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Everything posted by samtheeagle

  1. Uh oh! Clouds should be actively discouraged! though I suppose learning to live with them is for the best... Awesome pic by the way. Fantastic to be kindling the old astro interest in one so young.
  2. Yes, that is my concern. Having recently made some staging to go in the wife's greenhouse I'm all too aware of timber prices But perhaps a "proper" lumber merchant will beat the pants off B&Q/Wickes etc? I need to settle on a size and then try to calulate what sort of volumes I'm talking about... I probably could push to 8x6, I'm not exactly short of space, but the wife will only tolerate so much of an intrusion My high level plan at the moment, whichever way I decide to attack the build, is this: Simple foundations of a half dozen concrete blocks which will be sunk into the ground like the pier base, but a good bit smaller. To these a raised wooden frame can be attached with a vapour barrier to help prevent rising damp. An outer shell of shiplap tongue and groove, either a purchased shed, or custom made panels. This outer shell will have a vapour barrier affixed to its interior faces. An inner skin of OSB perhaps? Just some thin-ish (~10mm?) panels. This I hope will make things more sturdy, more damp proof, and more pleasing to the eye. Then of course I have to figure out the roll off roof aspect, but a lot of that will depend on the type of build I go with, so I'll get to thinking about that later when I have a few more things decided. Anyone pick out the fatal flaws in my plans so far? Best to nail them now me thinks!
  3. So I find my next big obsy decision is do I convert a shed, or build from scratch? Initially I was planning on converting a pent shed, a good quality one, tongue and groove shiplap, with double frame and what not. But having trawled through some of the other build threads I'm getting concerned that it wont be sturdy enough. And if I'm going to have to build an interior frame to strengthen it up, I'm not that far away from a custom build from the ground up. And a custom build allows me to make it whatever size I like, and I wont have to work around any issues with how a purchased shed is put together. The shed I was looking at costs ~£330 for an 8x5. I guess what I really need to do is price up the materials required for building my own to see how it balances out. What are peoples opinions on converting sheds? When I first started reading up on building a roll off roof obsy, converted sheds seemed to be the preferred choice, but more and more people are doing bespoke builds it seems. Is this advisable? Or is it more of a nice to have? For me, my obsy needs to provide the following: It must be waterproof, and therefore safe to leave my gear setup in it. It must be quick and easy to open up so I can make the most of the rare clear skies. It must have mains power. That's about it. Nothing flash, just a utilitarian workspace to allow me to enjoy my hobby as often and as easily as possible. I'm really not that fussed about a warm room, that seems like a luxury I can easily live without. I'm not even worried about being a bit cramped in there. Having my kit ready to start imaging within 5 minutes, instead of the current ~1 hour setup time, is what I'm looking for.
  4. Great pics Mike Very good quality from a video feed, I'm always tempted by the idea of a visual / imaging hybrid setup. I know what you mean about globs being fascinating, I have a real soft spot for M13 personally.
  5. I'll have to wait and see what my tamed sparky says... The garage currently has mains power out to it, and I would be looking to extend from there out to the obsy. The current garage wiring is, errrr, "interesting". The previous owners weren't too worried about quality signed off work it seems. So yeah, the run out to the garage might require an some meatier cable, but on out to the obsy wont need anything quite so hefty. Most of the gear will run from my newly acquired bench power supply, and then there will be a laptop, a light and a dehumidifier. I can't see that little lot drawing anything like 23A
  6. Wow! Amazing detail! You must be over the moon with those pictures
  7. I've enhanced my panorama and made it into a custom landscape for Stellarium Very handy indeed, I'll be playing for hours to see what sort of views I'll get at various times of the year. I'm mildly converned about my view of polaris from the proposed location. It's fine at the moment, but another few feet of growth on the neighbours trees and I could be stuck :S
  8. Thought it might be a good idea to nip out with a camera to build up a panoramic view from the point where I'm planning on putting my obsy. Simple point and click affair, with the pictures taken from head height... http://www.guywebb.co.uk/astro_images/ObsyView.jpg Gives you an idea of the views I'll be getting, looking back towards the house is east. There are a few obstructions, but nothing massive. The view north is a bit blocked by trees, but they're not all that tall. So long as I can see polaris ok from down there I'll be fine. It looks worse than it is in the pics, as I've taken the snaps parallel to the ground...
  9. A very good point! I'd never considered that, which is daft considering I always build my own pcs from scratch!
  10. That or make use of those rather nifty ethernet of mains devices...
  11. I've just grabbed a 13.8V regulated mains power unit from my local Maplin. For some reason they seem to have the 7A and the 10A versions for sale at the same price. I'm sure that in the past when I looked at these the 10A version was a good £20-30 more expensive. It seemed like too good a deal to pass up. I've seen lots of people recommending these, so I thought I'd grab one now, in anticipation of my obsy being ready. http://www.maplin.co.uk/13.8v-regulated-mains-power-units-231
  12. Cheers Gina, that's the kinda of value I was guestimating I'd want. What length of cable run did you need?
  13. Yes, I'm definitely going to want mains power to the obsy. It'll be soooooo nice not to have to keep watching the battery meters to see how much longer I can keep imaging for Fortunately my father-in-law is a sparky, so other than the cost of a faily long length of armoured cable, and some significant trench digging that's not a major concern for me. Speaking of which, I need to figure out what kind of ampage cable I'm going to need. Better start adding up all the things I'll be running off it
  14. This summer will hopefully see the construction of my observatory! I've got the all important wifal approval, some steel tubing for a pier, and enough money get get me started i.e. to buy a shed and some other materials. I've spent many an hour browsing through the various build threads, and the thing I keep reading is how important it is to plan... So in that vein my first big decision is where to locate the observatory. I've a long thin garden that runs east to west, and there are a number of places where the obsy could go, but they all have view obstructions of one kind or another. I was hoping that someone could advise me on what is generally considered to be the "best" viewing direction(s) to have clear? I have 3 options available to me: Near to the house. The view to the east is completely blocked, and the obsy would be build on a concrete base that's there. Other views are pretty clear. Halfway down the garden. Good views east and west, but north and south are somewhat nerfed by trees in neighbours gardens. The far end of the garden. The west is completely lost to a row of tall trees, but the other directions are relatively clear. My gut feeling is #3, but it is the closest to the train line, which could derail a few of my subs But to be fair, using my kit up by the house will pick up some wobbles when the heavy freight beasts rumble through late at night What do my learn'd friend think about my options?
  15. Looking good ian I must return to this target myself, I've had one crack at it with my old achro, but I've yet to turn the ED80 to it.
  16. Awwww, come on now Harry, you wouldn't want to deprive a man of his birthday prezzy would you?
  17. Indeed they do, but when I asked recently they were out of stock SCS Astro also seem to be resellers, and they had stock when I asked a couple of days back. Fingers crossed. I'd really like the boxed version rather than download, just hope I can get it before Friday now
  18. Ok, so I'm being hamstrung by the demo version not being able to save... So I'm not going to be able to properly replicate Olly's process. But I'm getting the idea now I think. I was just writing a long bit about how I was still getting a blue hue and other weirdness, but I've just re-read Olly's process and just picked up on the "None" option! So, I'm prolly stuck for now without the ability to save, but I think I'm confident enough now to buy the full version, at which point I'll be primed and ready to go
  19. I've got an EL panel. When I view a single flat it's kind of sky blue in colour. But I've think I've got flats sorted out now, with the shift 0.5 magic I just need to sort out my bias frames and darks, and hopefully I'll be laughing. Thanks for the advice, all. I'll report back on how things go.
  20. Yay, some more responses! I was starting to think I was on my own for a while there I found an excellent AA4 Flats tutorial video by Harry Page over lunch, which has cleared up some of the issues. I wasn't removing the colour information from the flats files. I'm too used to DSS just taking all the files I throw at it and sorting them out for me I knew it was going to be down to my process, I was just struggling to find out what I should be doing. I'll have a go with the process as defined by Olly tonight I got considerably less moire patterning when I used a better flat, though I didn't have all the files to hand to perfect it. The main issue I had then was that the colour was still blue. If I split the colour synthesised image into separate RGB channels the blue one was by far the strongest, which makes me think something is a bit confuzzled.
  21. Very interesting indeed! Great to see a big company thinking enough about what must surely be a minority of their user base. You don't see that very often...
  22. Can anybody help me out with some AA5 advice??? Here are some example images snipped from the demo version to illustrate what I'm getting. This first image is the raw stack of light frames only, no calibration frames applied at all. I'll get on to that : This is what I'm getting after colour synthesis. Blue. When the Rosette is very definitely Red. And it comes out Red with this data using DSS. Then for the real icing on the cake, this is the sort of insanity I'm getting when I attempt to use the dark and flat frames with this data. I've tried everything I can think of, twiddled every option I can find, but it's always the same. Washed out and blue. I really thought that investing in some well regarded astro processing software would be a good idea, but right now I'm thinking why on earth would I spend money on this? I can't get a good result out of it to save my life. At least the freeware apps give me images like I'd expect. I'm sure it's a failing on my part, but can anybody englighten me as to what it might be?
  23. I hope it works out ok for you eddy. I've been using a HD Lifecam for guiding just recently, and apart from one night when it and PHD consipred to display pixelated trash, it has worked very well for me. I've managed to guide on stars in the Rosette Nebula, and that's just with the camera defaults, I've never made any attempt to mess with gain or exposure or anything, so I would expect to be able to get a bit more out of it needed. But I figure if it aint broke... All this is through a 50mm finder.
  24. Yes, I've played with the XY offsets, trying all the combinations. I have only left it on RGB thus far, as that's what the RAW contains, I think. I'll randomly try other things now The odd thing is no matter what I set the offset values to the colour output always seems to come out with blue hue.
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