I put all of my tickets (over 30!) into the raffle for a 100-degree-apparent-field-of-view eyepiece at AHSP but didn’t win it. I probably should have put a few tickets in some other raffles. They had a whole lot of different stuff being raffled off. The eyepiece I wanted was donated by Hands On Optics. At AHSP they give you ten tickets as part of your registration, and then you can buy more of them. Elizabeth Warner and her husband left the morning of the raffle (Sunday) and gave me theirs, which was very nice of them.
At Stellafane, they used to have just ONE humongous item in the raffle, like a full set of really expensive eyepieces from Al Nagler. So it used to be in fact all-or-nothing. Don’t know if it was like that this year?
I discovered that the things I really needed were:
* an inexpensive laser collimator so I can get collimated in a minute or two all by myself, accurately, instead of fumbling around for an hour and needing an assistant… (now on order)
* an inexpensive electronic timer controller for my Canon TSi so it doesn’t need any cables to a computer (also now on order)
* a way to get rid of dew. The last night was fantastic except for the dew, which even defeated the chemical hand warmer packets that I wrapped around my finder and Telrad. I bet it got to the secondary as well. I will study up on the physics of heat production by resistors or heating wire wrapped around those and devise something.
BTW, I had to use a borrowed hack saw and masking tape to cut each of my truss tubes by exactly an inch on the second day so that I could come to a focus with all my eyepieces. I used some local rocks to deburr the cuts.
They had some great presentations on astrophotography, including how to do it simply and effectively. I was much encouraged.