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StuartJPP last won the day on December 18 2017

StuartJPP had the most liked content!

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About StuartJPP

  • Rank
    Brown Dwarf

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Birding and now a bit of astrophotography.
  • Location
    Leeds, UK
  1. I'd much rather hack the software than hack the hardware I use the above as my QHY5L-II-M guide camera doubles as my PoleMaster camera by swapping the lens of the camera from 25mm for polar alignment to 130mm for guiding. Works very well for my setup.
  2. I use a fair amount of PCB matrix pad prototyping board for knocking up one-off dev boards and have done so for many, many years. The boards I usually use nowadays are from Roth Electronik RE200-LFDS which is a double-sided matrix pad board that is NOT through-hole plated. I emphasise the NOT in the through-hole plating as I can't see the reason for having plated-through holes, perhaps I am just missing something? Surely it also costs more to manufacture because it has to go through the plating process. This is the board that I use, top and bottom side is identical and NOT through-hole plated (I do actually prefer square pads, but they seem to be elusive as well). However these boards are no longer cheap, in fact they are pretty expensive these days for what they are. Similar boards of various sizes that ARE plated-through, can be found for practically pennies, just search eBay, BangGood, AliExpress, the sites are flooded with them. However try finding none plated-through and you will find it is either impossible, or practically impossible. Anyway, here's an example of a board I am busy constructing and is a work-in-progress. It isn't complicated by any means but the space is quite confined. The thing is though, I can interconnect the top and bottom layers as and when necessary, which is usually not often I may add, by soldering a link between the top and bottom layer and creating my own through-hole. I can route "tracks" as if it were a custom double sided PCB, crossing over the top or the bottom of the board at will without the fear of shorting the top and bottom layers. The "tracks" are just tinned wire and the soldering iron run over them with some solder, very quick and easy to do once you have the knack. Here's some tracking showing some of the through-holes: There would be no way that I could do that with plated-through holes as the top layer is shorted to the bottom layer. The top layer at this point is basically still free to use, it will be populated once my driver chips arrive. So am I missing something? Every time I even contemplate using some of the through-hole plated boards that I do have, I just give up, unless it is a very simple design. I just don't find it very good for prototyping at all, in my opinion. Oh and yes, I could have a custom PCB made for cheap, but I can knock this out in less time that it takes me to fire up a copy of Proteus, okay maybe not quite. I could also make a PCB myself as I have still got my super strength ferric chloride in the garage and bubble etching tank, but again by the time I have laid out the PCB I would have lost interest. Show me your methods or better ways.
  3. I am not sure if infinity focus is possible on that combination as I am not familiar with it however a much quicker way to check focus would be on Venus or the Moon. Since you are using a Canon 650D with a fold-out display I'd leave APT out of the equation for now and just try to focus by hand and watch the LCD screen. In fact I'd ignore the LCD initially and just use the optical viewfinder of the Canon 650D to make sure that you are getting the smallest point (on Venus) or something nice and clear on the Moon. Once you know where infinity focus is you are just about there. It looks like you weren't far away from infinity focus as the stars are at least showing up, though obviously bloated. The thing to remember is that either the camera or APT in the "LiveView" mode is not taking a 20 second exposure otherwise your frame rate would be 1/20 frames per second, it is trying to simulate what a 20 second exposure would be like, but since the image is so dark, it basically looks black. Once stars are in focus you should be able to see something in LiveView, but only the brightest of stars.
  4. I watched this the other day and he does explain that you can't use it for infinity focus. Kind of makes sense, you'd need a lens infinitely big to have the same effect on something infinitely far away.
  5. According to this website the lens remains wide open when it is not connected to a compatible camera..... https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/500mm-f56.htm He could be wrong as Ken Rockwell is kind of a marmite person, if you know what I mean. I don't have any Nikon kit as I use Canon but that is also the same for Canon lenses, the lens is always wide open by default. There is a trick with Canon lenses if you want to stop the lens down for use on a non-Canon camera.....set the aperture to the required setting and then press and hold the DOF button, turn the camera off while still holding the DOF button and the lens will remain in that stopped down position. Where there are definite issues is when the focus is done electronically, i.e. focus-by-wire. There's no way to focus the lens that I am aware of on anything but a proper camera or a proprietary adapter but often you will lose infinity focus using one of those (and they are usually pretty expensive).
  6. The "rotate" field in the EXIF information is actually an orientation field, which is either landscape or portrait (battery up, battery down) so it can't do a full 180 degree rotation. But as mentioned, it doesn't matter as DSS will take care of it for you automatically when registering the images.
  7. A few people, including myself have used a PoleMaster on an AstroTrac. You have to release the clutches on the head and manually move RA by hand. I only did this a couple of times and it seemed to work quite well. As long as you lock the head in the required positions to similar tensions it should be pretty close.
  8. As a young kid I always wanted some "Sea Monkeys", remember them? They were little bejeweled and crowned aquatic monkeys that lived in a small plastic aquarium.... Reality is that they are just brine shrimp...sounds like a similar type of advertising tactic to me
  9. There are two main types of DC plug/socket connectors like that: 5.5x2.1mm and 5.5x2.5mm (the 2.1 and 2.5 is the diameter of the centre pin). Obviously the bigger plug won't fit into the smaller socket but the reverse can happen which results in a very poor/intermittent connection. I also bought 10 similar from eBay a while ago, and they were a mix so you may get lucky. The seller wasn't even aware. Just a note, they are pretty poor quality connectors, don't keep your soldering iron on them for too long otherwise they will melt, just dab them quickly. In the end I ended up paying the same price per connector from a different seller and never regretted it.
  10. This was my reply on another astro forum relating to this issue.... Looks like all my images are gone...oh well it wasn't like I used the site anymore. None of the subscriptions on offer suited me as a very casual user so I just abandoned it. The 30 or so images I had on "ate" into the free allowance which meant that I couldn't upload any new images for over 3 years after the subscription model was introduced. Sorry to hear others have lost data.
  11. Thanks for the review. It is things like this that make me remember why I haven't been to La Palma (yet). I do have the OH well trained in moon cycles (an app on her phone) so that will definitely not be a problem for me. However the driving part will be. I have been driving for 25 years but there's no way I want to drive on holiday under those conditions, holidays are for enjoying not for inducing stress. The other thing is that I could quite easily survive on bread and water for a week, sleeping during the day and doing astrophotography at night, however the OH wouldn't be too happy with that. In the past we have been to Fuerteventura and after midnight I would venture off and do my thing, but there was plenty of things for her to do during the day. It isn't easy is all I can say.
  12. I'm not anti-Meade, just anti VC. Vulture Capitalists are the bane of any company, on the surface they can inject new money and shake up a business but not often, most of the time they are a cancer. I used to work for a company that still make insane profits on certain items, I'm talking 1000s of percent...yet there was/is an endless drive to reduce the cost of the item, shaving off fractions of a pence. A race to the bottom. The VC were hoping to offload the business years ago but can't as they invested in the peak of 2008 so the only option they have is to keep shaving the pennies off. Death by a thousand cuts. Eventually it will fold.
  13. Nice to see the results under these bad conditions, well done. Like vlaiv did (and Carole, just as I was about to press "Submit Reply"), I had a bit of a play with the M45 JPG above and found there's much more hidden in there than originally exposed. Processing the JPG file is not ideal of course as much faint detail is already lost. This is a bit of tweaking in PI and PS.
  14. Nice! I like these dark dusty regions...
  15. Thank you... Thanks Dave. Glad you like it... Thank you Thanks... Yes, DBE is a powerful tool and should be used sparingly. Thank you... Thanks Martin. I was quite surprised how little processing I had to do on this, I think that a few more hours and it would almost be complete right after stacking and stretching.
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