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About Astro-Geek

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    Proto Star

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    Norfolk, UK
  1. Absolutely no need for apologies Steve. They were very small bags, (as the dessicant cap easily holds three of them), so I should have done it in 30 second bursts max. As I say my microwave is a really cheapo Tesco one, £29.99 about 10 years ago ! Its simple method of defrosting seems to alternate full power with intervals of fan only.
  2. Thanks for the very prompt and helpful replies. I tried three of them in my microwave on the defrost setting, but even though I tried for just two minutes initially that was to fast unfortunately. To be honest my microwave is a very cheap affair, with no variable power settings for defrost, so my fault. The three bags got very hot and two burst open, though the cystals had become a nice bright yellow. On reflection I think I should have tried just 30 seconds at a time, with intervals to cool down. No worries though, I still have spares from the original kit, and I'll know for next time. Thanks again for the replies.
  3. Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but I have the Flo Dessicant cap and wondered about other ways of drying the crystals out for re-use. The instructions only mention placing the packs on a radiator, but that's tricky in the Summer (even British Summers ! ) I was wondering if they could be dried in a microwave as well ? I searched on line and that seems ok for the crystals that go from blue to pink, but I couldn't find any reference to these ones that go from yellow to dark green. Also, the three "tea bags" that fit in my cap may be too little in the microwave, so I was thinking about just popping them in when I brew a coffee in there (three minutes). Commenting on the cap itself, I've had it for several months now and I think it's an excellent design. Dual fit 1.25 and 2 inch, and with holes just at the bottom, so you can stand it on a shelf while observing and so it keeps the crystals sealed while the scope's in use. The two outer diameters fit all of my scopes and adapters perfectly. I'd originally intended being a cheapskate and modifying a suitably sized plastic container, but this precision made item was well worth the expense. It lives in my Maksutov 180 and keeps it nice and dry in my Pod.
  4. Well I didn't slink quietly away, it turned out to be quite successful, ( the mark two version anyhow ) My generic unbranded cheapo manual filter wheel was ideal for the conversion because it had just enough area around the front T mount opening to accomodate the larger EOS lens mount ring donated from an extension tube. I cut the hole very carefully and incorporated the original spring loaded latch. In order to get it thin enough to give me enough backfocus with my Altair 1600M (17.5mm), leaving just 26.5mm max from the EOS's 44mm BF), I had to mill the centre framework thinner by 3mm (it was just plastic so that was fairly easy). My original mark one version rigidly mounted the filter wheel on a short vixen bar, which then supported the camera and lens, but that was not practical, as it was awkward to rotate it to align the camera's chip square to the subject. The mark two version was to use a couple of spare 100mm scope rings lined with cork to hold the camera instead, leaving it free to rotate. I now have the ability to use any of my photo lenses and still have a backfocus safety margin of a couple of mm. The beauty of using an EOS lens flange is the multitude of cheap adapters available for it (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus etc.) The final photo shows my Olympus Zuiko 135mm lens mounted on the Altair. Thanks for the original thread Guy, it spurred me on to do the same.....
  5. Surprisingly enough, strong cardboard boxes are quite reasonably priced from Amazon up to a certain size, (like for your 150). https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=double+wall+cardboard+box&ref=nb_sb_noss_1 I did check a while ago for your 250 though, and they're much more difficult to source....
  6. Thanks for the kind compliment Marmo. They're just what the doctor ordered for my newly modified manual filter wheel, (with an EOS lens mount). Perfect also because of my (also) newly acquired Altair 1600M, the camera with the big sensor coupled with 17.5mm of backfocus. I was getting very slight vignetting with 1.25 inch mounted filters, so these 31mm unmounted should be just the ticket....
  7. Been there, done that, got the T Shirt.... I'll be cutting the hole in the filter wheel faceplate very carefully with my metal scrollsaw, (very slowllllly). It's fortunate that the Eos lens plates are readilly and cheaply available, that precision would be way beyond me......
  8. Thanks for confirming it Guy. I'd scoured the Internet and hadn't found any other than that expensive TS drawer system. I've marked out my cheapo wheel and will start cutting the hole this afternoon.... I'll post the result on here, (if successful), and if not, I'll slink quietly away....
  9. I found this thread in an online search, where Guy has modified a manual filter wheel in a way that I'd been thinking about. The problem it overcomes is to be able to attach Canon Eos lenses to Mono T2 astro cameras with a backfocus of 17.5mm. The Eos camera mounting has a standard backfocus of 44mm, from the front plate, (and therefore the back flange of Eos lenses) to the CCD sensor. So 44mm minus 17.5mm gives 26.5mm maximum thickness for the wheel and EOS adapter. I already have the Geoptik T2 to Eos adapter, but that is already 19mm thick, and I haven't found any filter holders (wheels or drawers) as thin as 7.5mm. The Geoptik does have the facility to hold 1.25" filters within it's body, but then the lens would need to be removed between LRGB changes. TS do a very neat T2 to Eos adapter that incorporates a magnetic drawer that is just the right thickness, but it's over £200 delivered to the UK with 4 drawers, (that's the unit kit plus two extra drawers). ...and the Artesky Italian ones are even more expensive. I couldn't find any (thin) Eos adapters with filter holders on the FLO website. ...so, back to Guy's idea, I'm thinking of modifying my old redundant manual filter wheel with the Eos lens flange from an old Eos film camera, (dirt cheap now, secondhand...) The wheel and Eos flange are just the right thickness, (as Guy also found), and is not only considerably cheaper than the TS drawer, but more convenient, I guess... Before getting the Black & Decker out, I thought I'd just ask on here to see if anyone else had found other solutions to EOS lens adaptations with filter wheels or drawers...
  10. I've been tinkering with virtual box on Windows for several weeks now. I've found the VB software itself to be stable, but I haven't had any success with some of the particular programs that I've tried to run within it. If you're hoping to use Virtual Box to run non-windows Astro programs on a PC, that may be the drawback, rather than VB being stable or not. I'd created an Android virtual machine within it, to be able to run Skywatcher's SynscanPro app, to control my scope via the Synscan wifi dongle. It probably sounds ludicrous, because Skywatcher also supply a Windows version of the app, which works perfectly on my PC. The reason I need to run the Android version of the App on my PC is because if you want to run SkySafari Pro to control your scope's wifi, you have to have the SynscanPro app running in conjunction with it, (and SkySafari Pro isn't available as a Windows program). The frustrating thing is that although the Android version of SkySafariPro runs beautifully within an Android machine in Virtual Box, when I try to tun SynscanPro, it flashes up, but then drops out immediately, with no error message. So I'm thinking that Virtual Box may be able to emulate other OS environments, but some programs are able to spot that they're running on the wrong hardware and refuse to play.... ( I've also tried running standalone Android emulators too, like Bluestacks, which run SkySafari and other Android Astro programs really well in windows, but frustratingly, none of those are able to run the Android SynscanPro app either.)
  11. Thanks for the reply, it was an interesting thread, but unfortunately my problem isn't emulation of the App without a telescope attached, but running the App itself from within an Android emulator. My problem is that it won't even start up. It was interesting to see user's various comments about how shortcomings when the adapter first came out, these appear to have all now been overcome with the "pro" version of the app (still free), which does connect to SkySafari and is so much easier to use than the handset.
  12. There are two types of the SynScanPro app, one that runs on a PC, and one that runs on Android. They both work really well on my NUC PC and my Android Tablet. However, I can't get the Android version to run in my PC's Android Emulator though, (I've tried Bluestacks and Memu). ..."Why I would you want to ?".... I hear you say, , when I can just run the PC version on the PC anyway... The reason is that I need to run it in conjunction with the Android version of SkySafari Pro so that it can control my scope. The frustrating thing is that SkySafari Pro runs really well in the Andoid emulator on the PC, no lag, nice display, it's just that it can't connect to the Synscan Wifi adapter without the Android SynscanPro app running underneath it. I guess the Bluestacks emulator is some sort of restrictive "box", though it does connect through wifi to the Internet with no problems, downloading apps through Playstore etc.. I guess it's unlikely anyone else has tried to run the Android SynscanPro app in an emulator, but if anyone is has any ideas why some Android apps might not run in an emulator, I'd be grateful of any pointers....
  13. Thanks for answering my messages Brian. Just to let everyone else know, I understand it's still up for sale, as it would be tricky to fit to my Lunt LS35. (But perfect for a PST )
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