A 'Star Sapphire' ring. A type of gemstone that exhibits a star-like phenomenon when a bright point source of light is pointed at it - known as an 'asterism' - there you go, two 'astronomy' links! A new one on me, photographed plenty of Moonstone rings, but not one of these before...
So, let's add a Moonstone ring into the mix...
When SGL changed to a new server / forum system several years ago I could no longer find my blog, all those entries just seemed to be gone, so I gave up on it rather disappointed. I don't know whether it was just due to the dramatic change in user interface or that the blog system was genuinely not up and running for a while, either way I just (rather bitterly) put it out of my mind and got on with observing and using the forum. Until today...
Just now I was thinking about how there used
Fitted straight to Hyperion and couldn't get focus on Jupiter or Moon on either the 2" or 11/4". Had put some grease and loosened the focuser locking knob made it easier to adjust but still no joy.
Took it back home and Hyperion had the 1.25" adapter fitted to which Barlow with its converter were attached. After removing the Hyperion 1.25" adapter, Barlow fits straight on with its converter. This makes it usable up to around 9mm (18mm/2). At higher magnification the focuser would need
After much advice here and thanks to a friend of a friend I took delivery of this today.
1.3 m high, many kilograms heavy! It's been treated with zinc phosphate primer and will get a couple of coats of Hammerite or equivelant before planting. This weekend I'm running Cat6 cable out to the plinth and starting to build the equipment box which will be fitted to the bottom of the mount.
It seems a cheek to continue a blog about being a beginner 2 1/2 years after the last post but in many ways I still am. Family health issues have meant that I got out with my equipment irregularly so spent most of my time trying to get set up. I would collect an hour or so of data but rarely enough to encourage me to do anything with it.
This year I decided to use what I have learned, solve my issues, and do a ‘reboot’.
I’ve bought a QHY10 OSC cooled camera and spe
Telrad fitted. Baader zoom has to be used in place of the 1.25" focuser, straight into the 2" focuser.
Had a go at collimating first and managed to mess it up. All I could see after pointing at Vega first was a blob of light. Collimated again and was better, but realised it's too far from the secondary mirror. Removed the 1.25" focuser and fitted straight into the 2" one and that's perfect. Need to grease the focuser.
Found Double-Double but was unable to split the 2 stars into 4 at 16
Watched Moon during the day.
At 10pm tried to find Saturn but it was low behind the apple trees. Had to move the telescope around a bit, but managed to get a shot at it between the branches. Could see the ring and Titan.
Managed to get some clear skies shortly after 10 pm after the weather kept me anxious all day with sunshine, rain, and thunderstorm.
Had to align the scope slightly, still needs some tweaking but I can’t get it to turn as it shows on some YouTube videos.
Still, managed to put it near Jupiter and then with a bit of scanning with the 25mm piece found It. At first, only saw the bright disk and 3 moons (from left Callisto, Ganymede and Io on the right side of Jupiter). After a moment I was
Been a while since I added to my blog. To be fair, not really had much to report! I have been out of furlough for over four weeks now, and with nearly 2000 of our Greene King pubs reopening in the space of a week recently, the last three weeks have been manic! We have a reduced team, but have all pulled together and got each site across the line! I would like to say things are slowing down a bit, but that just doesn't seem to be happening! But I'm not complaining - happy to be busy a
This blog describes Installing 3rd Party Drivers into a Raspberry Pi having installed Ubuntu MATE and followed the instructions to run the AstroPi3 script to install INDI and other astro related software.
SSH has been enabled so that now the RPi can be accessed remotely from Terminal. eg. ssh gina@rpi where gina is my user name and rpi is the computer name as set up during the Ubuntu MATE installation.
This set up process is detailed in my blog :- Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro
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 or 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 ar
I modify my 28BYJ-48 stepper motors to run off the A4988 driver modules, just like the Nema 17. I use these for remote focus for my astro imaging.
These motors come with centre-tapped coils with the centre-taps connected internally. We need the full coils without the centre-taps and these need to be separate so the internal link needs breaking and center-taps ignored. This in turn effectively changes a 5v rated motor to one that works fine with 12v.
These photos show the coils and
Ballcocks! 😞 Well you learn something new every day and I learnt today that you shouldn’t use aluminium formers to silver solder brass...
It started off so well as well
Guess I’ll be starting that again from scratch- ballcocks
Finally bit the bullet and knuckled down to wiring the handpiece- really made a rod for my own back though with the very tight space for the wires...it’s going to be really tricky getting the other half of the housing on there without squashing wires 🤦♂️
But it works-almost perfectly-almost that is except the pwm on the LED isn’t pwming 🤔 I swapped from a nano to the new Arduino nano every and I’m guessing the code isn’t totally compatible...
A new improved version of my "GinaRep Mini" 3D Printer. The first version used cord for the drives whereas this one will use the standard timing belt for X and Y and trapezoidal screw drive for Z. I also expect to use a stout wooden case of 18mm plywood like my Concorde printer, for maximum rigidity. This is to be a specially accurate 3D printer with option of nozzles as small as 0.2mm. Print bed will be 200mm x 200mm with around 200mm printing height. Essentially this is to be a reduced si
Initially I planned to make the focus motor quick release and the magnetic coupling made some sense but I ended up going for a simple screw mounted motor so it makes less sense now 🤔 But it’s done now and it works really well- better than I’d expected. It allows for lateral misalignment yet is a nice stiff rotational coupling for the sort of torque required to turn the moonlite knob. A ptfe pad keeps the magnets slightly separated so the two plates can move a little easier against each other. Th
I had to wait an unbearably long time but the 3D printed housings arrived this week and they look great 👍 Surprisingly everything fits- a bit snug but it fits! I’d hoped to get the handset all soldered up today but wasted too much tome shopping so I’ve just been staring at it- psyching myself up to it and trying to plan the best way to wire it- it’s a tight fit and I don’t want to screw it up. The little round pcb is a reverse polarity protection pcb I built for something else that also used li-
The spider hub came together tonight- bit of a mare as it’s glued together with high strength retaining compound which gave me about a minute to assemble everything and try to align all the screw holes 😳- needless to say it was a right panic not helped by a friend deciding to strike up conversation at the critical moment. Wish I hadn’t rushed it as it’s not perfectly aligned and not much I can do about it now but it’ll do I think.
It’s getting a bit hefty though which is a worry- 200g alrea
Disappointed with the function of the design yesterday due to friction issues I’ve modified it- it now has only one spring and 4 screws. The spring keeps the indexing screw in contact with the v-groove in the mirror cell top plate. Adjustment is achieved by slackening all the screws then adjusting the tilt to focuser angle with the indexing screw, and the focuser-axial rotation with the 2 side screws then all 4 can be nipped up to lock it which is better than just relying on the springs I think.
Completed the screw adjuster plate so I could give the swash plate mechanism a try- it does kinda work but I think there’s too much friction in the swash plate and the ball joint- a ready made Igus part. So I’m thinking they might need to be ptfe and polishing the back of the mirror cell top plate will likely help. But getting there I think...