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About cjdawson

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  1. Stick the artificial star on a tripod and walk it far enough down the street for you to get focus. That’s what I do. Anyone that sees it might ask questions, which gives a chance to talk about astronomy to random members of the public. Or your nosey neighbours.
  2. cjdawson


    Not surprised that there are not many replies to this one. Unfortunatly, it's a military exercise for everyone. The best tips that I can suggest is to organise your gear, make sure that you have boxes for carrying everything - a few boxes with compartments tend to work best. Then its a case of practicing your setup and teardown drills. Each time you go out, figure out what worked well, and what didn't. Then re organise your gear to make things better. Eventually, you'll get to a place where you are happy.
  3. cjdawson

    New to Astrophotography

    Hi @Cnnr21 welcome to SGL. As others have said, a good starting place is the book Making Every Photon Count. There are lots of options to getting yourself setup for astro photography. The main thing to realise is that the targets that you want to image require different focal lengths, this means that one scope will never be able to capture everything - well, not without lots of effort. The mount is the most important thing, and you've mention the HEQ5, which I know is a popular mount. The scope you mentioned I'm not familier with but others say it's ok. After that yep, the camera is the next thing, there are loads of options. But, before that, if you are going for DSO objects, then guiding is a must. For that you'll need a guide camera and some kind of guiding setup. There are several options that you can take.... 1. a Guide scope - this is a second telescope, which is attached to your main scope. and has a camera which is used for guiding. 2. a finder guider - this is like a guide scope, but it's much smaller. The cameras these days make this a great option. 3. off axis guider - this is where the guide camera uses some of the light from the main scope to capture the image for guiding. Each has it's pro's and cons. Personally, if setting out again, I'd take a serious look at the finder guider option. You'll need a camera for capturing your main image. Again there are loads of options, each with their pro's and cons. Finally, you'll need something to control your setup. The cameras need to store the image somewhere, the guiding camera needs software to perform the guiding comparisons and issue the corrections to the mount. There are three basic ways that you can do this... 1. Laptop/Desktop running windows 2. Laptop/Desktop running Linux 3. Stand alone units that don't need a computer! The stand alone units that I'm talking about here is the method using stand alone auto guiders - like the SkyWatcher SynGuider II attached to the guide scope, and a DSLR camera as the main imaging camera. I'd tried this route, and frankly, I do not recommend it. The main problem that I found was getting the SynGuider to find a suitable guide star. It caused me endless frustration trying to get the scope guiding - when it worked it was great, shame it didn't work as often as I wanted it to work, I could only get it to work on the brightest stars. (It's a long story) The option with a Laptop/Desktop opens up alot of options. The route that I've taken is to have a decent laptop (Intel Core-i5 with 8GB of ram and 256GB SSD) running windows 10, and ascom to control the scope. With that the software that I'm using is Sequence Generator Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2 and ANSVR for plate solving. I know that you can do something very similar using Linux, with INDI to control the scope. I've not done it myself, but that said, it does mean that you could use a Raspberry PI to control your scope. It's a very interesting option, I'd have been looking into this myself if I'd not already taken the ASCOM Route. Having access to a program like Sequence Generator Pro, can be a game changer. It's got lots of capabilities to make your life very easy when it comes to capturing image sequences. Now that I've filled your head with ideas. Take your time to decide how you want to do things, what you think will work well for you and what's easy for you to capture great images with. Don't rush and don't spend more money than you have too. As others have said, this hobby can get very expensive.
  4. cjdawson

    Gears and pulleys

    Oops, thought I’d typed drill press. and yeah I know that getting the hole cantered is the hard part. I’ll be looking in the new year into doing the actual fitting.
  5. cjdawson

    Gears and pulleys

    I've got a drill at home. didn't know that drill bits came in 22mm sizes. sounds great. If I order the 20mm pully, then drill it out to 22mm that would most likely work.
  6. cjdawson

    Gears and pulleys

    Oh my men’s shed looks fantastic. And there’s one where I live. Might have to travel further for metal working though. Love the idea.
  7. cjdawson

    Gears and pulleys

    Yeah, that’s a thought. No chance of my being able to do that until I’m back from my hols. think I’ll measure the shaft with the knob removed when I get back. Also might be possible to have bothe the gear and knob on at the same time, for aesthetics
  8. cjdawson

    Gears and pulleys

    Hi all im in the process of gathering parts to make a stepper driven focusser. To drive it I’m planning on getting a nema 17 or nema 14 stepper motor and driving it with a belt feed like you get on cnc. However, I’d like to get a gear wheel with a 22mm inner diameter that I can fix to the focus knob of my Meade Lx-90. Been looking all over and can only find them with a 20mm inner diameter. anyone have any suggestions on what I ca: do here? this is the pull that I was thinking of, but I’d need 2mm extra on the inner bore of the large gear. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XL-40-10-Teeth-1-5-pitch-Timing-Pulley-Belt-Set-Kit-Reduction-Ratio-4-1-CNC-/262648050975
  9. cjdawson

    AA batteries not working

    Just supply 12V DC to the mount directly, then you'll know for sure. Just make sure that you get the polarity of the connections the right way round. After that, I recommend getting ride of the 8*AA all together and using a proper 12v battery. There are several types - seal lead acid or lithium are fairly common.
  10. cjdawson

    Networking Obsy (Win10) Laptop to (Win7) Desktop

    Glad you have the file sharing sorted out. As for the speed of Teamviewers file transfer, I think that says more about the teamviewer software than it does about your network. 4MBps (note the B means Bytes) is about 33Mbps (note the little b means bits), which over a 1024Mbps network cable is very limiting. I'd be look that that being about the speed of a slow USB memory stick. For disk to disk transfer, I'd been wanting to see speed more like 30MB for an old HDD, faster for a newer drive and much faster for SSD. The speed of the slowest drive will should be the limiting factor over gigabit network. Over wifi, it's limited by the connection speed, if that's slower than the disks can handle.
  11. cjdawson

    Networking Obsy (Win10) Laptop to (Win7) Desktop

    Seems that you missed my last post that told you that you can shared a folder on your network.
  12. cjdawson

    RS232 to WIFI

    Just a thought for you that may save you some cash in the long run..... I've got the SkyFi unit, which I've used to connect my mount directly to SkySafari Pro on my iPad via wifi, it works great. However, I'm also into astro imaging and needed to also connect my mount to a laptop running Ascom. As a result, i'm also running Sequence Generator Pro. Now this is a bit around the houses, but.... I can connect SkySafari Pro to Sequence Generator Pro, which in turn connects to Ascom and then to the scope. So I can still drive the scope using my iPad. Just wanted to point this out, in case you are looking to do something similar in the long run, it might save you some cash. One last thing, if you don't have Sequence Generator Pro, you can accomplish the same result using Wifi Scope, which is free from the people that make Sequence Generator Pro.
  13. cjdawson

    Networking Obsy (Win10) Laptop to (Win7) Desktop

    Here's my 2p's worth. 1. laying a Gigabit Cat5 network cable would be the more powerful solution to the problem, and it'll let you transfer the data faster than any domestic wifi. 2. As for copying files direct from windows 7 to windows 10, you can use folder sharing. This might not be installed by default on a home edition of windows, but you should be able to install it. What you do is enable file sharing from a given folder - your root data folder. Then from the other computer connect to it, via the network the address is either \\computername or \\ipaddress once there you should be able to log in, then see the shared folder, at that point you can simply copy the data from one PC to the other.
  14. cjdawson

    Arduino focuser for Meade LX-90?

    After doing some more looking I've decided that I would prefer to go with the Arduino ASCOM Focuser Pro2 DIY from brownrb. Overall looks like the more rounded of the projects overall. My arduino's arrived, got 3 of them. And I've just ordered the PCB's. The rest of the kit I'll get over time. I'll be looking to build three of these focusers. Why three, one for my LX-90, one for my ST-80 and another, because I can. Not sure what I'll do with the third one yet. I'm sure that I'll some up with something useful.
  15. cjdawson

    Arduino focuser for Meade LX-90?

    Either way, I don’t want o get involved in that debate. I’m trying to build a stepper based focusser here for m6 own use.

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