Starkeeper:- Voyager

Voyager

https://software.starkeeper.it/

SYSTEM INTEGRATION AND ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY AUTOMATION SOFTWARE

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A professional solution

The astrophotography isn’t a simple activity... often the amount of equipment and software that lead us to satisfy our passion become a source of considerable trouble. Voyager is the the perfect choice for those who search for a professional and very reliable solution.
The purpose of Voyager's user is to obtain the best quality data from its own instruments, with only the bare essentials. Voyager is a multi core optimized software, resilient, with advanced built-in algorithms and advanced A.I. driven automata.

A.I. driven Automata

Voyager uses AI technology to improve focus, star recognitionequation calculation for VCurvestatistical calculations, and decisions for how to handle exceptions generated by the watchdog timers. Watchdogs are timers that oversee all requests to external hardware / software and recover from soft errors. In conclusion advanced AI technology inside Voyager contributes significantly to Voyager's exceptional reliability.

Made in Italy with Passion

Yes, this is yet another astrophotography software product, but it is written by an astrophotographer for other astrophotographers, including those who travel to enjoy their hobby. Every minute saved is a minute earned for photons capturing. As any experienced astrophotographer knows, things don't always work perfectly - the guide star is lost - a cloud passes by - and again Voyager is designed for maximum recovery and reliability when these things happen.

Astrophotography like a Pro

Everything is Under Control

Voyager is a systems integration software, interfacing third-part software products to make them work together and achieve practical results, using a single management consoleVoyager’s goal is to reduce user interaction with the various software components needed for astrophotography, thus freeing up the astrophotographer to concentrate on other things. Voyager can interface and control a wide range of mounts, cameras, focusers, domes, weather inputs and much more.

Voyager Main interface example

Voyager Main interface example

Voyager Web Dashboard

Voyager Web Dashboard

Voyager can also be configured to send warnings to the user by external message systems – sms, email, etc. – among those included.
Voyager allows you to invoke external scripts. The unique Voyager DragScript system is both easy to use and extremely flexible in application. With Voyager you can plan anything from a simple to a complex single imaging session or multiple imaging sessions. It will provide, exactly as if you were operating yourself, a complete operational approach including equipment connection and shutdown at the end of a session. This level of control allows you to determine what you wish to image and how, many other automated programs don’t do this. Voyager also has the ability to shoot sky flats or flats from a panel. When shooting sky flats Voyager can be programmed to calculate astronomical twilight and dawn.

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The FIT Viewer runs in its own window so you can view a full size image without having to share screen space with Voyager itself.

According to Voyager‘s “Reliability is First Priority” philosophy, it runs in its own process space, so you can view your images, change the screen stretch, etc. – without interference to Voyager’s core job – while acquiring images.

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VCurve autofocus is done on a single star at the center of the field of view. VCurve works best when your optics are flat – the focal point is the same across the field – or when the region of interest is in the center of the field, in a portion that is flat or close to flat (same focus). For example, this is a good choice for small galaxies and planetary nebulae.

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LocalField autofocus optimizes the average focus (HFD: Half Flux Diameter) of multiple stars across the entire field. If your optics are not flat – there is some variation across the field – and your region of interest spans the field, LocalField will give you the best focus across the entire image. For example, this is a good choice for large nebulae or star clusters taking up the entire field.

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Ahead, once again

VOYAGER WEB DASHBOARD

ALSO HOSTED LOCALLY ON VOYAGER'S INTERNAL WEB SERVER (FROM VOYAGER 2.2.1).
THIS WILL LET YOU USE THE DASHBOAD WITH AND WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION, WHEN STARTED FROM LAN.

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Voyager Web Dashboard is a Responsive Web Interface that reports session data and let you have control over your running Voyager installation, from your backyard or halfway around the world. Voyager Web Dashboard is where you can find the overview of all your connected equipment and totally manage it, taking a shot, pointing a target (celestial object) or performing an entire night sessioncalling and executing your favourite Sequence or DragScript.
With a glance in the “engine room” you can check in realtime a preview of the last shot, in a zoomable 1:1 fullscreen window, and much more…

Gemini Telescope Design:- G53F Friction Drive Mount – German Equatorial

by GTD

This German Equatorial mount tracks the stars with the highest precision in its category. Based on our Friction Drive System (without gears) is the perfect solution for amateur or professional astrophotographers working in the field and for small to medium observatory use, operated locally or remote.

What are the advantages over the gear worm based system?

Our friction based mounts have no backlash at all, guide perfectly even in DEC, enable longer autoguiding exposures (5-10 sec). Our special wear resistant design keeps its performance over time. All these characteristics and many others together with its low weight make the G53F Friction Drive German Equatorial Mount the ideal astrophotography mount in the field or in the observatory.

Video below features the G53F with a 30-cm f4 tube made from carbon, length 110cm, total weight 26 kg.

Main features of the G53F German EQ Mount

NEW 2017 model intro video

  • Encoder based friction drive system

  • All cables routed internally (from 06.2016)

  • USB and 12V power routed internally

  • PULSAR 2 based drive system

  • Real Time PEC function to keep the target within cca 1,5″

  • Absolute position reference for recovery after system breakdown

  • Can be separated in two parts (4 screws), the total weight is 20 kg

  • 45 kg payload

  • Integrated Losmandy rail interface (exchangable)

  • Sidereal, Lunar, Solar and custom tracking of all Solar System objects with C2A

  • Up to 4,5 deg/sec GoTo speed

  • LX200 (most commands) and ASCOM compatible

  • Reference stars, M, NGC, IC, and custom programmable database

  • Smart meridian flips (for robotic mode and efficient goto)

  • Parking also via external switch (cloud detector) – when the PC breaks down

  • Real time refraction correction (for tracking and goto)

  • 12-18 VDC operation, 1A consumption

  • Built in GPS reciever in the hand controller (from november 2012)

  • Free firmware updates, language versions and many other goodies

  • Accurate 12×30 polar finder with illumination (optional)

  • 5 years of warranty for mechanical parts and 1 year for all electronic parts

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Stable GHS CArbon tripod

The GHS CArbon tripod offers an uncompromised solid base for your G53F. The carbon fiber composit legs adjust independently which means easy setup in the most rough terrain conditions. What has not changed, is the legendary stability confirmed by many satisfied customers. The Qlock system saves you a lot of frustration in the dark! You just put the mount head on, turn a hand knob inside the pier and it’s done. Adjusts between 75-110 cm. The legs fold completely for easy transport and storage . The GHS CArbon tripod weights only 9 kg! Watch the video.

The geometry and materials of this tripod represent the highest standard in vibration suppression and torsional stiffness. Available with a variety of adaptors for other types of mounts.

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Gemini polar scope HP2 – Easy polar alignment

Precise polar aligment in a few minutes? Yes, possible with the original polar scope Gemini HP2! This polar scope uses three stars for alignment for high precision and freedom from reading star charts. You just find the position when the three circles on the reticle match the stars. It is more accurate than traditional “Star Drift” methods. The large 30 mm objective lens lets you see enough stars for a precise alignment. The 12x magnification provides the accuracy needed for GoTo and astrophotography.

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Gemini No-Flip pier extension – Uninterrupted astrophotography for compact telescopes

This practical pier extension allows you to take images uninterrupted, even when the object crosses the meridian. Works with refractors up to 5″ or reflectors up to about 10″. The elevation range is 35-50 degree. Adds 390 mm to the pier (241 mm more than the original base) and weights 5 kg. Robust aluminum construction that will not compromise stability. The RA head can be exchanged in 5 minutes between the original and the extended base.

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Price list for the G53F and accessories

  • G53F with cables, cw. shaft, Pulsar2, RealTime PEC: 5350,00 EUR (this item is currently not available)

  • Tranport case: 170,00 EUR

  • GHS CArbon Qlock tripod: 1310,00 EUR

  • Gemini HP2 Polar scope (illuminator not supplied): 180,00 EUR

  • Adapter (G53f and G42) for the QHY electronic polar finder: 41 EUR

  • Permanent setup adapter: 80,00 EUR

  • No-Flip pier extension: 492,22 EUR

  • Counterweights d30 mm

Shipping and tax is not included. You will pay 22% sales tax (EU orders only) that you can deduct and pay the rate applicable in your country.

Mercury transit 2019: these products will turn the transit into an experience

Marcus Schenk

of astroshop.eu

We only see a Mercury transit every 3.5 to 13 years. On 11 November 2019 this rare event will take place once more. An inferior conjunction occurs as Mercury crosses in front of the Sun and we can observe this in broad daylight. Don’t miss the astronomical highlight of the year! But what do you need to observe it? With the following products you will be well prepared for a successful sighting.

Warning: never look directly at the Sun without a suitable filter. A solar filter is always required for observing.

Solar filter film  

The Baader AstroSolar solar filter film is available in various sizes, it is effective and very good value. Use the film to make your own solar filter which you can then attach to the front of your telescope.

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Mounted solar filter

Is do-it-yourself not really your thing? Then a ready-mounted filter is the perfect solution for you. The Omegon filters for smaller telescopes or the Baader ASTF filters are good value and are available for many sizes of telescopes. You simply choose the diameter that suits your telescope and attach the filter to the front of your telescope. Before long you will be safely looking at the Sun and discovering sunspots – and of course Mercury.

Tip: to be certain which filter will fit your telescope, measure the outer diameter of your tube before making your selection.

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Solar filter for binoculars and cameras

You can also follow the Mercury transit with binoculars. Just by attaching two normal solar filters? This works particularly well with the AstroSolar binocular filter.  They are laterally cut in such a way that they don’t make contact even with objective lenses that are very close together. This is also an advantage for DSLR cameras: the flattened filter edges makes it possible to attach a camera flush to a telescope or a mounting plate.

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Herschel wedge

Even more contrast is on offer from the professional for solar observing: a Herschel wedge. Combined with a ND3.0 filter it can be connected to a refracting telescope. The advantage: you see the Sun in front of a black background, and the granulation and sunspots appear in unimagined levels of detail.

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H-alpha telescope

You will experience a bit of the action when  observing the Sun in H-alpha light. In a very narrow, deep-red band with a wavelength of 656nm you can observe a very active Sun. Prominences flare millions of kilometers into space and are changing rapidly. Even when you see no sunspots on the Sun, there is almost always something to see.

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Mercury transit T-Shirt

For huge fans of astronomy: show your passion for astronomy with the new Mercury transit T-shirt. It shows the progress of the transit with all the important information and timings. So anyone can look to see when Mercury will appear in front of the Sun, or how long we still need to wait until the next transit.

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Smartphone adapter

Photographing the Sun swiftly and simply: with a smartphone adapter you can quickly take beautiful pictures of the Mercury transit. It works really well with small telescopes. Simply attach the Omegon smartphone adapter to your eyepiece, and soon you will be capturing these astronomical moments for ever.

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Omegon 70/400 Backpack with solar filter

If you are looking for a small travel solar telescope, then the Omegon Backpack 70/400 AZ is perfect. The set includes a finder scope, mirror star-diagonal, eyepieces and of course the appropriate solar filter. You get all of this together in a practical rucksack.

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Finding the Sun made easy

Sometimes its hard to believe how hard it can be to find the Sun with a telescope without spending a lot of time searching for it. Finding it is much easier with the Geoptik 1.25’’ solar finder.

Simply attach the sun finder to your focuser and right away you can centre the Sun over your mount’s axes. The Euro EMC solar finder offers an alternative way of finding the Sun. It consists of a pinhole and a small screen onto which a small image of the sun is projected. Simply attach the finder to your tube using the Velcro straps included.

First Light Optics & Ian King Imaging.

Ikarus Imaging (IKI) is a joint venture between Ian King & First Light Optics that focuses entirely on providing equipment, service and support for astrophotographers and the astroimaging community.  Whether you are a novice taking your first steps or an experienced astrophotographer planning a new observatory installation, we can help. 

Ian King: Prior to Ikarus Imaging Ian owned and ran Ian King Imaging and is co-founder of the ICastronomy project.  Nobody has more experience with telescopes, mounts and cameras for astrophotography. 

First Light Optics: The FLO team handle IT and logistics.  Essentially they are the ‘ground crew’ that keeps IKI in the air.  They also do the same for StargazersloungeAstronomy Tools and Clear Outside

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Gemini Telescope Design:-

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A harmonic drive is a speed reducer with high ratios with very high efficiency and no backlash. At very high ratios they are non-reversing too. Harmonic Drive AG offers them in a package with bearings and sealed housing, load and torque ratings that far exceed the needs of a telescope mount. To increase the reduction (160, but in fact 161) I added a planetary gear that slides inside the hollow input shaft of the harmonic drive. This drive on the Mountegra will serve you for eternity.

Click here to visit website.

Lunatico Astro: Pocket Cloud Watcher

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The best portable solution to detect clouds, measure temperature, brightness, relative humidity and dew point. Controlled and monitored from your smartphone.

PC Version available!All the features of the pocketCW, plus PC connection via a micro USB cable.
The PC can run all our AAG CloudWatcher software for displaying and automation - including ASCOM safety monitor and weather conditions drivers.
Any number of phones can be connected while the pocketCW is also sending data to the PC.

Take the new  pocket CloudWatcher  with you to your favourite dark place, and sleep relaxed while it  monitors the sky  and ambient conditions,  waking you up  in case of trouble.

Take the new pocket CloudWatcher with you to your favourite dark place, and sleep relaxed while it monitors the sky and ambient conditions, waking you up in case of trouble.

Main Features:

  • Configurable Alarms (1) for any of the readings, plus battery level and data age (watchdog function)

  • Can run from the internal rechargeable battery, or from any standard jack (5.5-2.1mm, centre positive) and ubiquitous 12V power supply

  • Data shared via Bluetooth (tm) Low Energy - any device in the surroundings can read it! (*)

  • All data displayed, alarms fired at your Android or iPhone smartphone (Bluetooth LE required)

  • Brightness sensor optimized for natural light (artificial light, especially fluorescent, result in wrong readings)

  • PC version available

(1) New APP version! (2019/April) - 2.1 (available to everybody, including existing users - just an app update away). 

✓ Much more powerful alarms: for safe, unsafe, with snooze, ignore period...
✓ Configurable screen saver.

✘Not to be permanently installed outside. 
✘Not rain resistant.

 (*) Bluetooth (tm) Low Energy available for Android 4.3 and iPhone 6, or better.

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Technical specifications:

  • Portable detector including:

    • Relative humidity sensor

    • Ambient temperature sensor

    • Brightness sensor

    • IR sensor - clouds

  • Watchdog function

  • PC version available

  • Power:

    • Rechargeable battery 3.7V 450mAh (more than 24h of operation at above zero temperatures)

    • External 12V power supply with standard jack (5.5-2.1mm, centre positive)

  • Data shared via Bluetooth (TM) Low Energy (available for Android 4.3 (*) and iPhone 6, or better)

  • Measures: 71x71x27mm.

  • Weight: <85gr.

Skypoint:- Refractor Sharpstar 71 sdq f / 6.3 Refractor

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The Refractor Sharpstar 71 sdq f / 6.3 Refractor is a FPL-53 71 mm Diameter, 450 mm focal length and a correct field and the full-frame format. The Telescope is equipped with 2.5 " Sprocket Rotary Focuser 1:10 " pinion and rack with 2 " and 1.25 " adapters ". the endowment includes retractable gobo, CNC rings, Vixen and breadboard dovetail bar For seekers.


Soft Bag Geoptik 30 B034 for small refracting. Ideal for small apocromatici from 70, 80 or 90 mm opening and focal of about 500. Interior stuffed with sponge.


Click here for more details.

Rainbow Astro: Meade35cm's replacement

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RainbowAstro

The Meade Lx200 Series has a new and new version, but there are not many cases that the fork mount trestle can fail in electrical parts. This time, I'm asking to use only mirror tubes in the same case. The Mount will also hold alignment information with the rainbowastro rst-400 home sensor, so the personal use is of course, the mount that is easy to use in public facilities. This time we will be renewal of the observatory of the hot springs facility! You will be able to expand the full service (Starry Sky Information) with a simple operation that is not necessary for expertise

Celestron RASA Astrographs: Telescopes for Astrophotography

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The RASA range of telescopes were developed specifically and exclusively for astrophotography. They are very fast; with a focal length of f/2 they take pictures twenty times faster than a Schmidt-Cassegrain lens at f/10! Because of this a tracking control is not required, and generally fewer demands are placed on the mount.

The RASA 1100 model with a 279 millimetre aperture has already been on the market for some time, and Celestron is now also offering a smaller version, the RASA 800, with a 203 millimetre aperture.

RASA 1100

RASA 800

The abbreviation RASA stands for the developers’ names: Rowe-Ackermann-Schmidt-Astrograph. It is basically a normal, routinely-produced Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain instrument; that is with a spherical primary mirror in front of which is a corrector plate invented by Bernhard Schmidt. Instead of using a secondary mirror to direct the light path towards the Cassegrain focus at the end of the telescope, the camera sensor is incorporated in the prime focus. A corrector assembly comprising four lenses made of especially high-quality glass ensures optimal illumination.

The RASA telescope from Celestron

The RASA telescope from Celestron

As the term astrograph implies, RASA telescopes are designed exclusively for photography. There is no option to use an eyepiece. But if you are an amateur astronomer who specialises in astrophotography, you will not see this as a disadvantage, instead you will quickly learn to appreciate the advantages of the RASA telescopes.

QSI:- Competition

QSI 6162

QSI 6162

2019 competition (open)

The 2019 astrophotography competition is open for business!

Don’t miss your chance to win a brand new QSI 6162 camera.

Entering is quick and easy… simply upload your amazing astrophotos, give us the capture details and a QSI 6162 camera could be yours. We’re excited to see what incredible images 2019 will bring.

Good luck to all our #Astrophotographers!

Tip: We publish the entries in batches so that we can monitor what is published on our public domain, so do not worry if you do not see your entry straight away.

Competition Terms and Conditions:
By entering the QSI Astrophotography competition you are accepting that your image may be used in QSI marketing material (where possible the photographer will be credited). All entries must have been taken on an QSI Camera. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed or corrupted. If an entry is entered twice we only publish one. QSI Cameras reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions and reject entries. A public vote will open after the competition closes in 2020, from which the finalists will be selected.The final decision will then go to the QSI judges. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The winner(s) will be notified by email and will then be announced on the QSI website and social media platforms. Competition closes 2020.

Astro Hutech / Borg: Another Veil thru NB1

1- This was a 1st test shot by Scott Denning in Colorado under the moonlight.

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His comment : This is an experimental image of the Veil in Cygnus using NB1 filter with OSC camera (ASI 094MC Pro). About 2 hours exposure (25x300s) with Borg 125SD @ f/3.9 during waning gibbous moon in my suburban back yard the past two nights. Flats and darks applied, then processed in PixInsight.

It took a lot of work in PI to get the color balance to be pleasing, but I am very happy with the result. The NB1 filter works very well to isolate Ha and O3 under bright moonlit skies!

Thanks for your quick feedback on NB1. Enjoy with a new filter. Scott, when I used NB1 with my 183MC last time, I pre-set white balance – red – 96 & blue – 88. It might not be the same for 094MC. But I thought it might be useful for your next attempt.

 

2- I also resumed astro activity. This might be 1st time to take gear outside almost in 3 months. Fortunately now I can carry some portable mounts and scopes after foot and back injuries. Still a bit hesitating though. I missed a lot of summer targets this year.

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This was my 1st attempt to test CFW with a color camera under the sky. Unfortunately I was forced to be washed out by the marine layer quickly. But at least I figured out each filter was switched as expected from PC. So this was the good to start anyway.

 

IDAS filters are set as follows

From top : NB2-48, NB3-48 and ODW(clear)-48

From top : NB2-48, NB3-48 and ODW(clear)-48

Dark Frame: Celestron CG5-GT

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We like Celestron CG5-GT’s, like this one here.
The AVX is very similar and also very capable. The average age of a telescope mount in our workshop is nine years old, with the oldest dating back to 1996.

You don’t leave servicing your car for that long, and these precise instruments need the same looking after.

Our rebuilds can last up to 5-7 years without degraded performance.

How do we know?

We recently rebuilt and upgraded some of our earliest mounts from three years ago, and hardly any wear was measured.

We engineer tighter tolerances into your mount to make them perform. Like 20min guided images from CG5-GT’s. But don’t leave to long. The impossible we already do, but some miracles do take a little longer.

Book your mount in today.

Skypoint:- Takahashi EM-400 TEMMA 2-M GoTo equatorial mount

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It makes its entrance in our used market the legendary Montatura Equatoriale Takahashi Em-400 TEMMA 2-m goto

Complete With Keypad, Cannocchiale polare, cables, Original Tripod #Takahashi JP-Z, four 8 kg counterweights, Large Accessory Holder Plate and instructions.

This specimen in particular is in contovendita and is exactly like new. You practically don't find signs of use even looking for them with microscope.

https://www.skypoint.it/en

The RedCat 51 Raffle in aid of Scopes4Schools CLUB MEMBERS ONLY!

The RedCat 51 Raffle in aid of Scopes4Schools
CLUB MEMBERS ONLY!

Click here to join The Backyard Astro Imaging Club,

Since I haven't run a raffle like this before perhaps we can, those of us involved, use this as a test case for future Raffles and Competitions. This is how I see it.
There are 100 maximum entries and these are to be paid for via PayPal to tc@123easypc.com using the friends and family option (A Scopes4Schools bank account will be opened in due course if this is a reasonably effective success).
1. Each ticket costs £10 UK pounds sterling and that amount must appear in my PayPal before your ticket number is released. NO MULTIPLE PAYMENTS - if you want two tickets then you MUST MAKE SEPARATE PAYMENTS INCLUDING PROPER CONTACT DETAILS EACH TIME - This is because I am new to this and do not want any hiccups at my end.
2. Each payment MUST be accompanied by your name and contacts details so I can issue an acknowledgement.
3. Any short payments or invalid entries will be notified as soon as possible and the money in these cases will be returned less PayPal fees so PLEASE make the correct payment if paying from outside the UK.

4. Shipping in UK and most major countries will be included BUT YOU MUST PAY ANY IMPORT FEES DUE ITEM VALUE WILL BE SHOWN AS £550
5. This RedCat IS NOT brand new and has some small marks from use, has faded a little in places as it is the Mk1 model though it has seen very light use and appears to be very good indeed optically. It includes the parts it came with - Bag, Scope, short dovetail, registration card and RedCat stickers. There are no dents or dings, it has some dust externally on the rubber grips, there is a small scratch on the dew shield from storage. I will be trying to get one more wide field image from it while the raffle runs for greater interest and my own pleasure.
6. The draw will take place when all 100 tickets are sold.
7. I reserve the right to end the draw at any time and return the ticket cost to each entrant via PayPal refund (this may include situations such as legal enforcement of cancellation of the draw, my ill health, any other significant scenario that would reasonably make the draw impossible.
8. The item was bought and paid for by me and was imported lawfully into the UK with all import duties being paid by me originally, to HM Revenue and Customs.
9. The draw will be made publicly by a non interested party (to be announced) and the Winner will be contacted personally to ensure a smooth transaction.
10. The Spirit of the Raffle is to enable a basic, second hand imaging rig to be provided to a local South West UK school for the purposes of their developing an Astronomy and Imaging Club in their own right. I will be supporting their endeavor and wish it to springboard regular donations to worthy schools across the planet Earth.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS, ADVICE OR RESERVATIONS REGARDING THIS PROJECT. The website for www.scopes4schools.com is under construction and is a part of The Backyard Astro Imaging Club and AstronomyABC projects.

My contact details are timcowell@AstronomyABC.com please email me or FB messenger at any time.

E&OE - This project is designed simply to encourage the future generations of Astro Imagers and I thank you all for your time and consideration in this important matter. I remain your friend and humble servant signed in good faith - T.A.Cowell - Owner and Founder this day 1st September 2019 ad

telescope picture for illustration purposes. images taken with the actual telescope by me using an ASI071