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Everything posted by Bizibilder

  1. I found this link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Earth-Moon-Sun-Orbiter-or-Build-a-Model-Solar-System-Orrery-Spares-Kits-Units-/121803476042 But have absolutely no idea if he could help !! Total disclaimer from me on this one
  2. The trouble with stainless is that it can be difficult to bend - I used zinc plated studding (allthread) for my pier in the observatory and it is still perfectly Ok after four years "outside". I do take an occasional look under the false floor and the rods have a very slight covering of rust on the cut ends but seem otherwise OK. Obviously I can't see what is below ground but as Pete says there shouldn't be much oxygen around down there so i suspect that any rusting is minimal. I used 12mm studding if I recall correctly and had to get it to red heat and use a hefty hammer to bend it!
  3. Another really useful source of covers! thanks for the heads-up
  4. USB's? Imaging camera Guiding camera Mount Mouse (if, like me, you hate trackpads!) - you can carry a mouse around the observatory and operate it on any convenient flat surface - its is surprising how often I do this! Spare - in case I have forgotten something! I make that 4 or 5.
  5. Yes- low spec but make sure you have more than enough USB ports! Some smaller laptops/netbooks are sadly lacking in this respect. Maybe worth going secondhand/reconditioned - I have used these folks: https://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/c/404/Laptops-Netbooks/ on several occasions with every satisfaction (usual disclaimer). Windows 7 or 10 are both OK with PHD and APT etc.
  6. When you have your focus sorted (you may already have as the "soft" focus seen in the above image is normal due to the atmosphere distorting your image) you could try taking several images - maybe 30-60 and stacking them. I think you will be surprised at the results! I took the liberty of sharpening you image a little - You do have good data there! (it looks a bit messy as I have sharpened your "lossy" JPEG image and reconverted to JPEG with more quality loss!)
  7. My first chance to image the Moon during the "open" time of this competition! - The weather has really been that bad. This is a mosaic taken with the following kit: Skywatcher ED120APO, 2.5x Powermate, ZWO ASI120mm mono camera. (Just for the record it was -3°C outside ) Each pane processed in Autostakkert3 - 200/1000 frames stacked for each pane. Sharpened in Astra Image using Lucy-Richardson deconvolution, followed by combination in Photoshop to produce the complete image. A tiny bit of further sharpening and a tweak of curves to get the contrast sorted. Saved as a PNG file to keep the file size down! It is still nearly 62Mb!!
  8. My first image since the end of October!! Tonight's Moon with my ED120 APO, ASI120mm camera. 200 frames from 2000 stacked for each pane. I also have around 60GB of data for a 25+ frame "big" mosaic to process tomorrow:
  9. For control and guiding EQMOD and PHD2. To use your DSLR either canon utilities or APT (free version).
  10. Another trick is to check the "updates" on the settings screen a while before you start an imaging run (assuming you have time to and remember!!). That way you can force the machine to run the update immediately or ensure that you have delayed it sufficiently. The whole process is an absolute pain but it looks as if we will simply have to learn to live with it - for the time being at least..
  11. The filter I have has been in use since June 2011 - So six years and counting. I can see no degradation in it and have not found any pinholes. It is mounted in a homemade plastic holder and lives in a plastic box ("Celebrations" sweets container!) in the observatory, so it is out in all weathers and temperatures.
  12. I believe that AS uses all the frames to create a calibration flat by default.
  13. Download the "Virtual Moon Atlas". You can look at the Moon in any orientation and print your own maps to more or less any size you like. Its freeware and very good!
  14. An old engineers trick with smaller gears like these is to put a bit of cigarette paper (Rizla red or green) between the gears and then tighten up. Turn the gears so the paper works its way out from between the teeth and you should have things "spot on". The paper is about 1.5 "thou" thick. (1.5 thousandths of an inch).
  15. You have joists resting on concrete pads with a piece of impermeable membrane between. These are there to stop water leeching up through the concrete and wetting the undersides of the joists. If you propose to put your plywood on top of the joists and have your walls covering the outside of the joists then you should not put any polythene (or anything else for that matter) under or over the joists. Simply allow air to circulate. Rain will run down and off the walls and condensation may form on the timber joists from time to time but will rapidly evaporate away again if there is a free flow of air allowing it to do so. What you need to avoid at all costs is making a "trap" to keep that condensation in contact with the wooden joists. Take a look at an older house with suspended wooden floors and you will see that the joists and floor, whilst open to the air via the air bricks, will be perfectly dry. You certainly won't see any sheets of plastic! Condensation forms on a surface when that surfaces temperature falls below the dew point of the air immediately around it (it makes no difference what the material is). That condensation will evaporate as soon as air that is not 100% saturated can get in contact with the condensation. One way to do that is to allow a flow of unsaturated air over the condensation or you can raise the temperature of the air in the immediate area (Underfloor heated observatory!!!!! ). Consider a steamy bathroom after a bath or shower - any mirror or tiles will be covered in condensation. How to get rid of that condensation without a change in temperature? Open the door and allow non-saturated air into the room (you may have to "waft" the door backwards and forwards to create some air movement) - the condensation will rapidly disperse. The illustration of the circular observatory above shows a blue plastic membrane between a solid concrete base and the wooden joists (identical to the method I used in my observatory) - this time the membrane is to stop water passing from the concrete to the timber. Concrete will always have a moisture content and in this case it is that moisture that the membrane will keep at bay.
  16. This one: http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/download.htm (And I ran my commercial anti-virus on it and it came up clean).
  17. Do you not have Anti-virus software? There are free versions that are very good and will give you peace of mind as you use the internet as they will prevent you downloading from any dodgy sites.
  18. And some Earthshine if i'm not mistaken - good to see such a thin crescent.
  19. That looks nasty! If you can get replacement parts then everything should work OK when reassembled
  20. It is worth pointing out that, in terms of consumer protection, buying online (especially with a credit card for items over £100) has the greatest protection of all. Surprisingly you have the least rights if you go into a shop and buy for cash! I would add that I have been buying stuff from FLO for nearly ten years with no problems at all (usual disclaimer).
  21. Nice to see that phase of the Moon!
  22. Looking really god - straight and level as well. Now is the time to make dead sure it really is all dead square and level - Just stand some heavy weights (or helpers!) on the base frame to make sure it is firmly on the base blocks and then go round with a spirit level - if you have a long straight edge (plank?) check the diagonals as well. You can use bits of DPC/Pond liner to shim everything to perfection. Well worth spending an hour or so getting it right at this point in the build!
  23. Just a couple of tiny AR's today - Remnants of the two that have been on view for nearly three months:
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