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About Astrokev

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Bedfordshire, UK
  1. Yeah, I get that! I’ve been promising myself an obsy for decades, so it’s a bit of fun really, and I accept a bit indulgent. But don’t worry, I’ve roughed it in the past. My first proper scope was back in the 80’s - a home made 10” Newtonian. I used to lug it up and down the stairs every time I wanted to observe. I didn’t have a mount for years, and used to put the tube on the grass and rest the “top end” on a black & decker workmate, turning the handles of the workmate “jaws” to give me a bit of altitude adjustment. Did some of my best planetary sketches using that rig! I think I’ve earned a bit more comfort now I’m getting a bit older!
  2. Update - Sadly the 550D turned out to be a 350D , so I won't be going for it after all. Never mind, maybe next time! I may look on some websites though and see what's about. Thanks to everyone for chipping-in their thoughts - much appreciated
  3. Quick update of where I'm up to with my wiring layout to enable me to image from inside the warm-room. USB hub is installed on the pier and seems to be working OK without being supplied with it's own power at the moment. I will route power to the hub once I've bought a power distribution box at the pier. Second monitor is installed next to the pier and works great. This is on my projector trolley so I can move it to suit the scope position. This will only be used to adjust focussing as and when needed. The cabling runs through a port I've put in the warm room wall. I've also installed a better power supply on my new warm room shelf. Unfortunately, the orange power cable isn't quite long enough to reach it (!) until I put a power distribution box on the pier, which will allow me to pull more cable into the warm room. So for the moment I'm still powering the mount from my old adapter. Very happy with the way it's now shaping up. Having a shelf above my desk has given me loads more space. Can't wait to use it....if the clouds ever part again. A few pics below...
  4. Hi All I currently use a Nikon D300. I've been thinking of getting a dedicated astrocam at some point, but have just been offered a Canon 550D for £150. How does this rate for astro? Main use would be prime focus imaging on my Esprit 100 refractor. As I see it, this may be better than my Nikon, in that the sensor has more MP (18 compared to 12), I can more easily get it astro-modded and use clip-in filters, and it's easier to control with astro-software. What do folks think? thanks
  5. One step closer... Bought an HDMI to VGA adapter and long monitor power cable today. Set up the laptop and second monitor in the comfort of the lounge just to make sure all connections, adapters, and the monitor worked as expected. All good so as soon as storm Dennis blows through I'll install the pier monitor and cabling in the observatory, providing it hasn't been blown into the next county.
  6. Short update - I've started work to improve the cabling, to allow me to put my laptop in the warm room, instead of the scope room where it's vulnerable to condensation (and I'm vulnerable to the cold!). With difficulty, I've re-routed the power cable from the warm room through the narrower conduit running up the outside of the pier, now wishing I'd used a wider pipe, but at least it's done. I've also run a new 5m active USB 3 cable from the warm room through the conduit running up the inside of the pier. I've got a powered StarTech hub which I'll fit to the outside of the pier. At the moment this seems to work fine without powering it up, but when I get more kit that needs to use the hub I'll probably get a Pegasus power box, or similar, to make sure I'm not relying on the laptop bus power alone. The main problem with having the laptop in the warm room is that it makes focussing a future astro-cam nigh on impossible, as I won't be able to see the screen from the scope. So, just picked a free second-hand monitor which I'll put in the scope room and run from the laptop as a second screen. Hopefully this'll work fine. I don't really want to go down the route of an electric focusser due to cost, but this is another option to consider. So, just a couple of pics to give an idea of what it currently looks like -
  7. Hub and active USB cable arrived, tested and works fine Pics and further progress in my main obsy build thread.
  8. Following the great advice and recommendations, I've decided on the Startech USB 3 powered hub to start building my new cabling layout. I've measured the cable run I need, which is 4m minimum. Do I need an active USB cable for this distance, and if so, is there a particular brand that I should consider? EDIT - looking on Amazon, I'm struggling to find active USB 3 A to B cables. Lindy do a 10m one, which is way more than I need. Don't seem to be able to find any others. Thanks for the continued support
  9. The cable run from the PSU to the pier will only be around 3-4 metres.
  10. That sounds good. It's always tricky to know what future needs will be. At the moment I can't see my needs going above 5A, but something to consider I suppose.
  11. Thanks. I'm assuming you've run mains voltage to the 12V box at the pier? I want to avoid installing any mains voltage in the scope room ie. outside. I'll get a PSU and keep this in the warm room and run 13.8V to the pier from there.
  12. Thanks Alex. Any special reason for going with the 30A version?
  13. I had to take my floor up recently to cut the cable conduit so I could rethread my string through the pipes (won't go into detail as to why, but suffice to say I just messed up. A valuable lesson learned). Anyway - while I was stood on the ground in the hole in my floor with saw-in-hand, I was amused to see a mouse on the ground only 18" away, sitting pretty and bold as brass, watching me saw through the pipe! The learning from this was that the holes in my anti-rodent mesh around the perimeter of my obsy are not small enough. Redesign needed I think!
  14. Thanks for the detail and pictures. I haven't given much thought to main PSU as yet. I'd be grateful if someone could recommend one that's suitable. Browsing Amazon, there's just so many! Thanks
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