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Blogs

  • Featured Entries

     

    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

    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 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 RPi

    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

     

    Christmas Day Dip

    Invited by two of our children and grandchildren to meet them, early on Christmas morning, on the beach at Southwold for a swim. Had serious misgivings about this: as I dont do getting up early,  I do not have a wet suit and recently have been under the weather.   Anyway as my partner does have wet suit and was keen, a few bah-humbugs thrown in my general direction got me out of my 'toastie slumber chariot' before 8:00 UT and by 10:00 we were at the water's edge. There had been a hard frost over

    Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor

     

    All Work and No Play . . . . . .

    Hi all, As you may have read in one of my previous posts, my job with Greene King sees me coordinating till and IT installations during pub refurbs. Well, these last four weeks have been solid. We are trying to get as many pub refurb projects completed before the end of this month. Doesn’t do to have pubs closed at the busiest time of year! However, things are beginning to slow down on that front – although the meetings for jobs starting in the New Year are already coming in! This, add

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    Giant 3D Printed Skeleton Wall Clock

    Based on some of my other clocks this will be a wall clock for my living room to go above the fireplace.  It will have a dial of around 3ft diameter with a sweep seconds hand as well as the usual minute and hour hands.  It will be driven by a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino Nano with Real Time Clock module to ensure excellent time keeping.  Unlike other clocks it will not have any extras such as moon dial or striking, nor a pendulum.  This will be of the simplest design using an epicyclic

    Gina

    Gina

     

    First view of the Moon in the 20x80's . . . .

    So, been another busy week, but not so much travel – just been pottering around the local area which makes a nice change! Also means I get home at a reasonable hour! Had a good weekend – my 10 year old son and I went to the Donnington Car Museum for a look around. He is mad about F1, and when we saw two of Senna’s cars, he was over the moon! I read that it is closing down for good on November 5th, as they can’t afford to keep it open any more – such a shame, as there is so much history there.

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    3D Printed Chandelier for Living Room

    The centre light fitting in my living room is looking tired and I want to replace it with something funky that fits my interests, like 3D printing and clocks as well as astronomy, so my idea is a giant 3D printed gear wheel with five globes as shades for LED lamps.  The gear wheel represents both 3D printing and clocks which contain lots of gears.  The globes can represent moons or planets.  Thinking about this, I guess I could add a star in the middle - I'll give it some thought.

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Where did those 3 years go . . . . ?

    Well, it appears to have been over three years since my last Blog entry . . . . . so what's been happening? Well, shortly after I my last entry, I was made redundant from my job as a Projects Coordinator. When I say 'Redundant', I was contracting, and the work dried up which was pretty crap. However, I wasn't out of work for long - got some more contracting work, and then just over a year ago I got a perm job with Greene King Pub Co. as a Regional Systems Manager - basically, I look after a

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    September - what to observe

    September - what I have observed with comments and rating out of 5 stars by constellation for this month Hercules M13  ***** Quite open globular cluster, can make out individual stars around the edge and center, looks to be thousands of stars and seems very dense almost nebulous at the center. Best in 15mm EP and 2x Barlow M92 **** Dense globular cluster, can distinguish individual stars around the edge, nice in the  8mm EP and barlow Lyra Epsilon Lyrae **** - double dou

    PaulM

    PaulM

     

    Pocket Sky Atlas book

    Looks good full index of constellations, objects by type and the charts are very detailed. Charts are organised in 8 ascention sections each by when visible in the evening, midnight and morning so all in all very logically set out. Has a telrad finder symbol for star hopping which is a nice touch Was hoping it would contain what to view guides etc but there is no such info but can get this elsewhere to plan observing sessions Hope the pictures are useful as I never came across any

    PaulM

    PaulM

     

    Another step forward

    Clear Outside said it was to be a clear night so I got set up and set about tonight's challenge - Polar Alignment. I've struggled to do this properly since I got the scope, lack of visibility of Polaris being the major issue as I set up close to my house facing south.  I've now got the camera, mount and guide camera running through a USB hub and have managed to set up far enough from the house that I could see Polaris.  It took me a while to find the star, and longer to convince myself that

    Synchronicity

    Synchronicity

     

    Raising the 200P Skywatched DOB on a water butt

    Having done a few nights observing with my new 200P Skywatcher I've found its too low for comfortable observing So got a 9x50 right angled finderscope which had made things a lot better with positioning the scope as had the Telrad finder but the focuser was still too low for comfort having to crouch down all the time so went to the local garden center on the way home and bought a water butt for £10 which has worked a treat and had a good session observing Jupiter before the clouds inevitabl

    PaulM

    PaulM

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