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Everything posted by JamesF

  1. Typical! Now the cloud is starting to break up! James
  2. Totally solid cloud here at the moment, but the BBC News headline gave me a laugh: ‘Ring of fire’ to sweep across the Earth. Then going on to explain that it was an annular eclipse, but that very few people would be able to see it in full unless they live in the Arctic. James
  3. The weather forecast makes it look like something of a washout here, unfortunately -- solid cloud from now until showers start at around 1pm. Hopefully others around the UK will do better. James
  4. I don't think this is an unreasonable view, though their work is hard to compare given the time between them and how much has changed. I'm not into the whole "lingering stare into the distance" thing with Brian Cox for which he is often criticised (amongst other things), but actually that sort of stuff is about how programmes are presented these days -- they're entertainment as much as informing and educating and that's what the producers feel is what (some) people want. If you talk about the passion for the science and the desire to communicate it then yes, I think they stand shoulder to sh
  5. Which reminds me... I must design a polar scope cover for my EQ3-2. James
  6. I agree it's a pretty arbitrary distinction to make, but for me it does feel as though there's some sort of qualitative difference between being on an aircraft and on the ISS where the astronauts can't just stick it down at the nearest airport if something goes wrong, for example. If you like, I kind of feel that on an aircraft you're just "temporarily not here", whereas on the ISS you're "somewhere else". James
  7. Absolutely agree. It's a fascinating book, but seems to me to give an honest feel for what the whole "Moon landing project" was like for the crews of the Gemini and Apollo missions. I had to buy my copy second-hand as it seems to be out of print now. James
  8. The bit about being able to navigate to the Moon and come back reminded me of a quote from Michael Collins's "Carrying the Fire" where he talks about the accuracy required to get home. I think he calls it the "window of survival" or something like that. He claims it's the same as being able to split a hair by throwing a razor blade at it from twenty-two feet, if I recall correctly. James
  9. Just watching it now. I love the quote that at no time in the last twenty years has every single living human actually been on Earth. James
  10. The unintended consequence being that lots of trees get cut down as soon as they reach 18" in diameter? James
  11. There's a term for this: "security theatre". Street lights are perhaps a good example. As are many of the measures taken at airports after 9/11. They're designed to make it look like something is being done and to make people feel more secure without necessarily achieving anything real. Personally I'd prefer to see the money used to address the root causes of people feeling insecure rather than treating the apparent symptoms which may well just move the problem elsewhere. James
  12. Given the UKs apparently changing weather patterns where we can have very long periods of rain making the ground soft as well as storms with quite high winds, even during what might historically have been more settled periods when trees are in leaf, I'm surprised that more people aren't getting a little anxious about large trees growing close to houses. Particularly, perhaps, large trees in one person's garden growing within falling distance of someone else's house. James
  13. I think quite possibly you should contact FLO. It might be worth running the test for 24 hours too, so you can quantify quite how much it is out. James
  14. I have no hesitation in taking down some of the sycamore trees we have here because they spread like weeds. Removing some of them will improve my view to the East a little, but will also reduce the huge number of leaves dropped into a pond which should make it more pleasant for newts and frogs. Other sycamores I might remove just because they snuff out other trees that don't grow so fast. There is an ash tree that blocks my view slightly to the south east, but that will stay unless it starts to show signs of ash dieback in which case I won't have any choice but to have it taken down before
  15. I did something similar with my Star Adventurer. If I recall correctly I used a mark on the wall and fixed a pointer to the mount to align with the mark, then allowed the mount to run for 23 hours 56 minutes. It should then be pointing back at the mark. Using a laser pointer would probably be ideal as the mount can then be further from the wall, making errors more obvious. It's a bit more tricky to do shorter intervals that way though. James
  16. Close enough that you'd have to do more work to tell the difference, I think. I don't believe it will be exactly 90° because the mount presumably runs at sidereal rate. James
  17. Not that I'd want to try to persuade the OP to change to a different CAD package, but just for reference for anyone reading this thread at a later date... I started out creating parts for 3d printing (and in fact getting together the basic layout of my observatory) using OpenSCAD and found it worked very well for simpler designs, but as my ambitions became more complex I found it becoming harder to get it to do exactly what I wanted. In the end I decided to make the move to FreeCAD. It hasn't all been plain sailing, perhaps partially because I have no significant experience of CAD packa
  18. I reckon there's years worth of use still left in that rot. I'd try to get rid of the wood though. It'll probably affect the structural integrity. James
  19. I have to agree. At a simple level I think if you are lighting up the sky then that energy is actually not lighting up what is intended and as such it's a waste of both natural resources and money. We don't really live in a world where either should be considered acceptable. James
  20. I must have missed this thread first time around, seven years ago. These caravans are bonkers, but I don't mean that in a bad way :) James
  21. Is that just a fan controller on the side of the heatsinks? James
  22. Particularly a dark one. James
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