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Blogs

  • Featured Entries

     

    The motor mount

    Working on the motor mount this evening- needs a bit more work but the general idea's there. I'm going to use a magnetic coupling and am thinking to make it quick release so I can take it off if I don't want to use it.

    markse68

    markse68

     

    Slight improvement

    24C2AE88-8FBD-47E7-BD34-716FB9018988.MOV Managed to square up the waveform for the step at the expense of halving it’s max frequency🤦‍♂️ But I’ve changed the driver board for the version that actually has half step input so my new max speed is about 3sec/rev which looks ok I think. It’s slmost working how I want it but I need to figure out how to shape the response as it’s too long in the very slow movement then suddenly shoots off into high speed- not sure why as the step times should be lin

    markse68

    markse68

     

    It’s alive!

    It’s very rewarding to see the motor moving 😊 Few issues though- it’s not a very linear response at all. I have a feeling that I need to make the step pulse train symmetrical high/low and just vary the frequency. The Trinamic driver I’m using has this feature called microplier where it interpolates input steps to output 256 micro steps for each input step (or 2 as that’s minimum input resolution I can chose without using serial interface) Nice feature as it makes the motor really smooth but it r

    markse68

    markse68

     

    Oh! those Summer Projects

    Feeling quite 'chipper' today! Many of my little 'summer' projects have been completed and seem to work. First - my bathroom extract system has been installed without me once falling off the ladder or putting my foot through the bathroom ceiling, second - I'm now producing tasty pizza and bread from my DIY wood-fired bread oven without upsetting my neighbours and third I've constructed four  battery powered 'dew zappers' for camera lenses and scope objectives.  The following is proof:

    Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor

     

    'AP on a Shoestring' Project

    Hi all,   Thanks for dropping into my blog – I have had over 9000 views in total now, which is incredible, so thanks all! As you will know if you have read the previous posts (dating back 4 years or so), I have very slowly been pulling together various bit and pieces of astro gear. Currently I have the following: Skywatcher EQ3-2 mount (white, non-motorised) – second hand for £90 off ABS Skywatcher 150PL OTA – new from RVO for about £180 25mm, 10mm eyepieces and 2 x Barl

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    Cornwall and Proper Dark Skies

    Hello there!!  Yeah, its been a while since my last blog post. Work and family life have been unbelievably busy these past months – added to that the summer nights being short, things on the astro front have taken a bit of a hiatus. However, the nights are slowly drawing in now, and following our recent holiday to Cornwall I am slowly getting more time to get out under the stars!  A couple of weeks ago, we took a family holiday to Cornwall. We stayed on a working farm, on the edge of B

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    'Catch a falling star'

    Capturing images of meteors is a bit like fishing. After the event, you are always haunted by the big one that got away! My widest camera lens is a Canon 18-55mm EFS zoom and even though this covers quite a bit of sky there is plenty left in which a bright meteor can suddenly appear. As I had two camera bodies, a Canon 600D and 400D DSLR, I decided to try and use them in tandem to improve my chances of capturing more meteors. Fabricating a ‘meteor rig’, reusing equipment and materials

    Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor

     

    Crunching the numbers

    Having completed the excellent and free Future Learn - Open University short course - 'Data to Insight' (University of Auckland) I finally got around to doing something with the copious amounts of data churned out by my SDR LVST (The Lowestoft Very Small Telescope) meteor catcher. I decided to first apply my 'forensic intellect -Dr Lecter'🤓 to the 2016 Perseid Shower (I had a set of data collected from the 4th to 16th of August).  Having done a bit of reading - an American paper from the 19

    Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor

     

    "GinaRep Giant Mk 4" 3D Printer

    I'm starting this Blog as I have decided to resurrect my Giant 3D Printer project sometime in the relatively near future.  From building other printers I have gained extra knowledge and may have a plan.  This will be based on both the Mk.2 and Mk.3 Giant printer designs plus my Concorde 3D Printer for the Z drive system.  The main casing has yet to be decided.  The print bed will be moving to provide the Z axis, having thought long and hard about a moving XY frame as in the Mk.2 and rejected it.

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Cash is King!

    Well as per usual, real life and Bills loom. I'm trying not to sell of too much kit. But a broken car and stressed fiances beckon.  Now on another note I'm looking to produce a camera lens scope. I have a Takumar 70-150mm lens. I have done some research, ad purchased a T2 to 1.25" visual back from China for £5!. This will allow me to add a barlow, 1.25" diagonal for use as a scope. The lens has a 65mm front aperture, so hoping it may provide a decent travel scope!. More to follow on th

    Rob

    Rob

     

    Yorkshire Dales

    Perhaps the open outlook to the eastEnsures the leaded panes catch every rayAnd part explains why on the dullest dayMy eye is drawn up to the colour feast, After a rubbish couple of months, finally a holiday........a week in the Yorkshire Dales, only a 7.5 hour drive from Kernow but worth it! A little cottage east of Hawes, nothing but sheep and pheasants and yes dark skies. Great food in small pubs with the friendly locals, Abbey ruins visited and gloriously recommended to sooth the s

    DavidJM

    DavidJM

     

    Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Control - Updated 2019 for RPi 3B+

    INTRODUCTION This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi 3B+ for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware.  The software to capture images, control camera cooling and other things such as the mount etc. is called INDI and provides a set of drivers to control all the hardware. The Raspberry Pi will run in what is called "headless" mode - meaning that no human interfaces are directly connected to the

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Out with a new toy

    Recently had some bad personal news so did what I usually do in these circumstances.....I bought a new scope To be precise a Synscan 127mm Maksutov from Rother Valley Optics (no planned advert but have to say great service) At last clear skies tonight so set up my new scope, used 2 star alignment, Regulas and Sirius as my garden is only any good towards the south (street lights everywhere else), really simple, five minutes and up and running. Quick tour using handset for messiers

    DavidJM

    DavidJM

     

    First Attempt at AP!!

    Hi all Been a while since my last entry, so thought it about time to log another! Things are getting a lot busier at work. My area has changed, and I have now taken on Norfolk, along with Bristol and South Wales. I am a Regional Systems Manager for Greene King Pub Co. and look after all the sites IT and till equipment. So, more sites means more meetings and more miles, but I love it - getting out and about, and seeing areas of the country I haven't been too before. The other day I had

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

    Laser Updates

    Laser Updates

    After tinkering with the smaller K40 we decided it wasn't quite up to our needs and decided a small upgrade would be more beneficial in the long run. A 12 hour drive and overnight stay in the Lake District later and we arrived back home with a larger 50W machine, a second hand 80W CO2 tube and upgraded power supply. The 80w upgrade will have to wait as we want this machine cutting asap. It's all set up and running now, but waiting on some extras to make the process a little healthier

    upahill

    upahill

     

    Sabatical

    So where have I been.......work.....that's it Have travelled to different continents, seen the southern hemisphere sky and bought another scope, yet to use I might add as something's haven't changed........cloudy skies, stormy weather with heavy rain In the little time I've managed to get my 200 dobson out, I have finally seen the amazing Orion nebula with uhc filter and also the trapezium, a wonder worth all the cost of this amazing hobby alone. There's something awe aspiring about th

    DavidJM

    DavidJM

     

    Preparing a talk on Astro-photography

    I've offered to give a talk with pictures to our local social group and thought a Blog on here would be a good place to prepare and assemble it.  Also, I would welcome any comments and suggestions.  I have a few ideas and will see how it progresses.  I will probably take me several days to get my initial ideas sorted out.

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Moon & Son (& Daughter)

    Hi everyone, Note - entry written Thurs 17th Jan Well, its getting busy at work, and at home now. Coupled with work, my daughter is approaching the end of her A-Levels so she is massively stressed out with both her course work, and her uni applications. I can’t quite believe that my little girl is going to be leaving home in September. Only seems like yesterday that she was getting ready for her first day at school . . . . I am going to find that day very hard I think. We spend our liv

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    First Light At Last!!!!!

    It finally happened – after waiting two weeks and a day, the clouds parted, and I was greeted with a clear, still and cloudless sky!! Whoop Whoop!! 15 days is a long time to wait! The scope (SW Explorer 150-PL) had been sitting in my dining room since Christmas, and despite a very short outing last week, that lasted about 10 minutes, last night was the first time I used her properly. I popped the tube outside a good hour before I intended to go out to observe, giving it plenty of time to co

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    "GinaRep Concorde" 3D Printer

    This 3D printer makes a bit of a departure from my others in that it is designed to give the best accuracy I can achieve rather than concentrating on speed or size, though I did want to print at least as big as my Titan printer (290mm x 290mm x 250mm).  Like Titan it uses a box as the main frame but unlike Titan and my other printers does NOT use "pink string and ceiling wax".  It uses tried and tested 3D printer designs rather than my usual "way out" ideas.  I took advice from a friend who has

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Santa has Been!!!!

    A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! I do hope everyone had a fantastic time over the holidays. Well, Santa has been very kind to me this year, and on Christmas morning I awoke to a huge box in the living room – it had been too big to wrap, and anyway I knew what I was getting lol!! So, I am now the proud owner of a Skywatcher Explorer 150PL. it was ordered from RVO at 4pm on Thursday afternoon, and arrived early on Saturday morning – great service!! I had um’d and ah

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

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