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About DeepSkyMan

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    Star Forming

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    Astronomy, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Horse Riding, Falconry, Fishing
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  1. Finally took the plunge into the world of EAA. Postman delivered my Atik Horizon. Now just need some decent skies to inspire me to get around to climbing the ‘skill mountain’
  2. My second 22ah Golf Cart power unit. These are awesome mobile power units and at only £139, a real bargain compared to the Tracer units I’ve previously bought.
  3. Not before time I have eventually sourced a protective carrier for my Oberwerk Tall Tripod. The Geoptik carrier for Eq6 and tripod. It has a bit more capacity than I envisaged, wondering if I might fit my Vixen HAL 130 alongside it, need to get the Vixen in from the garden to check it out. No more dings and scrapes
  4. I contemplated getting one of the Telegizmo 365s, then one day whilst visiting a Halfords branch came across motorcycle covers, and thought they might be worth a try. I’ve used the bike cover now at numerous dark sky sites, under wind rain and snow and they work a treat. When covering up I secure the base of the cover to the ground with a number of strategically placed steel tent pegs, then a pair of bungee cords secured to alternate tripod legs ensures that the cover stays put. Consider some of the weather we have had this summer, my kit has been out there through it all. Of course all eyepiece glass has been removed, and all possible ingress points to the optics have been carefully covered and obviously the battery pack has been removed indoors. I don’t remember the exact price but it was like £28 or something.
  5. Helen, how are you intending to use the ASIAir? Ah... after reading your signature, it’s pretty obvious. You will using it with your ASI1600. My next big purchase scheduled for November will likely be an Atik Horizon, same Panasonic chip as the 1600.
  6. Helen, congratulations on your new Sphinx, I have an SXW, they are splendid mounts. Regarding wireless setup here is an excerpt from a post I made on CN regarding my setup: Regarding the Sphinx and remote setup you need the following components: Additional 12v power supply (or one with sufficient capacity to power your WiFi, Dew control and Sphinx) Length of CAT5 ethernet cable (Note: This is std ethernet NOT cross-over) A small WiFi router, I use this one: https://www.netstoredirect.com/tp-link-routers/39960-tp-link-tl-wr802n-6935364071721.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6abnst6L1wIV8TLTCh34EglnEAQYAiABEgJk1fD_BwE). There are more compact solutions available now, but this one works for me. A tablet or mobile phone (Apple or Android) A planetarium app (again Apple or Android). I use SkySafari. You connect the Starbook to the WiFi router power it up and subject to config changes in your planetarium software thats all there is to it. Make sure the router is powered up prior to the Starbook. When the Starbook then powers up it immediately detects the router and obtains an IP address from the DHCP server on the router. The IP address can be found under the About menu option in the Starbook. Using SkySafari is a breeze. You just make the appropriate IP address setting in the Scope Setup in SkySafari, connect to the mobile router from your tablet or phone and hey presto! From this point forward you communicate with the Starbook from SkySafari. You have all the functionality of the Starbook but in addition you have access to the 'gazillions' of astro objects in SkySafari and a more intuitive user interface. One thing to remember make sure you are running SS and the Starbook in the same time-base. If DST in the Starbook make sure SS is in DST as well, otherwise your gotos will be out by an hour in RA. Something else that you might find useful and caused me some confusion when trying to understand how SS worked with the Starbook, SS knows within its coding what epoch co-ordinates a specific mount is expecting and always converts the SS co-ordinates to that epoch. This is from correspondence with Bill Tschumy at Simulation Curriculum: "Bill Tschumy February 08, 2017 20:49 The setting for the epoch (J2000, Now, etc) in SkySafari is for your benefit only. It has nothing to do with the coordinates we use when talking to the scope. We know what each mount expects and always convert to that epoch before sending an RA/Dec to the mount. Here is a pic of my setup: Hope this makes you take the leap to remote control, it really is liberating. Kind Regards Paul J.
  7. Here you go Steve https://www.tectake.co.uk/universal-box-rifle-hard-shell-case-long-40287 A single 5lb weight does the job for me Kind Regards Paul.
  8. Finally... A solution for transporting my UA T-Mount, a repurposed double rifle storage case from TecTake.com. Decided on a diagonal layout for the mount, on the basis that this would spread the load better rather than focussing all weight vertically along the parallelogram shaft. One thing about this case is the depth of the pick.n.pluck, it’s deep enough that I will be able slot another counter weight in on top of the existing one. Total all up weight 14.7kg, but if I’m feeling lazy it also has wheels
  9. First purchase in my patient road to EAA capability, Hyperstar 3 for my 8” Edge. Compliments of ABS.
  10. Had notification from Nick at Altair Astro, that Ikarus Technologies have recently made the drivers for the Altair Astro range of cameras available for download with their StellarMate plarform. I would imagine at this stage they are probably still in Beta status. I’m favouring the INDI approach due to the lightweight small footprint of the required hardware and more importantly that the platform is intended for remote operation over iOS.
  11. Hi there Louise, unfortunately even though I live in what is probably the only border line green/yellow zone left in central Scotland (Slamannan), it still doesn’t make up for the surrounding central Scotland light-dome...?. Thanks for your feedback regarding my imaging/eaa requirements. As you’ve no doubt already picked up, from my later post, my imaging strategy has firmed up in the past week, I will shortly be the proud owner of a Hyperstar. So I’m now looking for the best sub1k camera to pair with my 8” EdgeHD in this format. Clear Skies Paul.
  12. Guys, I have an order in for a Starizona Hyperstar for my 8” EdgeHD. What sub-1k camera would you pair with this kit? Also what is the learning curve involved, bear in mind I have no imaging experience? I have been looking at the Altair Astro Hypercam Pro TEC 183c, which seems to be getting some favourable comments. My intention is to use an INDI based platform, probably a StellarMate for image and focuser control. Paul.
  13. Hi there folks, my EAA/AP ambitions got severely curtailed last year due to unforeseen domestic expenditure. Moving into the new year, resolution renewed, I’m looking at investing in an EAA setup. Had been thinking about the new Altair Hypercam 183c TEC cooled offering. However on reading up it appears that the pixel size would not be a great match for the 8” Edge. So, looking for some advice from you guys as to what the ideal camera would be to pair with the 8” EdgeHD. Initial concentration will be on EAA however I would like to have the flexibility to move into a more traditional AP setup down the line. Camera budget is £1000. Kind Regards Paul.
  14. Hi there, our Astro group were booked into our normal dark skies venue for an observing weekend in February. Unfortunately, the accommodations are now going to be undergoing renovation and will be closed for the first 3 months of the year. We are looking at a couple of alternative venues. These are field study centres, one at Blancathra near Keswick and the other Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales national park. Wondering if anybody has any observing experience of the skies in these areas. Kind Regards Paul.
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