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Anyone interested in 19th century American observatories might enjoy a 26-page article by Elias Loomis with a considerable number of contemporary illustrations of both the buildings and the telescopes. It was published (pages 25-52) in Harper's Magazine, volume XIII for June-November 1856. I've never associated Harper's Magazine with much of interest to astronomy, and wouldn't have thought to look here - but it is very interesting! It's available for download at https://books.google.com/books?id=aG8CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA46
Hi, I'm currently digging out the hole for my pier to go into for concreting & I'm wondering how deep I need to go. The hole is 2 foot x 2 foot in width & was originally planning having it 4 foot deep. The problem is, as I get deeper it's getting more & more difficult so I was wondering if 4 foot is a bit overkill & could i get away with just 3 feet? I'm putting in steel reinforcing bars to steady it & 3 feet is pretty deep (Its more than half my height!) so I'm thinking that should be sufficient but if anyone could let me know if that's enough or not, my back & I would be very grateful! Cheers, Jeff
I wasn't sure where to post this tip....it is probably of most use here.... Many of us with observatories or indoor Mission Control use Windows 10 Pro Remote Desktop to control a scope side computer running camera and scope control software from a second computer indoors. This works superbly at 1080p resolution. However, I have struggled for a year trying to perfect a wireless solution that works with 4K UHD cameras terminating in a 4K UHD display. Until now, whilst cat 6 cable does work fine, wireless even at 5Ghz 802.11ac has struggled with some lag and poor performance. I have spent a fortune upgrading wireless adapters and range extenders, but this isn't the issue! Here is a solution; 1. Seperate your dual band network into distinct 5Ghz and 2.4 Ghz channels. This is easy with (say) a BT Home Hub. If you don't do this, it can be a bit hit or miss whether your 5 Ghz wireless adapters connect to the right channel. You will now see TWO channels, one at 2.4 Ghz with a suffix like <hub name> and another at 5 Ghz named <hub name -5>. Connect your 5Ghz adapters to the latter. If your internal adapters are merely 2.4Ghz, you can disable them via Device Manager and plug in a USB version costing around £5. Note that at 5 Ghz wireless range might drop. If so, a Netgear EX8000 wireless extender is recommended as it employs 'mesh' technology. 2. ONLY if you have a fast network, and powerful CPUs and quality graphics card, try DISABLE 'RemoteFX compression' in RDP. This allows uncompressed screen data to flow across RDP. I have found this improves performance whether using 802.11ac wireless or cat 6 cable. What RemoteFX compression appears to do is limit effective RDP speeds to under 10Mbps (due to translation times). That is crazy if you have 433 Mbps adapters, and an 802.11ac network (or catv6 cable). Unleash the beast! Send across uncompressed data! The issue is not with speed or bandwidth, it is an artificially imposed limit in RDP. To do this type 'Edit Group Policy' in the Windows 10 Pro search box (doesn't work in Win 10 Home). You need to drill down through about five levels of Windows Configeration Folders, and Administration Templates and Remote Desktop Services/Host folders to find a utility named <Edit RemoteFX Compression>. In that, your options are <disable> compression or <enable> a compromise mode. If you don't know how to do this try Googling 'Disabling RemoteFX Compression' to find a lengthy Microsoft tutorial. Or visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/performance-tuning/role/remote-desktop/session-hosts . I deliberately don't here state the quick route sequence to access this deeply embedded network utility command because you are delving deep into developer/administrator territory and do need to understand what you are doing and how to revert to your original RDP settings if your network can't handle these levels of uncompressed screen data. We don't want any novice attempting this on a cheap Compute Stick on an inadequate network! 3. When employing RDP from your computer indoors, select <WAN 10 Mbps> or <LAN 10 Mbps> as appropriate via <Options><Experience>. The default <auto-select my connectivity> often selects too low an option. The irony here is you can select this and still not enjoy faster speeds unless you have edited/disabled RemoteFX compression. I now have Atik Infinity plus CPWI software running in an end to end 4K UHD system terminating in a 4K UHD monitor. Over 802.11ac wireless it is now rock steady. Over cat 6 cable my system is now turbo powered. If you don't need RemoteFX Compression, don't let it restrict your network performance. It is evidently set to ensure it works on lowest common denominator networks. If you have a fast network/CPU, disable RemoteFX compression and finally release the beast of 4k UHD over RDP.
Hi guys! I thought I'd pass on this link to a blog I am constructing. I intend to detail and illustrate all the steps involved in the construction of a 2.2m square dome observatory from its conception to it's complete outfitting. I am an amateur astronomer and most of the stuff I used in the making of the dome, apart from the actual construction materials was from recycled stuff and bits and pieces I managed to scrounge. A lot of the outfitting electronics and gadgetry came from cheap Asian sources and the circuitry and software was again partly home grown or borrowed from other sources. Time, patience and a generous helping of youtube videos and forums like this one are a must if one gets stuck but thankfully one will always find the answers if one digs deep enough. Anyways ..here it is for any of you who want to browse..The blog should grow steadily as I add more and more information and pics and of course anyone interested is welcome to drop me a line on this forum or by email. There is a lot of ground to cover and so it might take me a while to finish uploading it all ..but after all...hey ...it took me a year and a half to finish! Welcome to The Raven and the Owl Observatory ... a home-made little portal to the stars... https://ravenandowl7....wordpress.com/ Dark skies Maurice
OK, you may laugh, but here this works. I did not originate this idea, I found where another posted about replacing his "Dome" for his mount. I adopted the idea wholeheartedly. His was under snow... I live in a very mild climate of Southern California, USA. We get some high winds occasionally, but where I have settled on my observation "site" in my back yard (Garden), I'm fairly well protected by a block wall and further by an ivy type vines from the winds when they come, and it helps with the light pollution from behind us. And the spot gives me my best views of the night sky within easy walking distance of my bed and pillow.... Picture 2: I lovingly refer to this as my "32 gallon" observatory dome. Because it is a plastic trash bin, inverted over my mount. Under it is a waterproof canvas bag as my primary cover. It doesn't roll off, it lifts off. I use a storage bin (blue) as a cover for my table side wiring connections, AC supply connections, USB powered hub that is 12 volt, and my AC connection for my Laptops power supply. My laptop is set on a tilt base that is attached to a swiveling base so I can easily turn my laptop to face my Mount/Telescope for focusing, or back towards my re-purposed office chair courtesy of a neighbor's dis-guarding it. The cushion gets put down under the mount for my little buddy to curl up on while he guards me against night noises. He drives off stray cats and an occasional Racoon wall walking in the night. Sometimes I've been asked about my wiring, or looming as it were. And my battery box, which I've included here. I use the battery to power my mount and CCD camera's fan. Since going to strictly battery power for my mount, I have suffered no more motor drive circuity failures. Those plagued me in the beginning, in spite of using a genuine Celestron power supply. So this is my Sleepy Dog Observatory tour. 32 gallon Dome, and all... Laughable, but it works. So far, weatherproof too. The open bottom aids in keeping things dry.