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Everything posted by Brutha

  1. Hi Geoff, welcome from another Western Isles resident I did something similar with Messier objects last year and intend to continue this year. Although I think we get a few less clear nights than most people, the dark skies do make up for it! Cheers, Brutha
  2. Hi All, I remember seeing some discussions on various forums about the various tracking options on telescopes, and there was some debate about which mode you should use for solar system objects. I've been wanting to have a play with Jupyter notebooks and Astropy for a while and this seemed a nice opportunity! So, I set myself a little exercise to find out.... I've assumed that for each tracking option, the telescope only tracks in RA, and for sidereal tracking it just keeps the telescope pointed at the same RA/DEC point. For solar and lunar, I've assumed they just increase RA tracking to move at just under a degree a day, and for lunar at around 13 degrees a day. Next is to work out how much the planets are moving in RA per day for 2021 and 2022, something you can do easily with Astropy. Then I work out how many hours it would take in each tracking mode for the object to move to the edge of the field of view - I've used my C8SE and an 8mm eyepiece as the model. Of course, this all assumes perfect alignment and tracking The results are quite interesting (assuming I've done the calculations right, which is by no means guaranteed!): for Mars, it is mostly solar tracking that wins out over the two years - the green line shows "time in view" for solar, red is normal star tracking. Lunar as expected doesn't do anything: Again for Venus, solar tracking is better (which makes sense, it being closer to the sun) : However, once you get to Jupiter and further out, sidereal mode takes over: Anyway, this only shows max possible with perfect alignment and tracking, so my guess is that things are closer in practice! If anyone is interested, here's the Jupyter notebook: Solar system tracking speeds.ipynb Cheers Brutha
  3. Thanks! Yes, for now the requirements are not serious, it will have my C8SE on top, being used visually. But part of the idea of the pier is that it would still be useful in case I upgrade to something bigger later. So, 200mm it is!
  4. Thanks! I said that was the last question, but now I realise I lied! How deep do you think I need to set the bolts? I've seen one thread on here where they drilled 200mm deep holes, but I am wondering if that is necessary.
  5. Thanks all! Last question then: in the pier installation instructions, it mentions to drill a hole with a 12mm masonry drill. Since the threaded bar will be M12, that presumably means there will be very little space around the bar. The picture shows some space between the bar and the hole, filled with resin. Should I leave any gap, i.e. go up to a 14mm drill bit or so? Cheers Brutha
  6. Yes, I thought there would be - but I just seem to finding mechanically fixed drop in anchors with interior threading, and threaded rods that can be chemically fixed. There don't seem any chemically fixed drop in anchors though - just the ones in the original thread that I can find. But it's entirely possible that I am looking at them on the page and simply not understanding what I am looking at!
  7. Thanks - yes, Western Isles of Scotland, we're a bit short of B&Q megastores round here But it should be possible to order what I need fairly easily - the trick is identifying just what I need!
  8. Yes, I think on reflection this is probably the route to go!
  9. Hi All, Just preparing to get my concrete slab poured for my Altair astro pier. After a bit of reflection, have decided not the use the j-bolts that I ordered with the pier, since the shape of the slab is a little unusual, and I don't want to be juggling too many things when pouring the concrete. So, I'll pour the slab, get the surface nice and level, then we'll drill it later. I quite like the idea of using the chemfix chembolts as suggested in a previous thread - since then I can just put M12 bolts down through the base of the pier, and not have much sticking up. However due to my location, they want a truly ludicrous amount for delivery (i.e. 4 times the cost of the bolts!!!), so that's not an option, and they don't seem to be sold anywhere apart from the link in the above thread. Has anyone used simple drop in anchors for this purpose? Something like these? Cheers Brutha
  10. Thanks Alan, in fact this should perhaps have been more obvious for me, having seen the rather impressive “Fraunhofer Refractor” in the Deutsches Museum in Munich (the one that was used to discover Neptune): https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/deutsches-museum-refractor-telescope-neptune
  11. Thanks (sorry for delay, hadn't been back to this site for a while!). Interesting you have it so high though! Is it used mainly for astrophotography, or do you also do visual astronomy?
  12. And to add a further question, as I have been doing lots of reading today! I am wondering whether paving slabs is a good idea around the scope, due to being slippy in cold weather etc. I am wondering if gravel might be a better bet - any thoughts?
  13. Hi All, So, rather than go down the home made pier route, in the end I decided to order an Altair pier, which has now arrived, and looks to be a cracking bit of kit! It will go in the garden (just open air, no observatory etc), and for starters I will be using my Celestron 8SE on it, with the standard alt/az mount. I will need to create a custom adapter plate, but that's in hand and shouldn't be too tricky. For now, the reason for the pier is mainly to avoid the faff of carrying the scope plus tripod in and out of the house when I want to use it, with a side benefit of a bit less vibration when using the scope. But in the future, I may well get a GEM mount of some form for astrophotography. The area is currently just grass, so I think I will put some paving slabs down which will surround a central 60cm x 60cm x 60cm concrete block sunk in the ground containing the bolts. But I'm going back and forth a bit about the height; if I set it according to the usual height it would be at on the tripod, the concrete block would need to be 5cm or so above the level of the surrounding paving. But most pictures I see of the same pier seem to have the base of the pier lower than the surrounding area if anything. Is this just due to the additional height of GEM mounts? Any advice on where to start is welcome! Cheers Brutha
  14. My understanding is that Maksutovs tend to have a longer focal length, so are better for planets and lunar viewing, but typically not so good for fainter deep sky objects.
  15. If you scroll down a bit, they add right at the bottom that it is an animation showing the current position of the probe, not an actual live feed... a little bit cheeky I think!
  16. Hi All, I'm looking for a simple solution that would let me extend my wifi up into the garden - this would be so I can connect a Raspberry Pi with Astroberry to my home network, rather than needing to run the Pi in hotspot mode. Ideally, I was thinking of something simple - one of the wifi extender things that plug into a mains socket would be perfect I think. However, it would need to go through a wall and then up to maybe 50 feet max to the actual device. Has anyone got any recommendations? Or am I being somewhat optimistic? Thanks! Brutha
  17. Hehe, of course, student = pupil, took me a while to work that out!
  18. I know this is an old thread, but it is amusing that amongst such things as outdoor camping and formula 1 races that the Amazon description claims these are particularly suitable for is “blurred vision”. https://www.amazon.com/Binoculars-30-260X160-Professional-Telescope-Stargazing/dp/B07SRZNNLF
  19. I do - I find it very powerful once you get used to it! And you are not vulnerable to a company removing functionality, as recently happened to Fusion360
  20. It does support C++ (although I guess not the Arduino special stuff). Interestingly, arduino are also building a board themselves using the new chip. Given it will have WiFi, I guess it will be a fair bit more expensive: https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welcome-raspberry-pi-to-the-world-of-microcontrollers/
  21. I was looking at Orion the other night through my 8SE, and it was quite clearly a greenish hue. I was reading this thread and wondering if I had imagined it, but glad to hear I wasn’t!
  22. Yes, second that, keep camera level when doing the panorama, it just needs to be able to see the horizon (or top of buildings!)
  23. If you have a 3D printer and fancy a bit of DIY, you could try building one of these: https://openastrotech.com/ I have the structure built, and am working on the electronics now. You get goto with the basic electronics, then with Astroberry and a RPi4 you’d get platesolving and other stuff too!
  24. I bought the Starsense for my 8SE, and love it, much faster to get going than before! I thought about the gps, but since I only use the scope from the garden it’s a bit pointless, it would only supply the date and time, and that is quick to enter anyway.
  25. You probably don't need to get this massively accurate I think. Even if you can figure out from a map the bearing of your balcony, this might be enough.
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