About OctansLab

Astrophotography & 3D printed accessories

Towards the stars

I went to a local high school in Brisbane, Queensland Australia where the motto was Ad Sidera, Latin for “towards the stars”. The motto held little relevance for me then, but how times have changed. I bought my first 60mm refractor when I was 12 years old and a huge/heavy 8″ f7 reflector when I was 22.
I now have an avid interest in astrophotography and astronomy in general. With today’s imaging and tracking equipment so good these days (although not necessarily affordable), I spent the nether hours imaging the night sky. As an aside, I believe the whole saying is Pedes in terra ad sidera visus, translating to “with the feet on the ground and the eyes in the sky”

During the day, I work as a professional photographer & videographer focusing on the architecture, engineering and construction industries in South East Queensland. I also undertake drone photography for a range of Queensland based clients

I started designing and fabricating 3D printed accessories and parts to overcome incompatibles between differed equipment manufactures. Not being able to mount a red dot finder on all of my telescopes became very frustrating.

 

OctansLab under the southern skies

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Configuring the M Zero mount for the William Optics GTF102mm f6.9 refractor

Testing the William Optics GTF102 on the M Zero mount The Avalon Instruments M- Zero mount can be configured to take a variety of telescopes by moving/flipping the L-shaped bracket that almost looks like a boomerang. To take the somewhat heavy GTF102mm...

3D printing for astronomy: ASI294MC PRO camera to Star Adventurer adapter

Wide field astrophotography  One area of astrophotography I really enjoy is wide field imaging. I started off doing wide field astrophotography with my micro four thirds cameras, the Olympus OMD-EM5, progressed to the EM1.2 and then the Panasonic GH5-S....

3D printing for astronomy: Attach a PoleMaster to Avalon Instruments M-Zero mount

Fabricate a PoleMaster to M-Zero adapterThe PoleMaster is a dedicated polar alignment device/camera from QHYCCD. I have been using it since it first came out and is one of the best astrophotography purchases I have made. Ease of use and polar alignment...

Virgo galaxy region wide field, Canon FD 50mm f1.4 & ASI183MM Pro

All you need is some time and patience, a cloudless night, a $50 vintage lens, a simple tracking mount and a camera. Sounds simple enough but not always achievable. The biggest variable, the weather finally played ball last night so I had the change to try out some...

Markarian’s Chain William Optics GT71 & ASI183MM Pro

Markarian's Chain: William Optics GT71 and ASI183MM Pro Telescope: William Optics GT71 with  0.8 Field flattener 6A2 Camera: ASI183MM Pro Mount: Ioptron CEM40 Alignment: rough polar alignment using compass and level Guiding: ASIair (poor) Image: 102 * 60 sec subs...

First Light with the ASI183MM Pro & William Optics GT71 telescope

Fourth floor balcony astrophotography from my inner city Brisbane abode means I am restricted to imaging only the norther parts of the sky. M5 and M57 were perfectly positioned at around 8PM and the William Optics GT71 telescope & ASI183 mono camera were put to...

ASIair 12v-5v DC converter 3D printed adapter bracket

The ASIair is a small  Rapsperry Pi based mini computer with the computing power of an 1990's Pentium 3. Used in conjunction with Sky Safari Pro on an Ipad, its an ideal way to image and control a portable astrophotography setup such as my CEM40 mount and William...

Widefield astrophotography with the ASI294 MC Pro and Olympus 50mm OM lens

Lens: Olympus Om 50mm Camera: ASI294MC Pro Mount: SkyWatcher Alignment: none Guiding: none Image: 13 * 180 sec subs Gain: 300 Temp: 10 Deg C Processing: AstroPixel Processor - lights, only Bortle Class 1 site Location: Arckarula, South Australia Date: 17/5/2018...

PHD2 Guiding with Star Adventurer Mount

PHD2 Guiding a Star Adventurer Portable EQ Mount The SkyWatcher Star Adventurer is an excellent tracking mount when used for wide field astrophotography of the night sky allowing relatively long exposure image sequences without star trails. For those that want to...

William Optics GT71 with WO Field Flattener 6A2

Configuring a lightweight portable astrophotography imaging systemI use an assortment of telescopes, micro four thirds cameras as well as dedicated astrophotography CMOS cameras not to mention tracking mounts. With many different possible camera / telescope...