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Everything posted by Synchronicity

  1. Are you planning to do imaging with the camera or is it more along the lines of an electronic viewfinder? Imaging needs low noise to allow faint signals to be brought out during post processing as well as low ISO to avoid saturation. If you want a decent live view then that's more along the lines of electronic assisted astronomy (EAA) which a number of people here do. The bottom line is that boosting the incoming signal will always boost the noise so you'll need to decide at what point that becomes unusable for you. I'd try with the camera that you have set to high ISO and see what you can achieve. If you can connect it to a laptop for live view that also opens up possibilities for taking the image for best performance. Michael
  2. Hi All Not directly astro related but I'm sure someone here will be using similar in controlling an observatory etc. I'm looking for some sort of input/output module that can be connected to my home alarm system and my network. I am installing/upgrading home security measures and as part of that I'd like to do some interfacing including, Activation of intruder alarm switches on external lights. Activation also notified to an app that alerts me on my mobile. Same as above for some cameras when motion is detected. Alarm activation triggers CCTV to send backups of recent video to cloud staorage I'm not sure how much could be done with simple interfaces and a PC left running to control and how much would need intelligent control like a Raspberry Pi or similar. So, can anyone suggest where I could buy such devices and perhaps point me in the direction of Pi, Arduino etc programing information? Thanks in advance Michael
  3. Regarding the settings for the mount etc, someone here suggested using an app called SynscanInit. This is the Android version but I think it comes Apple flavoured as well. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.RapidoDroid.synscaninit2&hl=en_GB This shows all of the settings as they should be enttered into the SynScan handset when setting up - it saves any confusion about timezones, DST etc. All the best Michael
  4. I used a small amount from one 20mm tube, having bought 3 just in case! PM me your address and I'll post one off to you. Michael
  5. I'd agree with that. I have an older EQ5 with the goto motors, bought used, and it has never been great. Last week I bit the bullet and stripped it down to components, cleaned everything and regreased. I got my first play with it last night and the differenvce is outstanding! I guided perfectly for 5 minutes at a time and could have tried for more but the images were washed out with light pollution. The picture is the Dec cog wheel as I started cleaning it. I used wooden toothpicks to clear the (144) teeth - it can't damage the metal and I would have felt any scratches or rough spots. I then used a toothbrush and Archoil AR4200 CLP Firearms Oil with soft cloths to finish the job. One word of warning about that Archoil. I'd used it based on a recomendation here or in another forum - can't remember. It is a very effective lubricant! The smooth face of the part in the photo is where the clutch grips when you tighten it. I didn't clean the Archoil off these faces and now my clutches don't grip very well! I'll probably need to strip it again to clean these faces ? All the best Michael
  6. From the surface of the asteroid Ryugu - BBC News article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45667350 Such incredible science and human ingenuity! Michael
  7. Hi Do you know if this would be suitable for a canon EOS 7D? I'll take it if it is, thanks. Michael
  8. FANTASTIC!!!!! This has brought back so many memories, mostly of swearing at the machine when I got killed but that's another story ?? Thank you - I'll let you know if I manage to get to level 2! Michael
  9. Not that anyone is bragging but I almost managed to code a working space invaders level in my 1k ZX81 I wish I'd stuck in at wasting my time writing games instead of working hard at my career - I might be a zillionaire by now ??? Michael
  10. What a fantastic project Magnus and a very interesting read. I absolutely understand your feelings of “getting there but not really learning the way”. I've bought a scope, camera, mount and downloaded a few bits of software and suddenly I'm able to take stunning images of galaxies, nebula etc. In a way I feel that the only 'skill' I need is in the image processing and I'm just starting to get to grips with that! Sometimes it feels like I'm cheating but other times I just feel amazed at what is possible and grateful to be able to do it! After all, no matter what we do in life we are using and building on the work of others. I can't remember who was quoted as saying "If you want to make a pizza from scratch you first have to create a universe" ? Thank you for taking the time to write this. I'd love to say that you have inspired me to do similar but I know I won't. I'll just keep standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before me and try to remember to learn the way and enjoy the journey at the same time. All the best Michael
  11. An interesting article from ESA "An out-of-this-world mobile observatory, developed in collaboration with Nissan Design Europe in London, UK, was unveiled at the 2018 Hannover Motor Show this week, proving that the sky is never the limit. " http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Welcome_to_ESA/Going_off-road_in_the_search_for_dark_skies Michael
  12. Another trick which is used by virtually every aircraft operator is to have a strip of cloth or ribbon attached to the mask, such that it is visible when it's in place. In aviation these identify covers etc which must be removed before flight, and the crew know how many they should have collected. Something like that, or your magnet can also be the trigger to do a checklist. When I remove the mask I always check...whatever. All the best Michael
  13. There's a price list here. https://www.micro-dehumidifier.com/products/price-list-rosahl-dehumidifiers/ Not too bad fr the smaller ones. Michael
  14. Hi All This project is being pushed by my OU course chairperson and since it is astro related I thought I'd post a link here. https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/ajnorton/superwasp-variable-stars/about/research Overview: SuperWASP Variable Stars Stars are the building blocks of the Universe and determining stellar parameters is a cornerstone of astrophysics. Variable stars are the key to this, as their time domain signal may be used to probe the dynamics or structure of a stellar system. The first step in such research is to identify and classify samples of variable stars, and that is the purpose of this project. Classification of periodic variable stars based on the shape of the photometric variability displayed in their folded lightcurves is not always a conclusive way of uniquely determining their type. However, it can at least give a good indication of the possible type and identify candidates that are suitable for follow-up investigations, often involving spectroscopy. SuperWASP is the Wide Angle Search for Planets, but the results it obtains also comprise a unique data set for exploring stellar variability. The SuperWASP stellar photometry archive is distinctive in two key ways. First, it is an all-sky survey (excluding only the Galactic plane) and so covers a homogenous sample of bright stars. Second, the lightcurves have both high cadence (many observations per night) and long baseline (spanning many years), so can be used to search for variability on all timescales from hours to years. The purpose of identifying and classifying periodic variable stars in the SuperWASP data is also twofold. The first purpose is to identify large catalogues of objects of a similar type which can then be studied en masse to determine characteristics of the population; and the second purpose is to identify rare objects displaying unusual behaviour, which can offer unique insights into stellar structure and evolution. All the best Michael
  15. My android phone often hangs at the 'recent activity' page and then throws an error about a script taking too long. I'll do a screenshot next time... Michael
  16. I've just ordered from https://www.efoam.co.uk/ they do all sorts of packing foam from 2mm to 50mm and will send you 3 samples for £5. I'll post in the forum when I get it. I'm putting it in some Really Useful Boxes for carrying my mount head, guidescope etc. Michael
  17. Thanks Vlaiv, well done - you get tonight's star prize!! The jpg is 2592 x 1728 and the raw is 5184 x 3456. I only started setting it to do jpgs when I want to try plate solving and I'll bet I have set it to a lower quality without thinking about the implications. I've learned a few things tonight! All the best Michael
  18. Thanks for the replies folks. All images sent to astrometry.net were JPGs straight out the camera taken alongside the CR2 raws by the canon utility so no binning or processing other than what the camera does to create them. I believe that the flattener is 1:1 but I can't find that information again ? Regarding measuring the imaging train I have to admit I measured to the end of the scope with the focusor set correctly and guestimated the flattener and camera combined length, so it is likely that I got that wrong and when I set everything up properly I'll find that it is 400mm. Sorry! Interestingly, the M31 image is 316 x 30s Canon CR2 raw images stacked in DSS and then basic processing in PI. Astrometry.net gives that Pixel scale: 2.149 arcsec/pixel which gives a focal length of 412 mm. I hadn't considered using that due to all the processing that's been done on the image. Could the Canon JPG algorithm be doing something that causes astrometry.net to misbehave? Thanks again Michael
  19. It started when I visited http://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/how-to-very-accurately-calculate-your-telescopes-effective-focal-length.html via a link in another thread. My scope is a Skywatcher Esprit 80 ED APO with a nominal focal length of 400mm. When I measure the focal train from the front of the lens cell to the sensor on my Canon EOS 7D it is about 370mm - fair enough as I assume the 400mm is through the visual focal train. When I ask Astronomy.net to solve my images it comes back with Pixel scale: 4.3 arcsec/pixel. When I put that and my camera pixel size (4.3 microns)into the calculations given on the website I get a focal length of 206 mm. When I try to solve an image with All Sky Plate Solver it fails and then pops open the Settings Assistant. When I go through the process it also comes back with the same 206 mm figure. I've posted below with my image of M31, the view in Stellarium with my settings in for the scope (370 mm) and sensor and the FLO astronomy.tools Field of View Simulator. All are similar to my eyes. The final image is Stellarium with the FL set to 206 mm but everything else as before. I am confused. There is obviously something that I'm not understanding - any help much appreciated! Michael
  20. Clear Outside said it was to be a clear night so I got set up and set about tonight's challenge - Polar Alignment. I've struggled to do this properly since I got the scope, lack of visibility of Polaris being the major issue as I set up close to my house facing south. I've now got the camera, mount and guide camera running through a USB hub and have managed to set up far enough from the house that I could see Polaris. It took me a while to find the star, and longer to convince myself that I was looking in the right place. Looking at the image in the finder scope didn't work for me as I'm looking over the city of Glasgow but once I had spotted it I was able to roughly align it by sighting along the side then top of the scope, and then centre it in the camera frame. Once this was done the final adjustments in the finder scope were a breeze. What a difference that has made! I've thought I was very close before but the goto proved me wrong every time as it never reliably switched between targets. Like most things, it'll be easier to do in the future now that I've done it correctly. There's no substitute for practice! This is a good example of why it is so important to stick to the basics and keep it simple.
  21. I have to say that it is the smoooothest car I've ever driven. It goes from rest to motorway speed with none of the 'steps' that are common in automatics. Mine is 4 years old, and I doubt I could afford to replace it with a new one, especially as I'm trying to persuade my 'head of finance' that we should get a motorhome so that we can do some touring (and I can get a heat and a cup of tea in remote places while the scope gathers photons for me to play with) ? ?? Michael
  22. I hadn't considered a 12v charger for the laptop and to be honest I'm a bit wary. My last laptop died with failure of the motherboard power circuits - 2 years old and not worth repairing ?? I'll have a look around and see what's available. I'll need to check if the power cuts off after a time - I think one of the ports stays on permanently but I'm not certain... Michael
  23. Its a Mitsubishi Outlander, 30 miles on battery but that's not really important. Using any car as a power source is perfectly safe as long as you know how long you can go before having to start the engine to recharge the battery. Michael
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