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Blog Comments posted by rfdesigner

  1. Try a machine wide search for anything less than 24 hours old. If you're using Windoze 7 turn off the indexing.. it doesn't work properly, missing loads of stuff... a well documented MS foul up. If you think you know where the file is, try refreshing, in W7 has an apauling habit of showing out of date file listings so missing off your latest additions.

    Hope you find it


  2. Thanks Stolenfether.

    We're really enjoying the house, a place that's ours!.. plus a dark sky, and something a bit historic and a decent sized plot.

    just need to get the obsy built, and get new roof on the house, and lots of insulation, and a new bathroom, and a new kitchen, and a new...

    ok.. it needs a bit of work!, but at least it's unique.

    might get time to notice the moon!

  3. Generally yes, but there is news.

    The CfDS has been officially recognised and is being listed to by governement (Bob Mizon who kicked off CfDS now has an OBE for his efforts). Light disign is very likely to become part of building regualtions soon, which will have a very wide ranging effect.

    Hampshire is installing down lighting units across the county, other counties are doing the same, these are buying a magnitude of sky darkening (this has been achieved near Bob Mizons place.. although the wider area isn't yet fitted out with these better lights, so performance may be better than 1 mag.). We also have a nationally recogised dark sky park up in Scotland, which means again that those in power are waking up to the problem.

    Also it depends very much on where you live, London and you will be lucky to see the moon.. Where I live in slightly rural Hampshire and the milky way is visible overhead, and go out to darker spots and things can get very good indeed.

    Finally many councils are now turning out some street lights after midnight or 1am... so stay up late and find out what happens.


  4. Radio control with a USB socket, now that would be great, hopefully not far off. A radio control transmitter can be hardwired to a computer but only to run some types of sim software. Except for maybe a focuser I cannot see too much use for raiod control in astronomy, gear is far too heavy.

    Take a look at the 2.4GHz systems and micro servos. I have one (DX6i), and it is very small and very light.. designed for the model aircraft market (not that I use it for that)


  5. Alt Az will track more or less as accurately as an equitorial, but you get very fast image rotation. If you want to image with an Alt Az you will either have to use an image de-rotator (another motor at the focusser, which then needs controlling accurately) or you would need a wedge so that the fork mount is 'pointing' at the north pole.

    A second issue with an Alt Az and an image de-rotator is that it still can't image across the zenith... it has to rotate extremely fast as you go past the zenith. The real amateur solution is the wedge, but they're not free.

    If you go for a german mount then it will expect to be polar aligned, again if it isn't perfect, then as you track you get image rotation, but only slight compared to an Alt Az, and if you image with lots of shorter images, say 10 minutes each, then slight rotation isn't usually an issue.

    Can you tell I only have German mounts?

    yours utterly biased :D


  6. Sorry to see someone else suffering what I suffered

    I went the crayford route about 10 years ago. ... oh the pain and anguish.

    In the end I popped round the model shop we had a work and for the price of a beer I had a 2" to 1.25" adapter/extension with slip ring made up.

    Now I have my 25mm 1.25" plossel parfocal with my camera

    Not having such a brilliant facility available at work any more I'd probably buy some 2" extension tubes and a 1.25 to 2" adapter if the craford didn't come with one. Point is it would never produce a system parfocal with your camera... hmm maybe I should get my adapter I have made up in a larger batch.


  7. I assume you mean it needs re-aluminising.

    I had my 12" "re-aluminised" as it too was in a bit of a state, that was about 10 years ago and it's still pretty good now (but then my scope's got a window so that helps)

    I used Telescope House.. although things might well have changed since then.

    They weren't the only ones offering a re-aluminising service, have a phone around.

    I seem to remember it cost me ~£100 for the 12" and about £60 for my 5.5", It might cost you ~£200 for a 16" in todays money (wild guess)

    Good luck, dark clear skys!


  8. I hope everything settles down soon so you can take another look at Saturn. Good luck.

    Your recount of your fantastic opportunity with the clark telescope reminds me of a Holiday I took taking in LA. There's a 16" refractor there (right next to the Hollywood sign) benefitting from the stable air currents comming off the pacific. When I visited it was pointed at Jupiter....

    You know all those fantastic planetary pictures we see taken with high speed cameras where the best 0.001% of images are selected and then sharpened... well the view was like that finnished product, but at the eyepiece, just a bit of shimmer.

    I only wish I'd seen Saturn with that scope.

    Good luck


  9. Hi

    If you take the spider out and put it back in on the origional bolt holes it won't be far out.

    You ought to recollimate but that's a skill you should aquire anyway. A home made cheshire collimator is all you need, and is only £25 if you buy one.

    I fitted out my old TAL1M with tube baffles which has a similar effect.. all but eliminating the glow from bright objects.. well worth doing.

    good luck.


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