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Everything posted by PhotoGav

  1. @johnb - John, I'm wondering if you could share the code that you use to determine the meteor duration, please? I can see the various lines of code in the Screen Capture Options / Conditional Actions tab, and I can see that the current code that I have is definitely not a duration, but I don't see how to make it tally up a duration. Please help! The other thing that I am struggling with is triggered audio capture - I would love to save a .wav file of the audio around a meteor detection, but for the life of me I can't work out how to make that happen. Any clues would be most welcome! Thank you, Gav.
  2. Thank you John. That screen capture looks excellent and has good information in the marker text. I have tried to work out the settings in SpecLab, but I am far from confident. It would be very interesting to see what settings you are using to obtain that kind of result, please.
  3. Thank you Andrew. I'm waiting for the IT Department to provide me with a computer and then I will be able to install the system at the Observatory and introduce the pupils to it all. My target has always been to have everything up and running in place for the Geminids - I still have a bit of time!
  4. The system appears to be working. It ran all night and registered 34 events. Here are a couple of the screenshots: The next challenge is to suss out Colorgramme and get it to generate a 'heat map' automatically... no doubt there will be more questions on their way very soon! Thank you to the various people who have helped me get this far.
  5. I have it set to 143.048 MHz, so GRAVES pings are appearing at (or around) 2kHz, which they are appearing to.
  6. Thank you, I'll take that as definitive confirmation - hurrah, my first 'ping' !!!
  7. I'm happy to hear that you have a perfect excuse to put down the paintbrushes! Good luck with getting it all working again. It is very much a dark art for me at the moment - it is slowly starting to make some sense, but if I open the settings panel in SL, I have mild palpitations of panic!
  8. Thank you Steve, yes, that is pretty clear! Were you using Spectrum Lab to capture?
  9. OK, thank you. It just registered another small event, but didn't record any sound... back to the settings!
  10. There was nothing there, but I have ticked the triggered wave files output option. Hopefully that will record the next event. What will a meteor sound like?!
  11. Oh My God... we have a hit (I think!)... This looks far more as I was expecting - is this a meteor?
  12. Well spotted, though the frequency was always set to 143048 kHz, but the text used for the frequency display in the screenshot was set to 143028 kHz - I have changed that now.
  13. Thank you for that - I will have a detailed look and compare with my settings. I have connected to the FCD by SDR# and I can definitely pick up Radio 2 (the second round of Popmaster is what I heard!!), so that is good. I have altered the gain to 25 and the waterfall in SpectrumLab now looks better in that it has blue specks in it. The lighter spark trick was registering in SDR# too, though not showing up in SpectrumLab. I am now just waiting for a meteor to be detected... Thank you for your help so far.
  14. Thank you - I did wonder whether I was shooting myself in the foot by keeping the antenna inside!
  15. Thank you, I’ll look at the gain setting and give the lighter trick a go!
  16. Thanks to a very kind hearted soul on here, I have an aerial and a Funcube Pro+ dongle to try and detect meteors using the GRAVES radio frequency. Initial set up is in progress and of course, it's never quite as simple as I would like, though I had never expected it to be easy! I hope that you will be able to help me in my journey. The aerial is built and the FCP+ is connected to the PC. I am using FCHID2 to tune the FCP+ and have set it to 143048 kHz. I have that feeding into Spectrum Lab v2.95 with the settings file downloaded from the Society for Popular Astronomy's Radio Meteor Observing set up guide (https://www.popastro.com/main_spa1/meteor/radio-meteor-observing-2020/). First of all I tested the set up on a radio station frequency using the settings from Paul Hyde's old Sky At Night article (https://britastro.org/sites/default/files/BBC_SatN_HOWTOOBSERVEMETEORS.pdf) and it checked out ok, with the waterfall showing bright and full lines. The signal generator in SpectrumLab creates an event on the waterfall too. I reverted to the meteor detection settings and let it run over night. Here is the temporary set up in my office, you will see that the aerial is carefully aligned to 130º azimuth and 17º altitude! To my amazement it has registered quite a few events in the event log. An example line is: "03:09:17, 2, -82.5, -89.6, 2316.3, 2", needless to say I am not totally sure what those numbers mean. As far as I can work out they are: event time stamp, don't know, max amplitude, min amplitude, frequency, duration. Is that correct? There is also a folder in the Spectrum folder called 'screenshots' which has a collection of screenshots, though it doesn't have one for every event in the event log. The problem is that the screenshots don't appear to show anything for the meteor event beyond a text label. Here is an example: It looks like the event I detailed from the event log above is 'Meteor 2' in the screenshot, but how come I can't see any associated 'ping' on the waterfall? I guess it is probably a settings thing, but I have next to no clue what all the settings are in Spectrum Lab, so any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Gav.
  17. In that case, give it a go. The mount can cope with the mass, so long as you balance it well and don’t put too many peripherals on there. You can guide with a separate guide scope, but you’ll end up wanting to go down the OAG route. Good luck.
  18. Ok, astrophotography with the EdgeHD 8” on an HEQ5 is possible, but it is not the easiest of activities to pursue! I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as the way to start astrophotography. How experienced are you already? If you do go down that route, you will definitely want to use an off-axis guider. I tried every method possible and the only viable option is off axis! Even that is ‘sub-optimal’ as my Edge 8” with a QSI-683 CCD requires a guiding error of around 0.2 to 0.3 “/pixel. That is partly why I changed to a Mesu 200 mount, which can give me about 0.25”/px error with that setup on a very clear, transparent and stable night... which happens very occasionally! Having said that, it is definitely possible to image with the EdgeHD 8” on a well tuned HEQ5 Pro. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how you progress.
  19. Hi Richard, I used to use my EdgeHD 8” on an HEQ5 Pro Mount and I can confirm, with real world evidence, that it works. Are you going to use it for purely visual or do you intend to take photos with it too?
  20. Andrew has been a super kind soul with a very generous gesture that is going to be hugely appreciated by many many pupils. I will keep a thread updated with how the project develops, which hopefully will be useful for others thinking about starting radio meteor detection. Now cross everything for the build phase!!
  21. I would like to set up a radio system to detect meteors using GRAVES. There appear to be quite a few success stories of members doing this here, so I am looking to you all for your assistance in specifying the kit required. As I understand it, I need an antenna, connected to an RTL-SDR dongle, plugged in to a PC that is running SpectrumLab. I then tweak everything and the software will recognise the radio frequency 'hits' as meteors burn up in the atmosphere. Is this correct?! Next question is the killer one: which antenna and SDR dongle are recommended for this kind of system? I hope that you will be able to help. Many thanks, Gav.
  22. The Framing & Mosaic Wizard in SGPro is extremely useful. It helps you to frame up a target. You enter in the name of the object or its coordinates and it fetches a DSS image of that patch of sky. You then overlay a square (or squares, if planning a mosaic, with appropriate orientation and overlap attributes) for your set-up's field of view. Click 'yes please' and it creates a new target event in your sequence with the RA & Dec populated. Very quick and easy to use and a great way to start preparing acquisition of a new target; it makes the tricky job of planning out a mosaic ridiculously easy.
  23. I suppose the plan is that by having more income from this 'project' of theirs (they being Ken & Jared - who are two very nice guys, by the way!) will be able to spend more time on SGP and taking it forwards, rather than having to earn money from a day job and then try and support this every growing beast in the evening. The upgrade seems to work pretty easily, so if you have fears about the whole thing falling apart when you upgrade, it doesn't appear to be the case. Tonight looks clear, so I will be conducting a real world test... fingers crossed! I used to use APT many years ago and agree, Ivo, the developer is very responsive and has built a great piece of software. I had copious issues with APT crashing back then, I'm sure those issues are fixed now, but how does it compare to SGP, functionality wise? Is it as fully featured as SGP? Enjoy tonight's forecast clear skies, if you are lucky enough to be forecast clear skies, and I hope this new version of SGP doesn't generate a swell of bug reports tomorrow morning!
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