This is a collection of information I find valuable and convenient to document, generally with a southern skies slant. Your mileage may vary!

This site is not intended to be yet another diary of events as there are already far too many of those out there. You will find information related to my software, observations and equipment, as well as some links to other interesting sites.

At present my hobby is mostly on the back burner, although I am still supporting the Vixen Star Book ASCOM driver I’ve developed.

ASCOM Star Book Driver Download

People seem more than willing to pay a small fortune for their telescope and accessories but very little on associated software. A donation is not required for you to use my software but it will make me and you feel good to see some recognition for the hundreds of hours I have put into developing […]

ASCOM Star Book Driver

No Longer Supported Please note I am no longer supporting or developing this driver. I had a long love/hate relationship with my Sphinx and the lack of official support from Vixen but hate ultimately won. Decent mount hardware but the Starbook and its software just doesn’t work as a serious front end. I will keep […]

Vixen Star Book FAQ

This website is the main online repository for unofficial information on Vixen’s Sphinx mount with Star Book. Although by no means exhaustive, I have attempted to draw together many of the frequently asked questions and the generally agreed solutions. 1. ASCOM Sphinx Driver (computer control) Vixen only provide computer control of the Sphinx via the […]


My web based telescope and eyepiece calculator to assist in measuring the performance of your equipment. I am only actively maintaining the English version of Scopulator at present. It has been tested and confirmed to work properly with: Internet Explorer 5.5+ Netscape Navigator 6+ Mozilla 1.6+ Choose language and browser English Scopulator 2004-06-10 Portuguese Old […]

The Sphinx is here!

;D Three boxes arrived yesterday containing tripod, mount and OTA. Had enough time to unpack them and set it up but without power there wasn’t much else to do. I bought a 12V DC 2 Amp regulated power supply from Jaycar which does the job nicely. Spent half an hour in the evening practicing a […]

Not here yet!

My new telescope was supposed to arrive today, but it didn’t! My expectations were dashed by the reality of shipping vagaries. Ah! The joys of waiting by the mail box.

Vixen Sphinx and VC200L

After much deliberating, I ordered a Vixen Sphinx mount with VC200L OTA today. Final shopping list was: VC200LDG SXW with SX-HAL110 (inc. brightness reducer) 2661 SX Tube Attachment Plate 1.9kg Weight

Shaky EQ Mount

My current 4″ shorttube achromat has a crappy EQ2 mount which shakes and shudders almost continuously. I can’t understate how frustrating this can be for simple things like focussing. The lack of a motor drive and setting circles are also major impediments to getting more out of this.

My epiphany in Orion

2000-12-28 11:00pm-12:30am AEDT Conditions: clear sky, no wind Equipment: 4″ short tube achromat Omcon Plossl 40mm, Antares SW 10mm, GTO Plossl 6.3mm Antares Barlow 2x Very nice night, typical of the last few days. Due to various┬ásocial commitments of the season I haven’t had a chance to do┬ámuch more than point out Jupiter and Saturn […]

“The Long Shot”

Like many, I was intrigued by the discussions around the potential for the Leonids in 2001. I consider myself a very amateur, though enthusiastic astronomer and was unsure whether to spend the time, effort and money to see this spectacle given that there were much uncertainty around the predicted rates and the predicted weather. Peter […]