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About jACK101

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    South West Scotland

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  1. I am thinking about building a small obsy in my back garden. I have trawled through quite a number of previous posts on this topic and have gleaned a number of ideas which I would like to incorporate and some that I definitely don't want to incorporate e.g. the instance when the roof blew off is something I will try to avoid. I have checked with my local planning department and I do not need planning permission for what I have in mind. I would welcome any points that anyone cares to make to ensure that I am moving in the right direction and avoiding potential problems. What I have in mind is the following: A building of roughly 2m *2.5m. It should be large enough to accommodate 3 people at times, plus chairs/stools and a small desk or work surface. Concrete footings for a single run of bricks. Footings or 2" thick concrete over entire floor surface to support chipboard floor which will be laid on a waterproof membrane. Screwed rod to be fitted to footings as they are laid and providing anchorage for 3 x 2 plate on top of bricks. Stud partition walls with exterior plywood (or other suitable material ) cladding, height internally 6' (I am 6' in height) I want to keep the profile of the structure as low as possible to minimise wind loading but also to minimise visual impact. Finished structure will be painted in darkish colour. Roof, with reference to the example where the roof blew off, I did originally plan to make it as light as possible to make it easier to move, but I think a heavier structure might be safer. Therefore a timber, probably 3" x 2" frame with corrugated steel surface. This will have to be insulated to minimise condensation. A track on either side for roof castors to run in. The roof will only need to roll about 1m to allow access to the area of sky I plan to use. The corrugated steel will extend 6" beyond the walls to minimise water ingress. The obsy will face due South and will have an available horizon from South round to East. There are trees very close on the West side which makes a Westerly view almost impossible, but does have the benefit of providing quite good protection from the prevailing winds. I will still have the use of my Celestron tripod to use the scope away from home. The top section of the Southerly wall will hinge down to allow the use of the scope. The South Eastern top section of the wall will hinge backwards to allow access to Eastern sky. I will probably leave the South Eastern corner stud supporting the walls and roof in place and just accept that it will slightly impede my view at times. The roof will be operated by a manual trailer winch which will be anchored to the back wall. Stops will be fitted to the track to stop overshoot of the roof. The roof structure will also incorporate a timber structure to keep it "captured" so that is another precaution against blow off. When obsy not in use the roof will be tied down at the 4 corners using either toggle clamps or rope tied to cleats. I also intend to build a pier to carry my Celestron CPC925. This will be conventional concrete construction, as large as I can manage. The soil is sandy and drains readily. I like the idea I have read about in another post for using car brake discs as a top plate and I will investigate that. My original idea when I started taking an interest in Astronomy was to get into Astro photography. I have been a keen amateur photographer all my life. Looking at the equipment required to get the best results is putting me off this idea and I think I will concentrate on using my DSLR a NikonD3200 to its limit first of all. This raises an issue which has an impact on the design of the pier. i.e. Do I need a wedge? I need to decide that early on because it will have an impact on the height of the pier. Bearing in mind that I am trying to keep the overall height as low as possible, this could prove embarrassing if I can't get the pier assembly into the overall height of the structure. The Celestron wedge is quite expensive and I wonder if I am using this from 1 location only do I need an adjustable wedge or could I get someone to weld up a structure designed for my latitude? Would this work out cheaper and would it be effective? I plan to shutter the concrete of the pier and embed screwed rod to accept whatever top Plate I end up using. I would then clad the exposed part of the pier within the building in an attractive timber. There will be no windows in this structure and the door will be as strong as I can make it, therefore it will not be immediately obvious that there is expensive equipment inside. Is it best to rely on anonymity or to put a visible alarm outside which then broadcasts that there is something valuable hidden in there.? Also the height of the building will make it impossible to put any alarm out of easy reach. Thank you if you have had the patience to reach this point, and I welcome any comments that anyone may want to make. I feel it is best to get as many issues sorted out before starting on such a project. I will keep you posted, but progress will be very slow due to my current health. Jack
  2. Mike, I am also thinking about the design of a small observatory that I would like to build. On this topic I found item eBay item number: 400855884979 which is a manually operated winch for about £12 new. I have no experience in using one of these but I think it is worth a look. Most of them seem to use wire cable, but some have webbing straps. Hope you get a suitable solution. Jack
  3. Roy, Thank you for your reply. You have a difficult task and only you and your dad can sort it out. I hope you manage to do that so that you can reduce the worry that this must be to you and also improve things for your dad. All the best. Jack
  4. Roy, You could almost have been writing this about me. May I give my perspective which may be nearer to that of your Dad's. I am 75, have been an active person all my life, but 2 years ago had to undergo major surgery to remove a very large tumour from my chest cavity. With chemotherapy, surgery and radio therapy and loss of the use of 1 lung and partial radiation damage to the other, I was pretty much knackered. I could not do the things I had previously taken for granted. Weeding the garden was now a major chore. I had to re-assess my situation. I had always in the past looked to the future. As you get to my age the future is inevitably getting shorter and it is more difficult to face up to. In that situation, what decisions you make become even more important. I decided that I had to find something to do that was within my abilities, which was interesting and absorbing and would not run out of content in the time frame I was considering. Astronomy was the answer I came up with. I bought a Celestron 925 and lots of books from Amazon. I immediately had a problem because the 925 is a large beast and I had trouble handling it. I overcame that by building a ramp, a small trolley to help me move it and a block and tackle to lift it. My wife is now encouraging me to build an observatory. The point is that you have to continue looking forward, rather than back. If you look backwards all the time then depression and other problems are likely. It sounds to me that your Dad may be doing exactly the same. if so he should be encouraged, so long as his spending is not causing other problems. Your decision to teach him is undoubtedly the right one. At some point in the future you may well have cause to be thankful for that decision and it will also be good for your Dad. You sound like the kind of son that all of us would wish for. I wish you luck. Jack
  5. I have a Nikon D3200 and have a little experience of using it to take moonshots. I was puzzled at first because I could not get live view to work. On checking the manual it appears that live view function is not available when the camera lens is removed. I used the camera viewfinder, which I prefer, and I got acceptably sharp pictures.
  6. Yes, I have already done so and it works well. I still need to move it down 2 steps and it is this part I am trying to make easier. The horlzontal distance required is very short and the wheeled trolley will be used at both ends.
  7. Hi, I am having increasing difficulty getting my CPC 925 from the house to outside my patio doors due to increasing age and ill health. I have rigged an overhead pulley system and I can take the weight on that quite easily, but the telescope does not appear to be designed for easy slinging. Would it be safe to suspend it from webbing straps wound round the upper parts of both Alt/Az arms and just below the pivot point for the telescope tube? I am concerned that that might put the arms into compression inwards and do some damage, or alternatively some damage to the pivot system. I would ideally like to get it suspended as near vertical as possible so that I can drop it onto the tripod from the pulley system. Thanks Jack
  8. Why is this important. Our society is hung up on image. M A-P is a lady of substance. She has a degree in Physics and a PhD IN Mechanical Engineering. Against that a bra strap doesn't seem to me to be very important. She has one characteristic which I personally think is very very important and that is enthusiasm. She has the ability to encourage people. We as a country need far more of them, please do not knock them. The following is a list of M A-P's achievements from Wikipaedia. Awards[edit] 2013 — UK Power List, listed as one of the UK top 10 most influential black people 2013 — Yale University Centre for Dyslexia "Out of the box thinking award" 2012 — UK Power List, listed as one of the UK top 100 most influential black people 2011 — Winner of the "New Talent" award from the WFTV (Women in Film and Television) 2010 — Awarded Honorary fellowship from the British Science Association 2010 — Awarded third STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL 2010 — Subject of a BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs episode 2009 — Winner of Red Magazine's "Red’s Hot Women" Award in the pioneering category 2009 — UK Power List, Listed as one of the UK top 100 most influential black people 2009 — Awarded honorary degree from Staffordshire University 2009 — MBE awarded in 2009 New Year’s Honours list for services to science education 2008 — Awarded second STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL 2008 — Invited to give a "Friday Night Discourse" at the Royal Institution 2008 — The British Science Association Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture 2008 — Winner Arthur C Clark Outreach Award for Promotion of Space 2006 — UKRC (now WISE, UK) Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2006 — Awarded inaugural Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL 2005 — Awarded "Certificate of Excellence" by the Champions Club UK (in recognition of efforts at promoting the study of science among young girls, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds) Publications[edit] Aderin, M. "Space Instrumentation: Physics and Astronomy in Harmony?" Paper presented at the Engineering and Physics - Synergy for Success, 5 October 2006, UK. Aderin, Maggie. "A Different Sort of School Run." Astronomy & Geophysics 48, no. 5 (October 2007): 10-11. DOI: Barlow, M. J., A. S. Hales, P. J. Storey, X. W. Liu, YG Tsamis, and M. E. Aderin. "Bhros High Spectral Resolution Observations of Pn Forbidden and Recombination Line Profiles." Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 2, no. Symposium S234 (2006): 367–68. Aderin, M. E. "Bhros Installation and System Performance." Paper presented at the Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, 21–25 June 2004, USA. Aderin, M., I. Crawford, P. D'Arrigo, and A. Charalambous. "High Resolution Optical Spectrograph (Hros): A Summary of Progress." Paper presented at the Conference on Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation and Detectors, 27–31 March 2000, Munich, Germany. Aderin, M. E., and I. A. Burch. "Countermine: Hand Held and Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection." Paper presented at the Second International Conference on Detection of Abandoned Land Mines, 12–14 October 1998, London, UK. Aderin, Margaret Ebunoluwa. "Interferometric Studies of Very Thin Lubricant Films in Concentrated Contacts." Thesis (Ph D and D I C ) - Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, London, 1995. Gunsel, S., H. A. Spikes, and M. Aderin. "In-Situ Measurement of Zddp Films in Concentrated Contacts." S T L E Tribology Transactions 36, no. 2 (1993): 276-82. Aderin, M. E., G. J. Johnston, H. A. Spikes, T. G. Balson, and M. G. Emery. "Film-Forming Properties of Polyalkylene Glycols." Journal of Synthetic Lubrication 10, no. 1 (1993): 23-45. Cann, P.M., M. Aderin, G.J. Johnston, and H.A. Spikes. "An Investigation into the Orientation Oflubricant Molecules in Ehd Contacts." InWear Particles: From the Cradle to the Grave, edited by D. Dowson, G. Dalmaz, T. H. C. Childs, C. M. Taylor and M. Godet. 209–18: Elsevier Science Publishers, 1992. Aderin, M., G. J. Johnston, H. A. Spikes, and G. Caporiccio. "The Elastohydrodynamic Properties of Some Advanced Hydrocarbon-Based Lubricants." Lubrication Engineering 48, no. 8 (August 1992): 633-38. Are bra straps still important? Jack
  9. Hello, I would like to make a Hartman Mask for my scope. I assume that it should not touch the lens, but what spacing from the lens is acceptable? Thanks Jack
  10. Hi, Thanks for the useful tips. I have a programme called Zerene Stacker that I use for macro shots. I have downloaded Registax and will try that also. I got up at 05.00 this morning and discovered something I didn't expect. I do not know how to operate my camera in the dark. I was struggling to do simple things like switch off auto focus. That is readily rectified with practice. More frustrating was to be told that my image was too dark. The monitor felt like a quartz halogen in front of my eye I also came to the conclusion that all or most of the icons around the top dial could be dispensed with except for Aperture Prioriy, Shutter Priority and manual. There is a need for 1 more however. I would call it DWTAXT. Do what you are x told where X can be user defined to be any appropriate word. It is frustrating in the extreme to be given stupid messages with the camera locked up. OK rant over. It was a useful session and I have learned a lot, but go no usable images. This week looks good for potential shots if the weather co-operates. Jack
  11. The chimney was about 400 yards away, it was the furthest I could find. Jack
  12. Happy cat, I was trying to focus the telescope while looking at live view, but LV kept being switched off by the camera. This time I focussed the telescope but looked through the viewfinder as I would normally do with a camera lens attached. I don't like LV anyway, so I am happier with this arrangement. Jack
  13. Dom, It was during the day, I set the ISO manually to 100 where I normally keep it for most of my photography. It was just as I normally use a telephoto lens except much bigger. Apart from ISO and shutter speed I guess it will also work this way at night. I found focussing a bit imprecise, normally a telephoto lens snaps into focus, this was much more difficult so I see that as an area to concentrate on. Next stop the moon. Jack
  14. Hi again, I have got over the problem by simply treating the scope as a very large telephoto lens and I got some "Chimney Pots". I am not impressed with the quality, but I didn't spend a lot of time so far on focussing. I am glad just to get an image. I will now try some planetary and moon shots and see if I can improve the quality. Thanks for your help Jack
  15. Hello, I have just tried to take a picture of a chimney pot via my new scope and with a Nikon D3200 in Live mode attached after taking of the diagonal and trying to focus via the scope. Result zilch. According to the camera manual, Live mode on the Nikon D3200 switches off when the lens is removed, and this certainly seems to be the case. Is this in fact true? I find it difficult to accept that it cannot deal with a relatively simple task like that. Can anyone advise me. I have a lot of experience in photography, but have never used live view before and I have no experience in Astronomy Thanks for any advice. Jack