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Everything posted by gilesco

  1. Agreed, I don't think you want to provide complex equipment unless you are interested in astronomy yourself. If the cottage is next door or very close to your own living space then perhaps get a small refractor and alt-az mount that you can provide upon request, but usually most astronomy-breaks tend to have a night of supervised instruction before allowing people to use actual kit on their own (if at all). I imagine they use this time to gauge how drunk the guests are, whether they have a real interest and whether their expectations of what they might see are firmly on the ground. If you are going to be hosting a serious astrophotographer, who brings their own kit, then this is what they want: A Level Concrete Plinth 2.5m x 2.5, perhaps with the direction of the celestial pole clearly marked out, or tripod lines marked (at 120 degrees from each other) - with the bisect of two of those lines being celestial north. Preferably the plinth would be in an unobstructed location with good views of the sky. At the plinth - Power Supply, preferably either mains (if they have their own PSU), 12V (For most Astro kit) and 19V (for NUCs). A Ethernet port that connects the Concrete Plinth to a warm room, also with mains power. Also nice to have Wifi in the warm room, for internet access. Darkness, no security lights, no other guests turning on lights that ruin exposures. Perhaps some low level red lighting. If the weather is good, as also mentioned in this thread, a set of Reading / Reference materials, Binos, reclining chairs, and blankets would be appreciated by anyone. Some nice touches would be a plaque with the latitude and longitude of the location. Perhaps a digital time-sync'd clock. Probably wouldn't be used much, but it shows you've gone to some effort to accomodate. Some might appreciate a weather station, with readings for some of (budget permitting): Temperature, Relative Humidity, Wind Direction and Speed, Precipitation, Cloud Cover, and forecast. If you provide a B&B then a printout of the local hourly weather forecast for the upcoming night at breakfast is also a nice touch. A lot of amateur astronomers are also interested in exchanging experiences and knowledge with other like minded people, so having an interest in astronomy yourself is very much a plus.
  2. I wouldn't want to associate the concept of infinity with the universe in the first place. The way I see it is that the universe only exists in a location once space-time exists there, and without gravity (the presence of mass) space-time probably doesn't exist.
  3. I have not yet bought the OTA yet, still saving up, but as I don't have a permanent set up I would want to buy some form of protective storage for one from day one.
  4. I know you have a solution, but for others who might search for this, if you enable ssh on the Pi, which is often enabled by default (sometimes on a different port from the default 22) then you can transfer files from the Pi to a Windows system using WinSCP, which requires the same login credentials as you might use for ssh. On a Linux desktop / laptop, you can just use the command line "scp" command, although I'm sure that a lot of file managers under various Linux distributions support the "scp://$hostname" prefix for files as well.
  5. As I'm imaging mostly, I don't really use a finder scope any more, I just point, focus, plate solve, sync, and repeat a couple of times, then use goto, and plate solve with slew to target.
  6. Do you think that this Oklop bag for 8" SCTs would be suitable to pack away the StellaLyra RC8" OTAs? I worry about the posted dimensions as it doesn't say whether that is internal space or external, and OTAs always have some pokey bits that sometimes don't fit...
  7. I run Kstars on a PC (either Windows or Linux) and INDI on the Pi4 - it works rather flawlessly most of the time. Having said that I've been running Linux for many years, and have got used to working out all the little 'gotchas' that will hit a lesser Linux experienced person along the way. I'm not sure I would recommend the build-your-own method with INDI to a non-expert, and would usually either steer them towards an off-the-shelf commercial product (which many times is still running Linux under the hood, but has been packaged and QA'd to work well), or get them to use the operating system that they are already used to, and know how to fix the usual problems.
  8. Astroberry does not update with the frequency that Kstars does. The kstars package for Astroberry only updates when the Astroberry maintainer chooses to do so. If you want to run the bleeding edge kstars on Astroberry then you will need to compile it yourself from the source code. I would recommend backing up your SD card before you try this, as getting back to the maintainers version is not that easy.
  9. I know nothing about renewable energy products, but a quick look appears to indicate that in order to select a product you need to know the wind class of your site.
  10. Many years ago I worked for an IT importer, providing support. When things kind of took off whole containers of kit would arrive and we would all muck in to get the boxes out, I think the driver charged extra if we didn't unload within a certain time frame. So I understand the piles and apparent lack of order. However, as you say this is all soon to be dispatched, and you'll be able to play towers of Hanoi to restore order again.
  11. Also, if you've submitted it to Astrometry, on the right is the Worldwide telescope link, where you can superimpose your image on the deep sky reference images and fade your image in and out to try and find anomalies.
  12. This might help as reference: https://astronomynow.com/2021/03/19/new-nova-in-cassiopeia-brightens-rapidly/
  13. If you are only going to do visual then you don't need the EQ mount, take a look at the BK1025AZ3 Refractor.
  14. I often end up recommending the Skymax 127Mak, despite not having ever owned one myself, it comes up so often on beginner threads, I still consider buying one as a get and go scope.
  15. I've heard good things about High Point Explore Scientific in the USA: https://explorescientificusa.com/ https://www.highpointscientific.com/
  16. NUCs, in general, do have fans, and you want to ensure that they get a fresh supply of unheated air. If a NUC is fanless, then it is usually advertised as such (e.g. the "UltraNUC fanless"). In any case, you should ventilate them, and the internal air temperature should not exceed 50 deg C during operation.
  17. There are a number of focus options, in addition to the below you can also force a focus on a filter change. I think refocus after meridian flip is either in the pipeline or already there as well.
  18. I have about 6 or 7 prior releases of Raspberry Pis just lying around, but they are sufficiently cheap enough for me to just buy the high-end ones that get released, I think I'd only change that if the highest spec one suddenly cost more than £100 / unit and actually, I probably end up buying more than one, as the first batch tend to have some bugs, which get ironed out with minor board revisions and tweaks without changing the part / model number. I will probably end up donating the old ones to the under-privileged / schools etc... but I find it especially useful to sometimes just have access to a number of basic Linux boxes for other areas (I work in IT and Networking).
  19. I can only see the 8GB version being an advantage in the future, perhaps when people move to a 64-bit version of Raspbian, and then perhaps if live stacking is added to the platform. However, the Linux kernel always benefits from extra memory, it serves as a buffer and cache for disk reads and writes. Not just in userspace but system space too.
  20. There have been a lot of anecdotal forums posts about the Wifi strength on the Raspberry Pi. Personally I have not had any issues, but I only use the Wifi if I am running Kstars on the Pi itself, and locally storing exposures. If I choose to run Kstars on my desktop indoors then I always use a ethernet cable. It is impossible to provide a root cause analysis for all the reports that we see, there are many possible contributors to the issue: Case, everyone chooses their own case, which will cause a differing amount of interference. Distance to AP, or AP mesh, together with other possible obstructions, including the telescope / mount itself. Whether using a 2.4Ghz band or 5Ghz band for wifi. 5Ghz is more stable on the Pi and faster at shorter ranges, 2.4Ghz is less stable and prone to other issues, it is also generally slower than 5Ghz. Other Wifi networks in the vicinity. This is more of an issue with 2.4Ghz, where the channels overlap and in truth only 3 networks can co-exist in the same physical space without conflicting with each other, causing bandwidth loss due to CSMA-CA, but it can also happen with 5Ghz networks. Other Radio interference, e.g. Microwave Ovens, Wireless Doorbells, Wireless DECT telephones, GPS receivers and general electronic interference from many other devices. Raspberry Pi power supply, the Pi4 needs a good PSU, generally capable of 5.1V 3A sustained supply, and this often needs to still be the case even when operating in sub-zero temperatures. I am not sure if even the official PI4 power supply is rated to operate at low temperatures. If you absolutely need uninterrupted fast connectivity to your Pi then use an Ethernet cable. If you just need to monitor a Pi running Kstars pretty much autonomously then it is OK to use the Wifi to monitor the sesssion progress via Wifi.
  21. See how the basic setup works for you, get used to the equipment, learn how to use it, just buy what you need to get started. All the other stuff can come later, if I had bought all my equipment at the start then I would have spent over 13000 euro and wouldn't know how any of it worked, because there would be too much and I wouldn't work out where the problem was. Forget the binoviewer idea, get started with trying not to squint looking through a mono lens, you have young eyes, If you need / choose binoviewers in the future then it is an easy upgrade. Don't get me wrong, your enthusiasm is commendable
  22. With a binoviewer you are likely to need 2x the eyepieces. I'd really suggest you slow down and think about a plan to slowly edge yourself into this, get the Mak127, get the AzGti mount, see how you go, then look at potential upgrades.
  23. Yes, agreed, I think I would need a 36mm Filter Wheel, the standard ZWO OAG would probably be re-usable though. Looks like I'll have to get a couple more years of use out of the ASI1600MM
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