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Everything posted by GCG-Observatory

  1. Did you find it difficult to configure and get everything set up?
  2. Having returned to the hobby after a busy 10 years raising kids, working away etc, I am looking to get back into imaging at a more serious level than I did a decade ago. But I am overwhelmed however at the number of options in cameras available, and the technology has moved on so much, from my Starlight Xpress days. Can anyone suggest/recommend a good CCD/CMOS camera for a 10inch Meade LXD75 Schmidt Newtonian? I believe with different focal lengths of telescope you need to be careful what camera you use? I am particularly interested in imaging galaxies, nebulae etc, but very much open to also being able to image planet's, lunar also. I do not mind colour or mono, just want the best bang and images for my buck. Thanks for any help.
  3. Picked up my dome yesterday from a lively chap in Farnham, easily fitted with room for another dome in a Luton box van. Packed the observatory by placing the wall section that contained a pod at the back of the van with the flat of the pod section against the wall of the van behind cab. Placed the other 3 parts of the walls inside the curve of the first, using pipe lagging as spacers to prevent the pieces rubbing together and scratching/breaking. Once all four pieces in place, put the dome shutter section also within the curve of the wall sections and then ratchet strapped across the front and then wrapped another ratchet strap over all of the sections in the middle going around the top and bottom of the sections. We finally placed the dome pieces carefully in front of the wall sections with the flat of the dome parts against one wall of the van, and the other flat part against our stacked wall sections, so ensuring they could be safely wedged for transportation . Again all 4 parts were fitted over each other, but separated with padding to prevent any damage. Ratchet strapped across the front of the dome parts. Everything was tightly packed and wasn’t going anywhere. 4 hours drive later we opened the back of the van and everything was as we had packed it, unloaded it onto the grass quickly to get the van back to the hire company just in time. Our back garden now looks like a UFO has crashed in it I will probably start a new post on this and update now going forward with my progress for anyone interested.
  4. Haha yeah thats the place! Thats a trip down memory lane Yeah I am not too hopeful about the trees, will have to make do, a bit of a pain if they stay, but still have pretty good skys, Bortle 4, so can't complain.
  5. I used to work for Securicor, it was over 18 years ago now, so all I remember was it was in a long building alongside the river leading up to the bridge in the town centre. Hated the job, but loved Chippenham, lovely town centre and enjoyed sitting out by the river in the park during the summer at lunch times. Yes a digger will make light work, and I really need to level the ground where I’m planning on siting the dome, as it’s all over the place. The other thing I need to work on is how to persuade Network Rail to cut down some tall trees along the western side of my site on the abandoned railway. I have emailed them some pictures and asked them to, but no response as yet. I have pretty good views to the south and north, as my land is long and narrow.
  6. I think half the fun is finding technical solutions to solving issues that help you either automate or work from the comfort of your house or warm room. You can always tinker about to a certain extent on cloudy nights or during any day if you have the time, so you are not wasting the few and far between clear nights with configuration.
  7. Yeah the problem is, I cant even get CCD Commander to run, it seems to need CCDSoft to even run
  8. Used to work in Chippenham years ago. I have a mate with a digger, and my ground is like concrete, full of shale and rocks, so dont intend to get too muddy! Actually wondering if I even need to dig down that far if ground is hard here?
  9. So you decided to not go with the Pulsar drive system? Is your rack and pinion an off the shelf product or is this something you have built?
  10. Yeah I may have to. I'd like to think I will perhaps at least get the sight levelled and pier hole dug, and if we get a dry spell that isn't too cold, perhaps get the cement done... though that is probably going to be difficult to find this time of year. Last thing I want is frost or rain damage to a freshly laid base. Where about's roughly is your observatory based?
  11. Thats great info, yes I believe from building a condensation prone type of metal shed a few years ago that all the advice to stop condensation was to ensure that the base remained as dry as possible. I think I will go overkill and DPC underneath, do your sealing as suggested and also fit the dpc under the floor tiles. It really is wet here by the Brecon Beacons, so I want to ensure that the dome remains as dry as possible. I will definitely start a post about my progress, first things first is to pick up the dome and get it home intact this week.
  12. This is very inspirational, exactly the type of thing I hope to achieve with my dome that I shall be setting up over the next few weeks/months. How have you found water ingress using the circular pad? Do you still get condensation? I was wondering whether using a dpc membrane under the concrete pad would help prevent any rising damp through concrete, and so help prevent further condensation.
  13. Good point - I was thinking of leaving about 1-2 inches overlap all round outside the walls.
  14. Yeah I did consider that, but where I am in Wales it is so wet, and I know with sheds and wooden furniture etc I have had here, that they require constant maintenance, and eventually rot out. As to the concrete base, I am thinking that circular as close to the circumference of the pulsar dome would be best, as I see a lot of people do square bases, but surely that must increase the chances of water ingress under the dome walls, due to water pooling? Creating circular shuttering will likely prove an interesting challenge though.
  15. How are you getting on with the Altair Astro pier? Considering getting one of these for my upcoming dome project.
  16. lol, well I may be in the same boat haha, I am not sure that the guy I am buying it off has removed all the old silicone, so I may have to do that before I can install... need to probably find some way of easily removing it, possibly some product that will clean it all off/loosen it. Yeah the weather is a challenge this time of year. I am hoping I can get a mini digger in to dig out the pier base hole, and level the ground ready for concrete soon. Can't do it by hand as my ground is like concrete, as it's mostly shale. Should be fun though.
  17. How did you get on with installing it? I am about to pick up a second hand Pulsar dome myself, same model as yours. Anymore tips or pointers for me to look out for? Did you put it on a concrete base?
  18. Hi, I already own a Panasonic GH4 and thought I would try and put it to use as an astro photography camera. It seems to connect to some PC software via the Panasonic Ascom drivers that are available online, but because the GH4 only seems to want to connect via wifi (cant seem to connect via a cable) the images that are captured time out when downloading to the software. Cannot get images at all onto Sequence Generator Pro. Anyone using this camera or similar Panasonic cameras successfully or anyone having the same issues? Thanks
  19. Yes I believe it has been dismantled but I will be protecting those edges as much as possible. I will take some photos and post them up here.
  20. thanks for replies guys, I think to be safe I will just pay the extra £10 for the bigger van. I am not 100% sure if they have split it in half or taken it completely apart. Yeah more concerned about it getting damaged in transit. I noticed that when Pulsar transport it on their big shipments from their Facebook page that they use pipe insulation on the edges or the walls etc. Maybe that would be wise. I will need to get myself some more straps or rope by the sounds of it also.
  21. So I am going to pick one up this week and was wondering about what size van to collect it in. I was erring on the side of caution and was planning on getting a big Luton van with tail lift etc? Is this overkill? You mention a long wheel base Transit, is this more than adequate? It does come with an extension bay, so not sure if that makes the difference to size of van needed. Driving 3 hours so dont want to arrive and not be able to fit it in. Thanks
  22. Has anyone tried this with sinking the L-shaped bolts into the setting concrete using a template of the pier bolt holes? Personally I would think this was easier as drilling into concrete is not fun. Surely with the amount of adjustment on the pier that exact placement of the bolts isn't particularly vital?
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