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Charles Dunlop
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  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • United States
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Charles Dunlop's Discussions

CCD autopilot vs ACP

Started this discussion. Last reply by Marc Basti Nov 11, 2014. 6 Replies

Kind of liking CCD autopilot. Have both systems, but I'm preferring CCD autopilot. Just easier to understand. Now that my guider is picking up stars easily CCDAP seems to be doing the job. Of course…Continue

Howie Glatter Laser Collimator

Started this discussion. Last reply by Charles Dunlop Jun 1, 2013. 2 Replies

Best telescope tool I ever bought. Little pricey, but got a discount. My scope was way out of collimation as I was overscrewing around stars at night trying to get it perfect. Thing was way out of…Continue



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Profile Information

To avoid Spam and Bots, to join we simply ask you to describe your primary telescope setup.
I started astrogab to have fun, chat with others and learn more. My learning curve has been off the charts since starting this site.

Telescope Setup

Technical innovations PD10 automated dome
Paramount Pier


Paramount ME

12.5" AG optical corrected Dall-Kirkham
FLI Atlas focuser

optec pyxis 3 rotator

Starlight xpress adaptive optics

Maxim and CCDsoft
SkyX pro
ACP observatory control

Photographic stuff
Flatman XL

QSI 683 wsg-c-8

SBIG Planetcam

Baader Filters: LP for luminance, Red, Green, Blue, Halpha, OIII, Hbeta, SII

Latest Activity

Nick Dudish liked Charles Dunlop's photo
Jul 7
Trevor Woodrow commented on Charles Dunlop's photo

Charlie and Trevor

"Was that really six years ago?"
May 17
Marc Basti commented on Charles Dunlop's photo

Charlie and Trevor

"Way back when. Thanks Marc B"
May 17
Nick Dudish liked Charles Dunlop's blog post New deck and observatory install
Nov 20, 2015
Leonard Ward joined Charles Dunlop's group

Plate solving

plate solving is an advanced technique where the telescope will slew to exactly where it previously was to line up with the stars in a shot perfectly, so as to continue a shot or start again a new night, etc.
Jun 3, 2015
carlo colombo italiano milanese left a comment for Charles Dunlop
"mi sono sempre dimenticato di farti i miei ringraziamenti per la tua amicizia e accoglienza presso l'astrogab, grazie c.colombo astrofilo milanese"
Apr 21, 2015
Charles Dunlop commented on Bob W's photo


"nice shot."
Dec 13, 2014
Russ Ruggles commented on Charles Dunlop's blog post New deck and observatory install
"Sounds like it'll be plenty solid Charles. I went 40" deep and 24" square on both of mine and the only movement I got was during the last couple of earthquakes we had. No damage so life is good :)"
Dec 13, 2014
Charles Dunlop's blog post was featured

New deck and observatory install

Got the deck taken out, and my buddy and his small crew put in an 18 inch round pier with a T base 5 feet deep. The dirt in my hill is super strong and solid, and I'm guessing that pier base isn't moving at all if much at all. Just levelled the J bolts (except he used screws with flat square 3 inch plates on the end. It'll be solid. So, that part is done. Monday they install the actual deck, should be done my tuesday. Wed. my observatory shows up. Can't wait.See More
Dec 12, 2014
Marc Basti replied to Charles Dunlop's discussion CCD autopilot vs ACP
"SGP seems like a decent program to try out-I've only heard good things about it and a good price. On my to do list 2015. Marc"
Nov 11, 2014
Charles Dunlop replied to Charles Dunlop's discussion CCD autopilot vs ACP
"I might switch to ACP.. Lane and McFarlin are killing it using that program and swear it's easier than CCDap but harder to figure out at first. Maybe I'll switch when I set up my observatory again in a month."
Nov 10, 2014
Bob W replied to Charles Dunlop's discussion CCD autopilot vs ACP
"Since I switched to Sequence Generator Pro I have no issues at all, I set up a time for it to start tell it the target and let it go. Great little program."
Nov 10, 2014
carlo colombo italiano milanese commented on Charles Dunlop's photo

12.5 inch idk finally mounted

"sono molto invidioso, del vostro osservatorio."
Oct 9, 2014
carlo colombo italiano milanese commented on Charles Dunlop's photo
Oct 9, 2014
Charles Dunlop shared Dave Lane's photo on Facebook
Jun 5, 2014
John O'Neill commented on Charles Dunlop's blog post AT 12" RC
"I bought one and I am very happy with it. The quality actually exceeds some of the manufactures you mentioned. I highly recommend this scope. Call me John O'Neill if you want at 727-637-5945 and I will give more info on the scope."
Apr 2, 2014

Charles Dunlop's Blog

Switching to ACP

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 4:20am 6 Comments

CCDap is so unstable. Actually going to try the free program Steve Coates turned us onto tomorrow, but man CCDap is just unstable. When it works it's awesome when it doesn't it blows a night, and it seems to be 50/50. ACP apparently much more stable.

personal hubble

Posted on August 5, 2012 at 6:23pm 4 Comments

Wonder how much it would cost to have your own like 20 inch orbiting telescope.

Mars one

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 7:58am 3 Comments

OK, these guys are actually doing this. Would you go?

I made it into scientific American!!!

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:44am 2 Comments

Not too big a deal, but I'm pretty stoked. Irony is, I share a step mother with David Goldstein but I've only met him once or twice. funny.

Comment Wall (33 comments)

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At 4:58am on April 21, 2015, carlo colombo italiano milanese said…

mi sono sempre dimenticato di farti i miei ringraziamenti per la tua amicizia e accoglienza presso l'astrogab, grazie c.colombo astrofilo milanese

At 4:58pm on December 13, 2013, Marc Basti said…

Congrats to you and Mom. Life will never be the same, it'll be better-enjoy!

At 5:15am on December 13, 2013, Bob W said…

Congrats Charles!!
Hope Mom and Baby are doing good.

At 7:42pm on December 12, 2013, Trevor Woodrow said…

What, no pics of your new baby!?!

At 2:41pm on May 4, 2013, Trevor Woodrow said…

I know you have been shooting, where are your posts!?! And for Christ's sake, shoot some darks!

At 6:24am on April 24, 2013, Mark Roberts said…

Hi Charles
If you are looking for a Ha Solar Scope there are a few nice options you may wish to consider. Solarscope and Daystar have Premium Ha filter systems that will mount to your existing refractor to turn them into very high quality solar instrument. One of my friends has a Solarscope filter system that just blows away the Coronado or Lunt scopes. I have heard nothing but good about Daystar but have no experience with them.
Something to consider since you tend to like the best

Clear Skies

At 9:10am on July 8, 2012, Frank Bastian said…

Interesting you said that because I've been of the same mind. I considered starting small and stretching to better, but finally after all I've read I decided to go for a higher end from the get go - an aplanatic 11" with CGEM DX mount. My only hesitation was a) it may be more than I can handle (I'm quite fit now at 59, but in 15 or 20 years a 110 lb mount may prove daunting to haul around) and b) building that old 6" from scratch was an adventure. Buying a 'ready to go' scope may leave less opportunity for creativity and discovery. But I suspect I will have ample opportunity to tweak and upgrade and I get my feet wet in this. Time will tell.

At 7:12am on July 8, 2012, Frank Bastian said…

Well... maybe I can grow into something that ambitious! What do you think of the Celestron CGEM DX mount?

At 9:56pm on July 7, 2012, Frank Bastian said…

well, forgot to mention that I have a 6" ~ F6 newtonian I built years ago and also picked up a used 3" refractor that have both languished for lack of a decent mount. a priority is to get a good solid mount. my skies are pretty good when clear (mountains of Pennsylvania)

At 9:30pm on July 7, 2012, Frank Bastian said…

that's part of my dilemma - both. So I wanted something I can enjoy viewing with and cultivate a serious AP hobby too. I was torn between a large aperture SCT and large newtonian. I'd read that for viewing a short F newtonian was not ideal, but a 10" F5 newtonian would have a 48" tube - kind of cumbersome on for viewing with an equatorial mount.

I think where I've settled is the reality that there is no one perfect scope for both viewing and AP - I'll eventually want an SCT and a newtonian; maybe even a big dobsonian. I'm strongly motivated to go with a SC to start and build from there.


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