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About cathalferris

  • Rank
    Proto Star

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Whitewater and surf kayak, computer networks/gaming, XC/DH mountainbike, road biking, driving and improving cars, general gearhead/tinkerer!
  • Location
    Castletroy, Co. Limerick. Ireland
  1. That's excellent to hear. Please feel free to isolate as appropriate if needed though - safety of self and staff trumps a temporary blip in business - especially with how the (sane and realistic) projections are looking for this thing.
  2. I used one of the closed-cell packing squares, chopped to fit under the 500P base, as a buffer between the base and the handtruck plate. That way, there was no slack in the listing of the scope from the build location, and it was quite a lot easier to position into the observing location. There was much less tilt of the handtruck needed to lift the 500p from the ground, and that meant much greater control of the whole thing when moving. Compression straps such as these types ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-449682-Tie-Down-Capacity-Breaking/dp/B003H0YMSQ ) are fantastic for quick reversible immobilisation of things. I have a handful available from years of tying kayaks to roofracks, so they were re-purposed for 500p transport. I do miss the 500p to be honest. But, I'll be putting the pennies away to get something of an equivalent size at some point, dependent on the living situation at that point. If apartment in Switzerland it'll be a cpc100 with hyperstar, if somewhere else than a driven 20" from the Dobson Factory I think.. Best of luck with the dealing with the family illness - that is a whole lot of not-fun for everyone involved.
  3. One solution to the power cord issue is to use a battery source and mount it on the base. I was using one of these https://www.lidl.de/de/ultimate-speed-powerbank-mit-starthilfefunktion-upbs-12000-a1/p288766 as my power source, and I had it taped to the altitude motor casing (with tape over the blue LED. This one gave enough power for about 5hr of observing. It did take a little time to cable-tie things up and out of the way so that the cables would not get sheared between the rotating parts of the base. One of the larger Celestron LiFePO4 batteries should give a few nights worth of observing. My plan-B power source was a 110Ah SUV battery with a fuse and 12v socket on it. That did the job but had the risk of dragging cables. Having a power source on the scope mounting really removes one of the pain points of this type of scope, and makes for a less stressful observing session. It's also worth noting that some other owners of Stargates have mounted their power source at the rear of the mirror cell, as part of the necessary extra counterweights that the scope design needs when used with a paracorr and Ethos eyepieces.
  4. While I had a 500p (before returning it because of the problems with the mirror) I used a high-capacity handtruck. I bought one with a longer base, that would extend under the base triangle with ease. This made it very easy to move the completed scope from place to place. Something like this: This is a "Master Sacktruck with Pneumatic Wheels" and the larger diameter tires do make it easier to move about on lawns and other rough ground. It's really important to note that if moving the assembled scope, that the side bearings are not actually connected to the base. When I moved mine, I ensured that I had the scope strapped together so that there was no relative movement when tipping the scope to get it moving.
  5. 4.7mm, 8.8mm, and 18mm eyepieces now sold, thank you Paul. 24mm and 31mm still available.
  6. I recently had the same conundrum. I had updated my main scope to a 20" Dob, and I wanted to get the best widest field. This led me to a choice of getting either of an Ethos 21mm, or an ES-100 25mm, as I wanted a 100 degree eyepiece for this role. I already had a 31mm 82 degree Celestron eyepiece but that focal length was too large an exit pupil for my eyes - hence the shorter focal length and wider FOV requirement. In the end I went for the ES eyepiece, as it's got just that much more of a true FOV. In that 20" scope the difference was an FOV of 65.2' against the Ethos' 54.5'. Regarding aberrations it's being used with a Paracorr in an f/3.94 newt and my own eyes have a little bit of astigmatism anyway (awaiting a new prescription to get some astro-specific contacts) so I was happy enough to go the ES route. Using that eyepiece over the past few clear evenings, I've been happy with that decision. It would have been a much harder choice on which to buy if TV had made an Ethos 24 though..
  7. PM answered. Update on box status and conditions: Luminos 31mm - Near perfect condition, I still have the original plastic wrap from the eyepiece for this one. UWA 24mm - Box on the missing list, I could not locate this one last night. Eyepiece would be shipped appropriately packaged and protected. UWA 18mm - Near-perfect box condition. UWA 8.8mm - Very very good condition box. UWA 4.7mm - Good condition box. If anyone needs box pictures, please let me know.
  8. Pics of the eyepieces here. The boxes are not pristine, but pics of those will be tomorrow, as they are at the old house (I'm in the process of moving house). The eyepieces have been well used, but well cared for. All of the eyepieces, front and top views. Luminos 31mm, 1160 grams weight, bought new in ~2015: Meade UWA 5000 24mm, purchased secondhand about 4 years ago: Meade UWA 5000 18mm, at least 6 years old, purchased new. Meade UWA 5000 8.8mm, also purchased new, at least 6 years old Meade UWA 5000 4.7mm, purchased secondhand in May 2018: Any questions please ask.
  9. For sale: Meade series 5000 UWA 82 degree FOV eyepieces, with original boxes and original eyepiece caps: 24mm - £80 18mm - £80 8.8mm - £50 4.7mm - £50 Celestron Luminos 82 degree eyepiece, also with end caps and box: 31mm - £130 £350 if all purchased all together. Postage will be from Ireland at cost, should be less than £20 equivalent to the UK, but this can be discussed. Optics in very good condition, very nice views through all of these. These eyepieces were my main eyepieces until I recently bought some 100-degree eyepieces that span the same focal lengths and fields of view. Now these 82-degree eyepieces are for sale to make room in the eyepiece case as they are not being used enough, and I'd like to see someone else get the same joy I got from these. Thanks, -Cathal
  10. A note on the RPi 3B+ - there are apparently problems with transfer of large files across the wired network to/from USB disks. I've run into this on mine at least. Seems to be an issue with the network card driver based on the reports I've read so far. Rather annoying at the moment, getting tempted to get a RPi3b instead until it's solved. I've mine set as a NAS with a handful of services running on it for my rather large home network - pi-hole, motion, Plex, samba server, smokeping, deluge. The difference in power draw means the Pi pays for itself within the year compared to the little PC I had running those services instead. Those services are fairly heavy on both cpu and network!
  11. Question - must the voltage be 13.8v, or would 12v be enough if it doesn't dip under load? A half-decent PC PSU would be well able to consistently deliver >20A at 12v, and generally low RFI given the use inside the PC case faraday cage. Also those PSUs should maintain 12V under load. It may be a cheaper option if you're willing to solder a few connections for the power plugs. This is definitely the route I'm taking to power items if/when I get myself any permanent observing area.
  12. Ah, that would be the site that in August 2012 likely had their database quietly cracked and the list of valid user emails exported off-site to be used by spammers. I had an account on there, with a site-specific email used for the registration. Then, when I started to see emails from spammers going to that specific email address, I raised that query with the admins on the site. Their first reaction to being told that they may have had a breach of some type was for them to permaban me from the site. That was a rather suspicious move at the time. There were other users of the site that confirmed similar behaviour with their own site-specific email addresses suddenly receiving spam emails. Given how poorly they appeared to have their site secured and run, it would not surprise me in the slightest that they have run into what looks like a breach. If they come back up - treat the situation as though they have had a data breach. If you use that username or password anywhere else on the net please make sure to change those passwords, and prevent your other accounts getting abused.
  13. I'm just chasing down a bit of a personal curiosity, if anyone else had a scope similar to my first proper scope, that would have been made in Scotland in the very early '90s. My first "real" telescope after my 60mm Tasco was one imported new to Ireland from Scotland, back in late 1990 or so. It was a 222mm f/5.6 Newt, bought from an ad in the back of Astronomy Now. The scope was fairly simple in construction by current standards, but was huge and amazing by my standards as a kid of the time. The tube was built of a blue Hammerite painted sewer pipe, with the mirror glued to a felt backing, glued to a metal plate that had the collimation bolts attached. The finder used remounted 50mm binocular optics and there were 18mm and 25mm "volcano-top" kellners provided. The mount was a basic German Equatorial, with ~3" setting circles and manual slowmotion controls. There was a little engraved plaque on the side of the polar axis. The plaque on the GEM was, as far as I can remember, "Solis Scientific, Glasgow". It cost a pretty penny too, somewhere in the £800 range. Still managed to see Stephan's Quintet and the Shoemaker-Levy-9 impacts on Jupiter with it so I have plenty of fond memories. I got curious recently to see what happened that company, and the people involved, and if anyone else had purchased one of those scopes. I found a listing here of the company but unsurprisingly the company itself is no longer in existence. There are references also to a Mr John Braithwaite who was a director of that company, and may have been the person that actually made the scope. So, did anyone here have any experience of Solis Scientific and their telescopes, built in Scotland in the late '80s and early '90s?
  14. This is my realistic money-no-object scope: https://www.astromart.com/articles/article.asp?article_id=829 A 28" f/2.75 light bucket, no ladders, driven, artisan-level build quality, big-name optics. Plus, it would be transportable by myself thought I think I would need a small trailer. We can all dream!
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