Quick Start Guide

This Quick Start Guide is designed for those people who have limited knowledge of webcams or image processing but are comfortable with PCs and gadgets, have a telescope, and just want to get up to speed quick. In other words, they want to get some good lunar or planetary images in the next few days, without studying every chapter of this book. If you fall into this category, this section is for you.

Assuming you have a USB-equipped PC newer than 1998, you need to have the following, all of which can be ordered via the web:

1. A webcam, such as the Philips ToUcam Pro, Logitech QC Pro 3000/4000, or the Celestron NexImage. The supplied software can be used to save webcam AVI videos. PC accessory suppliers sell webcams, as does Amazon. Celestron dealers sell the NexImage.

2. A telescope to webcam adaptor (search the web). The NexImage comes with one.

3. Registax software from http://aberrator.astronomy.net/registax/. Again, the NexImage comes supplied with this, and basic instructions for using Registax are supplied with Registax' help files.

4. A Barlow or Powermate lens, preferably from Tele Vue, to enlarge your image scale. Aim at increasing your focal length to five meters to start with. So, if your basic telescope focal length is 1 meter, use a 5x Powermate. If it is two meters, try a 2.5x Barlow, etc.

5. Once you have all this equipment assembled, you simply install the software as directed (webcam and Registax), carry out some trials indoors (with the webcam lens in place) then connect the webcam and adaptor to telescope and start experimenting. A laptop is useful, as is a separate telescope to find the object. I would also strongly advice experimenting on the Moon first.

6. For more advanced techniques, finish reading this book!


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