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About Macavity

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    Main Sequence
  1. Macavity

    Roll on summer

    A "modest" setup time involved? But accordingly, I am impressed! Much as I am with ALL "Solarites" who persist at this time... Gotta get going again on this ... No excuses!
  2. Macavity

    R.I.P Opportunity

    RIP! I always like the occasional "selfie" pictures of these... Do I see the odd cable tie... a touch of "Heath Robinson"? Such things make them endearing... "Absent Friends"!
  3. Macavity

    Lunt 50 or Quark with ED 80?

    People make significantly large Objective aperture Solar Scopes with (lesser) aperture ERF filters at intermediate distances downstream in the optics. One sees custom skeleton designs and solid OTAs with (hinged) access panels etc. SAFETY is paramount. Common sense prevails? Commercial Solar Scopes use the idea of *reasonable* reduction in light cone plus *pukka* ERFs. I sense it is "differential heating" that endangers solar filters? Cracks glass... and worse. Me? OK with DIY scopes for Solar imaging. I use commercial ones for visuals.
  4. Macavity

    Observatory repairs and re-conditioning

    This seems to work for me. Since my gutter had to be in two parts (for the roll off!) I added load-balancing pipes / mini-water butts. The "standard" sized (fixed) hopper may work to advantage in "catching the drips"? (Anyway, for fellow gutter nerds!) The felt roof comes about 1/3 way over the 3" guttering. If anything, the water drip seems to follow the edge of the felt - Around & under rather than "flying off"?!?! All I need is an EPDM roofer? The "budget" roofing felt is completely SHOT now! P.S. An additional "discovery" was light weight UPVC Fascia boards... sold on Ebay.
  5. Macavity

    Observatory repairs and re-conditioning

    I went with Mini-Guttering... as used on Greenhouses etc. ISTR not THAT easy to find. I seem to remember the blighters supplier charged £20+ P&P on the smallest parts? Couldn't find all the "gutter bits", but found standard-to-mini (50mm pipe) adapters. I too *calculate* "water volume" in worst case (e.g. Wales!) rainfall scenario? And so far No Probs! After all my efforts my (idiot) neighbour still blames my *little* observatory for long-term dampness in his adjoining garage! Aside: Dread Summer... He plans to "spin out" the mortar with angle grinder to repoint his garage and "dig a trench" on (historically) my property! May have to enlist "officialdom" to stop it? All I want is a bit peace/rest too?
  6. Macavity

    Valentine's Day clear skies

    Yes, I noted the (supposed) clear skies on Thurs-Fri... Could this be a taste of Spring (is in the air)? Worked outside in short sleeves yesterday! Bound to throw a spanner in the works.
  7. To first approximation OIII looks Blue-Green... and the other two look "Red"... When you look through them... in daylight! [teasing] But a common enough dilemma? Not a "classical" imager... I use labeled SLIDE filters... I still forget! P.S. I thought I might be able... but couldn't... distinguish the red filters by eye. Some variant on Testing via known targets (as above)? I agree with above!
  8. Macavity

    Lunt 50 or Quark with ED 80?

    I found the Lunt 50 an excellent introduction to Solar Astronomy. But then I am not a visual observer. At the maximum of my budget I did become aware of it's aperture limitations and (to some) mechanical frustrations. Most people seem to "plump" for a Lunt 60 anyways... With the (apparently now) reliability & consistency of Quarks there is a serious alternative? For imaging, I began to crave larger apertures... longer focal length, greater magnification! Sadly the price of larger aperture Lunt Scope increases exponentially! But, for those "stuck" with a humble Lunt 50... Tech savvy... SAFETY conscious, I commend learning about the joy of Frankenscopes. Give those annoying "Quark Folk" something to think about! [teasing] As noted above, we are currently stuck (for the moment anyway) around Solar Minimum.
  9. I live in an area that (despite the rumours) is *relatively* crime free. With a little ingenuity, protecting e.g. tripods against (casual) theft, seems a real possibility? Whatever, I have devised extra obstacles to less determined "non-professional" criminals? A few extra HOLES in metal things... Add Heavy Chains... Padlocks? I suppose if "Bad people" come equipped with Angle Grinders, Bolt Cutters etc., I will be heartbroken to lose (my precious) few £100's of "scrap metal" at most? (The Telescopes and "Optics" live indoors with me at all non-observing time!) I AGREE that a potential enemy is "careless talk"? According to ONE neigbour I have "Thousands of pounds worth" in my Shed... I'm also a Secret Millionaire? (Seriously, if I had a *tiny* fraction of the stealable wealth of such speculation!)
  10. Another vote for "We will never know". It is intriguing that some scientists calculated stuff... wrote PAPERS about the "anomalous acceleration" etc. The perennial difficulty for science... people expect things to 100% certain?
  11. Macavity

    Widefield Orion

    Great stuff! For me, widefield seems one of the more accessible areas of imaging. Since I last tried to image Orion etc., our orange streetlights became white LEDs. I still have hopes my Baader UHC may have some effect... as the Astronik CLS. Bortle worse here? A lot more "gradient" too. The "settings" info very useful too. But your images are a delight / encouragement anyway!
  12. Sometimes I wish all UK properties came with standard default 2m fences! The ability of neighbours to create *some* kind of controversy over minor things (including the stuff they don't tell you, but do tell everyone else!) seems semi-infinite? Sometimes I miss living abroad: They had LAWS re. the very minutia of life... but at least there was no arguments over stuff. P.S. My neighbour who "never does any gardening" has the contractors in the other day... Took down a 40' conifer tree... Suddenly I actually HAVE a Western Horizon!!!
  13. Macavity

    Am I a cheat? A question of morals.

    Apologies for selective quoting. But I share your circumspection... Spirit of inquiry? There is a LOT of discussion on how to represent scientific colour on e.g. a WEB page? My general conclusion is that it is "non-trivial", as those scientists are wont to say... I do think we (happily) deal in qualitative... rather than quantitative results (mostly)?
  14. Never used to bother me... If a neighbour spotted me "out observing" they had all been ALERTED that this is just a totally innocent hobby! I have "shared" re. a "stalker neighbour" who *watches* me 24/7 (sic). Also grateful for the understanding and support from SGL members... HIS house now seems to be "sold" (after years on the market). Today I saw him taking out the microwave to the car. I still have real hope! I used to have an immediate neighbour who used to lean out of his bathroom window to watch me at 4 a.m? I used to say "Hi"... But he would just GRIN at me -- As he took a *toke* on his cigarette?!? lol
  15. Macavity

    Am I a cheat? A question of morals.

    I think, from a "philosophical" viewpoint, the hardware selection and (software) pre/post-processing of scientific data are ALL legitimate. It is considered good practice to show/describe your methodology? Hmmm... The whole of Particle Physics in just one plot? lol. But analogous to polynomial gradient subtraction in Astro imaging. Perhaps it is harder for Amateur Astronomy where the *diversity* of methods is inherently large and individual. But then conventions do exist... like the "Hubble Pallet" (which I personally don't like, but... )! P.S. The above is purely conversational... and a personal reflection? No one should FAKE data, but accusing people of "cheating", if it is simply presenting a *pleasing* image, seems a bit extreme to me...

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