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laser_jock99

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Everything posted by laser_jock99

  1. You have my full sympathy. I hit bedrock within inches of the soil surface- but I still had several feet to go down, along a 12m long stretch of slope. It took months to get through! Fortunately my biggest rock was only wheelbarrow size- at least I know the pier is concreted to the bedrock!!
  2. I used plastic coated, galvanised steel cladding on my obsy build- dark green to blend into the landscape. It seems to have weathered the storms okay and to be honest looks as good now as the day we put it up- no rust or detoioration to the finish. I'm in the process of planning another shed with same material. Timber frame Dark green, sheet metal walls fitted to frame. Finshed off the two visible sides in waney edge pine cladding.
  3. In short- go for the biggest size 'shed' you're allowed. The 300PDS is a monster scope and once on a pier the eyepiece/camera could be as much as 9 feet off the ground when pointing up! So you'll need good access room all around for at least a seven step stepladder. I opted for 3m x 3m because the metal cladding wall material comes in 1m wide sheets. Here's what an F4 12" scope (i.e. shorter than yours) looks like in 3m x 3m obsy- I deliberately went big so I could store garden furniture/BBQ's etc in there as well.
  4. I can't advise you directly on Hawaii- but you've done the right thing by booking during New Moon (something often forgotten in the excitement of booking a holiday!). You might be able to see online where the best weather sites are (mountains often have 'wet' & 'dry' sides. Probably best though to contact a local Astronomy Society on the island for the better observing sites? https://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/whac/home.html Good luck.
  5. Alternativley- don't use U-channel at all. Use outward facing L-section. No problems with rain/leaves/snow/ice. You can see the L-section I used in this photo
  6. Since I added some radio gear to my obsy - a quick tune around the HF bands is a good bet (clear or cloudy)
  7. Do it! The amount of time it saves is immense, and if it does start to rain, packing up is quicker too. My obsy also doubles as a 'man cave' too- HiFi, radio shack, BBQ etc. There are some excelent builds in the DIY section- have a look. My only advice is to go as big as you can to allow for maximum flexibility.
  8. Maybe- but I'm personnaly more inclined towards imaging rather than visual.
  9. My pier/EQ6 live outside under gardern BBQ covers- survived about 4 years of Welsh Mountain weather so far (and it's pretty harsh at times!!)
  10. Maybe my 8" F4 Newt is a good compromise scope- fast enough for imaging and a medium visual FOV. I could always add a barlow for planets.
  11. The SQM-L is a great idea although I found (in a dark sky site) the results were somewhat variable. Point it near the Milky Way or a brightish star and a 21.8 sky suddenly becomes a 20 sky- such is the sensitivty. In the urban setting they are more consitant. Your idea of taking multiple average readings is a good one. Long term it will also track if your sky is changing in any way. Keep going!
  12. Great image - thanks for sharing.
  13. Here's the drawing for the drop in EQ6 steel tube pier puck I made. You should get your dimensions to sit the EQ6 head from this.
  14. I have the TS version of this scope. It's a nice instrument but requires good collimtion to work well. Not much bigger than an 80mm frac
  15. I reckon NASA are planning on going back to the moon. There are a few interesting NASA sponsered studies going on. My son will be working on project mathematically modeling the behavior of moon dust later this year. My personal theory is they need this information to make better CGI!
  16. My response about the F4 imaging Newtonian was a slightly 'tounge in cheek' response. They require very careful set up (collimation is critical) and may need some DIY modification to make them work properly. As such I would say they are not really suited for beginners but more the enthusiast who is prepared to fettle them to get the best results. Also bear in mind you would need to buy a good collimating tool and a quality coma corrector (which some would argue makes scope non-apochromatic!). The addition of the right coma corrector/reducer turns these F4 Newtonians into so called F2.9 'super Newts'. Again collimation is even more critical. All good fun- but not 'plug & play'!
  17. This company in Rugby made both my steel tube piers from stock lengths of tube https://www.charleswatts.co.uk/ The price was much less than some of the comercial piers availble. I also bought a of lot the hardware (e.g. 1m long M18 threaded bar to sink into the concrete) for my obsy project here. Another Rugby company I found usefull for the concreting operations at my observatory was Lemon Groundworks- good for re-bar etc. https://www.lemon-gs.co.uk/contacts My steel tube pier bolted to a block of concrete.
  18. Good solution to your problem. Big scopes are great- but they do come with logistical 'problems'. Getting my 12" Newtonian up onto it's pier requires a system of pulleys....I would only use it in semi permanent observatory set up!
  19. GSO mirror set with a carbon fibre tube?
  20. When using a tripod I always suspend something heavy underneath to make it more stable. A bucket of water works for me - it might help your tripod settle into the lawn quicker?
  21. Looks good to me. Which scope did you use?
  22. 150mm F4 imaging Newtonian? Portable and apochromatic!
  23. Do you suffer from varying levels of airglow? This can be a factor in dark sky areas.
  24. I've found with a bit of snow on the ground, even from a dark sky site, the refelectivity makes it like daylight. Add a bit of moon.....
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