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Blog Comments posted by stevebb

  1. 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,








    • Like 1

  2. Thanks Isabelle, it is a touchy subject unfortunately - the previous owner of this house had also mentioned it and it turned nasty. On some dark and dreary days it never even turns off.


    I brought the subject up once and then told him to forget it and bought the family a huge tin of chocolates for Christmas - I think I have patched it up and would rather have a miserable, ignorant neighbour than a hostile one  ;)



  3. I have put a plinth down in a position where there is an evergreen in the way. It will do ... however, without the light it would be incredibly dark - just no reason for it to be on constantly (currently comes on at 3pm and goes off around 9am the following morning).  It is a touchy subject though and I gather other neighbours have commented on it. Was tempted to buy him a PIR light as a Christmas present but chickened out and got them a box of chocolates instead  ;)


    Best to keep the friendship with neighbours - I will make do  !



  4. Hi John,

    I kept the scope parallel over a long piece of polystyrene and actually performed the job inside a cold shed - so no chance of any dust floating around ;) I was conscious of dust and debris not knowing how old the scope was since new (I part exchanged a DS solar scope for a full package from a delightful gentleman) and there was absolutely no dust or debris that dropped out at all. It certainly is a fabulous focuser though.

    Best wishes,


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