We've expanded our Electronics Design business to include Analog, Digital and RF design consulting work. We offer competitive hourly rates, in-house PCB design capability and quick turn around on any project, large or small. We will be happy to quote on any project you may have.

Please visit our website at http://jwmeng.com for contact information.


Astronomical Imaging turned out to be a lot of fun for us. My wife and I use to go to one of two or three locations to do our imaging.

When the marine layer isn't a problem for us, we usually setup in the backyard of our house in Coto de Caza. I have a direct cable modem Internet connection already outside for use at the observatory site in the backyard. This allows me to keep the computers time in sync with the US Naval Observatory, and access to anything on the Internet that I might need during a nights observation session.

An old location we sometimes use is up on Elsinore Peak in the mountains of Southern California. It is approximately 3500 feet in altitude, with skies that are not to badly light polluted. CCD cameras help a great deal in the area of light pollution, so the lights from the cities of Elsinore and Temecula don't usually pose a real problem. Sometimes the marine layer will come inland and cover up Elsinore and Temecula, but the marine layer has never been higher than Elsinore Peak any time I've seen this happen. When this happens, then the skies are really dark. Elsinore Peak is about a 45 minute drive from our home in Coto de Caza. Mt Palomar with the famous 200 inch Hale Telescope, is right straight across from Elsinore Peak to the East about 35 miles. I often use the Palomar dome to do the initial alignment on the Meade LX200 finder scope.

Another location is up on Table Mountain, just about 3 miles from Wrightwood in the San Gabriel Mountains. This is a favorite local Ski spot during the winter months. But during the off season, I use the parking lot to setup my telescope because it is nice big surface to setup on. Table mountain is about 7500 feet in altitude with really nice dark skies to the west, north, and east. The southern exposure is somewhat light polluted from the lights of Los Angeles, although I have taken images in the south that have turned out pretty good. Also, naked eye observing is really good here generally speaking. Table Mountain is about one and half hours drive one way from our location here in Orange County.

One of the cameras I built and used to image these photos is the Cookbook Camera by Richard Berry, Veikko Kanto, and John Munger. While this is not a research grade camera, and has been built by many people, it is none the less capable of some rather impressive images when processed with good image processing software. The TC-245 version which my camera is, produces images that are 378 wide x 242 pixels deep. The TC245 CCD chip is cooled by a Peltier to typically -30 degrees Centigrade. This allows for imaging times in excess of 60 minutes without "Well" saturation on the CCD chip. This picture shows the Cookbook Camera mounted on my 10 inch Meade LX200 telescope with me setting up the computer system for the nights imaging session.

I am now adding images using my "SBIG ST8" CCD camera. This camera is capable of 1530 x 1020 pixel images with 9 micron square pixel sizes. I've started a new table of images for my ST8 images. You can see the comparison between the CB245 and the ST8 for those images that are the same. Besides the large image size this camera gives, it also has a built in autoguider CCD chip. That means it will keep the telescope tracking on a star I choose at the same time it is taking an image. Now I can shot a single image for up to 1 hour and keep the telescope centered on the object.

The Cookbook Camera images were processed using Bruce Johnston's SuperFix processing package. I think it is an outstanding image processing package and I highly recommend it. Please visit his Web Page for more details.

I now have my Ritchey-Chretien 12.5 inch F/9.7 scope and Software Bisque's GT-1100 Paramount mount. Here is a picture of me standing next to the scope and mount so you can have a reference point for the size. We have finished building the "Nova Quest Observatory" out in the desert at the "Orange County Astronomers" Anza club site. The observatory building is 18 feet long by 14 feet wide with a roll off roof. It contains an 8 foot x 14 foot control room in the fixed portion of the observatory and the 10 foot x 14 foot roll off portion contains a 10" LX200 F/6.3 scope and the Mountain Instruments 12.5" F/9.7 Ritchey-Chretien scope.

Construction on "Nova Quest Observatory." is completed as well as the interior control room. We've installed the carpet, electrical is functioning, phone service is hooked up, the bunkbeds are installed, and the process of automating the observatory is underway. Software for the Weather Station is completed as well as the GPS software to keep the computers date and time accurate to within 1/4 second. Cabling for the two telescopes to the control room is completed. We have provided additional pictures you can view by clicking on the above link. This link will take you to a complete sequence of all construction images from start to present date. There are "Next/Previous" links at the bottom of each page.


Latest Images taken between Feb and April 2001
M13
M16
M24
M25
M51
M80
M83
M104
NGC4038
NGC4494
NGC4535
NGC4565
NGC5068
NGC5247
NGC5248
NGC5634
NGC6309
NGC6503
NGC6517
NGC6535
NGC6539
NGC6749
   


These are Additional Images you may view

Best viewed at "1024x768"


Messier / New General Catalog (NGC) / Misc. Images taken with CB245 Camera

M1
M3
M8
M16
M17
M20
M27
M33
M42
M51
M94
M97
M101
HaleBopp
NGC 253
NGC 891
NGC 3628
NGC 4258
NGC 4565
NGC 4569
NGC 4594
NGC 4631
NGC 4725
NGC 4826
NGC 5033
NGC 5055
NGC 6946
NGC 7331

Camera used to take the above images


Control Unit
Camera Head


Messier Images in Monochrome, taken with SBIG ST8 Camera

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
M9
M10
M11
M12
M13
M14
M15
M16
M17
M18
M19
M20
M21
M22
M23
M24
M25
M26
M27
M28
M29
M30
M31
M32
M33
M34
M35
M36
M37
M38
M39
M40
M41
M42
M43
M44
M45
M46
M47
M48
M49
M50
M51
M52
M53
M54
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M56
M57
M58
M59
M60
M61
M62
M63
M64
M65
M66
M67
M68
M69
M70
M71
M72
M73
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M76
M77
M78
M79
M80
M81
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M83
M84
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M86
M87
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M90
M91
M92
M93
M94
M95
M96
M97
M98
M99
M100
M101
M102
M103
M104
M105
M106
M107
M108
M109
M110


Messier Images in Color, taken with SBIG ST8 Camera

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
M9
M10
M11
M12
M13
M14
M15
M16
M17
M18
M19
M20
M21
M22
M23
M24
M25
M26
M27
M28
M29
M30
M31
M32
M33
M34
M35
M36
M37
M38
M39
M40
M41
M42
M43
M44
M45
M46
M47
M48
M49
M50
M51
M52
M53
M54
M55
M56
M57
M58
M59
M60
M61
M62
M63
M64
M65
M66
M67
M68
M69
M70
M71
M72
M73
M74
M75
M76
M77
M78
M79
M80
M81
M82
M83
M84
M85
M86
M87
M88
M89
M90
M91
M92
M93
M94
M95
M96
M97
M98
M99
M100
M101
M102
M103
M104
M105
M106
M107
M108
M109
M110


New General Catalogue (NGC) Images taken with SBIG ST8 Camera

NGC 1 to NGC 999
NGC 1000 to NGC 1999
NGC 2000 to NGC 2999
NGC 3000 to NGC 3999
NGC 4000 to NGC 4999
NGC 5000 to NGC 5999
NGC 6000 to NGC 6999
NGC 7000 to NGC 7999


Index Catalogue (IC) Images taken with SBIG ST8 Camera

IC 1 to IC 999
IC 1000 to IC 1999
IC 2000 to IC 2999
IC 3000 to IC 3999
IC 4000 to IC 4999
IC 5000 to IC 5386


Misc. Images taken with SBIG ST8 Camera

Horsehead Nebula
Dwingeloo 1



Flat Field Light Box
Temperature Regulator Circuit
LRGB "How To"


My Favorite Links


All photographs are Copyright © 1996-2007 Jerry Mulchin. All rights/uses reserved.

Last Modified:

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