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SnakeyJ last won the day on December 1 2015

SnakeyJ had the most liked content!

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About SnakeyJ

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    Red Dwarf

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  • Interests
    Family, business, boats, fishing, rockets and astronomy - in no particular order
  • Location
    Isle of Wight
  1. I love that, a most well deserved AAPOD and hopefully more to follow.
  2. Excellent point Rusted - I have a lot of assorted cast iron weights of various makes and colours and will invest in some white smooth hamerite and a few cheap brushes
  3. Thanks Ben - amazing condition given 20 years exposure to British weather. I'm sure that 20 years will see me through. Interesting that the street light, a traditional bane of UK astronomers, can prove to be such a useful tool. In my area we changed over to LED some 4-5 years ago, I expect the contractors will have scrimped on fittings, but will take a closer look now!
  4. It certainly would look awesome, but a fair amount of polishing to keep it gleaming - would look great for that cyber punk effect (like the Great Weatherall Refractor below) and a little denser than SS, but also fair bit more expensive to buy. The stainless surfaces up nicely with Carbide tooling on my lathe and no problems so far with drilling, boring and tapping ops - though I did use the feed and suds pump for the finishing cuts.
  5. Hi James, and thanks for your response - I do still dip in and follow the forum and progress on your obs, but have been busy with my daughter and very little time and energy for astronomy. I have managed to sort my bijou 8x8' workshop and trying to get my new planetary setup running. My rig is quite unweildy, with an OO 14" swinging on old style CGE Pro, within a 2.2m pulsar dome. To shift the OTA CoB forward sufficiently to operate in the dome, I had to add almost 5kg of lead flashing wrapped around the front of the OTA. This is held in steel rings between two 14" losmandy dovetails. All up with camera, ADC and Barlow's, just under 30kg. I'm hoping the OO ultra grade optics, smaller CO and open tube will give the C14's a run for the money and have a couple of years yet to tweak before Jupiter, Mars and Saturn become decent UK targets. Certainly not expecting this to perform for LX imaging, but with CMOS sensitivity improving, exposure rates commonly over 100fps at f15-f20 and the rig reasonably sheltered from the wind, it should be stable enough.
  6. 316 is good, but much more expensive and harder to machine, though a few inserts or taking lighter cuts makes little real difference to me at home. Cold galvanise, paint or electro plate all good enough for me, but it would be nice to do stainless if I could find a bit.
  7. I managed to source some 32mm diameter 304 grade SS at a sensible price for another project, but have enough left to make an extended counterweight shaft for my cge pro. Looks great and machines nicely - pretty sure it will do the job and stay shiny in my obs, but just wanted a second opinion. The original is 15.5" X 1.25" including turned down externally threaded end at 1" X 16tpi but thinking I might add 7-8" and reduce the number of weights (currently 25kg, original Celestron 10kg, 2 X SW 5kg and 2 X 2.5 iron gym weights). (BTW - I'm still looking for some cheap/free 8" SS billet bar - about 10" should suffice and a powered hacksaw/ bandsaw.... )
  8. I'm another vote for the 224MC, which has provided excellent some excellent results when I've had the chance to get out! The camera delivers high frame rates, even at F20 on my 10" OO (TV 3x barlow with some extension), commonly over 120fps on 640x480 ROI. The camera's sensitivity has been a big step up from my previous QHY5LII mono (ASI120MM equiv) and much less fuss with the processing - though worth stressing that best results do require the ADC (particularly for planetary imaging from UK Latitudes). A capture laptop with USB3 and a decent SSD drive can also bump the price up if you don't already have them.
  9. Love that Neil - how wonderful to literally fly over the lunar surface like this! The enhanced relief adds new understanding to the structure and wide variation in the lunar surface. Any chance you can post up the original source image for comparison with the video?
  10. This saddens me too, it would be nice to see some real production behind British badged brands, even if we outsourced the castings and heavier production. The global economy has all but killed off UK production. At least I know my Mk1 Bantam is 100% British built and powered by Brook's Motors of Huddersfield. It may be old and worn, but will certainly see me out Oddly enough a Dalian lathe did come up for sale locally - it looked well equipped and not a lot of money, but rather too big for my workshop and I'm not keen on another hernia!
  11. Forgot the photos this morning, but a much better run at machining a test bar yesterday. I was running this on 20mm black mild steel bar, so a little lumpy and naturally some chatter at 7" out from the chuck, but the results were considerably better and I was able to get a reasonable first pass on this. Still measuring in metric with the micrometer, but I machined to 19.25mm at 20mm from the chuck jaws and ran out to 19.30mm at 150mm (170mm from chuck). Quite a taper, but heading in the right direction. I should be able to resolve this with precision levelling of the bed and tweaks to the head alignment. I will do the subsequent test cuts with a taper mounted collet chuck, which should give much more accurate alignment and see if I can source some truer bright steel bar stock.
  12. Hi Noah - I was posted with HQ 19 Infantry Bde, Goojerat Baracks, Colchester myself between '88-90 courtesy of the Army. Without doubt the best and friendliest garrison town in UK and many fond memories of the town and surrounding area. My only claim to fame would be entertaining and photographing Atkinson, Fry, Laurie and Robinson with the band of the 3 Royal Anglian, when they filmed the title sequence for Black Adder Goes Forth - Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson and Hugh Laurie were great fun, but Rowan Atkinson was very aloof and withdrawn. Genius together as they played off each other as they seemed to make the gags up as they went along. Colchester Machine Tools are still very much up and running and producing/exporting quite a lot of machine tools - Looks like they are mostly CNC driven now, but they still sell the traditional centre lathes Student and Master models - bet they cost a fair few shillings though. I think the move to Yorkshire was part of the rationalisation of Harrison and Colchester under 600 Group Plc, both brands are still produced. It's good to see that England is still producing and exporting some machine tools!
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