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  1. Today
  2. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear observatory, happy birthday to you! Yes indeed. One year ago this weekend I started work on the observatory. So, with a little clear sky forecast tonight I went out with the intention of having a bit of a play with the DSLR. Sadly reality didn't match up to the forecast and what was supposed to be five or so hours of clear sky from 10pm turned out to be barely an hour of intermitted clear sky from just after midnight. On the positive side, I caught two ISS passes when it suddenly popped out from behind the clouds, so it's not all bad news. On the construction front, today I spent some time fitting a vent into the northern gable and then putting the cladding on that end, so that's another two jobs ticked off the list. I'm still pondering over fitting a vent on the southern end, too. I suspect I'll end up doing so though perhaps not immediately. I also collected a couple of posts from the local sawmill to support the ends of the roof rails. My wife had already disappeared off with the Skoda to take our daughter somewhere so I had to fit them in the Fiesta which was a bit of a giggle. Now I just need to dig a couple of holes to fill with concrete and set the feet for the posts into the concrete. I might get the holes sorted and then wait for the builder to have the mixer going before doing the concrete. I can't imagine I need more than half a mix and it seems a bit wasteful to start up the mixer just for that. James
  3. And that's it. Too much cloud to do anything useful now. I did catch Jupiter very low in the south just before I closed the observatory roof, but only naked eye. Perhaps I'll try to mount up the C9.25 tomorrow. The forecasters are threatening a few hours of clear sky tomorrow night. James
  4. Enjoyed watching these earlier, will stay up til 2.30 to try and catch another glimpse I think. No idea what the long term ramifications will be if any but an impressive project and sight either way.
  5. Hugh and Alan Thanks for those two useful bits of simplification and great timing too. I've been working on the wiring this afternoon and evening and have stopped for tonight just before getting to the connections requiring diodes and resistors. So I will just take the wire I had put in between DI3 and DO3 and put it instead to link O2 and I4. Thanks, Peter
  6. Yes, I'm going to jack it in shortly. I've lost view of pretty much everything to the south now. James
  7. Yesterday
  8. Oooh just caught starlink going past. Made my night since I was busy packing away gear in a huff. Silver lining I guess
  9. Hi, I took a load of images on 11/05/19 at various resolutions etc. using my ZWOASI178MC camera, via my Intes-Micro MN56 Mak Newt. After I had run my 7.27GB video data through Autostakkert, the resulting "conv" Tiff image ( 20% of 1356 frames at Noise Robust 3 ) looked rather overcooked, (ie) ( it looked as if unsharp-mask had been over-applied ) Usually the Autostakkert "conv" Tiff image, is always the one I select to process further for my final image. This time I decided to have a go at processing the "non conv" Tiff image, which I usually always ignore. I tweaked my "non conv" Autostakkert image through Gimp, then Arcsoft Photostudio 5.5 ( which I picked up free, with a Canon digital camera many years ago ). I then converted the photo into Black and white, and got the below result. In summary From what at the beginning appeared to be a failed lunar image, now seems quite a good image. Got to admit this processing work can drive you insane!! Whole evenings seem to get obliterated from doing it ! I am now left with dozens of images, which I consider as failures, and will now have to to delete ! Regards, Steve
  10. I seem to have got a clear patch for the moment, but only above about 40 degrees. Below that it's a bit random. Did catch part of another ISS pass though. It's been quite some time since I saw two in one night, so not all bad Just playing with the DSLR and timer at the moment, taking 1 min subs for some star trails. Could do with going to get a jacket, but I'll be in-shot... James
  11. That’s awesome, remember that if your mount has a polar scope you can greatly assist it’s accuracy by visually finding Polaris then leveling and adjusting your mount so Polaris is centered in the crosshairs of your polar scope. This will assure good accuracy, centering Polaris on the crosshairs is good enough for visual observing, later if you want to get into AP, you’ll want an app which shows exactly where to put Polaris off center from crosshairs for hyper accuracy as Polaris actually spins in a little circle as the hours pass.
  12. About 60% cloud cover here, taking the opportunity to practice some focusing in between clouds but pretty much given up on the idea of any imaging happening anytime soon. Forecasts seem to be pretty much random guesses at the moment.
  13. He owned a Zeiss spotting scope. I think the customer realised the Tak’ wasn’t what he was expecting as soon as he received it. It was returned to us almost immediately and there are no signs of it having been put on a mount. HTH, Steve
  14. A lovely image. I would never thought of trying something like this.
  15. I took the trip to the Red Planet with the InSight probe, so I guess I will see you soon!
  16. Thanks for your advice Jetstream. Unfortunately a Go To mount is way beyond my budget. The SW heritage 130 P is just about within my means. I note your comment about collimation. I did have a 90 mm SW refractory but never successfully lined up the finder with the telescope. Chris P
  17. I'd like to say that we'll miss you, but, ya know!!!!.
  18. I'm just using the Polemaster Camera with Sharp Cap, not sure what the field of view is.
  19. You did but I didn't fully understand your response or requirement on the pm ?
  20. I've used my Hershel Wedge for outreach events involving children quite a few times including most recently at a local junior school where over a period of 4 hours around 300 children and staff observed the Sun with it. I do go to great lengths during these sessions to empasise that the equipment being used is specially designed to enable safe solar observing and on no account should anyone look at the Sun with any sort of optical device, including binoculars. We have posters up to this effect and also repeat the message as each group comes forward and again whenever it seems apt to repeat it. It is a very responsible business that I take very seriously but the enjoyment that the children get from their solar views and the subsequent discussion we have on our nearest star are very rewarding from my point of view and theirs judging by the feedback
  21. Take your drink of choice and go sit out and enjoy the quiet.
  22. Thanks. I don't think the qhy183m comes with any adapters though.
  23. My opinion is you should find that pin you heard drop and stick with it.
  24. Ah - good luck. I'll look forwards to hearing how you get on.
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