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Dave R Smith

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  1. Check my posts and you will see I have endeavored to contribute even though I am a beginner and can contribute very little without ever using a telescope. This is a hobby for me, coming here is a choice based upon pleasure. I respect whatever rules are made, but thought I should given constructive feedback, on the double standard of friendly introduction and 'third degree'. Life is about balance on a two way street, not just meekly accepting everything. Feel free to delete my posts if you think giving constructive criticism is wrong.
  2. Every time I logon to SGL, my over-riding thought is 'This is the place where 'Admin' think I'm a potential dishonest devious person, guilty of being a trader, a nasty person who promptly pays a seller what he/she is asking for. The 50/1 month rule is OTT and insulting to each newcomer. In life do you meet and greet everyone with the same approach? In wouldn't be a very nice world if everyone adopted this SGL policy. I thought perhaps it was a sponsor rule to ensure newcomer sales go there way, as directed by some threads. OK, I'm guessing that isn't true, but that's turning the tables. Suspicion of doing something you are innocent of isn't very nice. In law, you are innocent until proven guilty. Is there a ducking stool suspected traders go through?
  3. I have 350D and as already mentioned the focus points are changeable - and blink when using autofocus. If subject is off-centre and you have the auto focus set up for centre only, then the trick is to half press shutter, which then locks focus, then move framing as required and complete shutter down. Increasing depth of field by using smaller aperture can also help. On reference to non static object - presumably birds in flight, then faster shutter speed best (though this means wider aperture, so less depth of field), or panning with subject, which gives blurred background, emphasizing subject (often used for F1 cars etc). If snapping in sky, auto has near impossible job, so best to manual focus on a static object at a similar distance to expected duck in sky shot, such as a tree. Spend some time looking at metadata afterwards - shutter speed, aperture etc, it helps even very experienced photographers. Increasing the iso setting may help you get faster shutter speed sometimes needed for longer lenses, though trade off is a bit more grain. HTH
  4. Is that link for foundation or post nuclear fall out shelter or for when then little speck in your telescope gets bigger ang bigger. You certainly seem to have all the bases covered (innocent pun) Gina and looks like a fun project. Just need 'Thunderbirds' music to come on when the roof slides off/on.
  5. ..and a splurge of LM Grease (or Vaseline) to keep water out and assist long term maintenance. On the floor - not clear if tripod will be mounted on it - perhaps better to have concrete base and dpc layer with 'walking' floor/joists built around it. I was videoing in a 'solid' office block on first floor block yesterday and someone moving 2m away caused my camera to wobble slightly on subject 1.5 m away. Stars are a tad further away, so will exacerbate this.
  6. Hi Gina, Your project is an interesting read. Chipboard is fine in dry environments (indoors), but acts like a wick and disintegrates when it becomes wet (minor leak in roof, 'tracking' water from adjacent fittings etc), I'd do for ply or blockboard.. but stick with chipboard for loft. On wheels, I made a video camera tracking dolly using 4 inch rubber rimmed wheels, wanting smooth running and big enough diameter to roll over minor bumps easy (pavement cracks etc). For use as shed rolo, I have never done this but would go with large diameter - 4" for same reason, but solid nylon wheels, which being smooth, will stand up better to moss/algae/grime growing around them, and rubber can perish in sun - particularly bearing in mind a highish weight load on them.
  7. I'm a member at a video related forum where the classified section isn't used by traders, prevented I believe only by a rule, I'm not aware of admin team having any hassles in this area to preclude traders and prevent abuse. Possibly, astronomers are more active in buying/selling second hand, so it's more of a target? I've been wondering how many active astronomers are out there - in UK, and also how many more would likely be more active in astronomy if access was easier to newcomers.
  8. You may be right, in that it is a whim. I've been into photography for 45+ years, video 25 years and 'TV astronomy' for probably 45+ years (I'm 53 now). I like to do things well, and know my own aspired scope won't have images we are otherwise spoilt with, but will have the real live buzz and natural wonder. So, yes I'm curious, but don't know if a long term hobby is on the cards, but second hand and selling later to upgrade or leave the hobby is a sensible way forward. A house move is also on the horizon, so converting shed into obs isn't practical.. yet. I have been monitoring astro and will continue to do so.
  9. As a sub-50 newcomer I'm not sure what its job is? In receiving advice here, it seems required budget just keeps going up, making secondhand necessary, especially for a first telescope where its a toe into unknown territory. In the last couple of months i've read on the internet and read books until i have glazed eyes, but this wears thin, not actually be able to see the wonders through a telescope. I don't understand why specialist retailers don't bother to have open evenings/nights to demo their wares. By the time my 30 days are up, I may well be looking to apply the available budget to more pressing matters.
  10. I was going to say, you can sit by me so we can share our ignorance, but it looks like you've been pretty active in the short time you have had your telescope. At the meeting, I'd be interested to hear of your tips from the learning curve. Dave.
  11. Hmmm. just one drawback. Nice summer evening, Barbie in the garden, considerate 'house trained' friends, then next star session you open up wheelie to a cascade of empty wine bottles, beer cans, potato skins, mayonaise covered paper plates, etc etc
  12. Thank-you Brantuk, advice noted. On Goto, I'd rather use the budget on better image quality.
  13. I think you're right, I wouldn't be surprised if someone like confucius or master to grasshopper said something like: 'It is not the destination that is important, it is the journey and what you discover on the way.' Yesterday 'Shedheads' came on TV while reading here about Gina and friends with various sheds/observatories, so can see this hobby can easily become a vortex, emotionally and financially.
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