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About upahill

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    Proto Star

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, Astrophotography, Reading, 3D Printers, Basic Engineering, Tools & DIY, Vintage Measuring, Cars, Anything Tech etc etc etc
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  1. Everything went on the back burner for a few weeks for a trip to Bodrum, Turkey - Lovely weather 26-30 during the day and the nights were all crystal clear so enjoyed some naked-eye stargazing. The light polution in and around the bodrum bay is terrible but the lack of clouds was nice, still very enjoyable but glad I didnt try to take a travel scope with me. Full moon whilst we were away which didnt help the viewing either, except for the moon of course. The rooftop bar was a pretty awesome place to sit and watch the sky though. Very relaxing and managed to grab a few moon rises and sun rises from there. Vitamin D topped up it was back to the obsy and 95% cloud cover 100% of the time.... Friday night I tried my luck at getting my first imaging session in from the obsy. Managed a crude polar alignment, and suprisingly this time everything just kind of worked equipment wise. Gathered about 60 x 180s on M33 + some darks when the clouds rolled in. Gave it a very quick process and crop in PI. I still have some sensor tilt or pinched optics to deal with, and still using the DSLR for now until finances improve but im just glad I finally got a shot - its been so long! Due to aperture of my itsy-bitsy scope I managed to image for a full 90 minutes without even thinking of nudging the dome around. This is great news as the dome rotation is going to take some time to get sorted. It does make me feel more comfortable with the idea of not having it synced to scope straight away too as I can just nudge it or build it to move at sidereal. I also noticed I had my backup 1200d on the scope and not the modded one, not much of an issue for this target but explains why some of the other test shots I was doing seemed a little muted. Damp is clearly going to be an issue, made worse by the current non stop rain. I have a dehumidifer to put in but the open gap at the top makes me think I will just be dehumidifying my entire village constantly. When the rim for the timing belt is installed I might look at fitting a brush bar to the underneath of it to keep some of the cold out and the dryer air in. This will hopefully help with what is fast becoming the main downside to the observatory. Spiders! So many darn spiders!
  2. Pronterface is what I use on my Tevo - not had any issues with it so would recommend, just use a good quality USB cable. The rotary encoder issue is an odd one, that screen and encoder module if I recall are a fairly standard unit used in a lot of 3d printers, hopefully the company can send you just that part if its a hardware issue. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12864-LCD-Controller-with-SD-card-slot-for-Ramps-1-4-Reprap-3D-Printer-Display/152256077216?epid=1559297555&hash=item23732b5da0:g:DR0AAOSwuvFcRuwV If you do go down the raspberry pi route, look at Octopi - will speed up the process of getting everything running as you just download the image.
  3. I tend to leave my filament in situ all the time, but if im not likely to print again for a while (few days) ill wrap a strip of cling film around the roll in place with a few desicant packs trapped in there. Helps keep dust off too.
  4. Ill be bringing a couple of surplus bits along if I can dig them out of storage, mainly an EQ5 black, TS 80mm OTA, a few surplus adapters etc. Still struggling to get everything sorted in the obsy but will find more stuff in storage no doubt.
  5. This is sad from the content perspective but doesnt suprise me at all really. I signed up for a Yahoo account about 20 years ago when they were the search engine. But havent seen much innovation from them since. When I see that a company uses Yahoo groups for support i always groan a little, I have to remember or setup a yahoo account just to log in to the group often, then jump through hoops to join. Forum software is much easier to use and navigate and usually with a much better feature set. I can imagine those who use it frequently and are used to its layout/setup will miss it a lot though. Hopefully they will find a way to let group owners archive their content and import it into a different platform if they do close.
  6. I have used some of the Grey Sunlu filament - printed nicely at 210 degrees for me, but will vary slightly depending on your hotend/thermistor. Good luck with the assemby! If you get stuck skip through the Thomas Sanladerer video on Youtube as it covers the entire build.
  7. An advantage to printing from SD card for me is that a lot of my failures have been PC related, either software crashing causing interrupts or something screwing with the USB port. As Stub Mandrel says the fewer cables the better. The only time I havent done this was when using Octoprint from a dedicated raspberry pi, which does make the process a little easier to manage than constantly removing the SD card.
  8. Oooh might pop up on the Friday, missed last years as it clashed.
  9. Im thinking ill skip the imaging rig this year and just bring along the LX10 - hopefully I can focus on learning to use it properly that way. Depends on what the forecast is closer to the time really.
  10. I think you might find it difficult to find a mobile recoater. I know alot of the coatings require a vacuum chamber. Just how dirty is it? The typical attitude towards it is that unless its seriously affecting your viewing its best to leave it dirty.
  11. I managed about half hour with the dob last year, but really enjoyed the time in the tent. I also managed to get through the entire Mission Impossible franchise in the time I should have been stargazing Bringing some more films just incase but hoping for a clearer time.
  12. Very much this, I read recently a book called Better Angels of Our Nature which discusses in great detail how almost every type of crime has consistently gone down for the past x years - yet our perception is that it has signifcantly got worse. As you say this is primarily due to the media and now social coverage. If it bleeds... it leads.
  13. I would go laser. Getting your own machine can be a major PITA though. I think the largest mine can do is just over A3 size, they can be found on the second hand market though, we grabbed ours for £750 and then spent another £300ish upgrading it to 80watt. If it was up and running smoothly I would offer, but alas its back at the bottom of my "projects" list for some time. I havent actually tried acrylic yet either just MDF and hardboard - but its what ill use to make my control panels for astro stuff. This guy on youtube makes awesome panels for his flight sim rig:
  14. A year or so ago I was using APT regularly with my DSLR and enjoyed seeing the previews of each sub popping up during a session, the quality was ok and I could get a real feel for the object, auto stretching would also give me a good indication of the data that was being captured. Fast forward a few months and I tried out EKOS/Kstars etc and was primarily dissapointed that the previews were shocking quality. Looks like an a grainy pixelated mess on all images. I wasn't quite sure what caused this but it put me off the software and I resigned to going back to APT or trialing SGP once the dome was ready. A few nights ago I plugged my setup back in as it used to be, APT on the laptop directly connected to the DSLR and the quality was just as bad. I feel like something has changed (and im fully prepared for that to be my memory of how it was) but it just doesnt seem as good as I remember. I tried my backup SLR and its the same problem, so fairly confident its not an incamera setting that has changed, and the final subs look good once stacked etc. But all previews seem to be worse. Bright RGB pixels (noise?) seem much more prevalent and obvious in the previews. Ill try and grab some screenshots tonight if it clears at all. Any ideas what would cause this?
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