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About sheeprug

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  1. In the UK don't underestimate the danger of the tiny deer tick, bites of which can carry Lyme disease, or as recently reported, the tick-borne encephalitis virus. I never used to take too much notice of warnings about ticks here in Suffolk, but I recently discovered that 2 work colleagues had contracted Lyme disease whilst walking in the local heathland, and one didn't notice it until he'd become quite ill. I guess at nighttime we're pretty well covered up and it's dark, so the risk is small. But since it's not a problem you want, make sure your legs are covered! SR.
  2. Whilst doing some unrelated research on the online British Newspaper Archive I stumbled across the following article from the 16th December 1749 issue of The Ipswich Journal. A letter from Stoke, Gloucestershire, of Dec. 4th gives the following account. “Last Thursday sennight between five and six o'clock in the evening, it being then pretty dark, many of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood, and other parts of the county, as well as some travellers on the road, were very much surprised at a sudden mighty opening of the heavens, northward, in the midst of which, such an amazing light appeared, as rather surpassed that the sun so that, for short space of time, it looked as if the sun had shined out in its full lustre and glory : and it was equally as astonishing behold this prodigious opening to closed again, and shut in the bright illumination that appeared from it. This had no resemblance with the northern lights." I can’t find any other references to celestial events observed on that date, so has anybody heard of it before or have any thoughts on what it might have been?
  3. I like it. The stars are a little red,but the great thing is it's got DEPTH. The galaxies actually look like they are much further away than the stars. SR.
  4. Excellent! Really enjoyed it, and some nice results. Any chance you could expand a little on your electronic focuser though? It's something I've toyed with the idea of making but never got as far as actually doing anything. SR.
  5. Hi all, Apologies to those who were puzzled by my rant last night... it's been building for the last few days and could probably have been a bit more coherent. And thanks for the comforting words! I'm not fed up with AP - the challenges are interesting and great. To be honest it intrigues me very much since I have a background in signal processing and I've a few ideas I'd like to try out. I need is lots of data, but with the current weather I'm not getting much opportunity to gather any. At the moment i'd settle for a good view of polaris and a few other stars visible so I can check my tracking set-up and test that the reinstalled PHD2 is tracking the mount properly. I don't have an observatory so I have to set-up fresh each time. I know it will improve eventually, but I want it now... Now.... NOW! SR.
  6. Please excuse my venting, but I'm getting really fed up with the weather. Back in the autumn, having procured a decent scope, mount and associated kit I was up and running. Some initial sessions bagged Bodes nebula, M42, M32 etc and all was looking good. I'd got polar alignment more or less sorted, PHD2 was working OK and the mount was tracking well with RMS errors of under a pixel. I'd got the hang of using DSS and Photoshop and I even had dithering working. In fact I was beginning to think I had found a challenge I might be able to rise to. Then it all unraveled. MS updates ruined a promising session, other software problems prevented tracking working, and now it seems ages since I actually had an opportunity to even do a proper system test owing to opportunity not coinciding with good conditions. Now we're past the equinox, the clocks have gone back and still not a decent night in prospect. Tonight sort of looked promising (maybe), but no - too much low altitude cloud ,and Clear Outside suggests no decent nights in line for the next week. Ho hum - back to the books I suppose....... SR.
  7. Beautiful - thanks for that. I'd not looked at any of the ASCOM/EASCOM documentation since I first got it working and after reinstalling everything I couldn't remember what it was all supposed to be. It now looks to be all connecting properly, so quite what the original problem was i'm not sure: s/w corruption, config error, admin rights conflict...... etc. I don't know! So thanks to everybody for all the help - I've always believed in teamwork! All I need now is some good weather to do a full test and I'm back in business. (The gods are urinating mightily on us at the moment). Footie on soon...... SR.
  8. Can I check a configuration issue please. In the ASCOM telescope chooser there are several options including "EQMOD HEQ5/6", and "Skywatcher telescope". In PHD2 the options include "EQMOD HEQ5/6 (ASCOM)" and "Skywatcher telescope (ASCOM)". Talk about confusing labels! Which ones should be used? SR
  9. Oh yes. I'm currently using COM2, but I've tried others with the same result. EQASCOM detects the skywatcher mount on the selected COM port and can control it (so I know the hardware is ok) , but PHD2 doesn't detect the com port. SR.
  10. OK, Thanks everybody. Some things to try there. I'm up to date on updates, and it was working post KB4056892 anyway, so I don't think it's that. I'll check premissions and I'll take a look at the hub issue - I think it's a EQASCOM feature, but I can't see how you configure it at the moment. Otherwise it's possibly time to re-install everything, or even re-build! Best, SR.
  11. Hi All, I still cant sort this out. EQMOD is controlling the HEQ5 properly via the Lynx Astro USB cable on COM3 and all looks fine, but PHD2 fails to find the mount on COM3 and thus gives an ASCOM driver error when I try to connect. I've reloaded all drivers and S/W and no change. It used to work fine, the only system change I'm aware of is a Windows update that happened on my last outing a couple of weeks ago. SR.
  12. Hi All, This is driving me mad at the moment. I have CdC driving my HEQ5 using ASCOM using COM 3 and it's all working fine. However, when I run PHD2 it fails to find the appropriate COM port and gives a "Value cannot be null, Parrameter name: PortName" error. What's up? It's all worked fine before. Using Windows 10. SR.
  13. Actually I've usually found the rain and cloud cover predictions from the MET to be pretty good over a 48 hour period, which is why I'm annoyed it's not available. A up to week ahead they're not too bad, but beyond that - well they're up against the limitations of the available data quality and weather models which are characterized by chaotic behavior anyway. Buy yes - it's time to check the other options. SR.
  14. One would have thought that with this current bad weather the Met office would be really on the ball and supplying us with loads of useful data, such as pressure maps, cloud cover and precipitation predictions, recent observations etc., but currently if you go on their website (https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/) and click on the link for a detailed map you get the following message: "Maps outage" "Due to unprecedented levels of demand on our website we have temporarily replaced some of the less visited pages and unfortunately are currently unable to provide our usual weather and observation maps......." Which is, frankly, pathetic in this day and age. What they're saying is at a time when a large number of people might be interested in seeing whats going on, they don't have the capacity to handle the load. Grrrrrr. SR.
  15. Thanks Olly, Some useful insights there. I think for starters I'm going to have to get a better understanding of how Photoshop layers work. I can do simple stuff, but there's clearly a whole lot more. I wasn't aware of Steves new book - I'll take a look. SR
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