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Blog Entries posted by Mike73

  1. Mike73
    I'm happy that Nexus works as it should do and I'm still waiting for my Feather Touch to arrive so since I have the week off work I've decided to paint the ground board and mirror box/bearings.
    Its a pretty easy scope to break down into parts, even the mirror cell is simple beyond belief. When it first arrived I emailed Sumerian asking 'wheres the rest of it??' :grin:
    Lots to do before I start spraying though, a light sand with some 600 grit flour paper, wipe with some turps and finally mask over any parts I cant take off. I think the only things that will have to be masked off is the cooling fans and connector, looks a bit of a PITA to take them all out but easy enough to hide with some masking tape.
    The paint I'm using is just black matt spray paint in rattle cans, I figure maybe 2-3 coats of that followed by a minimum of 6 coats of sprayed on matt lacquer should do it but I'm not going to scrimp on the lacquer, if it needs more I'II just keep going.
    I did a test patch on the bottom of the ground board yesterday which worked well. The colour looked almost identical to its original black satin but I'm hoping this will be more hard wearing than the original paint job.
    I'II probably update this Paint blog in a couple days with news that it all went well......What could possibly go wrong??!!! :grin:
  2. Mike73
    I've had my 16" Sumerian for nearly two years now and a while ago I decided it was time for some upgrades and a bit of a spruce up so this year I've decided to add Nexus Push To from Astro Devices, a new Feather Touch focuser with SIPS and a complete new paint and lacquer job.
    Part 1
    I've never felt any sense of achievement from star hopping, its always just been something you have to do to find the good stuff. The only thing that has stopped me from using anything with a screen at dark sites is the loss of dark adaption even when viewed in 'night mode'.
    I've been using my iPad mini with a double sheet of red rubylith covering the screen with the brightness turned down all spring and my eyes feel more comfortable than using my old paper charts under red light, SkySafari also has a huge database of objects and info.
    Nexus was first recommended to me by Faulksy off here but I also couldn't find and bad reviews so I contacted Serge at Astro Devices and before I knew it I was sold on it and handed over the cash.
    Next was the tricky part, Serge needed lots of measurements to make the kit up, he makes each installation kit up from scratch and considering he's in Sydney I needed to get those measurements right!
    It took 5 days to be delivered from Oz which wasn't bad I thought and taken me two afternoons to assemble and install it, I had a few headaches getting the correct SkySafari setting but its all working and ready for its first run under clear skies. I do have to shorten one of the cables which goes to the alt encoder arm but I'II borrow a sparky mates crimpers and do that tomorrow.
    I'm only putting Nexus on this scope, its not worth putting it on the OOUK as I mainly use that from home for moon and planets, if I do look at DSO's with the OO I'II stick with the RACI and Telrad.
    Feather Touch and SIPS should be here next week sometime......:)
  3. Mike73
    Sat24 showed a three hour gap in the clouds and gave me enough time to explore day 13 of the moon....
    The three named craters in this sketch show along the terminator.
    The largest crater at the top is Pythagoras, 130km in diameter with steep 5000m cliffs and a double central mountain (although only one showed at the time of the sketch).
    Oenopides is next with steep terraced cliffs, 68km at its widest point and suffers the same crushed walls as Pythagoras from the walled plain Babbage in the centre.
    Right at the bottom of the sketch is Markov the smallest crater at 41km in diameter and with 2400m cliffs.
    Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
    EP / 3/6mm Nagler zoom at 6mm x183
    Temp / 2˚C
    Transparency / average
    Antoniadi III
    Colongitude 65.6˚
    Phase 26.6˚
    Lunation 12.99 days
  4. Mike73
    Crater Parry at the top of the sketch has a diameter of 47km and although its heavily damaged and lava flooded, steep cliffs still surround it and cast an ink black shadow which really stood out and was the reason for sketching this area.
    Below Parry is the walled plain Guericke at 63km its larger but heavily eroded and partly open to Mare Nubium.
    Telescope / 4" f/11 Lyra
    EP / 3-6mm Nagler zoom at 5mm x220
    Date 20/1/13
    Temp / -1˚C
    Transparency / clear
    Antoniadi II
    Colongitude 17.5˚
    Phase 69.4˚
    Lunation 9.04 days
    Sketched with Conte pastels and charcoal on a 12"x8" sketch pad.
    Last night was the first time using my little 4" Lyra on the moon....By the time I finished the sketch my teeth were cold and my jaw was aching from grinning so much, it really is a cracking little scope with hardly any CA visible and teamed up with the Nagler zoom it proved to be a winning combo!!
    The whole point in getting the Lyra was to get out and enjoy whatever clear skies we get, if I didnt have it I wouldnt have gone out last night. Stood up nudging a big dob whilst trying to juggle with bits of charcoal and pastels isnt the way to make a lunar sketch believe so the I think the Lyra is here to stay for a long time. :)
  5. Mike73
    It seems mad that in this day in age that people even contemplate sketching what you see through your scope. I'm mean, why bother when we have cameras which can 'see' far better than the human eye? All those beautiful colours and textures of nebula and far away star fields, its all lost in a sketch surely?
    Well yeah in a way it is (to an imager) but if you have decided on being an observer then I think its probably one of the best things you can do!
    At this point l've gotta say that l am a newbie astronomer. With 6 weeks worth of experience under my belt l'm not about to send my CV into Stargazing Live asking for a job!
    I have done one sketch last week of M81/M82 but that one sketch helped me observe those far away galaxies more than you can imagine. By the time the sketch was complete I was seeing far more detail than when I started.
    The completed sketch was then simply inverted in Photoshop and the result is something which actually looks very similar to what you see through your EP.
    So all I can say is just give it a go. It doesn't matter if its not a masterpiece, you don't have to post it on the forum and it will cost you a fiver for some pencils!!!
    I started a thread about it a couple weeks ago. Some good info there with links for sketching templates and allsorts.
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