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ncjunk

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About ncjunk

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    Brown Dwarf

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  • Website URL
    http://www.neilchase.net/

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  • Location
    Northern Spain
  1. Hi, My C11 is a bit heavy at the imaging train end and I need to add some weight to the end to shift the center of balance. Does anyone know what weights are available and what they are called? It has lots of handy holes at the end of the tube for attaching things and I´m sure I´ve seen tube shaped weights somewhere. thanks,
  2. I have two focusers one with a gear and one without and they both work fine. Personally I prefer the geared stepper though as I have 32000 steps to play with on the range of travel of the focuser. With the non geared stepper I have 200 steps x 8 (microstepping steps) = 1600 per revolution if I remember correctly I use about 5000 steps for the range of travel of the focuser. I use the non geared on an ED80 and the geared on a C11. The most critical thing with the focuser is to ensure everything is tight and your coupling is solid. Any slack in the system will add to the backlash and the inacurracy in the focusing. I have not had any problems focusing the ED80 but I wouldn´t stick the non geared stepper on the C11 as the focusing is more important at the higher focal length for me.
  3. I also keep mine running 24/7 and use the cloud sensor to see what I missed during the night. The PC keeps itself dry that way. Does get hot in the summer but when I bought it of off ebay I bought two of them (cheap old dells 35 pounds each) and have the backup in the garage for when the first breaks.
  4. Very nice NGC891! I like this Galaxy it´s one of my favourites, I like the dust lanes.
  5. I feel you were a bit harsh but then I understand the frustration as I have some code that only works up to a certain version of arduino software - must fix that someday. BUT - in the 80s it cost a fortune to buy and build anything. I remember being at home looking through my maplins catalogue in order to see what was new and drooling over the 6800 processor and wanting to play but it being too expensive. I can now buy, and have, an arduino that fits in my wallet for the price of a packet of crisps with 8 AI and 8 AI, inbuilt serial comms, low power consumption etc etc.....seriously I'm living the geeky 16year old me dream. Not only that but when ever there's a problem I can google it and find the answer. So yes it's frustrating that the software is sometimes flaky but I can usually find the answer. Would I use it at work in automation? no, because I need to be sure that the components are of a high enough quality to work for years without failing and there are always doubts with these chinese electronics. At home though it's a different matter, I have 3 spare arduinos in the garage so can just replace it if it fails - the focuser though has been working for 4 years now without a faiure. 99.9% of it does work properly I think you need to accept the minor failures due to the major benifits - free software, cheap hardware - I just can't believe I can buy something so useful and so cheap with a free ide that works....I don't want the 80s! give me want we have now with some bugs any day of the week.
  6. To be honest it won't be very challenging for you Gina! It's relatively easy and you'd have it sorted in between breakfast and mid morning tea ;-D
  7. There are some datasheets here for the sensor: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9570
  8. The IR cloud sensor detects sky temperature and when it is clear it will read -30ish and when cloudy it will read the temperature of the clouds, I assume it will be reflecting a certain amount of heat that would normally rise and hence detects that or reads the temperature of the clouds (probably a mix of the two). It cloudy conditions the temp will read 12 deg. You could use the MLX90614 sensor and they come with 45 deg views or 60 deg view - you need to check the wavelength of ir it detects i think it's 5-14 wavelength range. The only problem I have is dew as I've never been good at getting rid of it. You need to put a rain sensor with heater element inbuilt next to the ir sensor to keep both clear. If you get an MLX90614 a couple of resistors, capacitors and an arduino you can have one up and working in a couple of hours - including the usual time fluffing around because you have the wires wrong and the baud rate doesn't match.
  9. I had a cloud sensor working with the MLX90614, i think, IR sensor and it does work very very. You need a decent rain sensor with inbuilt heater as well and this can provide the heat to keep the dew off of it. My sensor died because the test case wasn´t waterproof and the electronics got wet. I moved to the AAG cloud watcher as I don´t have time to redo the homemade one or integrate it into ACP and the AAG does it all for 300 euros and was effectively the same hardware that i bought for mine. The IR sensor is very easy and you are only looking for the temp difference between ambient temperature reading, that the MLX provides with onboard temp sensor, and the sky temp. A normal clear temperature reading varies depending on atmospheric conditions and time of year. So, in the winter the IR sensor can be reading -30 with ambient of 5 giving a difference in temperature of -35. When cloud comes over then the sky temp will rise to above 0 giving a difference of -5 but you'd be able to detect cloud, dust or changes in conditions before that. At this time of year, summer here in spain, the atmospheric conditions are worse and the sky temp reading can be anywhere from -1 to -12 deg for clear with an ambient temp of 24 deg C. If you have the time and enjoy playing then the IR sensor is really quite easy but you do have to tweek the alarm trigger points for Clear, Cloudy and partially cloudy depending on the time of year and conditions. I'll usually check the readings before the start of the night and change the limits as required. you could always program the Arduino to replicate the comms and replies from a commercially available unit and use their code. I know of a couple of people that use their homemade units with their own software but I don't think you are finding lots of people with homemade one's because of models like the AAG that are "only" 350 euros which in our hobby is relatively cheap compared to everything else. If you enjoy tinkering then I recommend doing an IR sensor as it's quite interesting, it would be easier than the camera method you're describing here. My gut feeling is that this camera method will work to a certain degree but won't be as sensitive as the IR sensor and more of a challenge to implement - you never know though until you try. Regards, Neil C
  10. Maxim dl however i don't do much processing just levels and curves as i dont have time. I prefer maxim for combining and then photoshop XI that i got free with my nikon D50. But these were just maxim.
  11. I'd definately start with an M13, M3 or M27. M27 is a good, bright, fairly large target which would be a great starting point for practicing. I'm just blatently copying ollys post aren't I?
  12. I have to be honest here I have rather a good mount so it's easy to guide. I had the c11 on an eq6 once a few years ago now that was entertaining. I always think these people who produce stunning images on low end gear are the true masters of astrophotography.
  13. You're in the north as well, Its too hot for me today but the great thing is i get clear nights. Winter is not a good time as i get continuous cloud off of the Atlantic. Off down the beach when it cools off a bit ;-D
  14. To apply i lifted one end of the backing paper by 20cm and attached the flocking removing the air bubbles. I then slowly pulled off the backing paper whilst rolling the flocking.
  15. A bit of both. In a few places i overlapped but it isn't really obvious and wont affect anything in terms of light path. As i dont spend time looking down the scope its not a problem.
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