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 ‘scope, the L-bracket was positioned down one slot. The counter weight from my Star Adventurer mount was temporarily “borrowed” to help balance the mount/telescope configuration. The red dot finder was attached using a 3D printed bracket and it is used  in conjunction with All Sky Plate Solver when plate solving. Imaging from my north facing balcony means I resort to using a compass and level to get rough polar alignment. Remarkably this is good enough for the M -Zero and PHD to track providing nice round stars with 3 minute subs.

Balancing the telescope on the DEC axis involved designing and 3D printing an “out rigger” counterweight using my QIDI X-Plus printer. This included  some 5/16″ threaded rod and a M10 hexagon coupler.

The next step is to design and 3D print a Bhatinov mask to aid in focusing.

Configuring the M Zero mount for the William Optics GTF102mm f6.9 refractor
The WO GTF102mm on the M-Zero mount
The RA and DEC axis control cables and the L-bracket one slot down
RA & DEC axis guide cables
Outrigger counterweights to help balance the DEC axis
Outrigger counterweights to help balance the DEC axis
Using a bubble level to get altitude roughly correct
Bubble level for altitude PA
Using a compass to get azimuth roughly correct
Compass for azimuth PA
Star Adventurer DEC axis counter weight and shaft
Star Adventurer counterweight and DEC axis on loan
Adding the Red dot finder and 3D printer adapter
Red Dot Finder attached with 3D printed bracket
 
Beautiful Italian machining
Italian engineering “bellisimo”
Extender with ASI294MC at the end of the image train
Measuring the distance for future reference

Imaging M27 – The Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula

Once the scope was balanced on the mount it was time for astrophotography.  M27, the Dumbbell Nebula was perfectly placed in the northern sky ready for imaging. With only a rough “analogue” polar alignment, the M Zero tracked beautifully providing perfectly round stars with 3 minute subs. Just under three hours of capture time was achieved until the clouds rolled in. I am looking forward to taking the gear to a local park with views to the south celestial pole where proper polar alignment with the PoleMaster can be performed.

Astrophotography of M27 - the imaging session starts
Imaging M27
 
Imaging M27 with SharpCap
M27 and SharpCap acquisition software
Rough PA and PHD2 is working
Guiding with PHD2
Messier 27

Configuring the M Zero mount for the Borg55FL

The Borg55FL on the Avalon Instruments M Zero mountHorizon to horizon imaging is possible when using the short focal length Borg refractor Configuring the M Zero mount for the Borg55FL Spacer rings for back focus The tilt adjuster ...

First light for the Borg55FL

Borg55FL first light with the ASI183MMWith the coming of the storm season in Brisbane plus a very busy work schedule there has been little opportunity to get the newly acquired Borg55FL under the night sky to do astrophotography. However, an unexpected...

Configuring the M Zero mount for the RASA8

The RASA8 on M Zero mount Using a drone battery with 3D print for counter weight Counterweight and guide scope setup RASA8 with clear optical filter RASA8 with optical filter removed RASA8 optical window removed IDAS RASA8 filter...

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...