Last weekend I got the idea into my head that a more permanent setup would allow me to resurrect my interest in EAA. Eventually I realised that I didn’t have room in my garden for a useable observatory, so I started to look at options for outdoor semi-permanent piers. After looking at £500 steel options I came across the DIY “Tod” pier, as championed by @Peter Drew, which utilises two hollow concrete blocks - an excellent invention! Excited at the design, I spent the weekend looking at what el
My neighbours moved out the day before yesterday. Great, I thought, I might get some darkness before the next neighbours move in. Unfortunately they have left their bathroom light on! Typical. I have no idea when the new neighbours are moving in. 😩
So, at the start of January I was once again placed onto Furlough. Working as I do for Greene King Pub Company, it seemed inevitable! This time, for Lockdown 3.0, Greene King have really gone to town, with nearly 90% of the workforce on furlough. But this time of years is usually our quietest, so it makes sense I suppose. I work on the wider IT department (field based), and deal with pub refurbs and all that's shut down for now. I'm part of the 'start up' team, so when we get the no
I'm coming back to this project after a rather long break so decided to start a new Blog as this is a new start. The design spec is rather different. No moon dial and no perpetual calendar as that proved too cluttered. I hope to have a striking mechanism. Also, I'm hoping to arrange something to make the clock keep good time. As before I shall have automatic winding but automatic precise time-keeping would be nice. I don't think that's cheating as this is already quite far away from a stan
Some artwork for you with a 'spacey' theme. This time from one of the UK's favourite artists, although not my cup of tea to be honest.
Here we have three cold cast sculptures: "Its Good to be Bad', 'Catch a FallingStar' and 'Space Cadets'.
Something I really wanted... but was out-bid !
A vintage lunar crater glass paperweight. "What was I going to do with it?" asked the wife.... no idea, but it looked great!
The explanation of the design - why I posted it here!
Found this young chap looking out at me from a mixed bag of old black and white press photographs.
Recognise him... sans monocle..!
A Hermes silk scarf, decorated with signs of the Zodiac. 88cm square. Estimate £140-160
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