- Andy's Shot Glass Home Page. Watch the Home page for information
on new and upcoming articles, reviews and tutorials.
- Links to all my articles, tutorials and reviews!
- Antares 152mm
Refracer Review - Andy
Raiford and Daniel Maloney weigh in with their opinions
of this scope in separate reviews.
101 - The Honest Truth About Affordable
Scopes - An explanation of what scopes
in the affordable class are capable of -- and what
they are not capable of.
102 - Introductory information for the
beginner on the three basic components necessary for
with the Atlas EQ-G and ST-4 - Autoguiding
the Atlas is a breeze using the Sbig ST-4 stand alone
auto-guider - once you learn how. The learning curve
is steep, and can be difficult for beginners. This
article explains both handguding autoguiding.
Your Equatorial Telescope - In order
for an equatorial mount's motors to function smoothly
and properly, it is important that your scope be balanced
in both Right Ascension and Declination axis. This
article contains basic information for the novice
Hat Trick - My Canon Digital Rebel jerks
incredibly when the shutter mirror slaps open. Most
of my photos gave evidence of this, until I learned
this cool hat trick.
- Choosing a
Telescope - This article is for those
who have never purchased a telescope and would like
input to aid their decision.
- Cleaning the
Primary Mirror and Lenses of your Telescope -
Information to help you if you ever find
yourself with an incredibly dirty primary mirror.
- Collimating a
Newtonian Telescope - This animated tutorial
teaches two basic collimation techniques: Visual and
Laser Collimating. My multimedia demonstration makes
the process of collimating a Newtonian easy to understand.
- Coronado PST
- The Coronado PST or personal solar telescope
allows astronomers to see things that they've never
been able to see from their back yards - prominences
on the sun! This article describes the workings of
the scope and its photographic capabilities.
- Don't Do What I Did
- A humorous look at getting started in amateur
astronomy, I share my own mistakes, trials and tribulations.
- Drift Alignment
- A video demonstration of how to perform
a drift alignment in preparation for astrophotography.
Find out why so many people tell me that my video
is worth a thousand words!
- Eclipse Makview
4 Review - The Eclipse Makview 4 is a
105 mm, f/13 (1365 mm focal length) Maksutov-Cassegrain
telescope featuring BK7 glass optics. It is reviewed
here by Jeff Phillips.
- Helical Focuser
I - This article spotlights the helical
focuser. Inexpensive telescopes are not known for
their precision focusers. The addition of an inexpensive
device called the helical focuser makes all the difference
in the world when you are trying fine-tune in that
- Helical Focuser
II - An overview of
the design improvements made to the helical focuser.
- Hartzman Mask
- Your telescope is polar aligned. You have
your camera mounted with your object in the viewfinder.
You look through that little viewfinder and wonder
if you really have the focus you need. The Hartzman
Mask is an cheap and easy way to help you focus on
deep space objects.
- Leveling your
Tripod - Information for the beginner
on leveling your mount's tripod.
- Nebula Filter Shoot-Off
- A side-by-side comparison between the Bandmate™NebuStar™
and the Orion UltraBlock™ filter. (Conducted
at the Central Texas Star Party 2004)
Techniques and Filters - Learn the art
to observing deep space objects through a telescope.
This article covers observing techniques and explains
how telescope eyepiece filters can enhance viewing.
Crayford Focuser - How and why to consider
replacing the Orion Rack and Pinion focuser.
- Orion 100mm ED
- In this article, I compare the Orion 100mm
ED apochromatic refractor to the 80mm ED. I also explain
the improvements Orion has made to the Skyview Pro
mount, and show how I used the StarTarg™ drift
alignment software I designed with the SAC Mintron
CCD video camera.
- Orion 100mm ED Spacer
Modification- Some amateur astronomers
have noticed that three paper-thin spacers located
between the two lenses of the Orion 100mm ED, can
show up as defraction spikes in astrohotos of bright
stars. In this article, I explain how to quickly build
an inexpensive spanner tool that will help you dissassemble
the lens cell, and alter the spacers to remove this
- Orion 100mm
ED Drawtube Modification - Tune Up Your
100ED Focuser with these handy tips for honing the
flat side of your drawtube to prevent
slippage during astrophotography.
- Orion 120mm ED:
Part 1- This is Orion's big aperture apochromatic
refractor. It is sure to be popular with astrophotographers
and visual observers alike. First light took place
at Mansfield Dam at our usual friday night gathering
of the Austin Dam Astronomers. The results were astonishing.
Atlas EQ-G GOTO Mount - The Atlas EQ-G
GOTO Mount mount features technology that until now
only very expensive mounts have offered. This demonstration/tutorial
covers basic setup, polar alignment, and using the
handset to complete a two-star alignment.
- Orion SkyView
Pro™ Equatorial Mount for Astrophotography
- This article addresses weight limits for
the SkyView Pro™ EQ mount and telescope considerations
- Orion SkyView Pro™
Pier Mount - A review of Orion's steel
pier mount. It just may be your answer to stability
- Orion SkyView
Mount Modification - Demonstration of
how to modify your mount so that it operates more
smoothly while tracking, allowing for clearer astrophotos.
This article is a click-through that takes you step-by-step
through the whole process.
- Orion Status
35mm Widefield Eyepiece - This
68 degree field of view eyepiece is the largest in
Orion's Status collection to date. The article discusses
issues such as weight, field of view and coma. At
$199, this eyepiece is comparable to eyepieces twice
Polar Alignment Scope - This polar alignment
scope may need some attention to insure that it is
functioning properly. This article defines the problem
and gives detailed photographic instructions on how
to solve it.
2" Widefield Eyepieces - A review
of the Orion Super Wide angle eyepieces: 26mm, 32mm,
38mm on both refractor and reflector scopes.
- Seven Must-Haves
for the Amateur Astronomy - This is my
short list of the most important astronomy accessories
that will go a long way toward helping you get the
most enjoyment from your hobby.
- Solar Observation
- Tips and warnings about the dangers of
Facelift - Give your old telescope a
- The $800 Question
- Refractor? Reflector? In this article,
I give you some things to consider when deciding to
buy your first telescope.
- Wall Racks
for your Scopes
- A quick and easy way to get your telescopes up off
Rotating Rings - Daniel Malony explains
how to economically build and install these special
rings to make rotation of your tube assembly easy,
while keeping your eyepiece in a comfortable position,
and the scope in balance.
- Weather permitting, I have set a goal to shoot every one
of the Messier Objects. This is an up-to-date gallery of
the photos I have taken. Central Texas has experienced a
long period of cloudy or just bad-seeing nights. It's taking
longer than I expected, but I committed to seeing it through
to the last Messier Object.
- The meaning behind the name of my website and the
reason I started the site.
- Contact information (email, snail mail)
Junkies Forum - In March 2006, with the help
of my fellow amateur astronomer/computer programmer Daniel
Maloney, I created a way for Andy's Shot Glass visitors
to get astronomy information and assistance. Whether you're
just starting out or have been an amateur astronomer for
years, this is the place to ask questions. Forum topics
include refractors, reflectors, tips for beginners, colimation,
polar alignment, filters, focusers, eyepieces, lenses, astrophotography,
and much more! Check
Web Store -
This is where you can go to buy some of the handy astronomy
tools and tutorials I've developed including:
- Andy's Telescope
Tips and Tuneups CD - Features the expanded
SkyView Pro Mount modifications video (includes Seven
"Must-Haves" for Beginners, the Collimating
and Drift Alignment demonstrations and
- An excellent piece of software for astrophotographers
designed for use with a laptop computer that makes
drift alignment easier.
Gallery - An easy way to showcase your
astrophotos on the web or on your hard drive - designed
especially for astrophotographers!
Red Plexiglass - Dim your laptop screen while using
your computer for observing with a sheet of specially-cut
1/8" 14" wide by 11" high red plexiglass.
- Question about
the Week - Each week, Andy's Shot Glass features
photos taken while using an astrophotography rig not exceeding
$3000 (retail price). Read the submission requirements at
the bottom of the page and send in your photos today!
Kudos - A
compilation of good things people are saying about the web