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Everything posted by AllanJ

  1. I don't remember seeing this constellation art in my previous version of Stellarium! Allan
  2. Plus 1 for this option. Also, you can use the box for storage/transport.
  3. Hi Dan, welcome to SGL from another member near Exeter. Allan
  4. Hi Nick, I put an Altair pier in last year, hole was 2x2' by almost 3' deep. A digging bar was very handy, as was a narrow spade I also used for cable trench. I made a wooden form for the top few inches although open around its supporting timbers. The form was levelled at the correct height to be flush with existing patio slabs. I also hammered in some rebar, plus a few lumps of rock encountered in digging as hard core. I put in 450kg of aggregate and cement at 5:1 (borrowed my neighbour's mixer and the mix / filling started about 0830, finished and relaxing with beer in hand by 1130). I put a cable up through the middle of the pier, so plastic plumbing and a strong cord for pull through was good, and I made a rough "bridge" to hold the pipe central for the hole in the base of the Altair pier. Cable is run through garage wall and just plugged in when in use. The pier is bolted to L-shaped bolts embedded in wet concrete using a plywood template fitted over the former(needed extra care making and positioning this). Hopefully some photos on Flickr: Allan
  5. The NLO Fridays kick off at 7.30 pm; there are various sections, so most of the observers start off in the planetarium for a talk about things that are currently visible or other topics, then go out with scopes in clear weather, also there is a class for kids learning about astronomy. Imagers potter around on computers or just chat (sometimes about astronomy) if it is not clear enough to set up. There is also the meteor detection, etc, in the technology centre. There is usually a meeting for everybody after that with a short talk, information, etc. On a good clear night there can be quite a few scopes set up for imaging or observing. Plus tea and coffee (20p). Why not give it a try? Allan
  6. Hi, and welcome to SGL from another near-Exeter member. Rather than getting stuck on Woodbury, why not come just a little further to the Norman Lockyer Observatory at Sidmouth - regular meetings on Friday nights, lots of advice available. Allan
  7. I normally use Alignmaster for PA on a tripod, but when I put my pier in last year I could not get "perfect" alignment. I then read that unless the base is totally level, Alignmaster can miss a bit - my pier head adjustment was still a bit less than a degree off level after constant fiddling. So I used the PHD method and got spot on. See the posts at http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/81943-phd-drift-polar-alignment/ Allan
  8. Mark - it's a real shame that I can't make it this year, because I have an SA100 grating I could have brought along. I have used it off and on for a few months, trying to work out the best combination of scope and camera, and in the last week I have had it in the Equinox 80ED with the Atik 314L. Discovered two nights ago that it will not penetrate cloud, even though Met Office and FLO's tool both said it was clear sky - must look up from the computer screen sometime! Results (in clear sky) are pretty good, although it takes a bit to get the hang of it. There are several bits of software for using it - I splurged and bought RSpec. That program can take images from various sources. I have used avi from a DMK camera, but this week I have started to stack fits images using the non-stellar alignment in Nebulosity, which seems to work well. Ken Harrisons's book "Grating Spectroscopes and How to Use Them" is invaluable. My only problem is that a couple of members at the Norman Lockyer Obsy here have bought Alpy 600 modules, so their results just make me envious, but I'm resisting the temptation (so far). Hope the star party goes well, Allan
  9. Hi Martin, welcome to SGL, and hope to see you at NLO sometime. Allan
  10. Rosetta goes faster than Sebastian Vettels's or (especially!) Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull F1 cars, but the lap time is a bit too lengthy to sustain interest for many folks
  11. I've got the Atik EFW2 with 9 filter positions. Starting in position 2 I have LRGB then 4 narrowband including Hb, but in position 1 there is a clear glass filter on the assumption that it is better that any dust gets onto that rather than an "in use" filters or the camera chip.
  12. AllanJ

    Hello from Devon

    Hi Sam, welcome from me up in Exeter. Allan
  13. Imaged this with Ha 8 x 600sec binned 2x2, RGB 8 each 300 sec, using the Ha to bring out the halo. Allan
  14. Hi Ian, welcome to SGL. If you haven't been before, come and visit us at the Norman Lockyer Observatory at Sidmouth - some of us are getting into spectroscopy there. Allan
  15. Hi Mike, welcome from me up the line in Exeter. Allan
  16. I just like the thing that such a small caravan has a front door and a back door! Allan
  17. Thanks for the advice. I'll have a bash at BASS in the near future. Allan
  18. Matt - I do this sort of thing in GIMP by opening one image, crop it to the minimum to get the required detail in, then use Image > Canvas Size to enlarge the working area, then copy the other (cropped) images into that as layers. Allan
  19. I have only recently made my first forays into spectroscopy - it was going to be my focus at SGL9 but there was something wrong with the sky. Since getting home I have had a couple of clear nights recording spectra. I started off downloading and trying to fathom my way through VSpec, then ISIS, then I joined a Yahoo group where Ken recommended BASS, then I downloaded RSpec, which has nice friendly video tutorials, so I bought that to fast track up the learning curve. I am using an ED80 with an SA100 and DMK41, although I have also managed to record a decent avi on my 250mm goto dob (needed some careful counterweighting). Although this forum makes a lot of references to the various software, what I would like to know is how they broadly compare (apart from free vs cost) in terms of functionality so that I can determine whether, in the light of the low resolution I am currently using, I should be looking to go beyond RSpec. Allan
  20. More support for the Green Witch Scopecoat. I have had one out all winter on my pier, dry as a bone. Allan
  21. Cardboard arrived today. Pity about the change - the plastic cases were handy for storing downloads etc. But I guess it helps to keep the price down. No doubt the next move would be to a website only.
  22. AllanJ

    The last one here

    I'm quite envious, Justyn. Sky looks very promising here, so I'm tossing up between my unfinished wine box and catching up / feet up with TV or deciding that I am an outlier of SGL9 and getting a couple of images in. Best of luck, Allan
  23. Just got back (Monday), having sensibly packed kit away early Sunday evening before the rain set in again. Apart from polar aligning on Friday night I hardly saw any stars over 5 nights, but saw the bottom of a lot of glasses. Good to meet up with acquaintances old and new, so many thanks to Daz and the rest of the team for another enjoyable star party. Allan
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