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Projects, Articles, DIY Guides and How-To's

DIY Projects and How-To guides for getting the most out of your astronomy equipment and experience.

Some of these guides are written by me as mods done to my Dob, and others are user-contributed articles to share their knowledge and experience with others. I encourage and welcome your contributions. The more people that contribute articles, the greater value the information here will provide.

Astrophotography

ArticleAuthorDate Added
How to Take Photographs of Space Barry Armstead 12-Jan-2012
How to Create a Colour Saturated Moon Photo Mike Salway 20-Sep-2011
Australia's first major Astro Imaging Conference (AAIC2011) is on! Mike Salway 04-Mar-2011
Revealing Star Colours using the Defocusing Technique Al Sheehan 11-Jun-2008
RGB Planetary Imaging with a Monochrome Camera Mike Salway 10-Mar-2008
Mono vs One Shot Colour (OSC) CCD's Dr Dietmar Hager 20-Feb-2008
Sharpening Images Using Deconvolution Stuart Hodgson 25-Jan-2008
Taking Great CCD Images Philip Holmes 10-Oct-2007
Adding a Webcam to your Telescope David Childs 27-Sep-2007
Calculating Focal Length from Plate Scale Anthony Wesley 10-Apr-2007
Calculating the Resolution of Solar System Images Alan Sheehan 15-Nov-2006
Planetary Imaging and Image Processing Mike Salway 05-Jul-2006
A High Pass Layer Approach to Image Enhancement Doug 04-Jul-2006
High Dynamic Range Processing Using Photoshop CS2 Doug 04-May-2006
Avoid Histogram Clipping in ImagesPlus Tony Hitchcock 21-Feb-2006
Digital Imaging - Flats and Darks Explained! Eddie Trimarchi 19-Jun-2005
Astrophotography with a Dob Mike Salway 05-May-2005
Secret of the Hartmann Mask... Revealed! Paul Russell 05-Apr-2005

Beginners Guides

ArticleAuthorDate Added
So You Want to do Deep Sky Observing? Faith Jordan 06-Sep-2011
Collimation and the Newtonian Telescope (v4 revised) Don Pensack 21-Jul-2011
Basic Setup Procedure for a German Equatorial Mount (GEM) Telescope Trevor Hand 17-Jul-2008
How to Align your Finderscope without Embarrassment Michael Viset 11-Apr-2008
Beginners Guide to Finding the SCP - by a Beginner Chris Turton 25-Feb-2008
Polar Alignment with a Wedge in the Southern Hemisphere Chris James 25-Jan-2008
Basics of Drift Alignment / Polar Alignment Geoff Smith 15-Jun-2007
Binoculars - A Basic Guide for Astronomy Dennis Simmons 01-Mar-2007
Cleaning the Mirrors of a Newtonian Telescope Mike Salway 15-Nov-2006
Adventures in Eyepiece Cleaning Scott N. Mitchell 15-Nov-2006
The Beaufort Scale Alan Sheehan 21-Aug-2006
Part One: General Principles for Choosing your first Telescope Brian Nolan 07-Dec-2005
Part Two: What's Wrong with each of my Scopes Brian Nolan 07-Dec-2005
How To Determine Seeing and Transparency Brendan Gazzard 15-Apr-2005

Equipment

ArticleAuthorDate Added
Going Bigger, or Learning to Love Your Ladder Frank Wright 22-Oct-2013
Setting up a Basic Celestron Wedge Peter Coates 12-Jan-2012
Another Parallelogram Binocular Mount (with a difference) Gary Lowe 31-Jan-2011
DaveGee's SkyShed Observatory Dave Gault 07-Jul-2010
To Build an Observatory Dennis Greeve 07-Apr-2010
Seperating a Meade ETX105 OTA from its Base Karl van Louwersen 07-Apr-2010
ST80 Finder on a 12" Dob - An Experience George Vasilareas 13-Jul-2009
16" Tri-Dob Improvements, including ArgoNavis and ServoCat Tim Nott 11-Jun-2008
Setting Up and Using a Celestron CG5 Mount Geoff Young 11-Jun-2008
Balancing Your Homemade Dobsonian Telescope Douglas Parkes 11-Jun-2008
GS 250mm Light Bucket Dennis Greeve 11-Apr-2008
16" Lightbridge Modifications Peter Batchelor 06-Nov-2007
Modifying a Newtonian Tube for DSLR Photography Alchemy 06-Nov-2007
Power Drive and Equatorial Platform for a Dob Dennis Greeve 10-Oct-2007
EQ5 Bearing Replacement Martin 27-Sep-2007
Building a Small Truss Tube Telescope Peter Pocock 02-Aug-2007
GSO Dob Fan Project Scott Tannehill 30-May-2007
A How-To for Wireless Go-To Dennis Simmons 10-May-2007
Balancing your Dobsonian Dennis Greeve 10-Apr-2007
Another DIY Parallelogram Binocular Mount Dennis Simmons 28-Mar-2007
Binocular Chair Geoff Liddicoat 22-Mar-2007
Lazy Susan Bearing for a 200mm Dob Base Geoff White 05-Mar-2007
Troubleshooting the AS GT Mount Narayan Mukkavilli 02-Mar-2007
Parallelogram Binocular Mount Larry Brockman 02-Mar-2007
Widefield EQ Suitcase Tommy Boswell 26-Feb-2007
16" Tri-Dob - Building an Ultralight Telescope Tim Nott 21-Aug-2006
Skateboard Wheel Dob Mount Geoff Liddicoat 04-Jul-2006
Centre Spotting a Newtonian Mirror Steve H 21-Feb-2006
Installing Sky Commander DSC's Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Installing a Moonlite CR2 Focuser Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Making a Low-Cost Illuminated Finder Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Making a White Light Solar Filter Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Smooth Motion with Dob Base Mods Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Checking the Optics on your GSO Dob Starkler 25-May-2005

Accessories

ArticleAuthorDate Added
Telescope Multi-Mask and Test Frank Wright 21-Oct-2013
Repairing a Finderscope Crosshair Reticle RG 27-Jul-2012
More Illuminated Finder Ideas Peter Coates 12-Jan-2012
How to Control Losmandy Gemini with Bluetooth Brendan Smith 14-Jul-2011
Budget Electric Focuser for an SCT Philip Fiveash 14-Jan-2011
Fitting DSC's to a 16" Lightbridge Barry Gerdes 22-Sep-2010
Dew Heater Controller and the Arduino Bob Stephens 07-Jul-2010
Remote Focus Control for the LX90 and Similar Telescopes Dennis Greeve 05-Jul-2010
An Adjustable Illuminated Finderscope Dennis Greeve 05-Jul-2010
One-Off Printed Circuit Board Making at Home Steve B 12-Jan-2010
Flashing LEDs for Tripod or Pier John 17-Sep-2009
Spectroscopes: Part 2 – New 200mm Littrow design Ken Harrison 17-Jul-2008
A Simple Polar Alignment Jig for a GEM Tripod Trevor Hand 17-Jul-2008
A Truss-Mounted Tele Crutch Dennis Greeve 11-Apr-2008
Finderscope Mount for Cheap Telescopes Michael Viset 11-Apr-2008
Locking Down the Finderscope Dennis Greeve 11-Apr-2008
A Jig to Make Mirror Handling Safer Dennis Greeve 11-Apr-2008
Easy Action Switch for Green Laser Pointers Darryl Pfitzner Milika 18-Mar-2008
Focus Control at the Laptop Dennis Greeve 10-Dec-2007
An Inexpensive, Waterproof, Durable and Easy DIY Table-Top Dew Hutch Scott Tannehill 07-Nov-2007
Collimation Using a Barlowed Laser Dennis Greeve 06-Nov-2007
Creating Cheap Azimuth Circles Denis 10-Oct-2007
Collimation Using a Webcam Scott Tannehill 15-Jun-2007
Argo Navis Stalk Scott Tannehill 30-May-2007
Build Cheap Digital Setting Circles Martin 30-May-2007
Illuminated Finder Dennis Greeve 10-Apr-2007
A Portable, Dew-Proof, Astronomy Hutch Dennis Simmons 21-Feb-2007
Eyepiece and Laptop Rack Stephen McNelley 29-Jan-2007
Build a Cheap, Simple Laptop Light Control Hutch Al Sheehan 04-Jan-2007
The "Krupa Collimator" Revisited David C Nicholls 15-Dec-2006
Classical Spectroscope Ken Harrison 01-Nov-2006
Dew Shields for 20x80 Triplet Binoculars Alan Sheehan 02-Aug-2006
PST Scope Case from a Toolbox Alan Sheehan 02-Aug-2006
Bendy Scope Light Michael Samerski 04-May-2006
Build a Dew Heater with Resistors Alan Sheehan 04-May-2006
Building a Pulse Width Modulated Dew Heater Controller Alan Sheehan 16-Mar-2006
Build Your Own Red LED Torch Chris Marsh 21-Feb-2006
Making Your Own Artificial Star Barry Waters 10-Jan-2006
Home Made Observing Table Ian Ogilvie 13-Apr-2005
Making a Denver Observers Chair Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005
Move Your Dob with a Transporting Trolley Mike Salway 29-Jun-2005

Celestial Events

ArticleAuthorDate Added
Upcoming Events
Total Lunar Eclipse, 15th April 2014 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 11-Mar-2014
Past Events
Total Solar Eclipse, November 13th-14th 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 24-Feb-2010
Partial Solar Eclipse for Australian Capital Cities, 14th November 2012 Mike Salway 05-Sep-2012
Total Solar Eclipse, November 13th-14th 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 24-Feb-2010
Partial Lunar Eclipse, 4th June 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 13-Apr-2012
Transit of Venus Across the Sun, 6th June 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 01-Oct-2011
Global Astronomy Month, April 2012 Mike Salway 15-Mar-2012
Moon, Venus and Jupiter Conjunction - March 2012 Mike Salway 06-Mar-2012
Upcoming Conjunctions Featuring the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter in May 2011 Mike Salway 14-Mar-2011
Total Lunar Eclipse, December 10th / December 11th 2011 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 07-Feb-2011
Total Lunar Eclipse, June 15th/June 16th 2011 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 07-Feb-2011
Total Lunar Eclipse, December 21st 2010 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 20-Oct-2010
Four Planets and Crescent Moon Evening Conjunction - August 12-13 2010 Mike Salway 09-Aug-2010
Minor Planet Anneliese (910) Occulting Star HIP 74600, 8th May 2010 Ron Garrett 23-Apr-2010
Total Solar Eclipse, July 11th 2010 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 20-Feb-2010
Jupiter Observing Guide for August 2009 Mike Salway 10-Aug-2009
Titan Shadow Transits on Saturn in 2009 Mike Salway 02-Mar-2009
Total Solar Eclipse, July 22nd 2009 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 20-Feb-2009
Upcoming Transits of Titan at Saturn - February and March 2009 Mike Salway 02-Feb-2009
Upcoming Conjunctions Featuring the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter Mike Salway 14-Jan-2009
Partial Solar Eclipse, January 26th 2009 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 14-Jan-2009
Partial Lunar Eclipse, August 17th 2008 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 10-Jul-2008
Partial Solar Eclipse, February 7th 2008 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 05-Dec-2007
Total Lunar Eclipse, August 2007 - Observing / Imaging Guide Mike Salway 26-Jun-2007
Transit of Mercury, 2006 - Observing / Imaging Guide Dennis Simmons 25-Oct-2006
Mercury Spotting Guide for 2007 Edosaurus Rex 26-Sep-2006

Astronomy and Observing

ArticleAuthorDate Added
2015 USA Astronomical & Aeronautical Exploration Tour Lou Pagano (SASI) 21-Oct-2013
NGC 6749 Aquila — Tough Cookie, Soft Heart Dana De Zoysa 27-Aug-2013
West Australia's Astronomical Blunder Toner Stevenson 25-Mar-2013
The Grand American Astronomical Experience – Closer Than You Think Mike Salway 07-Mar-2013
The Fornax Dwarf and its Five Globulars Dana De Zoysa 29-Aug-2012
Highlights of the Winter Sky Suzy Webb 25-May-2012
Visual Astronomy and the Use of Filters John Bambury 13-Apr-2012
Finding the Messier Objects with Binoculars - Successes and Failures Faith Jordan 06-Sep-2011
150 Dunlop Deep Sky Objects Glen Cozens 23-Aug-2011
BAM600 - John Bambury's Southern Skies Observing List John Bambury 20-May-2011
Sketching DSO's using the Mellish Technique Alexander Massey 24-Jan-2011
"Bright" Ideas Rob Horvat 06-Jul-2009
40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Mike Salway 20-May-2009
Mars will NOT be as Big as the Full Moon on August 27th! Mike Salway 07-May-2009
Star Lineups Rob Horvat 01-Apr-2009
Using Astrometrica software for Asteroid Searching Jeff Nott and Scott Alder 20-08-2008
SkyScan Alignment Stars and Matching Finder Charts Steve Russell 17-Jul-2008
Memorising the Maria Stephen Saber 10-Apr-2007
110 Southern Sky Doubles Stephen Saber 21-Dec-2006
Rattling the Beads Stephen Saber 21-Dec-2006
111 Bright NGC Objects Glen Couzens 21-Aug-2006
100 Brightest Planetary Nebula for Southern Observers Paul Mayo 02-Jul-2006
The Structure and Proportions of the Known Universe Graeme Clement 10-Jan-2006
How To Adjust a Binocular Viewer Graeme Clement 10-Jan-2006
100 Brightest Galaxies for Southern Observers Paul Mayo 10-Jan-2006
The Names of Stars Paul Mayo 10-Jan-2006

Computers and Software

ArticleAuthorDate Added
How to add Comets and Asteroids to Stellarium Jarrod Bennett 03-Aug-2012
Stellarium Telescope Control with a HEQ5/EQ6 Karl van Louwersen 12-Mar-2010
Using the K3CCDTools Drift Explorer for Drift Alignment Al Sheehan 03-Jul-2009
Create a Diffraction Spike Brush for Photoshop Al Sheehan 27-Sep-2007
Overlay Light Pollution Map in Google Earth Andrew B & Eric Kingston 15-Jun-2007
Image Resizing with Windows XP acropolite 20-Jun-2005
Neutral Density Filters & NightVision Dennis Simmons 20-Jun-2005

Observing Reports

ArticleAuthorDate Added
Go South Lance Humphreys 25-Jan-2008
Seeing the Unseeable Richard Brown 10-Apr-2007

To contribute a DIY project or How-To, follow these easy steps:

  1. Write your article in Word or a similar editor. Be descriptive, as technical as is relevant, include pictures, links etc. 
  2. Sign up to the IceInSpace Forums (it'll only take 30 seconds!)
  3. Contact me (via email is probably best) to submit your article, and I'll load it onto the site!
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