I have several camera’s for different purpouses. The Canon 400D is mainly used for Deepsky photography. The camera is modified by Baader (Germany). By removing the original Canon filter and replacing it with a Baader filter, the camera is much more sensitive to red (Hydrogen Alpha). This way the light from faint nebulosity is not filtered out but passed on to the lightsensor. This improves the suitability for the Canon as a deepsky camera. The camera itself is operated with a laptop. With a Shoestring DSUSB adaptor I have full controle over all the functions inside the camera, from shuttertime to ISO-settings.
For planetary imaging I use two very different camera’s. The above mentioned Canon can do the job when overview is needed. For more detailed images the Philips SPC900 is usable. When colour images are needed The TheImageSource DMK 21AU04.AS provides fast, high resolution images (in AVI-format). Unfortunately this a monochrome camera. When using both camera’s, the SPC900 is used for colour information and the DMK 21AU04.AS for luminance. Both images are combined in Photoshop.
To mount and drive the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA), I use a Syntrec EQ6 mount witch is heavy enough to drive a 10″ telescope. The drive itself is equiped with a Synscan controller. The makes the mount a GOTO mount. By using its internal object database of almost 43.000 objects or connecting it tot a laptop, many faint objects in the night sky can be found easely. This mount is also equiped with a guiderport. This means objects can be tracked very precisely by using an autoguider or a guiding telescope. When guiding faint deepsky objects, I use the Philips SPC900 as a guiding camera. The camera keeps an eye on a guiding star and corrects any irregularities in the telescopes drives. This way, accurate guiding is achieved. Coreecting the telescope is done by laptop and using the GPUSB from Shoestring Astronomy.