Welcome to AstroHD!
This is the new home of my personal astronomy observatory website. After several years of hosting the site on my own machine, data and management tasks grew so much that I was overwhelmed with maintenance tasks and I decided to start from scratch.
Also since I published the first version of my website I started another hobby: home automation
So it perfectly made sense to build the new web presence with both topics in mind.
Astronomy & Astro Photography
As a kid, I already was fascinated by the stars, planets and the universe. During school, I saved all my money for my first telescope - and retrospectively I already was totally me: I’d rather wait longer, save more money to be able to afford a better telescope. With the help of my grandmother I finally could buy an Eschenbach Galaxis 2006, a catadioptric mirror with 114mm diameter. And it deeply moved me when I saw the rings of Saturn with my own eyes for the first time.
After studying and some years in the job I more or less “forgot” my old hobby and missed some great astronomical events (like the transit of Venus) but in 2012, I re-discovered my enthusiasm for space and I was able to buy my telescope of my dreams: a second-hand Meade LX200 EMC 10”.
From there everything went quite fast. Steep learning curve with digital photography (back in school I only took photos with my father’s chemical film SLR), automated tracking, (auto-) guiding and light pollution. I quickly found the backyard of my house not being optimal as the street lights were (and still are) lighting all my backyard and the neighboring houses prevent any viewing angle below 45 degrees. So two choices: either quit the hobby again or, move up one level, i.e. build my own observatory on the rooftop of my house.
As this page exists it is easy to guess what I did - so after almost 2 years of data collecting, asking around and planning, I was able to build my observatory in 2016. Since then, I even learned a lot more, leveled up lots of my equipment and in 2021 I finally retired my beloved LX200 as I found an even better telescope of my dreams and was finally able to afford it: a Planewave CDK 12.5
SmartHome & 3D Printing
From my rooftop observatory I learned a lot about automation and remote controlling of astronomical equipment and I started to think: Why is the best automated and most comfortably controllable space in my house the one room I usually enter the least - my obsevatory? It occurred to me I had to change that and as I already had some kind of automated islands (like heating system, motorized shades, universal remote control units) I started there to improve, connect and automate things.
With the help from @AnsgarSchmidt I learned to 3D print and now I am the proud owner of 2 DIY 3D printers that greatly help me realize even the craziest ideas. During the pandemic and the lockdown for the best part of 2020, I created automations for my garage and in 2021 even the garden.
Home Improvement in the Observatory
For months, I couldn’t use my observatory as first the dome had trouble with its motor and after that worked again, the Mount computer suddenly died. So it had to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. All these cirumstances resulted in the fact that even though I already bought my CDK in March 2021, even in May 2022 I still wasn’t able to run even one single imaging night. So I started to use the time to upgrade and improve my equipment, and change some old “interim” solutions, that would otherwise become final ones, eventually…
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