It was a great Victoria Day long weekend. In some ways too short.. in other ways.. good that it did not last longer. If it did you would have more time to work on projects around the house.
In any event, we finished off many projects waiting for this time off combined with nice weather, including more plantings in the garden, staining the exposed portion of decks, the creek footbridge, placing 150′ of deer fence around the gardens and much much more.

It is now time to concentrate on the astronomy side of things, what with the Transit of Venus coming up in 14 days.

We tested out a borrowed Meade Electronic Eyepiece and after figuring
out that it needed a 9vdc battery, we got it connected to a composite
video to USB converter (which installed its drivers for Windows 7 without any problem) and ran the video into handyavi software to attempt to capture some.
It is a monochrome camera with a dial switch with brightness control.
After trying to use it on both a Coronado solarmax and a thousand oaks
filtered scope, we gave up without any usable images. Research after
showed that it is the equivalent of a 4mm eyepiece. Very high
magnification, much more difficult to focus, and on a non tracking
scope, we could never get the sun centred in time before it moved out of

The B&L SchmidtCass that we tried it on had a focal length of

I think we will try again with the tracking Meade DS90 with a smaller FL
of 800mm = x200!

The endpoint of all of this is to get a complete video through a
filtered scope of the Transit of Venus that is mostly standalone and can
be viewed in realtime.

These images are of a new self storing baader solar film filter design.