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About Macavity

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  1. USB Hub - Recommendations

    You never know when you might need a couple of extra ports? (They seem to come in a minimum of four ports generally now!) FWIW, I have used USB2.0 Hubs (of "industrial" & desktop grade) made by Startech and bought from Amazon. They work for me. But always good to check the individual reviews of such things?
  2. I love my MAK150. Back in the day, Maks were often dismissed as "planetary only" but it is mostly a matter of focal length. <wink> I actually do find a MAK150 to be surprisingly general purpose... More like a "Big Mak 127" than e.g. a Mak 180... In days before I switched to 8" Fast Newts (and Video Astronomy), my Mak 150 gave me a first "proper" view of Galaxies + a use for a Baader 31mm Aspheric! It now has a Baader Monorail Focusser and (recently) a budget Flip mirror too... Hoping to do a bit of Planetary Imaging again with the (G)old thing. AND moved (back, if not retrograde!) to giving Visual Astronomy "another go"... via Sky Tee as a Dual mount with Mak + "some" Frac!?!? Indeed, an inspiring / fun review.
  3. Query about Skytee 2

    "Plus one" re. ADM saddles etc. Sadly, I sold a pillar extension, but like @John mount, would probably find it useful now! If you didn't quite line up two scopes perfectly with added holes / need EXTRA accuracy, a Skywatcher "Guide Scope Mount" can be useful! https://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/skywatcher-guidescope-mount.html In principal you could keep on adding ever more telescopes (OK, Not really... But lol) I do casually wonder if anyone has ever found a source of extra "Weight Bars"? ISTR they are the same as the bar used on the EQ3-2? They have an M18(?) thread, IIRC...
  4. 90 v 102 mak

    Focal reducers work well for imaging... and to some extent visually... Say with short focal length eyepieces. But, if you are looking e.g. to increase the field of view of the MAK, using a FR plus say (already) longer focal length e.p., sadly NOT too well. I.E. "No free lunches"! Best to just see a Mak as a (relatively) long focal length scope and limit yourself to maximum 30mm standard (or "wide angle"?) e.p's. If you need wide fields, go back to short focal length refractor etc.
  5. 90 v 102 mak

    I once had a MAK 90... It was perhaps the "sharpest" scope I ever owned? You could use ludicrous magnifications... until, eventually, it "ran out of light". So I upgraded to a MAK127 and (eventually) a MAK150... I like my MAKs! But inevitable they became *heavier* and less portable! I did often wonder about the MAK102. I might have been the "compromise" I (at that time) needed. As an interesting thought it is NOTED that the "back end" of the 102 MAK has sufficient room for the fable Baader T2 Diagonal (I do use that!) which supports many 2" eyepieces and accessories. A decent (Solid screw on T2!) diagonal can make all the difference with these small(er) MAKs I have always found... https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p605_Baader-T2-diagonal-prism-90----dual-T2-connection---short-back-f.html
  6. Idea for "Low Profile" headers! Arduino etc.

    I think my point was that most of the readily available headers do NOT have pins that are long enough on BOTH sides of the right angle bend to work effectively... Certainly ONE of the above seems to suffer from that very pathology, but Hey!
  7. To be strictly correct, I recall that you would have to measure from the rear nodal point ?!? Recalling Dad's 50's Photography manual... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_point_(optics)#Nodal_points The latter would probably have to be determined "by experiment"?
  8. Idea for "Low Profile" headers! Arduino etc.

    @GinaSometimes genius -- Sometimes chance? lol Or should I say "Serendipity" Dog|Cat? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Tom_(TV_series) (So obscure, even I had to look it up!) Having to read out a LOT of switches (toggle and rotary!) worried me... re. de-bouncing etc. But the inherently slower nature of Analog Reads (paradoxically) helped a lot. Just read them all twice - At the beginning & end of the "loop"! If the values change by more than "a bit"? @saacGood luck with your (splendid) project, Jim! After years not doing amateur electronics (far before / long after the current miniaturisation!) it is pleasant / surprising to see there are still such possibilities? lol! As ever a personal challenging is moving beyond "the prototype" The "connection dilemma" remains a perennial? All I need now is a hot Glue Gun to fix my wires / connections in place! Youngster use them often? But that delight I have yet to try. If any of your "students" use standard (push-in) "Prototype Boards" the following is a source of rather nice (double sided solder) boards to make any of their projects more permanent: https://thepihut.com/products/adafruit-perma-proto-half-sized-breadboard-pcb-single etc. P.S. Came across cheaper (working!) Velleman Arduinos clones should yours "start breeding"! http://cpc.farnell.com/velleman-kit/vma100/microcontroller-arduino-uno-compatible/dp/SC14388 http://cpc.farnell.com/velleman-kit/vma101/microcontroller-arduino-mega-compatible/dp/SC14389
  9. Idea for "Low Profile" headers! Arduino etc.

    My TALENTS are clearly wasted on you lot! lol. Maybe Gina will arrive at some stage, later on...
  10. A good idea that "came to me in a flash"! OK, I may not be first but... The perennial issue I have with making (final boxing-up of!) Arduino etc. prototypes is getting wires to fit vertical dimensions of smaller boxes! Bending wires close to headers never seem to be very convincing and notably when you start to use (stack) SHIELDS, the "sky" is the limit! Putting a right angle bend in "shield-type" headers is NOT very robust? Genuine pre-made *right angle* headers don't have long enough legs! Then it came to me: If you want to interface a TWO row female headers buy a THREE row right angle header -- snip off / carefully(!) pull out the most bent row: You can now push the remaining longer pins into the Arduino header! (It also works quite well for TWO to ONE row header convertors) As another TIP: If you use an Arduino shield, check if it is *really* to connect ALL the Arduino pins to the shield. Often NOT! You can then slip a "low-profile" header between the Arduino and shield. My "Current Record" so far! An Arduino MEGA with (Mayhew) 48 Chan Analogue OR Digital Multiplexer... Standard 32 Channels of Digital I/O, Four Serial I/O Channels... Additional pins for I2C / SPI etc. etc. The whole setup (Around 90 inputs!) can still read at about 5Hz! P.S. And finally (lol): If you start running short of Digital inputs, it is always worth considering using an Analog Input and connecting e.g. a series of buttons, switches etc. via a "resistor ladder" etc.
  11. Where to start, first image ?

    You have the makings of a GREAT White Light Solar imaging setup there... I say that, 'cos it is almost exactly the one I use for the purpose myself! It goes without saying you use *proper* SOLAR white light filtering + view / image ONLY via the Lunt Wedge (Obligatory stuff!) right? FWIW, I have an Altair Astro 66mm ED, which has f/400... rather than f/360mm, like your WO 61? (More anon re. the latter difference?!?) I also use the excellent Lunt Solar Wedge! My mount is indeed an HEQ5 and I use EQMod for all (day or night!) tracking / finding / observing / imaging. It "works for me" as they say! Data Acquisition software is the first thing?!? I use the ever popular Firecapture with my ASI120MM. My USB2 Netbook runs at about 18fps and I generally give White Light images about 2 min. of Video recording time -- About 2000 events to Stack. I use Autostakkert for stacking, post-process via Registax6, GIMP etc. There are a few potential "Gotchas", but the great thing to do is to TRY it out! For what it's worth (and from memory!): You may find the ASI120MM a bit too sensitive for solar imaging - Particularly with the Solar Wedge! I plan to invest on a polarising Filter for VISUAL work (I to do very little myself) at some stage. BUT for imaging I find either a Baader ND 2.0 Filter "about right" (plain White Light) OR the Baader Solar Continuum for "more contrast" at similar exposure! Your f/360mm should allow you to *FIT* a FULL Disk on an ASI120MM chip... If not, I have some ideas (and use) a typical 0.5x focal reducer to GET it to! I find the scope aperture plus "local seeing" allows me to Barlow the image by about 3x for closeups of (Not so many! lol) Sunspots. I use the Antares "Twist Lock" series, but let me not stifle your own creativity further? Have Fun etc.
  12. Of all DSOs my favourite (unlike too many others) are Open Clusters! AND also stellar Asterisms! Prompted by another thread that teased(!) re. non-interest of a "random piece of sky", I noted (as ever) that a lot of mid-distant stars (as ever!) formed intriguing groups and CHAINS! I suppose the classic is "Kemble's Cascade". What are the odds of that? I suppose that is the miracle of chance, coupled with my human trait to "find patterns everywhere"! But I wonder if some of are associated... I suppose someone / somewhere / professional will have studied this! But I sense that real life "random" star fields are more interesting than random (computer generated) random ones"? But I may be wrong!
  13. White light vs H alpha ?

    In my simplistic way, I see White Light as a bit like looking at the "surface" (Photosphere) of the sun and H-Alpha a bit like looking at the "atmosphere" (Chromosphere) of the sun. CaK & HA show different heights in the latter.
  14. John Young

    A long and illustrious life. RIP. Not without a sense of humour though... There is a Youtube Video where he is warned of being on "Hot Mic" while referring to the unwelcome nature of "flatulence" in space (suites?). "Swears off" Citrus Fruit etc! Perhaps the origins of a contemporary phrase? To the question: "Shouldn't the first Columbia flight be flown by "remote control or a CHIMP(!)"? He allegedly quipped that he was "Quite partial to Bananas..." [as well]?
  15. OTOH, there are/were things called "Books" which people read before they took the significant step of buying stuff? (Or beginning any hobby?) Arguably things have never been *better* for "finding out about stuff" via the Interweb (SGL). Waiting for the Loud Condemnation (and maybe fairly so!) on that one? But I started out with the dreaded 60's 30x30 refractor and managed to get SOME useful experience... Not least learning why it was NOT ideal for the purpose... <gripe> I once sold an almost new EQ3-2 to a bloke "on recommendation" from from *another* Astronomer. He had been "sold" the most awful HEAVY 6" Newt "out of the Ark" seemingly! Still beat me down from £80 to £50 and I also threw in about £40 of stuff (for free) plus two hours of advice. It also became clear to me that the bloke had zero aptitude / patience for "technical stuff". Despite his talents as an "Internet Entrepreneur" and "Entertainments Manager" etc. etc. No one want to see vulnerable people ripped-off! But life is a harsh teacher...