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About Dreek

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  • Interests
    STEM Ambassador, Airborne reconnaissance, Latitude Music Festival
  • Location
    West Suffolk
  1. OK, finally built the trolley / go kart for the Newt. Much safer than teetering along with a sack barrow!
  2. Today's job is to make a go-kart for the 'scope... For health & safety reasons (climbing/falling) we're having to detach and move the main tube indoors when the scope's not being used. I've tried this with a sack barrow, but it's too big and is on the verge of dropping. So it needs a go-kart (and by the way, the Met Office said it was going to be sunny today didn't they? Easy life...). Watch this space...
  3. Torque Measurements November 2017 Eventually I want to fit a RA drive to the telescope, but it's going to have to be bespoke. First step is to characterise the torque throughout the rotation, with the scope pointing forwards and reverse. It's a bit uneven, but that's probably a result of being 52 degrees inclined (and plain bearings).
  4. First night time stargazing test - Moon - 25th November 2017 Managed to get a test in November 2017, checked out the collimation, and viewed the Moon with eyepieces and camera. All good. Moon - Atik Infinity on Newtonian 25-11-2017.wmv
  5. Spent all day in the boiler/storage room at the school today, working on the scope. I now have the camera, the Baader focuser and a red dot finder, along with a beautiful re-coated primary. First I made a somewhat agricultural wooden frame to hold the scope during painting and fitting. Took about four hours. Then I made a template and started to enlarge the hole for the new Baader focuser (which is superbly engineered by the way). Lots of drilling! And finally I managed to get a coat of back paint on the frame. Pushing hard to get this project up and imaging in the new few weeks. Gin and tonic now I think...
  6. Great advice, thanks Neil. This looks like my calcs are about right - assuming my figures for the sensor are OK, which I think they are.
  7. Friends, could you help me with a sanity check of some calculations please? The big telescope's primary mirror is now resurfaced and I'll be getting it back by the end of September - the school are cranking up the excitement, and I'd like to be able to predict what sort of objects we'll be able to see. That's where I could do with my sums checking, before I make any rash promises. The imager will be an Atik Infinity camera, which uses the Sony ICX825 CCD sensor. I think this is 11mm diagonal and 1360px * 1024px (active), with 6.6um pixels. This will be in prime focus position (I hope). A new good-spec focuser is being fitted to help this. The approximate focal length of the telescope is 1560mm (including an estimate of path length through the secondary mirror bend). If I'm right, I reckon this will give me a pixel subtense of 4.225urads, or 0.8715 seconds of arc. So, for example, Lyra's Ring Nebula (0 deg 2' 30" diameter) will cover 172 pixels across (i.e. about an 8th of the camera picture width). Does that sound about right? Also, are there any pitfalls to look out for? For example, how do I know I'm going to fit the image exactly over the sensor? Thanks for any help you can give...
  8. Neil - and that's a realistic and significant scenario -the youthful cricket/rounders fielder staring skywards (ironically) and backing into the telescope. It's destined to have a cage built around it, with the main tube being removed and stored indoors. But that'll be part of a separate fund-raising exercise by the school - unless anyone here has anything they would like to donate...? Here's a shot of it taking shape on-site. Top-coat still needed.
  9. Update on the scope project - it's now at the school and having foundations set so it's stable flat and aligned. The primary is away being resurfaced, and I'm going for an Atik Infinity camera rather than eyepieces, so that children can do astronomy without individually teetering at the top of step ladders in the dark! New focusser and simple red dot spotter and we should be up and running. All this refurbishment has been funded by a generous grant given tom me by the William and Ellen Vinten Trust, who are responsible for helping many a young person on their path to engineering.
  10. Hi Jeremy, I found it in Suffolk, yes, but I believe it may have originated from the Norwich area, so Norfolk. No distinguishing marks on the primary at all unfortunately, so the mystery continues...
  11. Thank you for the advice; I'll give that a go. They are plain bearings, yes, but with bronze bushes.
  12. It's been a while since I was on SGL, and I've upgraded some of my equipment - I'd like to update my signature to list the new eyepieces etc but I can't find how to do this. Apologies if this is a stupid question, but how do I do this?
  13. Thanks for this Helen, I've been trying to set up my 900 and Skywatcher Mak 127 and failing dramatically to get anything in focus. Your reply inspired me to have another go; but much more slowly this time and during the day (using a distant telegraph pole as a target). Got it! So now I can try for the moon next (if these clouds ever clear, that is...)
  14. ...btw, sorry it's been a long time since I was last here - I've had a bit of Carpal Tunnel surgery and it's not conducive to typing (or stripping gigantic telescopes)!!!
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