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Posts posted by TopHouse

  1. Have you tried doing a CClean on it?

    link here, it's dead easy to use and cleans the rubbish off your machine :-

    CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

    Next, because a virus scan doesn't show anything, doesn't mean there's nothing there. download and run spybot S&D on the machine :-

    The home of Spybot-S&D!

    If all the above reveals nothing obvious, my 2 guesses are a memory module going U/S or hard drive.

    If you right click "my computer" and select "properties", is it showing the correct ram for what's installed?

    Do you feel confident in opening the trapdoor and removing one memory module, testing to see if it's right, if not swap the memory module you removed for one still in situ and test again, ie, if you try each module on it's own, if the problem is still there, it's rare for more than one module to fail.

    Have you defragged the hard drive? How much free space is on it, if theres very little free space on a HD it gets VERY slow.

    Try finding a cheap HD on ebay, try it in the machine, if that fixes it, fine, if not, just ebay the HD for whatever you paid for it.

  2. Maybe I've got this wrong, but all that seems like a lot of trouble to go to. Correct me if I'm wrong but :-

    True north is the center of a circle that polaris 'orbits'

    The circle is reproduced in your polar scope

    No matter where you move the mount RA, the center of that circle in your polar scope remains the center (as long as the reticule is centered properly)


    If you use polarfinder (software) which prints a circle, with the position of which part of that circle polaris should be at, and look through your polar scope, and make your view the same as the pic, then surely, no matter where you move RA, polaris will STILL be at that point in the circle. Only the constellation pictures on the outside of the circle will change which isn't important.

    Or am I missing something, because that's how I do it and I'm quite happy with my tracking, even such as Jupiter at high mag stays in view nicely.

  3. Another quick bit of info, if you're planning on going the webcam route and are thinking of adding an IR Cut filter, which in my view is a necessity, seriously consider buying the new baader neodynium as this has now been updated and incorporates IR block as well as LP/contrast benefits.

    Haven't tried one but it sounds like it can only be a benefit and technically, you are getting two filters in one.

    Details here :-

    Baader Neodymium and IR Cut Filter 1.25 in | Telescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics

  4. My nice new tal 3x barlow arrived today, apologies in advance for the increase in cloud. First impressions before use.. Holy Bulletproof Batman!! They're built like a tank! very solid construction, note to self, don't wear sandals when using this!

    Strangely, the area around the lens on the end opposite the eyepiece/camera hole is shiny silver, I would have expected it to be black, anyone know the pros/cons of the reflectivity of the metal surrounding the lens?

    Have to say I'm really looking forward to plugging my toucam into this, I'll post images when I take them but for build quality I don't think it can be knocked at all (even with a brick!)

  5. I can feel a brainiac come mythbusters coming on... Next decent chance I get, I'll try 4 avi's 1 in colour (standard mode) without red filter, one in same mode 'with' red filter, one with cam in mono mode with red filter, and one in standard mode with red filter but desaturated after processing. Then I'll put them all up. You don't get nowhere if you don't give it a try. ;)

    I can do science me!

  6. The normal ratio for 'standard' concrete, ie house bases etc is 123 thats 1 cement, 2 sand, 3 stone. You want concreting sand not builders sand, some call it sharp sand, others call it grit sand and others call it 'river sand. But if you tell builders it's for concrete, they'll know what you mean.

    the 1 2 3 can be shovels, buckets, or whatever else you have to hand (I've always used shovels) renting a mixer is best advised as if you're not used to hand mixing it's a chore!

    Measure ingredients first, then dry mix THOROUGHLY before adding water, advice re consistency above is good. Now when you have your hole full, get a stick that will go all the way to the bottom and keep pushing it in and out as you work around the hole, this agitates the concrete and removes bubbles.

    Then level it up and leave, if it looks like rain, sheet over it, no danger of frost this time of year so no worries there.

  7. OK, since lunar doesn't really benefit from being imaged in colour, I'm going to have a go in mono with my toucam. I have however ordered a wratten dark red filter as i know mono lunars benefit from it, BUT

    DAFT IDEA (maybe)

    If imaging in mono, would it benefit me much to flash the camera (it's a toucam already firmware flashed to spc900) with the mono firmware that's available, ie does doing that convert the colour pixels in the ccd to mono, giving a higher mono resolution?

    In effect, would it be worth flashing the camera for a lunar session and then flashing back to the colour version when done?

  8. Having a play with Avistack but having a couple of issues, firstly I find it doesn't like yuy2 at all, with YUY2, it does the first sweep of the file, (alignment) then it crashes with a failure in ksgravi.dll. So, I ran my video through vitualdub and did the save as avi, then avistack ran it. This is my first ever go with avistack and it does seem to show promise, but something I cant find is the equivalent of Registack's RGB align option to remove the blue/red edging on planetary, does it have one?


    9.30 it was crystal clear, moon was rising, no halo, just lovely and clear and clean, I gave it half an hour or so, started to set up, moon was steadily rising, levelled mount, put scope on, took my time, trailed extension outside, got the lappy, plugged in and ready to go, moon still looking great, jupiter rising nicely, did about 10 minutes observing on Jupiter, then autofocuser packed up! It still works but only at full speed, the speed controller stopped working, no worries, can still cope, plugged in a barlow, put the web cam in, launched the software, looked up, where's jupe gone? For that matter where'd the moon go?

    That flaming cloud is faster than, well, a fast thing! I stood there dawdling for another hour, not a single sight of jupe or moon! I knew I shouldn't have listened to you!

  10. Its going to clear gradually accross most of the UK tonight. There is a band of cloud streaching EW accross the midlands but even this will break with time..

    Then a washout tommorrow but pretty good again in most places over the weekend...

    You sound just like Michael Fish!

    No hurricanes then?

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