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About pete_l

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Benamaurel, Spain 37N
  1. pete_l

    Just walls around an observing area?

    Yes that seems to be quite a practical solution. Many people just stick a protective cover over the scope to protect it from the elements. If there are electrics involved, or computers, then there is the need for a little more. Such as to prevent damp getting in an to stop rodents from chewing through cables (they seem to like plastic). And also to stop insects such as wasps from making a nest inside your optics. Full blown observatories can attract bats. Since they are protected, you can't just shoo them away.
  2. pete_l

    Canon 4000d over 550d or 600d

    The one that produced the best photos?
  3. What you already have sounds absolutely fine. I'd just get out there and use it! If the urge for new toys is irresistible , I'd probably go for a scope upgrade. Have you considered something like TS's 86mm F5.4 flatfield APO? How do you intend to guide? Getting all the stuff for that should provide enough of new experiences and complexity to keep a person busy for a good long while.
  4. pete_l

    Which Mount ?

    Personally, I think that in reality almost any astro CCD / CMOS camera with almost any telescope from 400mm focal length up to 3000 will give perfectly acceptable images. While there are theoretical "best" figures, the degree to which the final image is improved by adhering to them is very small. To the extent that a person's experience at processing the data they collect is probably the factor that has the greatest effect.
  5. The most cost effective route into astrophotography is a s/h modified DSLR. There are companies and individuals out there who buy used DSLRs and modify them to sell on. You can either pick up an "off the shelf" one or have them modify a DSLR that you own. There is nothing really to gain from buying a new one - a low shutter count used model is just as good. I have a mix of one shot colour astro CCDs, mono CCDs with filters and modified DSLRs. The major advantages of the DSLR are about simplicity: ease of attachment to the telescope, getting results quickly, less cabling, simple to use, the software to run a colour DSLR is less complex and they have a large sensor size. The disadvantage is that you won't take Hubble quality images.
  6. Now that's what I call a telescope! Excellent write-up, thank you very much. I hope you get some clear nights soon. I considered getting one of those a few years back. But I asked Meade some fairly basic technical questions (such as what size was the imaging circle - about as complicated as asking a car salesman how many seats there are) and they couldn't tell me. No sale!
  7. pete_l

    Tell us your sky quality

    Thank you, that is useful information. Unsurprisingly, we get "muddy rain" a few times a year in southern Spain. While rain is generally welcome (some years we get a total of 200mm) this effect seems to mix the greatest amount of red dust with the least amount of water. The result is no significant rainfall but the need to wash the car!
  8. pete_l

    Tell us your sky quality

    The map is a little optimistic. The best I have measured with my SQM is 21.6, though 21.5 is not uncommon when the moon is down. Though I do have a 360° view and 200+ clear nights a year And hours of full darkness during the summer For reference, here's the data for the Calar Alto observatory. It's about 50km from my place and is home to the largest telescope in mainland Europe. I was up there last June and I was surprised that the inside of the main dome was illuminated. They do get a bit of LP from Almeria city and their numbers are theoretically a bit better than mine. However being 7000 feet up, they have much steadier skies which seems to count for a lot.
  9. pete_l

    Uk Rack & pinion suppliers

    Electric gate openers might do what you want. I can't say if one would be any quieter
  10. pete_l

    Skysensor 2000 handset problems

    The handset unscrews and comes apart quite easily. There are multiple boards inside with pin connectors between them. It is possible that those connectors just need reseating or grime / dust / dead insects cleaned off the PCBs
  11. There is a side-by-side test on CN with photos.
  12. The biggest competitor that all the premium marques have isn't other, virtually identical, products all occupying the "99%" space in the market.The biggest competitor is all the other stuff you could buy with the money you save
  13. Yes, that is why major observatories spend many years searching for sites that would allow their instruments to perform at their best. Fortunately for equipment suppliers there is no way for the amateur to objectively measure the seeing or optical stability, So it is impossible for anyone to say whether a 17inch Planewave actually delivers better views or images than a 6 inch newtonian. Although under clouds, all telescopes perform exactly the same irrespective of price, name or aperture.
  14. Don't forget to factor in the resistance of the connections at each end. If there are merely crimped connections that can add more - depending on how they corrode over time. If they are plugged there can be issues with low quality connectors or dirt on them. And some USB cables can be very bad indeed!
  15. pete_l

    46p just

    I *think* I clocked it a few minutes ago with my 14x40 Nikon binos. Tomorrow around this time it passes very close to η Eridani (Eta) so it will be easier to find.

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