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About pete_l

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Benamaurel, Spain 37N
  1. pete_l

    How to effectively drop from 12V DC to 5V?

    Try bitsbox.co.uk they stock them and their p&p charges are honest - even posting to outside the UK https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=140_171&products_id=3202
  2. pete_l

    Views sought on possible OSC camera option?

    It sounds like you are on the right track, investigating more sensitive cameras. Have you considered some of the new, nearly real-time devices that Mallincam have come up with in the past few months? I don't know of anyone outside the USA/Canada who has managed to buy one, but they do produce some impressive example images. I noted your line "Even using the EQ8 and using an OAG I’m anticipating loosing quite a few subs due to poor guiding." That sounds surprising for an EQ8. Since the goal is to maximise total data-collection time, it sounds like there is an opportunity here!
  3. pete_l

    3D Printers

    I have always considered 3D printers to be novelty items - over-priced and with few practical applications. However, the market does seem to have changed in the past year. The Creality Ender3X is getting good reviews for < £200 and I am now giving it some serious thought. However, I still feel that they are far less useful (and much more hassle) for the average person than all the publicity and promotion would suggest. Without wishing to start a war here's an interesting video:
  4. There are some people who say this, but my personal experience (I started with a GOTO mount) doesn't support that. Just at the most basic level, you learn the constellations because you see where the telescope is pointed! And from that you get to "join the dots" (or stars) and see which ones are near to others, what the patterns actually look like and how far away the major objects are. Since I was living in a light polluted location at the time, this was invaluable as I couldn't visually see many of the stars that are used as starting points for star-hopping. So you will find that with GOTO you will quickly learn the major constellations: Leo, Orion, Cassiopeia etc. You will also discover that many do not look like they appear in star charts - especially when your sky brightness makes a portion of the stars in a constellation invisible. And if you want to do things the hard way you can always turn GOTO off! Though then you should choose a mount that can be slewed manually. If I hadn't got a GOTO to start with, I would have quickly given up due to the sheer frustration of light pollution and spending too much time on rare, clear, nights trying to get my bearings.
  5. pete_l

    Strange Flats

    The "flat filter" I made uses several layers of plain white kitchen roll. Just use enough layers to get the brightness down to the taget level (I used 3). With that over the front of the objective, it is too close for focus so if there is any grain, it doesn't show up.
  6. pete_l

    migration windows to linux

    Indeed. Once you have found that. I would suggest you look on the site's home page : https://stellarmate.com/ The description of the actual function is very well hidden in all the hype, buzz-words and eye-candy.
  7. pete_l

    migration windows to linux

    Yes, the Linux community is its own worst enemy. The good news is that STELLARMATE is a completely packaged hardware and software product. You just buy the box from some outfit in the USA and once it is delivered and you've paid all the excess VAT and import taxes, it is a case of following the instructions. Provided you can decode the jargon that is inherent therein. I've been "doing" software for nigh-on 40 years now, professionally. I have been doing various things with Unix (the precursor to Linux) since the early 1980s. Yet I still have difficulty wading through the publicity material for many products. And that is not down to my lack of technical skills. You would think it would be the simplest thing in the world for every new tech. product to have an introductory line on the home page of their website, right at the top, along the lines of X is a piece of software that runs on .... and is used to ..... But in their enthusiasm or inexperience hardly any amateur entrepreneurs ever think of doing this. It often takes several minutes for the casual visitor to work out whether (as in this case) the "product" is hardware, software, a combination of both or whatever. All I can say is: take whichever route is easiest.
  8. pete_l

    Biggest sensor with 1 and 1/4 filters ??

    An interesting approach and a nice price! On the one hand, my hobby is astrophotography, not fiddling around in the dark trying to get software to talk to hardware. So if this really can do everything without intervention then that is great. On the other hand all that extra complexity is more stuff to go wrong. Decisions, decisions!
  9. pete_l


    Yes, I've had a mouse chew through a low voltage cable. I know it was a mouse because the cable was powered. It turns out that 12V is enough to zap a small furry rodent. There does seem to be something that attracts them to plastic. There is also the issue that as nights draw in, wildlife starts to look for places to over-winter.
  10. pete_l

    It's WotW day!

    ... at midnight on the twelfth of August, a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth ... At least according to Jeff Wayne's version. The book tells it slightly differently. Still, it might be worth a quick glance
  11. Yup! There's far more small stuff than big stuff to keep an astronomer occupied.
  12. pete_l

    astro cams - low res?

    The trick is not to get sucked in to the mega-giga-pixel numbers game. 100 DPI is a perfectly usable print density or screen resolution and that will give even a "webcam" type camera a 6x4 postcard. While there are plenty of big astrophoto targets, there are even more small ones. Something like 75% of messier objects are under 20 arc-minutes in size.
  13. pete_l

    Looking for quality USB cables

    Be aware that a high quality, reliable, connection requires good USB sockets as well as good cables. Even worse: the "weakest link" can even be the joint on the PCB from the track to the socket pin I would recommend this Youtube video which illustrates some issues with just the power handling capabilities of USB cable
  14. pete_l

    RC 8" and focal reducer

    The 0.67 focal reducer seems quite popular with F/8 RCs. Check if you are considering one, that it is large enough to fully illuminate the sensor you are using. The other obvious "issue" with using a focal reducer is that the object you are targeting will be much smaller in the final image. The decreased imaging time doesn't come for free!
  15. pete_l

    PVC Dome

    Inspirational! Excellent job.

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