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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/03/19 in Blog Comments

  1. 5 points
    Half round file Stu- one with fine teeth and gently and patiently- very easy to catch the edge and bend it. Here it is in the spider- I’m about to fit it to the tube- hope I didn’t mess up any measurements
  2. 5 points
    Hello Gina I did a presentation to a Scottish Photographic Society a couple of weeks ago - Powerpoint based. Its attached - feel free to bin it, rip it shreds, do anything you want with it. I dont get prissy about copyright of my images etc - feel free to use any images you might want etc etc. All the astroimages are mine and the none astro ones are all copyright free. Astro Imaging presentation.pptx
  3. 4 points
    I'll start with some photos of the observatory taken a few years ago. From the north looking roughly south and then from the south at various angles.
  4. 3 points
  5. 3 points
    Moved it to D6- that did the trick. think it should be strong enough 30D8DFF2-43AC-478B-AA75-B980CEC1CC78.MOV
  6. 3 points
    Hi Gina, I did a lot of professional public speaking in my career and have couple of thoughts based on what you have said so far. Given this audience is not astro people - I think I would first engage their interest by first talking about something they will understand - terrestrial photography. Hence, describe how a DSLR camera works first. Hence; reverse thes two slides Explain how terrestrial images are typically done with short exposures and how that works fine. Then explain that longer exposures and adjustment to ISO are necessary to capture enough light for evening pictures. Then it is natural progression to quickly explain how more extreme long exposures (or stacked long integration time short exposures) are needed to do astrophotograpy . Then mention how daytime images can get blurred if you are trying to capture an image of a fast moving car. Then, only after people have grasped these essential camera basics, explain the rotation of the Earth and the impact that has on long term exposures and the need for tracking and or guiding. If you offer this same information the other way round, I don't think many in a broad audience will adequately make the link between exposures, earth's rotation and 'star trails'. However, if you reverse this, it becomes a far more logical progression of information. Just my two-pence worth....
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    Second time lucky- I ordered some ss mudguard washers and turned them to size this time and the soldering went perfectly I also discovered that the citric acid I bought to descale my kettle works great for removing borax flux Just need to not make a balls up of bending the edge over now...
  9. 2 points
    AKA the pencil sharpener All ready for the hand-controller...
  10. 2 points
    Thanks! I forgot to mention we had our Bichon Frise as well....easily confused with the sheep?
  11. 2 points
    Brilliantly written David. Reminds me of my last holiday in the Lake District where there were really dark skies too, and like you I had a car full of not only my family and luggage; but Wiggins our dog too! I don't have a smaller travel scope so couldn't take anything with me, although I wish now I'd just taken a pair of binoculars. The skies were brilliant, and just like you mentioned, I remember standing out in a field staring up at the skies just making out all the constellations, until I heard the eeriest loud noise I've ever heard. I can only assume it was a fox, but it was so strange I really couldn't make out if it was from an animal or a human! Certainly it was enough for me to decide I'd probably spent long enough standing in the dark in the middle of a field by myself. (I think I would have been out all night though if I'd had my scope with me). Thanks for posting it was a great read.
  12. 2 points
    Butchering an old web cam? Thats the spirit! Looking forward to seeing the results. Yes. Something to hold the phone in place helps. There have been loads of threads on this over the last few days. I think that one cropped up for sale the other day in the classified section. I’m attempting a home made solution.... Paul
  13. 2 points
    I have just done another talk on Monday to a huge U3A audience (over 200 people). I was told a lot of the photographic group had turned up too. I did my usual talk which included what, and how to create images. I think one or two people dropped off to sleep, or glazed over, but the majority seemed to find it very interesting. At the end I took a stacked image (old Horsehead DSLR image) and live processed it. I got some very interesting questions afterwards, and one person turned out to have done a bit of AP himself. I got another booking on the back of it for a Probus group. If you would be interested I might have a PDF copy of my talk somewhere I could e mail to you for ideas, I sent it to some-one else asking a similar question, assuming I can find it. Carole
  14. 1 point
    Add bs=8M when using dd bs it stands for block size - it will significantly shorten the time
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    Run the following to grab the version with BCM support: git clone https://github.com/rkaczorek/astroberry-diy.git git checkout 3283e99
  18. 1 point
    Here's probably best: https://github.com/WiringPi/WiringPi/releases It looks as though Gordon is no longer developing WiringPi, so I imagine the github site will be the primary source now. James
  19. 1 point
    Wow. There's a blast from the past. Back in the day Gordon Henderson and I used to hang around some of the same mailing lists (where "the day" was twenty years ago or more). James
  20. 1 point
    I have a fuller scopes 6inch newtonium in my shed my very first decent telescope with b class mirror now unused, brings back memories of some very enjoyable nights viewing
  21. 1 point
    That's pretty much how my D-Bot is. The wheels are on diagonally opposite corners. With a heavy bed it's best to use 1mm pitch screws to avoid 'back-driving' when power is removed or z motor(s) de-energised. That's assuming 1 motor per screw. If just 1 motor with screws driven by belt/pulley arrangement then steeper screws may be ok.
  22. 1 point
    A bed weight of several KG would be better supported on 3 threaded rods I reckon and guided with metal wheels on two 20mm x 20mm V-Slot extrusion rails.
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    Wow, amazing job. That rim holding the mirror in is so neat, and evenly trimmed, how did you do that?
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Thanks Stu gave it a coat of hi-temp exhaust paint which seems about as matt as you can get (or I’ve found anyway)
  27. 1 point
    Very cool. Congrats! Rob
  28. 1 point
    Oh no! It was looking so good in the first few pictures Mark. Hope you find the right way of doing it next time!
  29. 1 point
    Here is a photo of the printer I've just taken.
  30. 1 point
    Thanks Rob- will try to keep this blog updated as it progresses Mark
  31. 1 point
    Nice!.. I'll be interested to see this when completed. Rob
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    I think I would leave out 6, if anyone is interested and missed it they could use the Q&A section. I would merge 1 and 5 together as they are linked, target object and size of lens used (whether camera lens or telescope) that way you get wide field in there as well. Here I would have sample images to show from a still from your wide field camera to a nebula in NB to a planet. Just a couple thoughts and agree what a wide subject to fit in to 40 minutes.
  34. 1 point
    Chain end brackets fitted to ROR. Now waiting for the penny washers to secure the chain.
  35. 1 point
    The NW corner is done and the same as above but I haven't got a photo yet. The east corners will have gate hanging hinges use as peg and loop - at right angles to normal orientation. This shows the idea.
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    As the diagrams show, apart from the motor unit, chain and brackets to attach the chain ends to the roof, two sprockets or pulleys are needed - a small one and a large one. I had some black ABS circular blanks some 150mm diameter x 22mm thick and decided to machine one of these in my lathe to make the large pulley. The smaller one I 3D printed.
  38. 1 point
    Installing the Operating System and Astro software The Raspberry Pi uses a micro SD card as its main drive and this behaves the same as the hard drive on a computer except that this card can be removed and data read from it or written to it. In fact the way the operating system is installed on it requires it to be out of the RPi. This tutorial will describe how the operating system is written to the card, the system set up with computer name, user name and password and then further software installed to permit remote control via LAN and the astro software to capture images and control the hardware such as filter wheel and mount. You need an SD card reader attached to your main computer. First job is to download the operating system on the main computer and write it to the micro SD card. Go to the Ubuntu MATE download page, choose the Raspberry Pi 3B+ version of Ubuntu MATE 18.04 (takes two clicks) and download it. Next is to unzip it and write the image to the micro SD card. In Windows this can be done with Win32 Disk Imager. For Linux I recommend Etcher which works well (my main PC uses Linux Mint). Etcher unpacks and writes the OS to the card in one go. Plug card into reader (with adapter if required), run Etcher and select the micro SD card - careful here not to select you HD or other device. Also select the downloaded file. Set Etcher going and a few minutes later the OS is written to the card. With Windows, install Win32 Disk Imager, unzip the downloaded file and chose the image file (.img) and SD card in Imager and follow the onscreen instructions to write the OS to the card. There is a script that has been written for installing the INDI drivers onto the card in the RPi that covers what we are trying to do. This is AstroPi3 and pretty much does it all. The instructions given repeat what I have written above. The lines of code can be copied and pasted from the web page into a Terminal window on the RPi. Applications > System Tools > MATE Terminal. Use Firefox on the RPi to go to the AstroPi3 page and copy/paste each command line to the Terminal window. Hint, 3 clicks selects the whole line for copying. The script installs INDI and a few other items of astro software but you don't have to accept it all if you don't want it. The script may be edited to comment out unwanted items but you need to be careful and know what you're doing though "it's not rocket science" It also turns on SSH so that further command lines can be added from the main PC through its Terminal window and SSH. At this time the human interfaces can be disconnected from the RPi. With this script you end up with a usable system that will capture images and control most of the astro equipment on the market. Controlling DIY equipment is another matter and one I've worked on successfully - this will be another Tutorial. The script takes an hour or more to run and has a few y/n responses needed. We now should have a working system on the RPi but to use it we have to run indiserver. You need to choose the drivers for your equipment, for instance, I have a ZWO ASI astro camera indi_asi_ccd and EFW indi_asi_wheel and a SkyWatcher mount (EQ8 but same for NEQ6) indi_eqmod_telescope :- indiserver -m 100 -vv indi_asi_ccd indi_asi_wheel indi_eqmod_telescope ADDENDUM :- I have had a problem with the AstroPi3 script reporting the "dpkg is locked...". To stop this edit the script file to comment out the appropriate lines. The location of the script file and the lines to comment out (with #) are shown in the screenshots below. I shut down the RPi and edited the SD card in my desktop computer before returning to the RPi and continuing. Next will be to install and use the software for the main computer indoors (or maybe warm room).
  39. 1 point
    Thanks very much for that - it lists my Nikon D3200, so I may give it a go. Ady
  40. 1 point
    Hi, you may already be planning to discuss this with your audience: I remember the first galaxy I viewed through a telescope and being mildly disappointed that I couldn't see it in colour 2 minutes on the difference between the human eye and a camera might be useful. Depending on where you talk about it in your timeline, you can use it or refer back to it as you segway into the "image processing" section ? Then you can really wow them when they see your dull grey image get transformed Just a thought, Collin
  41. 1 point
    There is a List of supported cameras on the gphoto website.
  42. 1 point
    I'm considering combining the altered version of this tutorial with my earlier one where I included the hardware for remote focussing and controlling a dew heater. Alternatively, I could write two separate tutorials - one with just the AstroPi3 for all the standard INDI drivers and the other for adding a DIY focuser involving the Astroberry DIY github project and details for adding dew heater and possibly other controls.
  43. 1 point
    You are very welcome - feel free to do anything you want with it!
  44. 1 point
    Arranged anti-vibration mountings for the Z stepper motors and also a new X carriage with better piezoelectric sensor mounting and now eliminated Z motor vibration triggering the sensor. Now the hotend fan is triggering it instead so I need to isolate that.
  45. 1 point
    Some Visual vs AP examples! As I started only 2.5 years ago, I do clearly remember My Main Question was, - What actually I would be able to See from London using 10"DOB
  46. 1 point
    I've also done this sort of thing to an audience of non-experts. I tend to cover the broad principle of correcting for the Earth's rotation which leads nicely on to guiding (nothing too technical, just an explanation that you point at a star you're not imaging and movements of that star are used to correct for the movement of your target). Then I've done a bit on the principle of digital stacking - again in simple terms pretty much as Carole suggests. I have done a bit on narrowband imaging and I think have just about got away with explaining the physical principles behind emission nebulae with the help of a diagram or two and how that translates. I agree that people always seem interested in how far away things are, and of course that gives the chance to say that when the light hitting my camera left this object then dinosaurs were roaming the Earth (or whatever)... Have fun with it!
  47. 1 point
    Scratch that - I will not be defeated. Broken USB socket doesn't mean the camera itself is broken.
  48. 1 point
    A couple of photos, camera casing and RPi roughly where it will go and printing the top outer casing. Printing in cheap PLA, low resolution, for prototype.
  49. 1 point
    The dew heater consists of resistors arranged around the lens and attached to the bottom part of the cover. I don't have a photo of this. The wires for the dew heater and Peltier TEC are taken out through a hole in the bottom together with the USB cable which connects to the camera. These were fed in through a ventilation gap up under the barge boards and into the inside of the roof. Here they connect to the control box with a 4 pin connector. The control box is screwed to the inside of the roof. Inside the control box, at the top is a buck converter to drop 13.8v down to 5.1v for the Raspberry Pi. Plugged onto the GPIO pins of the RPi is a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) which carries components to control focussing, camera cooler and dew heater - more of which later. The left hand twin cable is the main power input from the observatory main supply.
  50. 1 point
    I designed a perpetual calendar mechanism to go into my longcase clock and had it installed and working. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the clock working so the calendar had no trigger at midnight. I decided that the clock was far too crowded, so I dumped the calendar section from the clock. I really want a decent sized and clear to read calendar as the digital clock/calendar I have is almost unreadable, particularly in the evening. The perpetual calendar has thus bean moved into another project, and this is it. The whole mechanism has been 3D printed and all the parts are there but they need a new host. The original calendar mechanism was weight driven with a fly fan to regulate it. It was triggered from the main clock at midnight from a 2:1 gearing down from the hour shaft and a snail cam.
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