We chose Mathew’s Arm Campground on Skyline Drive. It’s a National Park Service camp, and in my rating book was pretty much a perfect ’10’. Here’s everything setup, second day. It takes about 20 mins to setup, and about the same to break down, maybe a little less.
View from one of the lookouts on Skyline Drive. Not too shabby.
On the way home on the 3rd day. Pretty spectacular.
I’ve been using a 3g modem for quite some time now. When I go into the field for astrophotography, after the equipment is online/tracking and the camera is imaging, there can be more than a few hours where I don’t actually have to do anything, so having internet service is a great way to pass the time. I was using a 3G modem (actually forget the model), but then I moved to a VL600 4G LTE unit. Worked flawlessly. Then I saw Verizon had these new Jetpack units, and I switched to it:
To cut to the chase, this thing is awesome.
You can connect 10 devices to it wirelessly at once, and it’ll do 4G LTE to Verizon’s network, which is by far the largest. You’d be amazed where I get service (4700′ up in the GW Forest for example, no idea where the tower is for that).
I just ran a speed test from my iPhone 4S to the unit inside my house:
This isn’t even the max I’ve gotten, which is around 22Mbit/s down, 17Mbit/s up, just amazing.
Here’s a picture of the unit itself:
I have black electrical tape over the status LED, it’s fairly bright and I don’t like stray light when I’m imaging.
Verizon offers 5G of data for ~50$/month.
I’d give this unit/service a 5 out of 5 rating.
We just ordered one of these:
And this will most likely be the first place we go this year. For about a week:
Without Hotech field flattener:
With Hotech SCA field flattener:
Been working with TPoint to do automated calibration runs. I can do a 12 or so point model in about 5 mins. Coolest thing since sliced bread!
Got the ED80T-CF on the MX. Had to fashion counterweights from spare ADM parts for the front to get two of the Versaplate setscrews to contact the Losmandy bar. Otherwise – perfection, ready to shoot. So now I’ve validated all 3 of my imaging scopes, the ED80T-CF, the ES127CF, and the AT8RC all fit perfectly on the mount.
Also installed the Paramount polar scope. Very nice piece, but it was a tight fit with the existing cables that run through the mount however. This should help cut down the error on my first TPoint run.