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Penguin

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About Penguin

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  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. This time last year, I put a permanent DIY pier in the garden which meant the mount could stay outside (pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/62783243@N07/iCp81S). This obviously means I don't have to polar align for every session, but the scope, camera, etc still have to be set up each time and it's not worth the extra hassle to computer-control stuff as well. So this year I want to put a shed around it. I don't have space for a full-sized shed so I am thinking of something like this: http://www.centralcoastastronomy.org/gallery/home-telescopes-observatories/walt-reils-oak-hill-observatory/nggallery/page/1 to just encompass the scope itself and roll-away when I'm using it. What do people think about this solution? Has anyone on here done anything like this? Looking foward to comments.
  5. Hi Snakey,

    Can I ask, did you manage to source a replacement LCD for your V3 Synscan controller? I think I have the same problem on my V2: the controller lights up but the display is blank. Pressing Ok repeatedly eventually gets the scope to slew, probably going to the first available star in the alignment process so I am pretty sure the controller itself is fine and I would much rather replace the LCD than the whole controller!

    For now, I am disconnecting and reconnecting the ribbon cable, in case its just a 'dry joint'.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    --- Alistair.

    1. SnakeyJ

      SnakeyJ

      HI Alistair,

      I think the ribbon cable wear very quickly and are not intended for multiple connection.   In the end I brought another V3 handset, though to be honest I hardly every use this since being introduced to EQMOD and CDC, which is far better IMO for an observatory setup.      You will see V3 and the new V4 handsets come up on Astrobuyandsell from time to time around the £ 60-85 mark second hand.

       

      Good luck - Jake

    2. Penguin

      Penguin

      Ok, thanks for that, I might start monitoring AstroBuyAndSell.

      I also like EQMod, ASCOM and StellariumScope but that is also playing up the last couple of times: complains about the Prolific USB driver though it was fine 3 weeks ago. The hand controller was my backup!

      It did display a few ascii symbols for a few seconds later last night and I have seen multiple posts suggesting it might actually be my power supply. But I am using a 12V, 5A mains supply so surely that can't be it?

    3. Penguin

      Penguin

      Plugged it in this evening and it worked fine. I think I will just keep the controller indoors and concentrate on getting EQMod etc working again.

      Thanks for the advice.

  6. Very useful post, thanks. My V2 Synscan controller has given up and it seems to be the LCD: the controller functions but will not display anything so it's pretty useless at the moment. Rather than forking out 3 figures for a new controller, I was wondering if you managed to source a compatible replacement LCD for your V3 and if so, where from? --- Alistair
  7. Thought I'd update with a link to my flickr album of the build now that it is done.
  8. My kids don't like her and I agree, the breathless speed when she is speaking and the pauses in strange places distract from what she is actually saying. I also find her constant nodding when she is listening to an interviewee offputting. But then Sir Patrick also had a very fast delivery that was sometimes hard to follow and I think much of her delivery is probably down to sheer enthusiasm for the subject, possibly combined with nerves over being on the telly. Nebula's point about the presenters' interests and specialisms influencing the topics covered in the show is an interesting one that I hadn't considered. Luckily for me, I enjoy the weird theoretical stuff as well as coverage of what we would actually be able to see if the clouds and light pollution ever went away. My bet for "not even light can escape" is at around 5 minutes in. Say 5'20"
  9. Here's my attempt then. Hopefully father-in-law can weld something to the bottom of each coach bolt to ensure it can't twist in the concrete. A 1.5 meter length of 200mm diameter PVC tubing is on its way from http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MM31PMK/ref=pe_385721_126801671_TE_item. Excited!
  10. This is hugely interesting. The guys at the local steam railway have said they may be able to fabricate a steel version as described in thread 145251, so long as the 'boss' allows them, but if they can't I will certainly look into this since I could do it myself. One question though, the steel plates need to have a 60mm diameter, 20mm deep recess cut into them. If I do that with 30mm thick plywood, that means the central bolt is only going through 10mm. Will that be enough or do I need a solid 30mm of plywood and then some 20mm spacers to support the mount? I'm not sure how best to explain it but hopefully my question is clear! --- Alistair
  11. Hmm, interesting, thanks. I have been blindly following Harry's tutorials and he put the samples per row up to 15 so I just did the same, moving them away from the object of interest and any bright stars (on an auto-stretched view). I will try with fewer in future. Should I turn off the auto-stretch before applying the DBE? Flats of course are 'harder' to take but the last time I was out I tried placing a sheet of A4 over the end of the OTA and pointing at a bright light. Seemed to work quite well so I will always do this in future.
  12. Here's my new stacked and processed result using just the lights with a score over 6000. Can't see what is wrong with the raw subs though.
  13. Ah, I think that's what I get DSS to do for me. I suppose if I stop it doing that then I can do it myself in PixInsight afterwards and that will give me more control.
  14. I re-did the stacking, telling DSS to only use the lights with a score above 6000 (which was about 5 frames out of the 47 I took) and all the darks. This resulted in a far smoother stacked image and the processing from there was much better. I will have a look through the lights one-by-one later and see if there are any strange ones. I will post the latest result when I get a chance. I also had the scope outside last night taking M81 and M82 and found a simple way of taking flats: point the scope towards a bright source and put a sheet of A4 printer paper over the end. Seemed to work quite well and when I stacked with those, the initial stacked image was much better and gave PI far less cleaning up to do, so thanks for the prompting and I will always do this in future. I had used Harry's videos before, at least the ones on cropping, DBE and histogram stretching and those are the workflows I tent to blindly follow. The rest seemed to be more relevant to monochrome images so I tend to skip them. The lightvortex walkthroughs look excellent though and I will definitely read through them. Thanks for the summary of sigma clipping etc. Why does Crop come first? is it mainly to get rid of mismatches around the edges of the frames where they are misaligned? I get DSS to do this for me so I very rarely crop any further until the end of the PixInsight work when I can see what I have. Is this wrong? Many thanks for all your suggestions.
  15. No I didn't take flats. I haven't built a light-box or any other way to take flats. Would condensation leave any tell-tale signs that I could check for. Also, this has happened on 2 consecutive observing sessions, 7 days apart. Would condensation do that or is it a transitory problem?