Oakoasis Star Party in Southern California

I just purchased a new 8″ Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian Reflector Telescope and have been wanting to take it out for a test drive. It came with a 9mm and 30mm eye piece. The Oakoasis Star Party sounded like a good place to try it out so decided to head out there on the night of Aug 10, 2019.

The Oakoasis Star Party is put on by the San Diego Astronomy Association on the second Saturday of every month. It’s located in the “Staging Area” parking lot in the Oakoasis County Preserve. There is a nature hike that begins around sunset and if you want to setup a telescope it might be best to get there 30 mins to 1 hr before sunset.

The weather was really nice out, and I checked the Clear Sky Chart before I headed out to make sure there was not going to be any clouds.

There was a great turn out and had some great observing that included Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon. I ended up taking pictures through my telescope’s eye piece by just putting my phone up to it. Below are the raw images that came out of my camera.

Moon with 8″ Dob 9mm eye piece
Jupiter and 4 moons with 8″ Dob 9mm eye piece
Saturn with 8″ Dob 9mm eye piece

I used these raw images from my phone and then enhanced them a little with Photoshop to remove some of the noise and bring out the detail. I played around with the Levels adjustments in Photoshop to clean up Saturn and Jupiter. Below is the finished result.

Astrophotography software and drivers

Download ascom platform
https://github.com/ASCOMInitiative/ASCOMPlatform/releases

Download and install “system driver” then “ascom driver” then “ezPlanetary”
https://www.qhyccd.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=133&id=8&cut=2

Download PHD2
https://openphdguiding.org/

Download APT
https://www.ideiki.com/astro/Download.aspx

Download Stellarium
https://stellarium.org/

Download Cartes du Ciel
https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/download

Download and install PoleMaster driver and software
https://www.qhyccd.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=136&id=32&cut=2

Download and install EQASCOM for mount control
http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/downloadindex.html

Download and install this driver for serial to usb
https://www.sabrent.com/download/cb-db9p-windows-drivers/

Follow these steps to control mount
https://www.atm-workshop.com/synscan-pc-connect.html