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About stevebb

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    My Astronomy homepage is here

  • Location
    Muston, near Filey, North Yorkshire
  1. Hi Pankaj, I rewrote my website and need to upload this guide again short term. I will be rewriting several guides and creating new ones as I have acquired more cameras and software. I will try to find time this week. Once complete they will be here ... http://www.stevebb.com/astronomy/
  2. Camera is now sold - price was listed but might have been inadvertently removed in an edit. My apols.
  3. About time I updated this blog as a lot has happened over the last few years. I left my rental in Hackness after work offered me a permanent position. So I searched and found a lovely house with a 1/2 acre garden in a semi-rural area just outside of Filey. I have continued to deliver talks on Astrophotography to clubs & societies and general outreach including schools both at home and abroad. I was also privileged to present to Prof. Brian Cox, an awesome and genuine gentleman who's advice ("slim down your other hobbies and concentrate on astrophotography") where brought up in conversation with the "bank of wife" begging for permission to progress this hobby to the next level. Permissions were granted and work began on a pedestal in the back garden and a Sky Shedpod came up for sale in Manchester. It is amazing how many nice and decent people you meet in this hobby. The gentleman who sold me the obs invited his family around to help left the obs on the back of a flatbed. I could not believe how heavy the top section is. Of course the Sky Shedpod was too wide to fit down the side of the house so had to be lifted over a 7' fence (I'm getting too old for this lol). Eventually, we rebuilt and parked it on the pedestal, rotated into place, ducts for the electric were spot on (within the concrete). And most of the pod is shielded from the kitchen window so no hassle from the boss !! I have recently acquired a Skyfi and a modified Sony A7S to replace my Canon 450D. The latter I was exceptionally happy with together with Backyard EOS but I needed something a little more sensitive for the milky way. I replaced the WiFi range extenders and bought a MESH setup with one satellite which has increased the range into the garden. A signal test on my tablet is very encouraging so it looks like remoting is going to be possible. I have been asked if I could provide basic workshops and tutorials on astrophotography. Once I am happy with the setup and comfortable in using it (I am a little rusty), then I will begin with these. I cannot finish this blog entry without giving a shout out to York Astronomical Society (YAS). There are several members in this club that continue to offer help and provide inspiration. There will be a thank you BBQ organised when the nights become a little longer. Here are a few photos on the progress - need a better photo of the unsmiling "old git" though Best wishes, Steve
  4. Well, progress has not only been made, the observatory is almost ready for action. The next stage is to accurately polar align the mount. I have already placed a "wanted" advert for a QHY Polemaster as I am wanting the alignment to be perfect. I recently purchased a Skyfi + Sky Safari Plus and also a MESH WiFi network allowing remote coverage of the observatory. After delivering astrophotography talks locally, I have been asked to provide some workshops and tuition. Once I am happy with pointing accuracy and comfortable in object selection (I am rusty) I will be progressing with these. If anyone is interested and living around the Filey area then don't hesitate to drop me a pm. This is a hobby that needs to be shared and learning as a group is the best way to develop skills. Best wishes, Steve
  5. Bit of a longshot as I appreciate those that have this probably want to keep hold of it. However, just on the off chance someone is selling one of these, please let me know. Happy to swap / part exchange for a Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro tripod and extension tube + cash on top from me. Best wishes, Steve
  6. Selling an NEQ6 Pro tripod (complete) + extension tube + vibration suppression pads all in white (except the pads) This is in excellent condition and the reason for sale is I now have a pier and the head is installed on this. This includes the spreading plate and the long bolt.In addition, there is also a top plate for the extension tube not shown in the photo. The top plate does not have the "dowel" that the azimuth bolts tighten up against as that was needed on the pier. I will also throw in 3 plates for the tripod feet so it is totally stable with sited on grass. List price on these is over £200 and looking for around £150 or may trade for astro software / 2" filters and I am also after a QHY Polemaster with an EQ6 bracket Item must be collected from near Filey in North Yorkshire as this is heavy and I would not trust a courier service.
  7. Having recently replaced my astrophotography camera, I now have the old one up for sale on an astro site. However, doesn't hurt advertising it here Here is an astro modified Canon Rebel xsi which is the Canon 450D equivalent. It is "good" condition and fully working order but does have some light scratches to the rear screen. I have tried to photograph these but they do not show up when the camera is switched on Shutter count is 3860 which is extremely low. Also included are the following : Astronomik CLS clip filter which really is fantastic and makes a huge difference. It also adds additional dust protection. Battery system / dc coupler - connects to a figure of 8 lead (IEC C7 Power Lead) - I might have one spare if deemed absolutely necessary. This device provides permanent power to the camera for those long nights - brilliant ! 3 batteries and multi-voltage charger (mains / 12volt / 24volt) I do not have the original box but it can be posted to UK address. I would prefer collection (near Filey, North Yorkshire) but willing to post if you cover Paypal fees. I might have a couple more batteries in other camera bags !! Reason for sale is purchase of an astro modified Sony A7S with canon lens adaptor. Including a few photos taken with this camera. Two of these images were placed 1st and 3rd in two separate Astrofest competitions in Yorkshire (York and Hull). £120
  8. Alan and Pete thank you so much for your advice, stainless it is Steve
  9. Hi, I am after a bit of advice please. Groundworks are about to begin for the observatory and I want to use L bolts in a template and set the bolts into wet concrete. I have been looking at prices on Fleabay and wow, the stainless steel ones are quite expensive (M16 x 300mm are £44 for 4). Could I get away with zinc coated mild steel at half the price (M16 x 440mm) or am I setting myself up for trouble ? The pier is inside the observatory though appreciate when observing on a cold evening there is a possibility of moisture/ice building up. Also, is 300mm enough - I have been googling and although see lots of photos I have struggled to get exact measurements. Thanks in advance, Steve ps the holes on the base of the pier are pretty big hence thinking about M16 - again, if this is overkill and M12 would be suitable please advise
  10. Dave you are spot on, 28 seconds on a fixed mount
  11. Finally got the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 and what a cracking lens it is - Canon 5DmkIII at the other end. Lit the rocks with a sweep from the headtorch for about 0.5 seconds. Steve
  12. I am in the process of setting up an astrophotography and imaging group just outside Filey in North Yorkshire. Having recently taken delivery of an observatory together with a fixed pier and currently awaiting a quote for the concrete plinth. I am hoping to break ground next month with the observatory being "functional" by the Summer. Please note this will NOT be a visual astronomy group as such and instead, will primarily be for astrophotography with the intent of learning and sharing techniques together. Lots of work ahead and this post is more of a "feeler" to discover nearby interest. I met a wonderful chap in Bridlington around 3 years ago having bought a dual saddle from him but sadly, cannot remember his name or exact location as a hard drive crash meant I lost all contact details. It is knowing someone like this relatively close by who could assist with the "little things" like EQMod, oversee the pier placement (before I cement the bolts in incorrectly), drift alignment .... ie someone who has already been through the initial stages. My end goal will be one of fully remoting the observatory and this may even progress to remote sessions over the internet. I do like a good challenge I will be charting progress in a blog on my homepage. Best wishes, Steve ps with huge thanks to York Astronomical Society for their help and advise getting me this far
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