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Everything posted by ajk

  1. @Vox45 HitecAstroDCFocuser has arrived. However, after installing the software I see the EULA states no reverse engineering is permitted without their consent. Do you want to reach out to them and see if you can get any joy from them in terms of permissions (and even better technical specifications)?
  2. So, it's not just me that found this about the extension tube. SW seem to think we all own pillar drills to fix stuff (luckily I do)
  3. Just for the record, in a low voltage DC circuit (less than 50v) it doesn't matter which you use, +ve or 0v wire. In higher DC voltage circuits it can do for safety. In this condition putting the switch on the 0v return wire leaves the equipment "live" when it's switched off so if you are working on it expect to get an electric shock at some point. You should put the switch on the live side really. But 12v isn't going to harm you. In AC circuits however different rules apply entirely, use an isolator that breaks BOTH wires.
  4. VMWare is commercial (but it is very good). However Virtualbox from IBM is free and using Vagrant to build out/provision is very useful. Regarding Linux distros. For those touting their favourite, it would he helpful to say why it's your favourite and how it could benefit adoption. Just saying "I use it and it's great" doesn't help us make an informed choice or likely to try it. So far DistroAstro is an obvious one as it's community is like minded people. Ubuntu also just because of it's popularity. I would learn towards one of these.
  5. Some of the best software in the World never gets used because of this. However, as a developer myself, I can tell you some of the worst software in the World gets used, reused and over promoted because, although the software is rubbish it's very well documented and therefore can be consumed. Now, I do try my best to write documentation but tbh, it can often get left behind in my eagerness to solve a bug or finish the latest new feature. If you are a one man band you have to try and find a happy medium in all this (also, we actually find it hard to write documentation because we often take many technical things that are simple to us for granted). That's where "your community" comes to the rescue. It often helps if your early adopters/beta testers are also willing to help out by contributing documentation. These people may not themselves be developers but their contribution, say in forum posts, howtos, etc are just as valuable as the software itself. Yes, end user frustration really is a big pita but not being able to finish off some code because "support" gets in the way can be just as frustrating for us. Commercial software often comes with support and I've found much of the money you pay goes into support and manuals as actual code. If you want to use "free" software then you have to accept support from developers is a "best effort" basis. If you are not willing to "join it's community" and help out a bit yourself (ie you just want to take it and expect it to work) then better off going over to Windows and buying something instead. And I myself use a lot of commercial Windows software for exactly this reason. Time is often money.
  6. That's the HitecAstro DC Focuser and a Skywatcher Auto Focuser on order from FLO. I'll probably have the software done before I have a telescope to attach it to!
  7. I will almost certainly be starting with the distro you mentioned right at the start of this thread, http://www.distroastro.org/ Why? i) it comes from the same base as Ubuntu ii) It's tailored to what we are all doing already (and maintained going forward) It's last major release was May 2015 which was a year ago. This may signal either "it's so mature no more major releases are needed, only repo package updates required" or "it's gathered dust due to a lack of community energy". Regardless of which it to me seems a great starting place. It may just need some new community spirit pouring on it to set it going again. Last time I looked SGL is a pretty good community. I will use this distro to write the HitechAstro DC Focuser INDI driver anyway as INDI is it's base so will make for an easier starting point. I'll see how I get on with AstroDistro and let you know.
  8. I was planning on getting one of these soon. There are two ways to crack this, i. reach out to HitecAstro and offer to create a free INDI driver for them if they provide the specifications or ii. reverse engineer the spec.
  9. There is an INDI driver set for Skywatcher mounts:- http://indilib.org/devices/telescopes/eqmod.html I also know of another for INDI but the name eludes me right now. I think when it comes to hardware control Linux is probably mature enough if you know what you are doing. What I cannot comment on is image post processing for those doing camera work/imaging (or in fact controlling Astro dedicated CCD cameras). I write software for both Windows and Linux so this is something that interests me (and potentially a cloudy night hobby )
  10. Instead of a pendulum fixed in one axis going back and fourth, allow it to move in two dimensions and it will trace an ellipse like an orbit. The ball thrown into the air and caught is just a portion of this motion, your hand (and the Earth) preventing the rest.
  11. So I have bought everything except the scope for AS. Swithering on that. But, to be honest, having read so many reviews (scare stories) and not having super deep financial pockets, this would swing it for me. When spending circa £1k I don't see £75 on top as a big deal. More like "insurance that actually paid out". So, come Autumn I'll be looking for a GT102
  12. and hopefully he's not reading this However, as others have said, talk to your retailer about a replacement. But for six grand, what else have you bought so far?
  13. You are not a lunatic, you haven't seen it close up yet but your wife is a saint.
  14. This is incorrect. Each port negotiates it's speed with it's upstream pipe to get the best possible speed for the downstream peripheral. However, remember, the upstream bandwidth is fixed at USB3 speed. So two downstream USB3 peripherals cannot get full upstream speed, they are sharing a single upstream connection. So, just like with Ethernet networks, you try your best to keep the upstream higher than your downstream. So, the best configuration is use USB2 peripherals with a USB3 hub if you can. If you have a USB3 peripheral try to avoid using the USB3 hub and connect directly to your computer if you have multiple USB3 ports available. If you must connect a USB3 peripheral to a USB3 hub along with several USB2 peripherals then you cannot expect it to go at maximum speed but it won't be downgraded to USB2 speed, it'll just slow down enough to "fit everything into the upstream speed".
  15. Oddly enough, mine too Some extra info. USB is backwards compatible (USB3 can use 3, 2 and 1, USB2 can use 2 and 1 and USB1 can use, err, 1). In fact, if you have a USB3 on your computer/laptop you should always try and use a USB3 hub for USB2 peripherals/equipment if you possibly can (and if you own a USB2 hub and have a USB3 on your computer I would always recommend your next upgrade should be to replace the USB2 hub with a USB3 one). Just don't always buy the cheapest USB3 hub and make sure it's a self powered one (yeah, even for USB3 which is supposed to be better at re-powering downstream devices). Always read the reviews before trying to save a few £ on USB hubs.
  16. Brent, please private message me your Paypal email address and I'll donate you a StarTools license so we can get to see the end result. And keep at that guiding, you'll sort out what's up eventually
  17. I got the 97W 5amp version from Maplins. Drives my AZEQ6 without any issues. Just thought I'd add that. Good luck [then realise I replied to wrong post, but good luck all the same]
  18. Hint and tip...... Knock on neighbours door and find out what wine/beer they like ? Lovely pick btw way ?
  19. I'm like you guys, hopeless at finding my way around the sky. I tried learning from books and observing but I was simply rubbish (poor eyesight and seeing didn't help) But since I had my AZEQ6 I learnt way more. Because it points at it, it says "here it is dummy". Then the books start to help, knowing which constellation it's in you learn much quicker it's a great teacher because it quietly points and doesn't tell me how dumb I am i can also highly recommend EQMOD also.
  20. Great scope. Regarding the price, it's only 4 times the price of the handbag I bought my wife for Christmas. Regarding the "GF vacant" position, keep it that way, "high fashion" is more expensive than astronomy
  21. Just for the record I just acquired a new AZ EQ6 GT and it, err, worked straight out of the box. That said, all new things should but Google "Friday Car" and you'll find broken new stuff isn't new to astronomical mounts. If it's new and it doesn't work get it replaced. Unless you're a tinkerer and like a challenge.
  22. I'm not doing visual, it'll be for imaging. Big learning curve ahead for me.
  23. I bought a brand new AZ EQ6 GT last week from FLO. I'm a little inspired to open it up and "service it" but it does seem odd to have to do that to a brand new mount. However, sticking to the "do not fix what is not broken" rule of thumb I probably won't open it just yet. Although I have engineering skills so not worried about actually dismantling it I don't see the point just yet. Don't know enough about it yet.
  24. Somewhere close-by seems to work fine for me.
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