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SteveA

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About SteveA

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    Sub Dwarf

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  • Location
    West Oxfordshire
  1. SteveA

    Enjoying astronomy

    Astronomy is such a vast topic and in reality actually observing objects through a telescope is only a very tiny part of the science. Your average professional astronomer for instance is unlikely ever to go anywhere near a telescope with most of his/her work done from the comfort of an office chair and a computer. So don't for one moment think you can't still enjoy the subject. There have already been some great suggestions, but you might also like to consider taking your interest to a higher level by taking a distance learning course or even maybe take this on to a degree in astronomy. The internet gives you access to some wonderful institutions that offer these sort of courses. They are great fun, you learn loads and the spin off is you get a qualification as well....and of course all you need is a computer and some spare time. Steve
  2. That is interesting....I had assumed that WH Smith had ceased stocking this across the country, which is clearly not the case. I will pop in later and see if I can get them to reserve me a copy. Thanks for the info Steve
  3. Not too disappointed!...your kidding of course.. That's really very very nice indeed Steve
  4. I have to agree with you about Sky and Telescope, it was always my favourite publication. I've never had a subscription to it though as until a few years ago it was readily available on the magazine racks at my local WH Smith store. I stopped buying paper magazines a few years back as I was running out of space to store them and I started with a digital subscription to AN. I do still prefer a paper magazine though and I have actually reverted to picking up a copy of AN on a monthly basis. I was slightly surprised that WH Smith no longer seem to carry the magazine, but if they did I would definitely be buying it. Steve
  5. Not sure I have the answer here...but I'll be very interested to hear what the responses are! I fear and feel just ever so slightly embaresed to admit that I have been working under the mis-apprehension that using a powered hub would in fact increase the distance over which USB can operate, experience now makes me think this isn't the case. Having concluded that an active cable might be the solution to my issues (USB3 at 5 meters), I'm about to order one. Steve
  6. SteveA

    EQMOD parameter

    Did you see this thread ?
  7. SteveA

    EQMOD parameter

    Have you assigned the mount to the correct COM port ? Steve
  8. SteveA

    New Mesu 200 for £1500.....really...

    Indeed....something doesn't seem quite right here. I would probably apply the thinking that..."if it sounds too good to be true it probably is" Steve
  9. SteveA

    What Have You Learned From Astro?

    Winter nights are dark and cold! Summer nights are not so dark...but lovely and warm! I don't like the cold! I want to move to the tropics where the nights are dark and warm! Steve
  10. SteveA

    Dehumidifier finally died

    Keeping the filter clean seems to be an important thing to do. I'll certainly be taking better care of my new one.... Steve
  11. SteveA

    Dehumidifier finally died

    I'm looking forward to the auto restart functionality! My old one didn't have that and we suffer a fair number of power outages where I live. I mostly discovered we had had a power cut on finding a dripping wet observatory...very annoying. Glad to hear your unit it is back to doing its job. Steve
  12. SteveA

    Dehumidifier finally died

    Clean...filter? I do vaguely remember reading something about that when I first used the unit. Sad to say that I have never even thought about doing it since, and quite possibly this may have had something to do with my failure. Having just looked at the filter...it actually looks cleanish, which is kind of surprising after 10 years of use! Curious about the spec of your DD822 I,see it now seems to be unavailable I have however found a direct replacement for my expired unit and I will be ordering one tomorrow http://www.dehumidifiersuk.com/eco-air-dd122fw-mk5-portable-cellar-dryer-dehumidifier-with-2-year-warranty.html Steve
  13. SteveA

    Dehumidifier finally died

    Mine is running on mains power being in an observatory. I installed IP66 rated sockets in the observatory and the whole lot is on its own RCD. So far I haven't electrocuted myself The whole business with condensation revolves around humidity, temperature and ventilation. Some observatories or out buildings suffer to varying degrees and although ventilation its self can for some people provide an adequate solution, I personally despite plenty of ventilation have always been plagued with it. I normally turn my dehumidifier on around the end of October and it runs until about April. I have a remote weather station and a sensor installed in the observatory, I keep an eye on the temperature and humidity and over the years I have learnt to judge when it's possible to turn it off, so if the weather warms up or the atmospheric pressure is high I know that condensation will not be an issuance I turn the dehumidifier off. Steve
  14. So I guess that unless you have an observatory and use a dehumidifier most people will have little interest in this. On the other hand if you do and you have a desiccant type dehumidifier to keep the inside of your observatory free of the dreaded condensation that seems to build up from around this time of year you may have some interest in this... I purchased my DD1222FW desiccant dehumidified from http://www.dry-it-out.com/dehumidifiers/observatories about 10 years ago. It has given me a perfectly condensation free observatory for all that time and over the ten years I have had it, it has run almost constantly during the winter months. I think you would agree that's pretty good going for what was a relatively cheap bit of kit. With the temperature falling I decided to switch it back on for the 2018 winter season, as usual it started up absolutely fine and did its job for a couple of days. I popped into the observatory last night and as soon as I opened the door I was hit with that all to worrying smell of electrical burning. With the lights off I wasn't quite sure what expect, for a moment I suspected I had left the power on to the astro kit and the whole lot had got fried. Clearly that wasn't the case, but straight away it became apparent that the dehumidifier was dead and no lights were showing. I'm not quite sure what happened to it, there is certainly no outward signs of any kind of inferno, but I'm fairly sure it's terminal and a replacement is required. Of course, this particular model is unfortunately no longer available though DIO seem to have a couple of likely looking contenders. Anyway bottom line is...they clearly don't last forever! Steve
  15. SteveA

    EQ6 Pro Dec axis issue

    So...the first chance since re-assembling the mount to get it re-installed in the observatory and mount the telescope. First thing I realised is that I have NEVER had the telescope properly balanced! I mounted the Quattro in the normal way and with the now tuned mount it was way off balance in both DEC and RA, I was properly stunned believe me. Both axis are now beautifully free to move with no binding or tight spots. Even the RA axis on which I did the minimum amount of work has significantly improved due to the new bearings and a polished brass gear. It's the DEC axis though that has shown the most improvement though and I now realise how poor it was before. I'm pleased that I took the chance and lapped the dec axis collar, it has totally transformed that axis and together with the new bearings it feels like a completely different mount. I'm hoping that my ability to properly balance the whole setup will lead to better tracking/guiding which was of course the whole point of doing this. I was thinking of trying the old "propeller" test...but I bottled it. I know it would do it, but I just can't quite bring myself to start spinning it like a kiddies toy...just in case it comes off the mount. Just tuning out a bit of free play in the worm and will then get it all polar aligned once the weather improves...fingers crossed! And a bit of a p.s. When I was stripping the mount down, I removed both of the motors, which I had previously modified with the Rowan belt mod kit. I made an interesting and slightly disturbing discovery. On both the RA and DEC motor mounting plates the nylon rollers which are part of the belt modification were extremely loose. What had happened was that the small roller axle which screws into the aluminium mount plate had worked themselves loose. The movement of the belt between these rollers had on both motors caused one of the axles on each assembly to essentially un-screw its self. This was particularly pronounced on the DEC motor and the axle was close to falling out...see the included picture. It was a simply job to tighten these up, but maybe a worth while check for anyone who has modified their mount with this kit. I did my modification about three years ago. Steve
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