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Everything posted by BPO

  1. Interesting topic. OpenBSD has always been the backbone of my observatory's security needs, with various Linux distros doing most of the rest.
  2. Much as I'd love to give you all some stick about the UK weather, NZ's South Island is experiencing the worst autumn weather it's had since 1978...
  3. The countdown timer is included with v1.27m.
  4. I hope you're ashamed of yourself.
  5. I know of many people who opted for the EQ6/EQ8 over equivalent mounts almost solely because of EQMOD.
  6. Wait, I'm confused... Don't you mean EQASCOM_V127m? EQASCOM_V127l has been available since November last year.
  7. But was it ever exposed to dew while it was outdoors? If so, try opening it up and cleaning the contacts and pad. That fixed the problem when it happened to me.
  8. Bizibilder, was your RumblePad every exposed to heavy dew? I had one get a soaking and the end result was the same symptoms as your own: It lit up normally, but few if any of the buttons worked. The fix was a simple open 'n' clean of the key contacts. It's a straightforward job so long as you're reasonably careful. Maybe this will revive yours (and you'll then have a spare).
  9. Another Rumblepad 2 user here. Something to watch is dew: the Rumblepad 2 doesn't like dew very much at all and can lead to issues like sticky or unrespensive buttons. The good news is that it's easy to fix a dewed-up RP2. Carefully open it up (not difficult) and gently clean the contacts on the boards and membrane. You'll likely see a whitish deposit. Wipe it off and reassemble the controller. All done. After that, try not to let it sit exposed to dew when outside.
  10. Hi. Being off-grid and solar-powered, I use Intel D510 and D525 Atom-based boards exclusively in my observatory. They can easily do everything I need them to. You should have few problems, if any.
  11. The effect on the psyche of this type of sky can be dramatic. One night at my mountaintop observatory, after a very hard day digging huge holes and filling them with concrete, I decided to have a nap before observing. So I awoke again in the wee small hours and headed off to go answer the call of nature. Instead I almost had a meltdown, because on opening the hut door I was faced with the centre of the galaxy. It was like leaving an airlock in deep space. Never have I felt so small and utterly insignificant.
  12. The Equinox 120 is in my opinion easily the most bang-for-buck telescope in its class. You have to pay a lot more before you even begin to equal it. Like, Takahashi more. And although the stock focuser is quite excellent, it's definitely worth spending some more and upgrading it to a Moonlite. Then it becomes an heirloom instrument. :-)
  13. Yes. The "default" setting was not ideal for my site (high alpine, very cold), but once adjusted to the config as suggested in the manual it's been bang on ever since. But there is a definite variation from season to season, although not enough for me to bother with fiddling with the settings any more. I've found it to be particularly sensitive to dew, ice and snow, which is good. My site doesn't receive much rain, so I can live with less sensitivity there, although I have to say I haven't noticed any problems. Same. I was concerned that it may have been a bit gimmicky and ineffective, but now I wouldn't be without it. Well worth the money, in my opinion.
  14. The AAG_CloudWatcher has proven itself to be a must-have addition to my battery of observatory sensors. Once the parameters have been configured correctly for the site at which the device is being used it is amazingly accurate. It's nice to be able to become engrossed in something inside while knowing that nothing can sneak up on me, and even nicer to be able to see what's going on atop the mountain while I'm down in the valley.
  15. If someone was broadcasting a signal with the same strength and intensity of the light output of a galaxy then, yes, we could receive it.
  16. It hardly matters, since the signal will become undetectable long before it travels 1,000 ly.
  17. Inverse-square law. Almost all of our signals will be indistinguishable from the background noise by the time they travel beyond the nearest stars. Even the powerful and narrow-beam emissions won't go much further than that.
  18. Ahhh, southern wonders! For more than a month, the sky has been perfectly clear above my observatory in New Zealand. Which is nice, but I've been in Japan (the country that invented light pollution) for the last five weeks. Just to rub salt into the wound, I'm due to head home in time to miss the upcoming solar eclipse. Enjoy your sky!
  19. There's remote and there's remote. Like the OP said, there's not much difference between most sites when it comes to the technical aspects (unless you plan on setting up on Dome C or in space), so it's pretty well doable by the average person on an average budget. It's around 15 km straight line distance from my rural house to the "remote" mountain top site I own, but it's 25 km to the site via a rough and steep 4WD track, and there are eight farm gates between the observatory and the highway. Average driving time is approximately 80-90 minutes. A few people have expressed an interest in setting up remote observatories on my site, but some have been deterred by the logistics. So, remote can mean many things to different people. But is it any of it cheating? Not as far as I'm concerned. A good site is a good site, and a person would have to be crazy to not take advantage of it on some misguided "moral" grounds, IMO. It's like those wannabe "old salts" who make a huge show of disparaging GPS and ELBs and all the other "modern rubbish", on the grounds that "Captain Cook never had any of that junk, and if it was good enough for Cook, by God it's good enough for me!", as if the mariners of Cook's time wouldn't have murdered today's sailor for his/her modern conveniences. If you have access to a dark remote site, do whatever you can to make use of it, especially if you can do so from the comfort of your own home.
  20. Adding to this thread, I now operate two SQM-LE from my site and readings are reassuringly consistent. BPO: SQM-LE 1 BPO: SQM-LE 2 (Readings 60 seconds apart because I was not quick off the mark!) The internal server failed in our original SQM-LE, and it was quickly replaced* with another (SQM-LE 1) to which we recently added the second device (SQM-LE 2). Although conditions aren't completely similar between now and December 2009 (when the 22.0x readings were obtained), there is good reason to doubt the validity of those older data. Still, it will be interesting to see how much changes as the southern hemisphere summer wanes and our nights begin to increase in length. *Anthony and Unihedron offer excellent service and support.
  21. Why waste your money on small refractors? Get a real telescope! Takahashi FET-300 Fluorite Triplet Apochromat
  22. Crikey! That's dark! Agreed.
  23. What, no monks and monasteries? There's an NTM-500 in Nelson, NZ, being used for GRB observations. Talk about fast target acquisition! The direct drive tech is just amazing. As you said, no PE, no guiding...
  24. NZ, not UK, so maybe not too relevant, but my observatory is at almost 2,000m (6,300'), and always above the fog and low cloud - but if high cloud rolls in I'm in the same boat as yourself! As laser_jock99 says, one of the best things about a bit of elevation is the purity of the atmosphere, but it won't protect you from cloud cover. Even Llano de Chajnantor gets clouded out sometimes, as does Mauna Kea, et al.
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