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About choochoo_baloo

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    Star Forming

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    O gauge railway modelling
    Model engineering
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  1. Would appreciate some advice RE the below: After time spent faffing around with getting the various devices connected up to a USb-ethernet extender, and to recently have a short circuit, I’ve realised I may be ‘throwing good money after bad’. The common issue of USB cable snag is bothering me too. 1) ...after some research, the Intel NUC mini PC series seem perfect (and surrisingly cheap), for an aspiring astrophotographer. Also a good excusento upgrade my computing hardware ? 2) How should I remotely connect to it from the house? I’ve tried teamviewer in the past and it seems very reliable. Is there a simpler way - like a LAN connection? I’m not very clued up about networking etc so would like some basic explanations of my options. Any advice gratefully received.
  2. I've long been a fan of Stellarium for image planning, and mount control. However I'm hoping to buy a program that's more immersive e.g. {moving out into the Solar System, different fields of view into the Milky Way, detailed observing lists} etc. Being a Mac OS user, I've read generally good things about Sky Safari 6. What other products would someone recommend? Thanks in advance.
  3. Exactly - I understand the electronics/physics of the device, so seeing all components well soldered etc and seeing the 0.7V dropout from teh timer chip made it even more frustrating why it would not adjust! As you say, a relief when it's something basic eh John.
  4. Thanks all for the advice. Yes it was a matter of the trim pot needing a huge number of turns to get a sizeable voltage drop across the output - I actually used an electric drill to wind it out! For reference: they are a worm+wheel design thus explaining the ~30 turns needed to get at least half way across the resistance track.
  5. Following recommendations on my recent post; I bought three generic trim pot adjustable buck converters off of fleabay however none of them show a varying output voltage despite multiple rotations of the cheese head screw on the trim pot. I read online that occasionally these trimpots are faulty, so desoldered and replaced with hald decent spare pots and no change. Given the IC functioning I thought maybe it needs a load to function correctly. So I then hooked up a LED but the brightness is constant (photo of circuit below) To save my sanity and smashing them up, please can someone advise why the ******* things are not adjusting their output voltage - what am I doing wrong? Surely all three can't be faulty?!
  6. I'm planning to take by piggy-backed imaging and guiding refractors with me on travels. To save time I want to keep the entire telescope unit assembled in the case {clamshell clamps, Losmandy plate, velcro-ed dew controller etc}. They *wont * be subjected to airline travel or generally being chucked about. Just up and back in the car for trips out into the field. These 'pick and pluck foam' cases take my fancy https://www.theflightcasecompany.com/road-trunks/waterproof-cases/nsp-cases?p=2&product_list_order=price Hoping for recommendations from others who have been using a rigid carry case to take their refractors 'into the field' in this manner. Thanks in advance.
  7. Yes certainly Ant. Being an Admin, please advise how we should arrange delivery - by PM I assume?
  8. Having a sort out, next to go is a Skywatcher EQ3-2 mount with tripod + polarscope. With this model you'd have a ready to use decent observing grade equatorial mount, the polarscope is a real boon to quick polar alignment. New they'd total £200 from FLO. I'm after £85.00 (by BACS). The postage is something we'd need to arrange directly, it's likely to be over £20, or they can be collected from Somerset. Both have been used once or twice. Mount is unboxed, and missing one counterweight, includes the manual. Polarscope has full packaging. Will consider sensible offers. Thanks for looking.
  9. WITHDRAWN ON 26/9/18 Clearing out my unused astro bits. Selling both a Baader Sky Surfer III red dot finder + generic 2x Barlow lens (bundled with a Skywatcher OTA). Would rather sell together. £19.00 for the pair as a donation straight to the RSPCA please, plus £5 postage paid to me by BACS. Both unboxed, come as pictured. The Sky Surfer has slight tarnishing on a couple of the bolts, and a small piece of brass glued to the rear housing for optical alignment - both only cosmetic defects, otherwise both in very good condition.
  10. Thanks all for the advice. After some further research I can see why buck converters are far more more efficient than a crude linear regulator with my sort of numbers, and so bloody cheap given how they pack PWM + closed feedback loop into a tiny board. I've learnt a lot!
  11. I need to drop a 12V DC leisure battery to 5V for a remote USB to ethernet extender. So far I have been using an extension lead powered wall wart supplied with the extender, but this defeats the object of simplified powering - everything powered by the leisure battery. The supplied wall wart is rated at 5V, 2.0A..My mark 1 design consisted of a 5V linear voltage regulator with a 10 micro F capacitor at both input and output pins. The extender connected USB devices start to behave erratically after a few minutes, and when I touched the enclosure, it's very hot! Obviously I’d neglected thermal management. So my thinking now is a 2A rated linear regulator (L78S05CV) with heatsink + thermal paste. I've read that I should add an inline resistor to remove some power dissipation from the linear regulator. However a beefy power resistor wont fit in my existing enclosure. Any advice gratefully received.
  12. Is your mask tapped to take the bolts - the mask seems only a few mm thick? Otherwise a sliding fit would be pretty useless.
  13. I've been pondering how I'm going to attach this Bahtinov mask to my William Optics refractor. A brief internet search has failed to give a definitive answer (which surprised me). Therefore I'm inclined to go for a custom fitting, and would like advice on the below sketch. The plastic cylinder will be made from Delrin (I have some lying in the workshop). It's a shame to have to cut three slots in my new shiny Bahtinov mask, but I'm really struggling to think of an alternative design. Suggestions will be gratefully received.
  14. Same concerns. I was not prepared to have 4 off USB lines + 4 off 12v DC lines to my pier and back. I semi-home-made my own hub. Detailed below. USB Dealt with by a Startech 4 USB to ethernet extender. At the local (PC) end the ethernet is changed back to a male USB. It therefore elegantly collapses 4 USB devices in to one. Power A quality 12V leisure battery with a quality marine grade cigar male. This splits to a plastic box with female RCA (all connected in parallel obviously) and a 4 channel dew controller. Both plastic boxes are Velcro-ed to an aluminium plate bolted to the Losmandy baseplate of my scopes. Then a single 12v/GND dual line goes from teh scopes back to the battery. I firmly believe in taking the time to properly route data _ power. From pictures I've seen a reasonable number of imagers just leave an unsightly brids nest of cables flapping about.
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