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About JonC

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Outdoors, photography, long range shooting
  • Location
    Hadlow in Kent UK
  1. A lot of my kit is 2nd hand, mainly from here. Its also worth keeping an eye on retailers that sell 2nd hand stuff as well, my refractor came from ENS optical and was a similar price to a private sale / ebay.
  2. I cant see why not. I have flown quadcopters where you steer the camera using goggles and head movements. Issue would be how quick the count can move, lag can make the user feel motion sickness.
  3. Have you got a photographic tripod knocking around? I have my AZ GTI attached to an old Manfrotto tripod (with the photo head removed) and it works well. £50 will get you something on ebay, maybe a Manfrotto 190. The problem with lightweight and cheap is that stability will suffer, you either have to spend more, or pack a bit more weight.
  4. One reason you might get a visit is if your using a red torch, reds used by people that are lamping with rifles. Things have changed over the last few years with more people using night vision kit, as its more affordable now.
  5. Optical Wonder Baader Fluid

    Ebay has ACS grade solvents including acetone and methanol. Unfortunately I no longer have access to HPLC grade solvents I make GCs now so work with UHP gases, impurity measurements down to low ppb.
  6. Integrated WiFi - The Future?

    My preference would be to have a ethernet port on the mount, preferably with the ability to provide power (PoE). You would then be able to add modules that would be directly powered by the mount, so wifi, a hub , etc. A hub would allow you to add and power other devices such as cameras and handle the data transfer. You can already get fibre optic converters if your using large amounts of data, or want to run over long distances. For now I think that the manufacturers are sticking with industrial standard connections, so that's serial. The industrial kit I work with is still controlled largely via RS232, although we also provide Ethernet, signal output is 4-20mA which even the newest facilities in the most cutting edge tech sectors being built are still using.
  7. Watec 902H what to do with it?

    Cheers for the help, just ordered an adapter so I can connect it to my telescope. Got my hands on the camera today, have plugged it in to my sharpcap and it appears to be working. I have been looking at lenses on ebay, the camera is 1/2" sensor, do I need to get a lens marked at 1/2 or will the 1/3 ones be usable?
  8. Work have a habit of chucking some good stuff in the skip and the electronics recycling bin, so I tend to keep my eyes on them. I am also known as somebody interested in optical kit and had a pile of stuff offered to me yesterday, a low mag binocular microscope was the pick of the bunch, but it look like there might be a Watec 902H in the offing as well. Sooo what can I do with it, and what do I need to get to run it. After a bit of searching an all sky camera might be a possibility, but I would like to test the waters with video astronomy. Kit wise I do have an easycap and cables laying around, I also have a variety of power supplies so at least I can test it. For video astronomy my 130PDS and 100ED can go on a HEQ5. Any pointers for adapters to tie the scope and camera together. All-Sky-Camera. I do not have a lens and want to try something cheap, so any pointers on a cheap lens to try it out, happy with used stuff on ebay. I have looked at the various ASC build blogs etc, so if I do decide to stick with this route I would build a permanent mounting for it. Thanks
  9. Best portable tracking mount for DSLR

    As far as I can make out there is no difference in capacity, I think the XPRO is newer and adds the ability to run the centre column horizontally, this would not be a benefit if you are using it to hold an astro mount. The 055 range have been around for donkeys years, my one is probably 10+ years old, works perfectly, and is rock solid.
  10. Best portable tracking mount for DSLR

    Manfrotto 055 tend to go for about £50 on ebay, bargain at that price. My one came with a reasonable photo head for £60. Maybe put an offer in this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Manfrotto-055A-Camera-Tripod-With-128LP-Head-/112381256828?hash=item1a2a71e47c:g:oUkAAOSwJ4hY~Jr9
  11. We had to get a cable along a 50m buried pipe, the cable was to connect a CB to a rather large aerial up the top of the garden. The solution was some fine string and a bottle of compressed air. Tie the string to a bit of foam that just about fits inside the pipe and blow it through. String is then used to pull the thicker wire through. Inside cable routing was generally done using badly trained ferrets, it generally worked but takes ages if the bloody thing decided to have a snooze.
  12. You have probably already thought of this, but its a good idea to run some high vis tape above the pipe to act as a warning if some bright spark decides to dig in the wrong place. Just seen photos, looks like you've got that sorted
  13. The SW tripod is 70cm tall, you also have the plate to store. My old 055C is 67cm with the centre column fitted, 62 with it removed.
  14. Will try and remember to measure it when I get home.. I have tried a couple of different tripods, the Manfrotto 055 (about £50 on ebay) is much better than the supplied one.
  15. I have two tent pegs hidden under bushes in the garden that give me a good North, I run some string between them to give a reasonable (for visual) polar alignment. Haven't done it myself but I think you could drift align if your doing AP.