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Showing content with the highest reputation since 17/05/20 in Blog Entries

  1. A mini star party with my son tonight. He seemed to enjoy viewing the moon through my little 66mm refractor.
    8 points
  2. Hi all, 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 nod from Boris that the pubs can open again, I will be pulled back to help get 2400 pubs open and trad
    4 points
  3. Hi all 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 again! All this work had meant I have not been out under the skies for some time now. Sure, the
    4 points
  4. 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. Michael
    3 points
  5. This has been a long time in gestation - first I built the 3d printer from a kit my son gave me for Christmas 2018, then I had to pluck up the courage to turn it on. The whirring and flashing lights are all a bit much for a man more accustomed to using Crayola 'chubby' crayons than digital vernier calipers. Then I had to get my head round Sketch-Up, Netfabb, Repetier Host , Slicer3 and how to stop molten filament from blocking up a very small hole in a very hot bit of metal. In my shed I have some 500lines/mm holographic film and a QHY5L-ii mono camera and three telescopes of varying fo
    2 points
  6. 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 standard longcase clock.
    2 points
  7. It's a question that comes up regularly, but what is the difference between a Barlow and a telecentric amplifier (TA), otherwise known as a Powermate, ES Focal Extender. Meade Telextender, Bresser SA Barlow, etc? A telecentric amplifier does give a 2x magnification, just like a Barlow but that's where the similarity ends. A Barlow is a negative doublet (Smyth lens) that causes the exiting light rays to diverge and hence deliver the image amplification. If you move the EP further from the Barlow the magnification increases, whilst taking the Barlow nose-piece off and screwing it onto the EP wil
    2 points
  8. The 102ED-R set up and ready for action tonight. Sadly I’d forgotten I needed to get up early and hence an early night was required, so down it all came! Might try some binocular action before bed.
    1 point
  9. I am a hoarder so never throw away stuff that might come in useful. Being a tad environmental I try to re-purpose, re-engineer and re-use old kit that I purchased back in the day when I was gainfully employed. My old pre digital SLR lenses were first connected to my DSLR with a shiny new adaptor but then fell into disuse when I realised my EOS lenses performed better. Now retired, with more time and reduced cashflow, I decided that rather than modding my DSLR, if I could attach my old lenses to my QHY5L-ii mono and colour cameras, I had the makings of a wide-field camera that would b
    1 point
  10. 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 else I would need, and after going down numerous rabbit holes, I came across the ASI AIR hub, a truly
    1 point
  11. I think I have the design for my latest ASC pretty much finalised now so I'm starting a Blog for it.
    1 point
  12. 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 162x. Jupiter at 162x fitted 4 moons in the fov and shows nice banding. Saturn at max zoom a
    1 point
  13. 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’. Equipment. I’ve bought a QHY10 OSC cooled camera and spent time getting the spacing right so that I can assemble, connect and go. I’ve also bought a used
    1 point
  14. 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 connection PCB taken out of the motor, to explain the process. (Don't jump straight in and take the
    1 point
  15. Folks, If you've been reading this blog, I hope you've enjoyed at least some of it. I'm going to stop, now. I should be completing and painting the dobs mount later tonight and expecting first light at some point over the weekend. I'll post a first light report and some field photos on the forum, instead. It's been both frustrating and fun, and I accept that it may not be perfect first time - balance, vibration, etc... - but it should at least hold together! ;) Like many DIY scopes, it may never be finished. I had a jumble of ideas to begin with, most of the tools and half the skills required.
    1 point
  16. Measurement of Doubles and a Jovian Moon - Baader Micro Guide Introduction The reason for this rather long blog entry is to highlight what has been possible using simple and relatively inexpensive gear to measure the separation and position angle of a number of double stars and the sizes and distances of various objects within the Solar System. The preliminary goal was fivefold: to further skills in star-hopping and to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of star magnitude. to garner some experience in measuring double stars as accurately as possible. to work out the sizes and
    1 point
  17. GOTO Telescopes. Being someone who has had both types of scopes and mounts I can honestly say I have learned more with the GOTO setup than I have ever learned with the manual set up. Previous to my current setup which is a SkyWatcher 200p (8” Mirror) and a EQ5 with SynScan GOTO added I have either manual mounts or mounts with a RA tracking motor for photography. Both Refractors and Reflectors and I certainly prefer reflectors unless you have a very large wallet. Now unless you use your telescope for large bright objects and have loads of free time then I would certainly choose the GOTO every
    1 point
  18. 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.
    0 points
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