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Everything posted by laser_jock99

  1. Cool- you can just see the roof of my house from the road: Google Maps And here's my suggestion for a nearby dark sky site- the car park of the Glaslyn Nature Reserve: Google Maps The car park is right by the lake in the photo- no passing traffic & no light pollution Google Maps Zoomed out !! 52.533563,-3.72502 - Google Maps
  2. Another vote for Mid Wales- the Cambrian Mountains have vast tracts of uninhabited moorland. Look at this Google Earth Light Pollution overlay map for other possible dark sky sites: ttp://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=129936&filename=269432-ArtificialNightSkyBrightnessforEurope.kmz There is a more detailed 'village resolution' overlay. I'll see if I can find the link.
  3. Should be able to level the top nicely with the pier base nuts- hopefully a once off opperation?
  4. I had a look at the 5MB file and counted about 50 galaxies. Amazing!
  5. Awsome image- thanks for sharing!
  6. The base plate is designed so that it can be easily unbolted from the concrete base block. Important if I ever move house/lose interest etc. Extracting a concrete embedded 8" steel pipe from the middle of an otherwise usefull summerhouse/outbuilding would be a right PITA. But I guess it would stable though- if rather permanent! My wooden flooring will be raised above the base plate and concrete block so all you'll see is the steel pipe clearing a hole in the floor. I'll try and load up some pictures as I go. Managed to hoof out the 6 stud holes (plus the cenntre power lead hole) to 15mm dia today. Waiting now for a 22mm morse taper drill bit to arrive so I can finish. The 8"pipe should be delivered on Monday I believe the wall thickness is 6mm. Got to drill the 'owls nest' and power supply outlet holes in that too. Using a 76mm hole saw so I can reach inside. This is not turning into a cheap project though the 8" dia X 1800mm pipe cost over £100, tooling so far has been £30 in drill bits. I hoping to get the rest done for favours though. I'm also budgeting around £1.5K building the observatory & warm room (summer house & decking patio to the wife!!).
  7. Did anyone see the LP slot on the main BBC news this morning? There was a lady from CPRE on there but I only caught the last 30 seconds. Looking for a link if anyone can find one?
  8. Started fabricating my pier today. Could be engineering overkill - but I'm making it fairly err 'substanial' just in case I ever upgrade from 5" refractor on an EQ6 mount. The base is an 20" diameter steel block not far off an inch thick. I'm slowly drilling 6 holes through this for the M20 studding. Luckily I have access to 3-phase industrial pillar drill (22mm holes through 1" plate would kill off your average Black & Decker!!). The M20 studs are 1m long and will be set in the concrete block pier base. To the pier base plate will be welded an 8" dia, 1800mm long steel pipe (not sure whether to fill this with concrete or not?). One of my engineering suppliers will be turning me a free oversize 'puck' for the EQ6. Then (if I can lift it) down to the powder coaters to call in a few more favours!
  9. Done this with HeNe lasers in the past - trouble is the source of the red or green beam is too obvious. You need to be a bit sneaky and use an infra red laser..... 808nm 1000mw 1W burning IR laser diode. USA 3 day ship on eBay (end time 09-Mar-10 09:16:14 GMT)
  10. Astronomers tend to favour the lower magnification of 7x50's especially for general star scanning. The exit pupil of 7x50's is slightly larger than 10x50's meaning more light enters a dark adapted eye.
  11. I'm inclined to go for 10' x 10' now, just in case I get a bigger scope in the future.......
  12. Have a look on e-bay, I just picked a nice old pair of Hamminex 7x50's for 99p Much better quality than some of the cheapy stuff around today. Avoid zoom binoculars though- they're never good enough for astro work. Check out these listings- all would be okay starter kit http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Super-Zenith-7x50-Field-7-1no75431-case-lens-covers_W0QQitemZ200441010372QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Photography_Binoculars_ET?hash=item2eab3718c4 FINEST RUSSIAN BINOCULARS 7x50 FROM THE 70,s on eBay (end time 25-Feb-10 20:24:59 GMT) Zenith Binoculars Prismatic Coated Optics 7X50 on eBay (end time 27-Feb-10 10:47:50 GMT)
  13. Bigger would better- my thinking is based on the outer dimsions using standard building material sizes to mininmise cutting (and waste). Therefore I'm looking at either 2.5m or 3.0m Larch cladding. However, I'm thinking that a 10' (3m) square sliding roof might be rather on the large side in terms of ease of use and construction?
  14. When the permafrost up here melts in Spring-I'll be digging the foundations of my observatory. The base size I was thinking of was 8' x 8' or maybe 10' x 10' as these are handy sizes for building materials. I'm tending towards a roll off roof design for a 5" refractor with an EQ6 on a steel pillar. The observatory will back onto a summer house which will double-up as the warm room. Is 8' x 8' too small? How much roof clearence for such a scope? Any thoughs/links on the construction from experienced obsy builders appreciated. Thanks.
  15. I did exactly the same last weekend- drove for 3 1/2 hours to my dark sky site in Wales. At 4am the sky had cleared enough for me to think about setting up. However when I checked the camera- NO MEMORY CARD!! Rather than be too upset about it I had a fanastic session observing with binoculars and just soaking up the dark sky panorama. So nothing lost really. Great pic by the way.
  16. You can buy these on e-bay- thought it was quite ammusing! http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sticker-part-for-your-mirror-eyepiece-Telescope-NEW_W0QQitemZ140384306023QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item20af8e8367
  17. I live south of Coventry in the week so I'd be interested in any effect this might have. Maybe I should do some before & after photos to see if there is discernable difference? The whole 2 hour show can heard here: BBC - Radio 2 - Shows - Jeremy Vine
  18. I never knew that- mind you was 15 years ago when we went there. All I can remember about the Parador was drinking a lot of Drambuies in the bar because it was cold outside (February). I slept outside in all my clothes, plus sleeping bag & feet inside of rucksack. And I was still cold! The view from the mountain hut on Tiede, Refugio Alta Vista, at 3200m must be stunning at night time. We walked past on the way to the summit but never got the chance to stay the night. An astronomy holiday for the fit and adventurous among us? Refugio Alta Vista
  19. Charity shops can be a great resource- I picked up this at the weekend for a couple of pounds. As I recall in the 1990's it was about £25 to buy in the UK. Brilliant, no-nonsense discussion on equipment.
  20. How about Tenneriffe? Get yourself a hire car and drive up mount Tiede. Nice and dark up there, the air is clear at altitude too. There's a Parador Hotel there or you can camp out under the stars like we did!!
  21. I'm an Equinox 120 owner too and have to agree it's a great scope. The focus rotator is not the best feature- I'm half tempted to put some vacuum grease (non out-gassing) on mine just to make it turn more freely.
  22. Pump Storage..... Pumped-storage hydroelectricity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  23. ....always do your research first.
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