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Everything posted by Andymarrison

  1. ...yep, good info on the Kendrick site - my strip for the 8" SCT takes about 2A at 100% output, with the EP heaters only a few tents of an amp. So a 3A fuse on each output should be OK, I reckon. Thanks for all the help!
  2. Thanks Antscope - I'll check out the Kendrick site.
  3. ...there's also a really good blog site called "Quantum Diaries", where researchers in the field post their stories about what's going on right now at the LHC etc, but which also has quite a few "starter" articles explaining the key features of the "Standard Model" (which is our current best, but by no means complete, theory of how everything fits together) and some of the basic principles of Quantum Mecanics. If nothing else it's a really interesting insight into the world of researchers at the very forefront of knowledge. CERN have some good introductory material, too, at http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Science/Science-en.html My background is in this area of physics, and I don't understand it either...!
  4. I can vouch for the 8SE (mine is essentially the same - just a different mount). I live in a very light polluted area and have had fantastic views of M13, M92, M42, M57 etc etc. I bought mine specifically because I have to little kids and time is at a premium. It's easy to set up; the goto works great and the optics are excellent.
  5. The mount uses up to 1.5 amps but that's with both axes slewing. Can't find any data about the strips yet, but I guess they might draw a good few amps with the controller turned right up - can anyone confirm this, or otherwise? I might well invest in a dew buster system with sensors etc as you suggest Antscope, to cut the demand a bit.
  6. Thanks - I'll have a squiz at the websites. I might look on the battery manufacturer's website, too, for any tips on how to avoid a hernia when lifting it.
  7. Thermal base layer (x2 if it's really cold); good quality fleece; sheepskin lined hat; gloves; and a lovely down jacket from the chaps that make them for Rannulph Fiennes (PHD) - I reckoned that Rannulph Fiennes, apart from being a complete nutter, probably knows a thing or two about trying to stay warm.
  8. ...the editor software has substituted the smiley for what was meant to be a bracketed "b"...
  9. Does anybody know how many amps (a) a dew strip; and ( a CPC 800 GPS goto mount will draw? My power distribution box currently has 3A fuses on each output - will that be enough?
  10. The battery arrived today - it's approximately the same weight as the scope...weetabix is on order...
  11. Ok chaps - just went ahead and ordered a 100 Ah leisure battery with a smart charger (you were right - those little things are expensive!). I'll give that a go first, then will probably switch to a more efficient dew heater control (the one I've got is just a set of variable resistors, I think). Battery should arrive tomorrow, then I've got to rig up a little fused 12V distribution box (Kenny who I met at PSP kindly gave me the instructions for that), then I'll report back on how much time I'm getting with the new set up. Thanks everyone!
  12. Thanks guys - I like the idea of having two medium rated packs, Michael, not least because the high Ah rated packs seem to way an awful lot! I might start with one 50Ah pack for the strips and keep the 20Ah one for the mount (which seems to need very little power over a typical session). keeping the pack warm sounds like a good idea - how do I do that safely?
  13. Sent my form in today, too, so hopefully I'm in time to get an EHU (made do without one at PSP and found myself longing for a fan heater!). Can't wait - really enjoyed PSP, which was my first star party, and looking forward to meeting lots of astronomers again under some hopefully clear skies.
  14. The pack I've got is a 20Ah Ring automotive one, so I reckon I need at least 50Ah to make a significant difference. Presumably that means a big leisure battery.
  15. Now that it's winter, and I'm running my scope and two dew heater strips off one power pack (one for the corrector plate of the SCT; one for the eyepiece), I'm running out of power after only a couple of hours. What power setups do other people use to get as much observing time as possible?
  16. All clean - and not as scary as I thought, as many of you said. Used a soft brush or a few specs of dust and then Baader Wonder fluid with their microfibre cloth. Looks as goos as new now! Also it's clear tonight, so finally I get to try out the 13mm Ethos... Thanks for all the advice, guys!
  17. ...Baader wonder fluid on order...gentle persistence mindset engaged...chainsaw for sycamore on my Christmas list.
  18. Yikes - I'd better try to remove it then, though it's been there now for at least a week (since I noticed it in the daylight at PSP 2012), so it may already have "set"...in which case any tips, or am I stuffed?
  19. Aha! You're a genius Karlo! I've just realised, after reading your post, that I've been setting up the scope in our garden next to a very large Sycamore tree!! So it probably is crud from the tree that's built up - I've got more dew prevention than I can poke a stick at so I think that's unlikely to be the issue. I think I'll take Kirkster's advice, though, and leave well alone. I was reading "Turn Left at Orion" this morning and there's similar advice in there too. Thanks everyone for your help - I'm comforted to know it's not just my SCT, and so will observe worry-free tonight (assuming the clouds clear as forecasted)!
  20. Has anyone experienced what looks like a mist of very fine condensation on the front corrector plate of an SCT, that doesn't clear with time or with exposure heat? Is it just accumulated muck from the atmosphere, from lots of nights pointing up into the damp night air? I'm not planning on cleaning it, and the images through the eyepiece look fine, but I'm just a bit worried about what it is. I think it is on the outside of the plate, and not inside the OTA.
  21. Count me in! Tent with an EHU in the camping field this time please - some heat would definitely be a good thing next time around! Where do I book/pay?
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