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sheeprug

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Everything posted by sheeprug

  1. I have a love-hate relationship with my laurel hedge, It is about 20ft high, and a very effective screen and light blocker. But otherwise it's complete PITA. i keep it under control using a lopper on a 4m pole, but really, laurel is a potnetial monster! Use it, but do keep it to your required hight and don't let if get too big unless you have space.
  2. Thanks guys. Info duly passed on. I'll let you know how he gets on......... SR
  3. The young lad (approx 8-10yo) living next door to me was vrey impressed by some of my astropics he saw rcently.. Any suggestions for online astro resources that might be good for feeding his interest? I get the impression he's inquisitive and very sharp but I'm not sure what to suggest for that age. Any ideas welcome. Best, SR
  4. I was quite pleased with this one, shot over a couple of nights this week. I like it with with the colour saturation kept quite high, but as usual any suggestions welcomed. WO FLT110, ASI1600MM. 35x120s Lum, 19x180s each RBG. Processed in DSS and Startools. SR.
  5. My eyesight keeps improving! Over the last few years my worst eye has gone from -10 dioptres to -8. In practice this makes little difference since I still need glasses anyway, but it does mean I no longer qualify for free eye tests. (Bummer, except I now get free tests again because I'm over 60.) I gather this is quite normal, so do go and see an optician. It could be that simple. SR.
  6. I've always loved loved loved stereo 3D photograhs, and some years ago I ran across the fantstic stereo astro photograps on the Astro Anarchy website: https://astroanarchy.zenfolio.com/p272573124. In the absence of a stereo viewer you need to learn how to view them as stereo pairs by de-converging your eyes so the images overlay each other. It takes some practice - it's a bit like looking at the random dot stereograms that were popular a few years ago. But once you've mastered it the results are rewarding! Obviously the scale of the images is massively out of proportion - it rather assumes you have eyes several light years apart. But the images, while being only partially scientificly accurate, can be quite instructive and visually stunning. Anyway, I downloaded the latest beta version of Startools (1.6.386) last night and discovered there is a new stereo feature which can create stereo astro images from 2D images. In their own words from the online manual at https://www.startools.org/modules/3d " The Stereo 3D module can be used to synthesise depth information based on astronomical image feature characteristics.The depth cues introduced are merely educated guesses by the software and user, and should not be confused with scientific accuracy. Nevertheless, these cues can serve as a helpful tool for drawing attention to processes or features in an image. Depth cues can also be highly instrumental in lending a fresh perspective to astronomical features in an image. The Stereo 3D module is able to generate plausible depth information for most deep space objects, with the exception of some galaxies." So this is my first attempt at a stereo image for parallel viewing, using mostly the default settings. To be fair the basic image is not without it's faults (its LLRGB, with only about 2hrs of data and I've only just begun working in mono anyway), but I'm quite pleased with the result. Note that normal CPU viewing distances the images may be too far apart to easily free-view, so step back a few feet to make it easier. It can take some practice to 'see' at first, so don't give up if you've not done it before. Best, SR
  7. They're usually refracted into a free-standing prizm, if i recalll correcly. SR
  8. Thanks. I've been considering uprating to an EQ6 for a while now. Once you add in the guide scope it is a tad over the HEQ5s recommended AP weight, but provided it's well ballanced it seems to cope fine. At the moment my guiding could be a little better - I'm getting about 0.8" RMS - so that's another thing to address and could be related to the weight. Anybody got a good deal going on a good EQ6? Get in touch...... Best, SR.
  9. I slashed out on an ASI1600 plus Baader LRGB and 3.5nm Ha filters back in September and finally got a chance to use the Ha this week. Obviously I'm feeling my way into this and I can't fit in the whole Heart nebula with my 770mm FL, but pleased with the result never the less. WO FLT110, HEQ5, ASI1600, Ha filter. 10x 300s and 3x 600s exposures. As usual any feedback welcomed, but in particular any pointers to the bst ways of combining LRGB+Ha would be really useful. Best, SR.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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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