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Everything posted by Hypernova

  1. Thanks guys, I'll have to keep trying if we get any more clear skies. There a humpback railway bridge nearby where I think I may be able to get a better view of the comet from. If love to practice more with different exposure settings too. I did try a 10 seconds exposure but at 55mm there was quite noticeable start trailing. I think I may have to try multiple short exposures of 5 seconds and attempt stacking, which is something I've not tried before.
  2. Here is my first attempt at capturing a comet with my Canon 600d. I still have a lot to learn to get the best out of this camera and it's lens but I'm pretty pleased with this single exposure. This was taken at ISO 400, f/5.6 and 5 seconds shutter speed. I wish I had access to a better vantage point, the view from my back garden is less than ideal and has recently got worse with the construction of new houses behind.
  3. They are also experimenting with darker coatings on their recent launches to make them less reflective and not as much as a nuisance to astronomers. The full constellation of 20000+ satellites could pose a serious risk to ground based observation for to their sheer number and brightness, so SpaceX is taking measures to mitigate that.
  4. I've got NGC 2440, a planetary nebula.
  5. I managed to catch it tonight with the 200p dob. Kind of tricky from my back garden with the amount of light pollution around but it's definitely there and in better condition than Y4 from the last time I saw that on the 22nd of March.
  6. I see, I'm glad at least that my camera isn't duff and I need to go trough the faff of sourcing a replacement. I'll keep what you've both said in mind for the future, thanks
  7. Thanks for your reply. I have tried using the manual sensor cleaning mode but it didn't make a difference to the result, the hot pixels are still present just as bad as before. I have successfully used Photoshop (which I've never, ever used before now) to subtract the pixels using the dark frame from my last post. It produces some artefacts in the shape of small back holes where the hot pixels were, I presume with some more knowhow these could be remedied. It's not ideal and I would've hoped to be able to shoot up to 30s without a mass of hot pixels invading my image
  8. Hi all, I've been on this forum ages as a mainly observer with some planetary webcam photography. I have taken a long break from astronomy for various reasons and I've been trying to haul myself back in to the game. Since we've all but been confined to our homes I'd thought I'd try out DSLR photography since I've never owned one. I ended up buying a Canon 600d and standard 18-55mm lens this week from CEX for a a reasonable price. So far I've been pleased with it and have been getting to grips with the various settings and manual zoom and focus options, it's certainly a huge leap from a smartphone and compact digital cameras. Tonight though I tried out long exposure for the first time using some settings similar to what I used on my old IXUS 95; around 10-15 seconds exposure, ISO 100-400 and F3.5. The initial shots seem hopeful but the images are pockmarked with hot pixels. The blue, red and white pixels all seem to be in the same place and are present even with shots with the lens cap on. They can be removed with the camera's noise reduction setting but that requires another exposure of equal length to be taken right after the first. Are these hot/stuck pixels typical of what I should be experiencing or is this abnormal and indicative of a defective sensor/camera? Cheers
  9. I've just had my refund through from FLO, I hadn't checked the forum beforehand but I suspected that rain might've had something to do with it. Like what's already been said, I'm glad the decision has been made with plenty of notice and I think it's the right call. Hopefully I'll get a chance to attend the next SP in the new year sometime.
  10. Well I came to the conclusion after chatting with Telescope House that I would have to make my own base plate to cover the hole. I ordered a piece of 2mm ABS plastic from eBay in which I marked out the screws holes and the cutout. I used a dremel tool to cut it all out, it is a little rough around the edges but fits fine and most importantly covers the hole left by the old focuser. Also the new focuser works a treat and I can get focus with all of my eyepieces, even the Antares Speers Waler, using just the one 35mm extension and the built in extender pulled out a little way. Having fine focus again is a real treat after making do with the single speed focuser that came on the scope originally.
  11. Old topic I know but I am having the same issue. I just bought a Revelation Superfocus Rack and Pinion focuser as a replacement for the single speed crayford on my 200p dob. The hole left in the scope is too large and isn't covered by the plate. I can find no reference anywhere to a universal plate at all.
  12. You are right in your assumption, whilst 2 of the screw heads are well hidden by the offset of secondary mirror there is one that protrudes slightly into the light path as seen from the focuser end with the focuser tube fully drawn out to maximise the effect. The offending screw can be seen at the 9 o'clock position, the other two are at 2 o'clock and 5 o'clock or thereabouts but can't be seen. Whether or not this will impact on the views is yet to be seen but the intrusion is minimal. It shouldn't be a problem with a faster scope which may have a larger secondary that will hide over sized screws better but I can definitely see it being an issue with a slow or small aperture scope. Maybe a better source or affordable screws will pop up with suitably-sized heads that are better for this application.
  13. Looking for some thumbscrews to make collimation easier on my Skywatcher 200p dobsonian, I balked at the idea of spending £30+ on a total of 9 screws shipped in from the USA. I decided it would be easier to get some from another source in the UK, it wasn't. Most suppliers won't sell at a reasonable cost to the public and may necessitate ordering large quantities of one item, many don't include VAT until the checkout and even the delivery charges can extortionate for such a lightweight order and many times I could not find the correct length (this was especially true when it came to the secondary mirror screws). I spent ages pouring through the websites of various fastener suppliers such as WDS and RS-Online and eBay but came across the issues above. I tried looking for push on caps for socket cap screws but the only suppliers would've made me buy 20 or more of each size (m4 and m5) + VAT + postage. In one last ditch attempt I came across these guys: https://www.cromwell.co.uk/index.php?q=0&p=browse&c=220104&ss=thumb+screws From them I managed to order exactly what I required which ended up being: 3x M4 X 30mm - For the secondary3x M5 X 15mm - For the primary adjustment3x M5 X 25mm - For the primary locking screwsThis set me back a total of £10.61 with postage, which was £4.99 standard flat rate via Parcel Force, there was no other option. The heads of these bolts are larger than others that I have been looking at which makes things quite tight but still workable on my scope, although this may be an issue on smaller scopes where space is tighter. The secondary screws are very close together but there is still ample room for my fingers to grip them. Around the primary though I hit a small issue, the head of the shorter adjustment bolts is very close to the thread of the locking bolts, dunno why Skywatcher put them so close together. On 2 out of three adjusters there is small but distinct gap between the 2 but on the remaining pair the the head ever so slightly touches the thread and causes a noticeable notchy feeling when turning the mirror adjusting screw. I put this down to slightly sloppy machining of the holes for the locking screws as the screws themselves are true. The screws are still usable and I could actually file the offending thread off where it rubs as it is only the lower 8mm or so of the thread that is engaged in the screw hole, the rest is there to give some height so the pair of screw heads are staggered in height. I hope this information is of use to someone on here as it was to me.
  14. Tent has now dried off and I'm sat enjoying a bottle of local cider procured from the site's shop, and half tempted to take the scope outside and use it for once. I think attending the event has given me a little kick to get back into this observing lark and maybe even finish that dob mount after seeing Shane's handiwork in person
  15. I'm back now, it was a cracking weekend and good see some old friends and plenty of new faces.
  16. I'm booked up now, I need to get my ass in gear and get back into this astro lark. I need a good push me thinks and this might be it
  17. Saw exactly the same fireball just after half 6 from shrewsbury. I had just left a house on my motorcycle after picking up some parts and saw the meteor dropping down through orion to the south. It was partially blocked by trees abs I initially thought it was a firework but immediately recognised it for what it was. I saw what I thought was fragmentation as it descended straight down and it lasted 5 seconds or so abs was quite a bit brighter than venus.
  18. The solar wind has jumped to 473.8 km/s and 5.4 protons/cm3 in the last few minutes!
  19. That's a thing, if we orbited Saturn as one of its moons then how far would we have to be from its surface to experience the same range of tides? My guess is a couple of M km's at the least.
  20. Good show, I'll be doing my dob sometime over the next few weeks as the standard finish is a bit reflective. It is £5 a sheet for flocking from Wilkos http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/dc-fix-fablon/d-c-fix-original-deco-self-adhesive-film-velour-black-348-0005/invt/0309578?VBMST=velour
  21. Jigsaw is on order to be picked up on Thursday afternoon. That suits me fine as I'll be busy all week with work and not really inclined to continue with the base until the weekend. My plan of action is to clean up the template that I made, the curved edge was created with the trammel so is near enough perfect but the straight lines need tidying up a bit. I have figured that by making them neater I'll take enough off to tidy up the corresponding cuts on the actual altitude bearings. The couple of mm that will be trimmed off should pose no issue with regards to rigidity to the 4cm wide spokes that are there at the moment. I will update on the weekend when I have made some more progress. Ad many thanks to those that have contributed to this thread so far, I am still learning the basis of woodworking but am rather enjoying it
  22. I will pick up a jigsaw tomorrow on the way back from work, there is a Screwfix on the way which have this and these in stock which look useful. I might as well get the tools now as you never know when I'll need them in the future.
  23. I must be doing it the quick 'n dirty way then as I am going straight in with the template cutter. I don't have any tool to cut out shapes like these apart from the template trimmer. It seems to cope fine now that the bearing has been screwed back on. I will get one of the bearings perfect (or as close as possible to it) and use that as a template for the remaining two.
  24. I have been attacking the altitude bearings again today, this time making the cut-outs to save weight and give me somewhere to hold the tube when moving it. This has been a tricky task, more so than cutting the circles out themselves, and I have had my share of problems in doing so. Making the template from a scrap piece of MDF was not easy, creating the arcs with the trammel not so bad but cutting the straight sides with the edge guide is another matter. I just didn't get a consistent straight edge despite me doing my best not to let it wander and it ended up with a few lumps and bumps along the way. I still used the template as it was the best I could do and figured any imperfections in the finish would be only cosmetic and wouldn't affect the movement of the dob. My biggest problem though was the Trend trimmer bit, allen screw securing the guide bearing decided to work loose midway through a cut and without it the bearing fell off and the entire bit became a straight cutter and dug into the wood being cut! I now have a big dig in one of the corners of the cut-outs which looks a little unsightly to say the least, again I am thankful it is only a cosmetic things and not the end of the world. You can see the damage in a close -up pic below, as well as the general untidiness of the cut-outs I will tackle the other two bearings another day as I have a big long shift tomorrow starting at 4am and am unsure of how much free time I'll have for the rest of the week. The cut-outs I clean up somehow once the two parts are bonded securely in their final positions, maybe then I can do some light trimming with a router or a sander to even out the bad bits. Despite the mess I am still fairly proud at what I have accomplished so far, just not up to Shane's level just yet
  25. TBH I have done naff all since my last message, with SGL8, problems with the motorbike and a general feeling of "meh" whilst being on Jobseekers left me with no motivation to start the project properly. Now that I have my old job back, my bike back up and running with a rewound generator I thought I might as well crack on and get started during this 4-day weekend Today I finished off my rough and ready router trammel and got making the altitude bearings out of one of my 4' x 4' sheets of birch ply. I cut down in steps from 4mm to 8mm then finally to 12mm to break through so as not to stress the moor or the bit too much and to allow the shavings to dissipate. I am pleased to say the circles, all 4 of them came out looking, well, circular and within 1cm of my target 35cm. They all measure up as 34.3cm in diameter which is kind of where I was aiming. Having the all lined up there is some slight variations around the edge but nothing more than a couple of mm, if that so it should not present too much of a problem and can be planed or sanded out easily enough. I am very pleased it has gone this well so far The piece with the damaged veneer on the bottom right is from the botched attempt at cutting the big sheet in two, not to worry this part will be facing inwards once the two circles are glued and screwed together and will not show on the finished item. Any of the other ragged edges will be cut so that those are on pieces of scrap wood and will not make onto the finished article. I do know how to cover up a mistake rather well
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