Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.



  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

694 Excellent


About Hawksmoor

  • Rank
    Proto Star

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Travel, art, astronomy, photography, music, the theatre, chess and mathematics.
  • Location
    East Anglia UK
  1. Wind and rain! Rain and wind!

    So rather than "pining for the fjords", I thought to try a bit of astro 'DIY' light. Managed to fit an old Orion EZ red dot finder onto my Altair astro 66mm Lightwave refractor. 

    Also decided to reuse my redundant QHY5v planetary camera for obtaining low res spectra. Managed to complete a few basic calculations and mount a transmission grating at an appropriate distance from the imaging chip. Then set about getting my laptop to communicate with the old camera. Went to QHY site and downloaded the most recent driver for the QHY5v.

    Downloaded a more recent version of Sharpcap which seems to work with the QHY5v using ASCOM. Need to work on settings as first captures were hyper noisy. Not really sure what I am doing but I've never let this stop me in the past. "Ever backwards and downwards"!

    George now tucked up and pleasantly cosy in my sleeping chariot.

  2. I live close to the North Sea. Weather is often variable and affected by the tide. So clear skies are difficult to predict and often at odds with the met office. The one big issue I have is 'condensation'. With standard insulation jackets, camera lenses dew up after an hour, so I now use battery powered 'Dew-zappers' on all my camera lenses and telescope objective lenses. Hope helpful George in moist Lowestoft
  3. Hi I've cast a reinforced concrete pier onto existing concrete paving slabs sitting on top of a 100mm concrete slab. As my wife had agreed to me installing this 'sculpture' in our tiny backyard I decided digging a big hole in the recently installed patio was pushing my luck! I drilled through the paving slabs into the concrete and then used specialist adhesive to anchor mild steel reinforcement bars into the existing concrete. I then wired and welded a cage of mild steel reinforcement for the column to the bars anchored in the existing concrete. To give the whole construction additional mass for increased stability I cast an integral cube of concrete directly on top of the concrete slabs and at the base of the pier. This cube had continuity steel drilled and bonded through the paving slabs and into the existing concrete. Basically, instead of having a big lump of concrete under ground as a foundation I cast a big lump of concrete on top and anchored it to the existing concrete slab with steel and adhesive. There is a image on my SGL Blog somewhere I think named Lowestoft Pier. This isn't the prettiest piece of construction but seems to work fine. I haven't got an observatory as the garden is too small but you could use a similar pier in an obsy, particularly if you raised the floor level to the top of the base cube. This would enable easy isolation of the floor structure from the pier to minimise vibration. Hope helpful George
  4. Top images Reggie. Managed to see and get a quick widefield image of the Moon and Venus but did not capture Neptune. So nice to see your excellent images. Best regards George
  5. Received this week - 6x 9volt 700mwh rechargeable batteries and a charger - reserves for my homemade 'dew zappers'. Delivered in snug fitting brown cardboard boxes. Small but nice! Am awaiting the delivery of an 'embossing press' that I can use as an intaglio printing press for up to A4 size etchings. It should arrive on Monday.
  6. Just watched the first episode of StarTrek Picard. Nice!

    Not only do we share the same values but he has proved conclusively that I'm not too old to go into space. "Boldly going-----" and all that malarkey. Good on you Jean Luc!

    1. orion25


      You're never too old to go into space. After all, that's where we came from!


      Reggie ;) 

  7. Hi Danny I built one back in 2016 which I have been using with cameras and telescopes effectively for 4 years. There is a picture of the finished box on my blog entry on this forum Blog 19648. (July 2016). Easy to make and quite inexpensive. Originally I was going to use white plexiglass for the light diffuser but as this was quite expensive to purchase, I used plasticard much favoured by model railway constructors. It works just fine, but in between use I protect it from dust by wrapping the lightbox with cling film. I used 3 ribbons of leds equally spaced as a light source all powered by a 9volt battery. I made my own frame from softwood but you could use a box picture frame if you can find one in a charity shop that is the right size to suit the aperture of your scope. Hope helpful best regards George
  8. Good heavens! another night that appears to be clear. Hope it stays that way, Already out playing with my mate Orion.

    George outside in the dark wearing a woolly hat In Lowestoft

    1. orion25


      Enjoy it for all its worth, George! :D 

      Don't forget to to see Venus and Neptune less than a degree apart on Sunday and especially Monday evening.




    2. Hawksmoor


      Hi Reggie. Nice to hear from you. I have been taking full advantage of the unusually clear skies over Lowestoft this weekend. Venus has been a spectacular beacon in the early evening and Orion strides over my south facing backyard for most of the night until I lose it behind a roof at about 2:00am. Have been working on a couple of widefield images of Orion for a day or so which I hope to post soon.

      Had a great day out with friends today in rural Norfolk. Had an excellent lunch at a posh pub. Most unusually it had original art works by Tracey Emin, Damion Hearst and Lucien Freud on the walls. They also had a herd of about fifty red deer with very large antlers in the adjoining grounds. Didn't get home until about 21:00 so even though the stars were shining brightly over our house l decided to give stargazing a miss for one night.

      Hope you are well and enjoying the skies over Georgia.

      Best regards George

  9. Last night I managed to keep going until about 1:30am when the threatened clouds turned up along with a sudden squall of icy precipitation. Just finished sorting out my flats before I was forced to dash carrying my mobile rig into the kitchen to escape the sleet.Opp

    Been busy today so not much time available for data processing but the 3 hours of data captured seems to have yielded two hours of lights worth stacking. My widefield 'Orion Dagger' project appears to be going well!

    Using a x0.6 focal reducer and field flattener on my Altair Astro 66mm. Doublet refractor enables the Flame, Horeshead, Running Man and OMC nebulae to fit on the chip of my Canon 600d DSLR.

    Quite excited and looking forward to the  next stage.

    Weather tonight very poor with no stars visible.

  10. After sorting out my shed I decided to treat myself to a bit of 'mini rig astro imaging' of Orion before the clear sky 'clouds up'.  Trouble is before the street lights go out at 11:30pm light pollution in Lowestoft is a big problem. No prizes for guessing what time the cloud is predicted to roll in overhead?

  11. Went out for a meal at 'the Crown' In Southwold - Very clear night and even with street lighting on could clearly see the winter Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon. The stars between Auriga, Taurus and Orion were spectacular! According to Metcheck,  Lowestoft weather is set fair for 'Sunday Night and Monday Morning' so may try some widefield  imaging in this area.

    Night all.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.