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About Astrofriend

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    Star Forming

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    Astronomy, Cars, old stuff
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  1. Design your own Newton telescope

    Have you ever thought about why your Newton telescope has the dimension it has, primary and secondary mirror, focuser, f/number and so on? I stumbled in to this tool Newt-Web that Kenneth H. Slater has developed further from Dale Keller's code. It's an online design tool page for Newton telescope. It's a very intuitive page where you can put in some figures about a Newton telescope that you want to built and get back information about it's performance. It give a ray trace and important data back. From that you get understanding when a Newton telescope design is good or not. I have done some test and written it down on my homepage so you can see the different steps and my comments: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-design-newton-telescope/project-design-newton-telescope.html I already know some of the physics and math, but never got to know so much in short time what happens when you change a parameter and what happens inside the telescope. Beware, I'm still in the learning process and not all what I have written is fully correct. I recommend you to take a look at Newt-Web page even if you never will built a telescope, you get knowledge and understanding that could be very valuable when you shall buy a Newton telescope. /Lars
  2. To have all the needed equipment easy to use and functional is important out there in the dark. I have earlier built an astroserver and put it in a box with wheels together with a car battery. That was in mind of to be portable. The astroserver work as a standalone unit and I control it remotly. As I see it it's a lot of advantages to have it like that when doing astrophotography. You can read about the details here: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-astro-server-and-powerunit/project-astro-server-and-powerunit.html But now when I'm ready to start to use my new observatory there is some different needs that the astroserver and it's power unit must be corrected for. My old astroserver works very well so I will keep most of the parts but remove the battery from it and have the battery stationary in the observatory. There are some other details that I have corrected too. As usual I have taken some photos and written text to it so you can follow my work: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-astro-server-and-powerunit/project-astro-server-and-powerunit-ver2.html I hope you find something you can use, or at least one little small detail. /Lars
  3. Building an Observatory DIY

    Now the observatory have come that long that I can start use it. The last big thing was to get the mechanism to the roof in balance to make it easier to operate. That's what I have been working with the last days. Here you can see the last details: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html#part07 At the end you find a video when I open the roof, I didn't use very much force to do that. Just need a complement spring that make it even easier when I close the roof. /Lars
  4. Building an Observatory DIY

    This weekend I started to building the floor in the observatory. With a floor I don't drop important parts of my telescope on the ground and then never find them again. And the floor looks pretty good too. Here you can follow this weekends work at the observatory: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part4.html I also did some work on the steelbeam that should act as a counterweight to the roof's lift arm. You can see it at the end of part three. Now I have a clearer view how to make the motorpart to the mainroof. /Lars
  5. Building an Observatory DIY

    Hi, The last days I have done greate succes in DIY observatory. Now I can open both the roof and the hatch on the other side. If you find it interesting you can read more here and see photos: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html I will take a brake now for a week or two, there are so lot of other things that must be done. When I start working with it next time I must find a solution that work to counter balance the roof, with weights and springs. /Lars
  6. USB heating band

    Hi, Sorry for very late answere and thank you for tips. If needed I will add a electronic power regulator. But my experience I have got is that it work very fine already now. After that I started to use this heating band I never had any problem on my camera lens. The power are about 0.8 Watt and battery last many nigths. I could have much smaller battery, but I could also power my mount from it if I want. Normally I don't but if mount batteries goes down I have this as an extra power sourch. Here is one photo I tooked with my portable mount and a 150mm Sigma APO lens: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/my-astronomy-photo/open-clusters/m45-open-cluster.html Lars
  7. Building an Observatory DIY

    Ok, heavy wind is dangerous :-) , I will follow your and others advice and anchor the building safely in the rock, thank you for the tips! At last I got some time to start with the complicated roof mechanism of my observatory. I have choosen a construction with arms that hold the roof to get a low profile observatory. With a sliding roof you normally need higher walls and then have to fold down the upper wall, or a door that opens in the roof when open the roof to get clear of the telescope. And you have to move the roof far away to get a free view above it. But most importent, it's fun to do an unusual construction, if it will work at the end? I don't know yet :-) Here you can read and see photos of the observatory project: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part3.html /Lars
  8. Building an Observatory DIY

    Hi Chris, From Denmark, or? My friend also commented that it could blow away. I have a little hard to believe that, it's a very heavy building, I can't lift it by hand. And if the wind moves the building it can't go very far because of the pier inside. But maybe you are right and I have too anchor it down. Maybe I will do it anyway when I have decided how high above the ground it shall stand. Thanks for the comment! Lars
  9. DIY Big Binoculars mount

    Hello, Thanks for all answeres and tips! Yes it will be very exiting when I for the first time can aim it to the stars. This weekend I built a simple test rig to find out what dimensions I need on the arm that hold it up. It should fit tall and short people. It will only be used when standing up, it's to cold to lay down in the winter. I think this could be very interesting when I invite people that are not too interested in astronomy. A beautiful look up there and they want to have more, or? Here is the latest progress: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-big-binocular/project-big-binocular.html#part04 /Lars
  10. Building an Observatory DIY

    Hi, This weekend I had some time leftover to do concrete work on the base that the observatory legs stands on: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part2.html#part05 I think I got it right, very stable now. Next time I will spend some thinking about the roof mechanics. /Lars
  11. DIY Big Binoculars mount

    Hi, It's the Helios, not very expensive but still it looks good when observing terestial objects daytime. Not dark enough here to test it on the sky, maybe moon. It will be exiting here too when the dark comes in the fall again. /Lars
  12. Now when I have APT that control the camera it could be a bit boring when waiting. Maybe I could do some visual observations when the camera are doing automatic photographing? I'm not a big fan of visual observation, but I recently bought a big 25x100mm binoculars and think it could be fun to have. It's very heavy and could not be handheld, I have to built a mount for it. This is something new to me so I reading forums and get ideas and figure out my own solution to it. As a first part I bought a caster wheel to have as a roller bearing. I will mount that on my second pier. If you find it interesting you can see more details here and follow my project: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-big-binocular/project-big-binocular.html /Lars
  13. Heavy Duty DIY Parallelogram Mount

    Hi Damo, Great thread and great photos! I just purchased a 25x100 binocular and now must build some mount to hold it, after some google search I came to your thread, just what I want to see. Now I have got a lot of ideas how to built something simular to hold my binocular. This is what I have: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-big-binocular/project-big-binocular.html Maybe I use part of my used EQ2 mount's slow motion controls if it needed. I don't have any experience of a big binocular like this and what it need to be easy to handle. Thanks that you sharing your project ! ps. Your binocular weight is about twice compare to my Helios 25x100, is your a tripple lens design, or? /Lars
  14. Building an Observatory DIY

    Today we had a sunshine day and I went to the building market and bought two panels to cover the joint between the two roofs on my observatory project. I took some photos of this day work: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-observatory/project-observatory-part2.html#part04 Now I have come to the more complicated part, the mechanism that hold the roofs. /Lars
  15. No, I think they think, "bigger than fullframe" or at least hope so, then this mono chrome medium format sensor (about twice the size of a fullframe sensor) wiill be perfect in some cases. They have listed the QHY367C under medium size sensor, under large size sensor is nothing yet other then the text I wrote earlier. We just have to wait and see what they mean by those words. /Lars