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Macavity

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Everything posted by Macavity

  1. I suppose John & Yoko stayed in bed for PEACE? (Accompanied by "half the world's press" IIRC! lol) Back in the time of Bed-ins... (Astro) Shed-ins?!?! Hope you can get back to the latter soon!
  2. Thanks, Mike. Might just get these ideas going again! Since I have the "Mark I", I might buy bigger/better... https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B089D82D44/ The "upgraded" ones seem to work upto 1.5GHz?!? Got quite interested in making / measuring antennas. "Saw a bit off" a 23cm Yagi for a first look 21cm? lol.
  3. Heheh - I think I'll get out toolset (hacksaw) and use the external white stick "Radome" and ground plane unit for some DIY project or other! Bought partly "with a mind to"! There do seems to be quite a few FAKE Diamonds. The genuine item works rather well. Unfortunately, my (slow and steady!) "get a feel for the technology" Radio Astronomy, got "shelved" due to Covid. But some (hopefully OK!) general Ham/SWL questions: <Thinks> "White Stick" antennae are tuned vertical co-linears or off-centre dipoles?!? Thus are vertically polarised?!? Most (UHF) activity would be horizontally polarised? The 2m & 70cm bands are fairly well populated by direct/repeater Radio Amateurs. Has anyone with an SDR (like my RSP1A) heard *anything* above the 70cm band* ??? Obviously(!) location (or proximity to a repeater!) plays a big part... but maybe 23cm? This N.Wales QTH is around 200m asl. I think I might yet buy a modest multi-element 23cm YAGI and point it at Liverpool and Manchester (They are only degrees apart!)... Might even put it on my HEQ5 (Add my NoElec pre-amp) point it at the Moon/Sun?
  4. Heheh. What's QUITE (sic) scary is that no Professional Scientist has ever indentified themselves as an [SGL] Amateur Astronomer? For the life of me, I cannot think why... Without much effort I did spot one subtly different version - albeit in the Daily Mail. "Planets are usually in opposition for a very short length of time but, during that time, they are visible to the naked eye, Lanigan said". I'd say there is reasonable doubt (what she said!), as they say in court room dramas... Were she "famous", she could claim she "miss-spoke" or rail against Twitter wordcount. In the histrionic style of Chris Crocker (qv) "LEAVE BRITTNEY (Oops Briony!) ALONE! I see "Young Briony" (An appeal to the emotions!) is a low-paid(?) "Publicity Assistant" at RGO? She has a Degree in "Quantum Computing" (Thesis Title I didn't understand!) She gives (substitute) talks at local Astro Socs. on a subject she loves? A Good Egg! For reasons I won't detail, I lost my LOVE of "Helping People" in Professional Science. I found a genuine kindred spirit in "grass roots" local Astronomy meetings... As to SOME Amateur Astronomers... a little humility maybe?
  5. For completeness... AND since my memory returned. lol! The more affordable MAKs were marketed as "Ylena" - With some link... with the Intes line? https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/intes-micro-telescopes.html Optics notwithstanding, I love the clean / elegant look.
  6. Too true, Roy! It is commonly held that "sub-editors" are responsible for a lot of incorrect/sensational additions to articles on things, I/we know stuff about.
  7. Should've asked a 16 cent. Court... Astronomer? Pretty hot on Plantary Aspects and the like... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee If your "head" depended...
  8. Sensing that *some* of you might be into (more general!) "radio stuff" just put one of those Diamond "white stick" CLONES through its paces. Yes, really was "as bad as rumoured"? Little evidence of good in-band resonances and/or SWRs greater than SIX?!? (Sadder, but wiser etc.) BUT I see they have bigger/better versions of my Network Analyser. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B089D82D44/ The smaller NanoVNA's are also very useful. Better to know the truth? Might even buy/make something like THIS (smaller!) "for experiment"... [teasing] But will it fit on my HEQ5? Gotta love such things anyway? https://www.antennas-amplifiers.com/1296mhz-largest-yagi-antenna-low-noise-eme-23cm
  9. (If I'd had the money) Was tempted by a... ("Little Sibling" of Intes?) 7" MAK. Quoting the (measured) optical performance of such scopes appealed too? (On paper, anyway, quite a bit better than some popular SCTs).
  10. Planning ahead? A "stranger" hailed me, during my morning walk, with: "Still doing your Astronomy?" (Who ARE these people?!?) I find myself (hopefully white?) lying more now. Hope remains!
  11. Imaging with Public/Remote telescopes? Do I sense a controversy? But seriously: Anyone admit to having/wanting a go with such things? But I could see good use for such things. One might hone one's image processing skills... Image fainter (less-popular) objects... with a MUCH larger telescope than I (mere mortals) could ever dream of owning. I (many others) gave up on the "back garden LHC" project after all!
  12. I must admit that I cheated! Having slewed via GoTo on monitor screen (and imaged) Neptune - Using Video Astronomy via my 8" f/4 Newt... I CAREFULLY removed the camera and inserted a low power eyepiece. Neptune was pretty distinctive, as a lovely Blue "Star"! Of course, trying to go to higher Mag, I "bumped" the scope... Never found it again!
  13. During my morning walk (06:00!), I started to ponder the wider questions... How many people still do (any) Astronomy? Do people still have Hobbies? But for the fact I have come to know folks from the local Amateur Astronomy community, one could easily assume (asking neighbours etc.) that FEW people had any hobbies at all! Not to mention the rise of... "anti-science" rehetoric. (This is, dare I suggest, dependent quite a lot on the local demographic too.) Whereas I acknowledge the *stimulating* aspect of comparing the *virtues* (hopefully!) of various sub-types of Astronomy, we may be "Balkanising" it out of existence? c.f. "talking about" (STEM publicising?) versus doing too? There's nothing quite like F2F meetings with folk who like/do your hobbies.
  14. I started to made a determined effort to introduce more Visual Observing into my repertoire! But then my health took a few hits... then "Pandemic" happened. When I started Astronomy (late 60's) part of the problem was obtaining a real telescope at "pocket money" prices? I then had to concentrate on Uni... Job etc. I gave up Astronomy in the early 70s. Only to be surprised it still existed c.2000. Suddenly, I discovered I could actually afford a (much fabled) 3" Refractor - Actually an ST102! But I still felt a little underwhelmed by views I obtained. N.B. I was aware that this could well be related to my lack of skills / patience... I then fell deeply in love with (early integrating Cam) VIDEO Astronomy. I was always a bit wary (doubtless unfairly) of traditional imaging as a bit elitist... competitive? [teasing] But then I discovered Solar Imaging! I hope to try a bit of Radio Astronomy? "Jack of All trades - Master of None"! I suppose the only thing that depresses me is seeing one or two other Astronomers "giving up" totally. Such things also cross my mind too... Who knows, if spared, I can always try the "Remote Telescope" thing?
  15. As we become accustomed to "Rockets" etc. landing back on terra ferma, those with a long memories may recall the sinking of NASA's Mercury Capsule. https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/with-every-splashdown-nasa-embraces-the-legacy-of-gus-grissom/ I was not eg. aware they had recovered the "Liberty Bell" from 4.6km seas. The account above shows that events may not have been so cut & dried? Either way, and SADLY, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, was to later perish (along with Astronauts Roger B. Chaffee & Edward H. White) in the Apollo I fire.
  16. Hmmm... My Grinding Wheel seems to have disappeared somewhere. Ah, Pete: Pretty much what my friend said! Made a horizontal drill stand. I use it to grind the end of misc. stuff flat... It could be adapted work! In case anyone wonders, The Wolf "Drill Clamp" is the important bit... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolfcraft-6152000-Drill-Euronorm-collar/dp/B0012B5RMM/ If Covid "lasts" much longer, I'll be knitting my OWN Socks!
  17. I have a [IMO] nice set of Drill Bits... 1-10mm in 0.5mm increments. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Milwaukee-4932352374-Drill-Set/dp/B009PV27G0/ But, as ever, some sizes come in for more use... and become blunt. I was told, by my Engineering mate: "You can sharpen drills EASILY"! I guess THIS is the way!?! Intrigued if this looks good to you guys?
  18. Immortality or (personal) mortality? lol. But I do e.g. lament not seeing "anticipated" stuff in my lifetime". <Thinks> One of the things I DO enjoy... "Control Room moments" - When they "fixed" the Hubble scope? I appreciate the JOY, when stuff you made, 10 years ago, LANDS (does not crash!) a few 100M miles away! But then a few bods, staring at an oscilloscope trace, in the wee small hours (to avoid the "tourists". lol) can also be QUITE fun. Not quite as much "Fist Pumping" and "Manly (mostly!) Hugging"... But still...
  19. My emotional reaction to such things varies! Sometimes, my "That's nice (dear)?" may even disgust those who (apparently) see... (Scientific) "Wunderz" all around them?!? That said, I once slid back my obsy roof, did my check on the "limiting magnitudes"... TWO HOURS later I had forgotten to set up my (Video) imaging setup... So *LOST* was in the simple beauty of the (unenhanced) night sky. (Just not every time! lol) I think it really GREAT when people are excited by (science) things! But sometimes when I hear the "I'm so small" litany, I start thinking: And I'm so tall, I'm so tall You raise me and then you let me fall And I'm so small, I'm so small Wrap me around your finger, see me fall Maybe my transcendentalism(?) is obscured by this Blancmange (sic!) stuff? lol I would like to stress [IMO] ALL such reactions/experiences are *fine* by me!
  20. Haven't tried PIPP. ISTR I settled on using ImPPG for alignment? It's a LOT better (less tedious) than doing such things by hand! I then create my animated .gifs using GIMP? (It's been a while!) I appreciate it can be frustrating not to answer questions too...
  21. Are we (inadvertently) populating Mars? Sometimes I wonder... Anyone who has worked with "radiation" / ultra clean stuff / etc. must feel that masks and gloves etc. are only "best efforts"?!? https://www.wired.com/story/sneaky-new-bacteria-on-the-iss-could-build-a-future-on-mars/?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB Full read here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.639396/full Aside: I felt "gutted" when Cassini burned up -- Probably for the best? P.S. Don't have COVID nightmares! Just recalling *happy* times when, as a "Chemist", I ended up pockmarked by "HIGHLY coloured" *dust* or made a compound that *stank* of MICE... Throughout the building!
  22. Jim - At the risk of embarrassment, you seem a really KEWL teacher to me! But then a good *practical* project still has the possibility to inspire me... Who knows? I may yet resurrect this project. So many ideas... so little time? Aside: I often think about the HUGE role of Teaching, "public engagement" etc. Sometimes I play a role of comedy straight man... agent provocateur to FLUSH out experts? (Post above implied nothing particularly re. anyone here!)
  23. Before the Pandemic (B.P?) I was doing a few tentative experiments at that sort of frequency (actually 23cm amateur band) using a wideband Discone antenna. I did get as far as buying a wideband Noelec Preamp --- That seems to work... But then work kinda stopped owing to a general concern re. high ladders! lol Were I looking at H-line, I'd be thinking (easily available) "Sawbird" Preamp? https://www.amazon.co.uk/NooElec-SAWbird-H1-Applications-Frequency/dp/B07XPV9RX2/ At 21cm, there is a need for even MORE (wideband) RF gain in the system?!? There are a number of ideas that have seemed to work for other people e.g. https://physicsopenlab.org/2020/07/26/sdr-based-receiver-for-the-21-cm-neutral-hydrogen-line/ I was just experimenting with an SDRUno as a receiver (+ software). As ever I sense there is real SGL expertise on such things... which will arrive shortly?
  24. A couple of images from a while back... Uranus + Satellites over three successive nights: Neptune + Triton (centre frame) against Stellar background. Worth a go at KBO's maybe? Pluto is only a *couple* of magnitudes fainter than e.g. Triton. But probably not too "well placed" just now...
  25. The boot could be on the other foot? lol. Re. anthropomorphisation: In the late 60's, child-friendly (back then, me!) articles considered methods of communicating with aliens!?! Arrange SMELLY (Suphur based lifeforms?) Onions like well-known constellations? (It was acknowledged Aliens might be from "much further away" though!). Stephen Wolfram speculated that we may not even be able to even *recognise* aliens - If we restrict them to being "like" us. Others say "they" may already be (or have been!) here? Maybe not quite the (contemporary) "VIRUS in my PC", but the general idea rather resonates with me? If contacted, "Keep Schtum"!?! Who wants to end up a Zoo Specimen (if indeed that)?
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