north america nebula with star trackerTo capture photos like the ones seen on this website, a device for tracking the stars is an essential bit of kit. This effectively cancels out the rotation of the Earth and freezes the motion of the stars, allowing long exposures to be taken.

Lenses with focal lengths of up to 300mm, and exposures of between 30 seconds and 10 minutes (depending on focal length) can quite easily be achieved with a home built star tracker. While it won’t match the results from a dedicated telescope and equatorial mount, it’s a vastly cheaper option for those just starting out.

With this in mind, I put a guide website together to show how to build an inexpensive (around £10-£20), yet highly effective tracker out of everyday bits and pieces. The website also shares a number of original improvements I was able to make to the standard design, including MP3 timing beeps and a standard ball-head fit balancing setup, which I feel makes the design among the best choices for its effectiveness, cost and simplicity.

The barn door tracker guide site can be found at