Mike Fratto

5 posts
Mike Fratto is an amateur astronomer who can be found in his backyard or at Darling Hill Observatory on the rare nights its clear in Central New York.
Picture of Allsky camera at Darling HIll Observatory.

The Allsky camera at Darling Hill is live!

After far too long, our Allsky camera at Darling Hill Observatory is live. The Allsky camera takes a widefield view of the night sky every 15 seconds or so and saves the images. At the end of the night, we have it set to after sundown and before sunrise, the software will process the images into a time lapse video letting you see the constellations wheel over head. It will create start trail images showing the Earth’s rotation. And Keograms where a thin slice from the center of each image is stiched together in a time series and shows the […]

Mike holding a polished ring gear

Polishing, tuning and final assembly of my CGEM II

Following the dissassembly of my mount, the cleaning and reassembly went surprisingly smoothly. I spent most of my time sanding and polishing the ring bearings and the mount where they mated. You can see from this image of the cleaned up bearing that there was some rubbing on the bearing which was probably causing some of the stickiness. I thought it might have been from the clutch, but if that slips, it’s just a little bit from handling the mount. That mark went around the entire ring. There was marking inside the mound barrel as well. I started with around […]

Adventures Hypertuning a Celestron CGEM-II

I have been having issues with my mount balancing and tracking celestial objects. I am working on doing electronically assisted astronomy (EAA) and while I don’t need the precision and long term tracking that people doing astrophotography require, I do want to get a reliable series of exposures and maybe practice some AP before I decide to invest in a better mount. At the very least, I use a program called Sharpcap to run a series of shots while I sleep so I can see what I caught the next day and having reliable tracking is important. The video below […]

Maker Faire 2022 image

Join us at Maker Faire Syracuse

Join us at Maker Faire Syracuse. The event will be at the SRC Arena at OCC on April 2nd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We will have a table and tent outside with some solar scopes and a raffle. There are a lot of Maker exhibitors such as Drone displays, Woodworkers of Central New York, blacksmithing demonstrations, engines and mechanical creations, robotics, and model airplanes. Lots of demonstrations.