Motor is a premium stepper motor designed to provide precise control of focus with many types and models of telescope.  Although intended specifically for use with the PerfectStar Focus Controller, the motor unit is also compatible with controllers from many other manufacturers.   Based on a top-quality stepper motor from Hurst, it provides the reliability and precision needed for demanding astrophotography applications. The motor is enclosed to protect the motor from dust and moisture. Likewise, the aluminum mounting collar encloses the focuser shaft (and reduction mechanism where present) to prevent dust from getting into this sensitive mechanism. […]