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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 08 Feb 2014 (Saturday) 05:24
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Barn Door Tracker

 
xpfloyd
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Feb 12, 2014 14:55 |  #31

Nice one, thanks for the heads up. Ill check my lenses clear everything before drilling the ballhead hole


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the ­ jimmy
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Feb 12, 2014 19:08 |  #32

Kena wrote in post #16683836 (external link)
Just an update for those following this thread. I set the tracker up in the house again and aligned it to about 55 degrees ( my approximate latitude ) and found that I cannot tilt the camera very far with my sigma lens on, so any objects high up in the sky would be out of reach. It is catching the edge of the top piece of plywood.
So I am either going to move the Giottos ball head as in the picture below or attach a strip of plywood to the top and extend it over the edge to attach the ball head onto.

I would think having it extend over the edge would not be good, this would move the center of gravity and it seems the camera might be more sensitive (or prone) to vibrations. Can you add a thick piece of wood under the ballhead, say 3-4 inches (or whatever height would work), so as to move the camera higher off the top platform, and still keep it centered over the top plate?




  
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Kena
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Feb 13, 2014 03:18 |  #33

the jimmy wrote in post #16685011 (external link)
I would think having it extend over the edge would not be good, this would move the center of gravity and it seems the camera might be more sensitive (or prone) to vibrations. Can you add a thick piece of wood under the ballhead, say 3-4 inches (or whatever height would work), so as to move the camera higher off the top platform, and still keep it centered over the top plate?

This is another option I will be looking into today. I did a bit of research last night and this looks like the better option. Like you have stated I am trying to keep it as close as possible to the centre of gravity. I am thinking of cutting the bottom of the piece of wood at an angle to match the incline of the tracker so that the ball head is still vertical when the tracker is in use. I will have a bit mess about with it sometime today, time permitting as I have an interview to prepare for, for tomorrow morning.


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Feb 13, 2014 10:13 |  #34

Further Update…..

I moved the ball head to the location in the previous picture and found that with bigger lenses the top platform of the tracker become top heavy and the weight of the camera and lens tended to pull the tracker apart and try to swing open so to speak. I have now relocated the ball head and everything seems to work perfectly now. See pictures below…

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7307/12502016085_0bf25fe596_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/k3na1/125020160​85/  (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/12502015955_80db1171e3_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/k3na1/125020159​55/  (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3686/12502146623_267854aaf1_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/k3na1/125021466​23/  (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3681/12502015435_478ff235af_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/k3na1/125020154​35/  (external link)

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Kena
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Feb 16, 2014 13:52 |  #35

Tested the tracker in the back garden tonight. Just a quick test with the sigma 120-400 lens.
The star that is in the centre is Alkaid, the last one in the handle of the plough/big dipper.
Iso 800
F 5.6
300mm
Just did a quick attempt of focusing and obviously got it wrong, but overall I'm pleased with the results. It was the tracking ability that I was looking at.
It was almost pitch black so I was amazed at how much light pollution showed up in the images. These have been un-edited, straight out of the camera a few minutes ago.

1 min exposure

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


2 min exposure
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


3 min exposure
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

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Feb 16, 2014 16:04 |  #36

Awesome ken, fixed position is perfect. Just need to play about with the focus.
I also live in a light polluted area, luckily there is a 'dark area' about an hour away.

Well done again on the testing, great to see you've got a good result.




  
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Feb 17, 2014 03:10 |  #37

Thanks Stu. I live just over an hours drive from Keilder observatory, classified as a dark sky site. just need the weather to improve.


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Feb 17, 2014 03:31 |  #38

Excellent Ken, looks to be working well


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Feb 17, 2014 04:13 |  #39

Thanks XP.
I had a few minor problems last night. I am looking at raising the ball head about an inch. I am trying to source an extended 3/8" bolt with the same thread as the ball head but not having much luck. I am thinking of attaching a block of wood with the bottom edge cut at an angle of 54 deg so that when the tracker is attached and aligned the ball head is in the vertical position. This would need to be drilled out for the bolt to fit through, but I can't source a bolt that is long enough. The one that came with the ball head/tripod isn't long enough. Anyone else have any other suggestions as to how I can accomplish this.


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Feb 17, 2014 04:22 |  #40

Hi Ken, is it just a case that you need more height from the ball head mount?




  
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Feb 17, 2014 04:55 |  #41

I maybe look to add a piece of wood to the top part of the tracker like -

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Feb 17, 2014 04:57 |  #42

Or.......

Might seem a bit mad, but could you piggyback two ball heads?
(fix one on and then screw another one straight on top).

I got one of these for mine (dead cheap).

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Feb 17, 2014 07:22 |  #43

Thanks for that Stu.
Yeah the ball head needs to be raised about an inch. I am looking at adding a piece of wood but it needs to stand vertical or the tracker becomes top heavy with the combination I used last night. I am going to try and sort it today. Will post up pics if I get it sorted.


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Feb 17, 2014 07:38 |  #44

Is this issue only related to the physical size of the lens i.e. will smaller lenses not have this issue?


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Feb 17, 2014 08:33 |  #45

Ah ok Ken, I'm not sure I'm a 100% sure what your after there.

What sort of camera angle are you trying to achieve?

Looking at this tracker - http://www.clarkvision​.com …barn.door.track​ing.mount/ (external link)
He is tilting the tracker on the tripod and then also tilting the camera separately to achieve something that looks like a 40 to 60 degree angle.




  
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Barn Door Tracker
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