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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. Yeah... Why did I have to pick such capital-intensive hobbies.. Mountain bike (XC/DH), kayaking, astronomy, PC gaming - and a new Covid hobby of Amateur Radio.. The ham radio stuff is nifty, and I've been licensed for only 3 months. But it can be a money sink as well.. A cheap good antenna is ~€500 (I got a Folding Antennas hexbeam, as well as a DX Commander, and an Aerial-51 807-HD, all antennas for different things), and 50m of very high quality coaxial cable like Messi&Paolini Hyperlex-10 to feed that antenna is €170 *for the cable alone*; and a proper high-end solidstate amplifier such as an SPE-Expert with 1.5kW (!!) output is near €5000.. and the radios themselves (new) vary between €500 and €10000. I'm also waiting for payday
  2. I'm actually the other way around for the advice. I got a UHC first, then an OIII. I based that decision on the knowledge that if I could only get one filter, I'd get the one that would give the best improvement on the most objects, and the Lumicon UHC fits that bill for me. I later got a Lumicon OIII secondhand at a really cheap price as it was degraded at the edge but pristine in the middle. The OIII definitely does give a darker background than the UHC, but I've preferred the view and the colouration in the UHC. I've also now got a H-Beta filter, but haven't used it that much. I found that UHC in a smaller scope gave more useful views, precisely as it dimmed the stars that bit less, and the OIII filter I had allowed a fair bit of red through to the eye. Then again my OIII filter is a degraded Lumicon that has the "rust" so it is fairly obvious that it's not performing at best. Still works very well, but better at small exit pupils <2mm as the degradation is only around the perimeter of the filter - hence why I still use it and have not consigned it to the scrapheap.
  3. As per the Calsky.com main page this evening: !CalSky.com - farewell. The service will be shut down in a few days. more I had been a subscriber since mid-2011, and I will miss the site and the services. A very tough decision to make. I can only wish the site admins and the site runners all of the best in the future endeavours.
  4. Oh I have a small stable of scopes as per my signature, the most commonly used one of late is the CPC800 that I resurrected from dead, that has corrosion on the tube and replacement mount PCBs due to water damage. About as grab and go as I need at the moment, optics are good enough in it. My 12" dob is in storage, and I have an 8" newt that comes out every so often. I'm not stuck for optical devices, just waiting on that replacement tube.
  5. The supply chain problems are painful enough, but it could always be worse. I have an open order with Teleskop Service for a replacement OTA tube from a 130mm apo. The tube was ordered in September 2019, and still has no visibility of having been built and shipped from China, it had a lead time of 6 months from last September.. (a cat knocked the OTA over when I had it objective down temporarily, landing on the focuser wheel, and the main tube <-> focuser adapter jumped two threads and effectively cold-welded the two components together. An engineering shop couldn't unscrew them, so only a replacement of the OTA main tube and that adapter could work. At least it would appear that the objective and focuser didn't get jarred too much. Been waiting now for well over a year to get that scope up and running, and Mars looks lovely right now..)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 4.7mm, 8.8mm, and 18mm eyepieces now sold, thank you Paul. 24mm and 31mm still available.
  11. 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..
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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!
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