Last night I successfully collimated the modified Hyperstar III lens assembly and took a “first light” image with the new setup.  Full Moon (or close to) low down on the southern horizon, and a sky that doesn’t really get dark.  Imaged from midnight until 1:00 a.m. once I had collimated the system using CCDInspector (this is a great program!).  To remind you – the Hyperstar III modification was to take the whole lens assembly apart, then blacken all the lens edges using a matt black paint, and then to flock the internal lens spacer tube.  First time I re-assembled the Hyperstar I managed to put the lenses back the wrong way round (what a twit!) – but thankfully Dean of Starizona came to the rescue YET AGAIN and second time around I got it right.  So – lenses back in correctly, wires all fixed to the connector rods at 90 degrees to one another – final job, get the collimation sorted.  Took me just over an hour to sort this out using CCDInspector – and the result? – errors of -0.0 in x and -0.1 in y – the best I’ve EVER seen to date using the Hyperstar III, so I now have a highly-collimated system to play with 🙂  Having completed the collimation I set up on the “Wall” region of NGC7000 for a quick practical test of the optics.  Noel dropped everything and kindly processed this one in ultra double-quick time.  WOW!!  Those stars are nice and round across the whole FOV and the result is about the best I’ve seen in using the Hyperstar III for over a year – great!  You can now expect a large quality-jump in the images coming out from the New Forest Observatory from today onwards.

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4 Responses to “First light for the modified Hyperstar III – the “Wall” region of NGC7000”
  1. Michael Sullivan says:

    Hello Greg,
    My name is Michael Sullivan and I live in Tucson ,Arizona. Starizona is only fifteen minutes down the road and like you “Hyperstar” has has changed my life. I read your book “Making beautiful Deep-sky images” first and then decided it was the next best step forward. I ‘m using an Orion Starshooter Pro with a C 14. The problem I’m having is getting my collimation perfect. I had Scott Tucker from Starizona come out to help with the procedure and the final result was still not perfect. He suspected that the CCD chip might be tilted. Unfortunately, my camera does not have collimation screws to adjust the flatness of the chip. After reading your review of the CCD inspector and seeing the image you produced my debate has come to an end. I am going to give the CCD Inspector a try and I’ll let you know the results.
    Michael Sullivan

  2. Greg Parker says:

    Hi Michael,
    The Hyperstar is an unbeatable piece of kit for deep-sky imaging. CCDInspector is the ONLY way to go for sorting out the collimation adjustment in my opinion. You can get fairly close by putting a star at the centre of the frame and moving well out of focus so you can see where the obstructing Hyperstar sits within the image of the star – if your collimation is good, the obstructing (black) circle will sit centrally within the bright star – you will find that CCDInspector will tell you that your collimation is pretty close, then you use CCD Inspector to get it spot on. I am getting +/- 0.1 in x and y maximum in CCD Inspector, and if I take a little time (15-minutes) at the beginning of an imaging session I can usually get the magic 0.0
    Do let me know how you get on.
    P.S. You are a very lucky man being so close to Starizona – perhaps it’s just as well I’m not – I’d be permanently broke 🙂

  3. Michael Sullivan says:

    Hi Greg,
    I am a very lucky man! After mentioning to Dean about my camera not having the collimation capability he offered to make an adapter with collimation screws. So now, my dilemma has a resolution. Had I not read your review and then started this dialogue none of this would have happened. Thank you for that “Butterfly Effect”.
    Michael Sullivan

  4. Greg Parker says:

    Hi Michael,
    What an excellent result 🙂 You are indeed very lucky to have Dean on your doorstep! I’m going to have to move to Arizona (not really – I couldn’t take the heat).

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