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Everything posted by Enrico

  1. 2013 has seen some interesting advances in 3D printing. Any views on when it might change astronomy? Imagine being able to print a mirror (which would need coating, obviously) or other parts for a DIY telescope. It could change the hobby completely, or at least the DIY scene. SGL would need a library of 3D open-source designs for parts!
  2. This is a great solution to putting the water where you need it, be it a butt, soak away or drain. http://www.rainwaterhub.co.uk You might have enough height for it to move the water from a your roof.
  3. You might need a door stop to make sure the handle does not damage your nice window - can't quite tell from the picture whether it will hit the glass. Hoping one day I will get the space and time to do something even half as good as your observatory!
  4. Given that we only have one sun to look at, and it can be seen a good deal of the time, wouldn't it be a good idea to have a really good one which streams live to the interweb..... (Wanting to look at different things is what makes online telescopes challenging and expensive). Spread the cost.
  5. I got a belkin wireless n router (recon) from fleabay for about £13 inc postage. As long as you realize with powerline that you are generating a lot of RF noise then OK. I currently run a wifi bridge to my shed, with then has it's own wired mini-network (two apple airport extremes - both used off fleabay). Quite a good solution, but planning on putting cat5 in (just bought 305m of outdoor cat5 for £35 - bargain!). Could you could replace existing phone extension cable with cat5? Given the number of conductors in cat5, you can use 4 for the Ethernet bit and two of the spares to keep the phone line in it's place (have done this before).
  6. The "pound shop" in our local town has plenty of little plastic boxes that have dividers in them. I have a few of those.
  7. Not built an observatory myself, but was thinking could the roof "drop down" to make a seal. I.e the castors go down a short slope at the end and the roof makes a seal (rubber seal?) with the walls. A lever would be needed to get the roof rolling though (something like a bottle jack would probably do the job). Just an idea, as I say not (yet) built an observatory.
  8. Certainly get the house builders to make provision for electricity out there - I.e. a conveniently placed fused spur which you can join an armored cable into once you build your observatory. And whilst they are at it, provision for Cat5 too - cabled connections are always better than wifi. It amazes me that more buildings do not conclude structured cabling in these days. It's so cheap to do it when the building is a shell, but so hard (and therefore normally expensive) to do it once it is complete. I'd also get them to lay the slab for an obs/shed too. Cost to them very little if they are doing concrete for all the floors etc., but would make your life a whole lot easier later on.
  9. Good idea, heating the objects you don't want to get wet. Also, you could put a piece of "sacrificial" cold material in there for water to condense on. It a big iron rod poking out a hole in the floor - water condenses on it and rolls down the rod and out of the observatory (just a thought), or into a tray to catch the water.
  10. I'm eyeing up a tree stump in the garden at the in-laws as a "visiting pier" for visual use. Currently during the day it serves as the fulcrum for a see-saw, so I know it'll handle a good deal of weight, and doesn't move much. A little adaptor bolted to the top (with plenty of adjustment in it) and it should be easy to get up and running should we visit when we are not covered in clouds!
  11. Wood can be a good material: there are lots of wood types with different properties. Oak is good as it is very stiff, yet doesn't weigh as much as steel/concrete. Stiff wood also dissipates energy quickly - give a steel tube a clump with a hammer and see how long it keeps making a noise (I.e. vibrating) for! Steel has high mass (high energy strange capability) and a high Q (very willing to resonance cleanly and clears). Engineered properly I suspect that a wooden pier could be made to be very good indeed, even compared to steel/concrete counterparts.
  12. Enrico


    Wow. This is going to get complex. I guess super, super accurate alignment is the key and then the software can do its job.
  13. A very sad day. Even sadder that there are a bunch of people (I expect mainly young 'uns) who don't know who he is. Pah! The twitter generation... http://pic.twitter.com/PARPDlq7
  14. Water condenses on cold objects, specifically objects which are colder than the air. Is the best thing that can be done to gently warm the objects? I.e. have a small IR source in the shed to warm the structure and things in the shed, and not the air. There are plenty of low wattage IR sources around, mostly used for reptile houses.
  15. Enrico


    Yes, we saw it last night too, the 21:45 ish pass. The look on my sons face when I pointed it out and he realized what he was seeing.... Priceless.
  16. Enrico


    Just saw the ISS pass overhead. That thing is mighty quick, but I remembered the binoculars this time. Unfortunately the view was worse through these due to all the wobbling. Question: has anyone managed to get a scope tracking the ISS? I'd love to get a set up to enable my little boy to see the ISS as more than just a fast moving bright blob.
  17. If its like the one I bought from Costco at Xmas it'll be a nexstar 102gt, which is a long tube refractor. Mine came with a range of eyepieces, which are probably of a quality which would make most experiences users roll their eyes in exasperation! For a beginner, like me, they are probably fine though. I bought one as much for the goto mount as anything else - I also mount my skywatcher heritage on it. I am looking in to how to a) upgrade all the software on the mount and to control it by computer. Will then do some imaging of the planets if I can.
  18. Good job. I am planning to make a wedge for my heritage, and semi-permanently mount it to an organic pier (2' 6" tree stump).
  19. Mine's arrived. Only took a few minutes to get up and running. Have just ordered a case, and need to get a gpio cable too. Case-wise I went for the new pibow ( http://pibow.com/ ). Now I can start teaching my son to code (as soon as I learn myself...)!
  20. If it's the sun you're worried about (radiative heat) you'd be better off with a reflective insulation material. Poly sheet will obviously also help keep heat in during the winter. If possible, you want to have air coming in through the floor, and out through the roof. A duct which lets air in through the floor, and one which you push warm air out through the roof would be perfect.
  21. Ha! You won't have long to wait then.
  22. I take it you are not affected by the local flooding in the Axe Valley? (I'm originally from Seaton, so have been following the flood warnings with interest over the past few days).
  23. Probably, but in all honestly it probably works more often than not.... I should have written; Gah! I didn't read my message before I posted it again!
  24. Gah! Autocorrect (on iPad) strikes again.... "don't know idiot works" should obviously be "don't know if it works"....
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