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Everything posted by ian_bird

  1. Nice Olly. Very, very nice. As always. And with the image capture details missing from your Farcebook post. Thanks. Ian
  2. I run two lengths of this (cut to size) from my shed to the mount, and run cables inside: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008L1AO2Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 One for Power, the other for USB. So I can keep the mount cabled up, and provide power for the heated puppy pads. Cheers. Ian
  3. Hi I use a Heavy Duty Tarpaulin from B&Q. It's Blue on one side and silver on the other side. So I have it silver side out. A liberal application of Gorilla Tape (great stuff!) to turn it into a vaguely tube like shape. A decent mount cover underneath, heated puppy pads under that and you are good to go. Mine's been out there for 10 years. Mount head, OTAs, Cameras, Filterwheels, electronics (in a waterproof box) - the whole lot. Whip the covers off and I'm up and running. Cheers. Ian
  4. Hi Olly Two questions regarding Ralf Ottow and his binosaur. 1) How does he get enough backfocus to bring the light beams from two C11s together into your eyes? Does he re-shape the secondary? Or re-shape your head? 2) This is most important. Do you have his telephone number? Cheers. Ian PS - Give my love to Monique. I still make the salad she taught me how to make. I had one last night in fact.
  5. Ah. My mistake. I should have known better. 'binosaur'. Now there's a name and a half! Two C11s were a Test! Blimey. So the full sized binosauras was two 40cm OTAs? Surely a man of such talent could come up with a waist holster for them. And probably the bionic arms you would need to hand hold them. Although thinking about it, possibly outside of his field of expertise. Glad to hear that the French at least know it's "a trouser". But, as you say, a bit unsporting of them on the payment terms. Have they no sense of history? 30 days payment terms*? A mere piffle. 30 years sounds about right to me. I'm sure my son will not object to settling up my tailor's bill as part of his duties as my executor. People these days! It's all "Now, now, now". Cheers. Ian * One rather suspects that Decathlon's payment terms are measured in seconds, not days.
  6. Hi Olly Was it Ralf Ottow who made a pair of binoculars* out of two spare 6" SCTs? And the same guy who collimated a scope based on the sunlight between two tree trunks on the far side of the valley? I'm guessing it probably is. I mean - how many optical geniuses do you know? Cheers. Ian * Why do we say a "pair of binoculars"? Or a "pair of trousers" come to that. Although I think the latter comes from the fact that you used to get one jacket and two trousers from one's tailor in the olden days. In return you had to ignore the tailor's bill long enough for his** grandson*** to collect. ** Very few female tailors in the olden days. *** It took a lot longer than two generations to change that.
  7. +1 for Puppy Pads. I have three, plus a thermostatic controller. I have had my Mount, OTAs and Cameras out there for 10 plus years. Works a treat. Set up time? 5 minutes tops. Cheers Ian
  8. I have the Canon 10 x 42 L Image Stabilising Binoculars. Whilst they are phenomenally expensive - they are also phenomenally good. Try a pair. When you hit the Image Stabilisation button - you will understand. Almost everyone who has tried my pair says the same two words when they hit the IS button. The first word starts with F, the second word starts with H. Either word would breach the Code of Conduct. So I won't repeat them. These binoculars really are utterly amazing. It's a shame they are so expensive. I feel very privileged to have been able to afford a pair. Cheers. Ian PS - Why do we say "A pair of binoculars"?
  9. Mine's been outside, mount, OTA, camera, electronics and all for 8 years now. As Olly said - the trick is the heated puppy pads. Mine are on a thermostatic controller. And because I'm a geek - it's a thermostatic controller with built in GSM - so it can send me a text message if it loses power. And I can text it to see what the temperature is under the covers. But that's probably overkill. As long as your security is OK - it's a good solution. Cheers. Ian
  10. Hi. I wouldn't normally post this - but this is so good I feel I ought to share. Yes - it is very expensive. But if you like to camp out at a dark sky site, this is probably worth saving up for. The best camping/stargazing chair I have ever seen. Or sat in. It is, to be polite, the dogs [removed word]. (You should see what I would have written if I wasn't being polite). As you recline, it automatically tightens a band around your lower back, giving perfect support. Unbelievable good. But very, very pricey. Worth it though. Add a pair of these bad boys and a dark sky... you are in Stargazers Heaven! https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/stargaze-luxury/ https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/vixen-sg21x42-widefield-binoculars.html Apologies if I am breaking any rules. Cheers. Ian
  11. As a graduate of the Olly Penrice "Bolt it down" school... ... I thought I might share my new guide scope with you. It's a Borg 50mm Achromatic f/5 Guide Scope with the Helical Focuser. With my Lodestar X2 firmly screwed onto the back. Solid as a rock! Thanks Olly! They both normally sit on top of a WO FLT 98 mm and a CGEM DX - but my wife wouldn't let me bring them into the living room for the picture for some strange reason. Cheers. Ian
  12. Neil I have multiple spare power supplies. Especially when I heard Maplins were going out of business. The price dropped to bargain basement and I stocked up. Cheers. Ian
  13. Oh - and keep USB Data Cables well away (routed down opposite side of OTA/Mount) from power cables - especially the dew heater ones. Cheers. Ian
  14. I have one Maplin 12v power supply per item I need powered. USB Hubs. One power supply each. Mount. Own power supply. Cameras. One power supply each. Focusers - well actually they share a power supply. Dew Heaters. Absolutely on their own power supply (shared). Dew Heaters can cause more problems than all the rest due to how they work. I would never share their power supply with anything else. Oh - and Lynx Astro Silicone Power Cables for the mount and cameras. Works for me. Cheers. Ian
  15. Plus one for DarkFrame. It's my mount doing the Helicopter impression on their Facebook page. Cheers. Ian
  16. I can't find the article again either! Oh well. Never mind. I also failed to notice that the South Pole Telescope is a Microwave telescope - not optical. That may explain the Venus collimation bit. Cheers Ian
  17. Hmmm. Intersting thought regarding collimation. Conventional wisdom has it that you should find a bright (but not too bright) star, defocus, and observer the Airy Disk for any distortion. But then I read this from https://antarcticsun.usap.gov January has proven to be a busy and productive month for the South Pole Telescope and its crew. According to University of Chicago post-doc Stephen Hoover, he and his team have been working primarily on calibration of the telescope, as well as other final preparations for the upcoming winter season. In particular, the team spent January collecting “point source” data by looking at the planet Venus. These data are used to assess the shape and other characteristics of the telescope’s beam, so that accurate measurements can be made during the winter. So far, the beam has been found to be almost completely Gaussian, or bell-shaped, which is the beam’s ideal shape. So the South Pole Telescope is collimated by using a planet. Is there anything in PixInsight that could do a similar analysis? Any thoughts?
  18. Sorry, how do you mean? Dew heater controllers work by switching the current to the Dew heater on and off. Which can cause issues in other equipment attached to the same Power Supply.
  19. Olly Just watched it. Excellent and quite moving. Thanks again. Cheers Ian
  20. Copy ordered. Thanks Olly. (And Tom). Cheers Ian
  21. I would have bought 2xHEQ5's and mounted each scope and it's associated paraphernalia separately. Gulp! Oh well. I'm already down the route of a single mount with two scopes. And to be honest my wife would probably reach for the knife drawer if I suggested two mounts! Cheers Ian
  22. LOL! Nice image. Very interesting. Cheers Ian
  23. This would tend to confirm the DEC Bounce hypothesis (Backlash in DEC). As mentioned, try guiding DEC in only one direction. Was the mount set East heavy? The RA could also be down to backlash. Setting the mount East heavy would help. Cheers Ian
  24. Your first post looks like a classic DEC bounce to me. Are you imaging near the Zenith (i.e. straight up)? Try setting PHD to guide DEC only in one direction. If it zooms off screen - change it to only guide in the other direction. Having said that - there are some really good PHD experts on SGL - so best wait for them to give some good advice. Cheers Ian
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