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badgerchap

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badgerchap last won the day on March 10 2013

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About badgerchap

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    Sub Dwarf

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    North Cotswolds
  1. Very late to the party, but wanted to leave my 2p here. The problem with this scope for outreach is that the minute you show a kid with an iPhone one of its shots, they’re gonna hop straight onto the internet and see vastly superior shots by Hubble et al, faster than they can get them from the Stellina. The scope here doesn’t offer anything their iPhone does not, whereas a scope with an eyepiece does. Seeing on a screen is not the same as having the photons landing directly in your eye. The kids will Google it all either way. You need to offer something Google can’t give, and an eyepiece does that.
  2. I was thinking about this - they'd never know, but I'm fairly likely even to get permission. Yeah, because I'm intending to use a load of home grown electronics that won't necessarily be particularly easy to take on/off at any given time. I'd eventually like to have the entire system operated remotely and never have to go outside! I may also swap my 300P for a 200P at some point if I can, so I'd like that to be mountable in the same setup. EDIT: Plus any way which gets my scope stuff out of the house is sure to delight SWMBO, so I might be more likely to get away with some otherwise unsanctioned scope purchases
  3. Ahhhhh, must speed things up a bit! So you're just able to tweak each time rather than start completely from scratch
  4. Are you able to image for long periods with such quick PA? I always struggle to get it good enough in less than a few hours! I'm ridiculously middle of nowhere with good neighbours, so I'm not too worried about those who are light of finger. I'd still put a lock of some sort on the [removed word] though!
  5. Hi all, I'm considering building a small scale observatory - remote imaging to keep the form factor small. The problem is I only rent my house, so I can't exactly go all out. My landlord is fairly forgiving though, so I can do minor damage as long as it's repairable when we eventually have to move. My plan then is to repurpose a steel frame (40mm tubing) which I will clad and insulate. This will be easy enough both to build and to move/remove if necessary. However, I'm not sure what I should do about the mount. My setup isn't massive - TS Optics 6" f4 reflector on an NEQ6 with a WO 66mm refractor guide scope. However, I'd like something more stable than the NEQ6's standard tripod as I'd like to not have to do PA every time I go out. I'm looking for ideas for a pier that will be sturdy enough, yet that I don't have to immerse in concrete. I've no worries about burying the base of it just in the ground, but I'm not sure if that'll be stable enough. My thoughts were to use some 160mm HDPE pipe, bury it to a depth of about a metre and fill with sand. The bottom end would be capped so the sand doesn't run out and the top end would be plugged with (something as yet undecided) to hold a pier plate. How stable to people think this would be? As I'd be operating remotely, I'm not worried about disturbing it whilst imaging, but I am concerned it might shift with temperature changes etc. Is this a rubbish plan? If so, any ideas about an alternative? Thanks, G
  6. Just thought I'd share my experiences of trying to put together a remote setup, which I'm implementing to keep my tootsies warm as winter approaches. The main reason I'm writing this down is so that others can see my setup in case they're looking for a similar implementation. So I'd heard that people had tried using a Raspberry Pi as a server running VirtualHere to control their mounts and cameras from the warmth of their living rooms. There were two main problems that I'd seen, as follows: 1. The RPi isn't really quick enough to handle the traffic for the entire setup 2. VirtualHere only allows the connection of a single device without purchasing a licence. Well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone - multiple Pis! Each Pi acts as a VirtualHere server and as such, shows up as an individual USB hub in the VH client (which I'm running in Windows on boot camp on an iMac - three OS's is one day, yay!) This means that you may use one device on each Pi without needing a license. Now obviously this is only useful if you have spare RPis hanging around - otherwise you might as well just buy an RPi 3 (quicker than earlier models) and a VirtualHere licence. Each Pi used will require its own power source, so be ready for some spaghetti. You also need to be aware of the range limitation on the Pi3's wifi adapter - I had to move mine a few inches closer so that the connection was stable. I do have a more powerful dongle adapter on the way which should help with this. You also need to be aware of latency when taking images - I set the DSLR imager to store the images on its own SD card rather than transferring to the Pi, but the latency is still noticeable. However, APT (which I was using for capture) just waits a bit longer between images. TBH this is quite useful as it gives the setup a chance to settle down from any mirror related vibrations! As for guiding, I can't tell you the results yet as it's a full moon tonight, so I haven't tried anything DSOey yet. That will come. However, tracking and GoTo functioned well, so I think Autoguiding should be OK - I've connected the camera (QHY5v) in the daytime and I got a moderate frame rate which I suspect will be sufficient for PHD. The big limitation in my design is the lack of an electric focuser, so until I can buy one of them, I have to run outside and tweak repeatedly until it comes right. My plan is to drive the focuser via the RPi's GPIO pins. I might build this myself but the only steppers I have are salvaged from an EQ3 and are really very slow. I will most likely buy a VH licence soon, but whether or not that will then allow sufficient data transfer and control speeds through a single RPi 3 remains to be seen. Anyway, hope this proves useful to someone somewhere. I'll update it when I test the autoguiding and (hopefully) the focuser.
  7. My uni does indeed have an astronomy department (I'm studying Astrophysics). Unfortunately their equipment is.......not the best. They only have Webcams on their scopes (they were trying DSO imaging with a webcam and Registax when I got there), which are all alt-az mounted. Admittedly none of this should be a huge problem, but getting time on the kit is nigh on impossible. My uni is much more geared toward solar physics, which is what all their kit is appropriate for really. Plus I was hoping for the superior quality of images that people on here have. Besides all this, I've managed to get quite far with just a few in-focus images off tinterwebz, enough to get the project rolling anyway. Hopefully I can do some good work in the next few weeks and then get my gear back so I can finish the job!
  8. Perhaps this should have gone in DIY Astronomer....
  9. Can't believe this thread is still going! Good stuff!
  10. Evening all, I haven't done any practical astronomy for quite a while, whilst I finish my degree. However, whilst at Uni I have come up with an idea for software for telescope autofocus. However, I'm away from my gear for quite a while and so I have no data to work with to test the idea. So my question is this: Does anybody have any out of focus (and then at least one in focus) images of fairly plain star fields? If so, would they be kind enough to let me use them to test my ideas? The ideal set would have maybe three or four shots "either side" of focus and one or two in focus. It would have to be the same field of stars taken with the same equipment under the same conditions. I'm not sure if anybody keeps these otherwise scrap images? If anybody could help, I'd be very grateful. In the hypothetical situation where my ideas came to fruition, and autofocus worked, the code would be made open source. For anyone that's interested in my idea for the programming behind this, I may post some code if I get anywhere! Thanks, Badgerchap
  11. Didn't tighten up the bolts on the dovetail clamp then pointed the scope up at the sky - slid out and crashed onto the floor! Thankfully the mount was at its lowest setting and I was inside just testing a few things so it fell on the carpet. Only thing that broke was the cross-hair in the finder. Phew!
  12. DSS may be set up so that you've only got one image that it considers acceptable, as per the settings. Make sure you have 'check all'ed then press 'register checked pictures'. In one of the settings, can't remember which, there is an option to change the threshold of star detection. Have a mess around with that and see if it helps.
  13. I've been planning one of these for a few years now, though money is of course a sizeable obstacle (or rather explaining to the wife why I've spent it all!). I'm planning to use a Mercedes - Benz Sprinter high - top. A section of the roof will be roll off on runners and there will be four hydraulic stabilisers that can be lowered at each site. The scope itself will sit on a rotatable pier which rises up and out of the van when in use. Now I just need to learn to weld... Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
  14. I think it's really nice to see a wide angle of this for a change. Personally I would say too green rather than too blue,but that may be my screen. Lovely though
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