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About Penguin

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    Gloucestershire, South-West England
  1. Thanks Alan, I hadn't thought of wiggling the cable! I will try plugging other things into the port as well but I did also try a different port to no avail.
  2. Now having my roll-away observatory operational, I am trying out controlling the scope with EQMOD and I'm having problems that I think are probably the EQDirect cable. What I have is... Laptop in the obvservatory, running Stellarium, StellariumScope and all the EQMOD stuff 3 meter USB2 cable to a powered USB2 hub strapped to the pillar. Short USB cable from the hub to a HitecAstro EQDirect box, which then has an RJ-whatever cable plugged into the HEQ5 Pro mount. It was working last week and I was able to connect to and control the scope using Stellarium from the laptop. However, at that point I was running a 2-meter USB2 from the laptop straight into the EQDirect, bypassing the hub. This evening, I fired it all up and it failed to connect to the scope. First suspects were the hub and 3m USB. First I swapped that back to last week's 2m cable. Success! It found the scope on COM2. I disconnected and tidied up the cables, then tried to reconnect. "Not found" on any port! So I tried various different cables, with and without the hub. No joy. The only thing I was not able to swap out was the EQDirect cable and box, which is old, cracked, and came with the 2nd-hand scope, so I am suspecting that. I've ordered a new EQDirect cable from FLO but is there anything else I should suspect?
  3. Roll-away observatory plan

    I could put bolts on the base, either side of the pillar and put two holes in the pillar for the bolts to slot into. I don't think that would weaken the pillar too much. Or I could put a shelf in the Tardis that would slot under the shelf that is already on the pillar. I was going to do something like that anyway for the laptop etc. Or I could lift a couple of the decking strips and bolt some hoops into the concrete that the pillar goes into in the ground and fashion something in the base to slot into those. Lots of options and I suppose I should deal with this sooner rather than later!
  4. Roll-away observatory plan

    Most important check: the scope fits! We had some rain overnight and I can see a little dampness in one corner of the ceiling but I think I can fix that. I'm going to give it a few weeks before putting the scope in there permanently.
  5. Roll-away observatory plan

    An update, now that it has been painted and glued together. It still needs a lot of work: Handles and locks. Central door strip. Ventilation (I'm planning some holes behind the top signs and a solar powered fan to encourage through-flow of air) More permanent top sign boxes. Removable floor piece to close the slot around the pillar and complete the Tardis base at the front. The light is a solar-powered garden light and looking at it last night, it'll ruin any night vision! So I need a cover I can pop over it when observing. Check its weather proofing: if it's damp and leaky inside, I can't keep the scope in it, which kind of defeats the object. Speaking of which... Put the scope on the mount and make sure the damn thing fits! Add electrics, shelving, laptop etc etc
  6. Thanks for all the advice, I'll have a think. Unfortunately, it does have to be a laptop as it will also be the family machine. To be fair, I've been using Pixinsight on my current laptop (HP 250 G1 with an I3 processor, 4GB RAM and inbuilt graphics) so pretty much anything will be an improvement!
  7. Hi All, I am looking to get a new laptop for the family that I will use for PixInsight. The old one is getting a bit sluggish but I'm hoping it is still good enough will go in the observatory I am building to control the scope/mount/camera etc if I clear out all the crap it has accumulated. So I am wondering what I should look for in the new machine. I gather that image processing tends to go faster with a dedicated graphics card (this also opens up the possibility of playing Elite Dangerous one it :-) ). Can the forum make any recommendations as to what I should look out for? My budget is for up to around £500. Is an Ebay refurbished job my best bet?
  8. Roll-away observatory plan

    Thanks Olly, do you have pictures of yours? I'm not expecting winds high enough to lift the thing but was wondering how best to secure it Sliding it under a flange on the pier was certainly my favourite plan when I get to that stage. --- Alistair
  9. Roll-away observatory plan

    Quick update with a photo of the current situation. 3 walls pretty much done and I'm hoping to get the doors done this weekend. More photos on the tardis builders website I linked to previously.
  10. Roll-away observatory plan

    I'm actually logging the build on the TARDIS Builders' forum over here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=7707.0 It's not going to look as good or authentic as some of the creations on that site. In particular, the roof design will deviate significantly for reasons of weatherproofing. So far, the base is built and on its casters and the first wall is glued together. This is going to take a lot longer than my original plan for a non-TARDIS shed!
  11. Roll-away observatory plan

    Ah, situation normal: me being an idiot. Hopefully I'll be a bit more with-it when doing the build! Try this: https://www.flickr.com/gp/62783243@N07/sacJ4H
  12. Roll-away observatory plan

    I posted a link to the pier build pictures on Flickr. It's in my initial post at the top of this thread. It's also here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62783243@N07/albums/72157667611295585 https://www.flickr.com/gp/62783243@N07/sacJ4H It's ultra low-cost: the mounting plate is made from plywood and the pier itself is a drainage pipe filled with concrete! I will update this thread as I go but am not expecting quick progress.
  13. Roll-away observatory plan

    Change of plan, Wife and kids loved Luke's Tardis so we are going for that, at least for the moment. There are lots of Tardis build instructions and designs online and I have a rough idea how I will do it. I think the roof will be the hardest bit to get right (and weatherproof). I'm going to build the rolling base first while I consider the rest of the design. Casters are already ordered!
  14. Roll-away observatory plan

    Both of those look good, I'm obviously loving the Tardis! Mine will probably have to be a similar size to the Tardis, at least on the outside, but I was going to try and make it look more like a seaside beach hut with an apex roof, tongue and groove cladding and a nice summery colour scheme. Going to visit a local shed company tomorrow to discuss options but I'd like to build it from scratch myself if I can.
  15. Roll-away observatory plan

    Thanks Dave, I had a quick look before posting but could only see dome and RoR builds. If you say there are roll-away ones discussed on here, I will make a more thorough search.