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mhard26339

New Observatory in Norfolk UK

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Hi,

Feeling pleased with myself so I thought that I would share with you a couple of images taken this week M42.

The perenial M42.

post-29087-0-61901200-1423502461_thumb.j

 And the central area of the Rosette Nebula

post-29087-0-96864300-1423502546_thumb.j

Still some work (there always is) on the focussing as it is very critical with Hyperstar at f2 but getting there.

Regards

Mike

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That's a beautiful M42 :)

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Well done Mike, you can pop over and sort mine out when yours is done.....:)

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Mike these are fantastic, love the shot of M42. I can just imagine how satisfying it must be to get that stage.  Look forward to seeing more and maybe some tips as well as you hone your technique. :smiley:

Jim 

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Mike these are fantastic, love the shot of M42. I can just imagine how satisfying it must be to get that stage.  Look forward to seeing more and maybe some tips as well as you hone your technique. :smiley:

Jim 

As I said Jim, feeling pleased with myself, all of a sudden it has all (appears) to have come together. The time spent viewing tutorials on Pixinsight, Maxim Pinpoint Etc has all come together and made sense. I have also got to give thanks for the support of some of the guys in the Breckland Astronomical Society; I think that is what made the breakthrough, just being able to talk things through sometimes helped. Must not get cocky, the next problem is only just around the corner !!!!

Regards 

Mike

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Argh, typo - fat fingers on iPad. I hope you spotted it. 192.168.1.151 (not 268).

The computer and the APC need to be on the same network.

If the subnet is set to 255.255.255.0 (usual for this type of setup), the first three numbers need to be the same on both computer and APC, but the fourth number needs to be different.

You then put 192.168.1.150 into the address bar at the top of IE/Chrome/Safari to get the Apc login screen.

David, I have finally got around to having another go at setting up the APC; success, under your tutelage all now working as advertised; I also realised what I was doing wrong deduced from your typo, I was setting up on 192.168.1.150 and then trying to connect to .1.150, dumkoph, set it to .1.151, connects to .1.150 no problem. Phew what a marathon!!! Thank you again.

Regards

Mike

Mike

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AARRHH, Grounded, just as I thought all was going so well the router is not talking to Dyndns so I cannot connect to the dome, so frustrating. I am not back in UK for 4 weeks so must grin and bear it as our key holder is not a techie, all I wanted was a router restart to see if that solved the problem!. I guess that the next time we are home for a while I must change my ISP to one who allows me to have a Static IP address (at a reasonable cost) any contenders please?. I hope it is a simple fix because after much racking of the grey matter between an 814 or 694, I have just bought a Starlight Xpress Trius 814 and started building an all-sky camera based on a ASI120MM.

Will keep you updated

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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Hi All

Another update on the attempts at operating remotely. I found out what was the problem with the IP 9258 power switch, the router had "lost" it from the network. When I got home as soon as I connected manually from within the network it was found again and all has been well ever since (at least with that item) As an aside switch on switch off by the key-holding neighbour did not resolve the problem.

However, using the dome remotely, I have found that one item of equipment that is essential is an IP camera so that you can keep an eye on what is happening inside your Obsy. Last night whilst operating from Spain my shutter chain snapped with the shutter open!!! If it was not for the camera I would not have known that the shutter was open, Maxim would have shown it as closed as soon as I hit the close button; you also need a friend (with keys, or hidden keys) who can go round and at least secure the dome if there are any problems such as this; at least it was clear when the shutter was opened so minimal threats of rain in the short term but my new Trius 814 left exposed overnight!!

I have also added an All Sky Camera to my cloud sensor for viewing the weather and I now find it an invaluable tool, I started to collect the bits build one but then found an Oculus for sale in UK Astro Buy and Sell

More money I know but proving invaluable, potential hidden costs regarding remote operation but!!!!

Lessons are coming thick and fast, fortunately I had double guessed this one and my friend Tinker1947 who lives a few miles away is going round this morning to try to secure the dome; Pulsar have also said when the problem has been analysed parts will be FOC but out of action again!! 

When operating remotely you are going to get problems and you must have thought them through or Ryanair will be getting more of your business and money that could be better spent on Astro.

Regards

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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In my last post I said that I had recently added an Oculus All Sky Camera which is shown below. The Aurora Cloud Sensor can also just be seen bottom right.

post-29087-0-94742700-1430470994_thumb.j

Regards

Mike

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To get a rather inexpensive NEQ6 attachment for my pier I bought the Skywatcher Half-pillar (tripod extension) for 68 Euros. Works very well. Attached it to the top of my concrete pier with two aluminium plates in between separated by three bolts to that I can level it precisely. Maybe I should take a better pic of the arrangement.

observatory roof 3

ex6-extension-weiss.jpg

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Mike,

your M42 is fantastic, looks like a sweet dessert! Makes me very tempted to invest in a hyperstar for my EdgeHD8. Can you give some details on the equipment and processing?

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Mike,

your M42 is fantastic, looks like a sweet dessert! Makes me very tempted to invest in a hyperstar for my EdgeHD8. Can you give some details on the equipment and processing?

Hi Goran, My equipment for this shot was Celestron 9.25 with a Starlight Xpress SXVR-H9 OSC (recently replaced with a Trius 814 OSC) and the Hyperstar. Processing was carried out in Maxim for the colour conversion, Pixinsight and finished off in Photoshop. From this thread you will realise that I image remotely for about 6 months of the year, consequently I am somewhat reluctant to set an imaging train off and leave it running for 5 to 6 hours. The M42 above is stacked from 100, 30 second exposures which with download/dwell times took circa 75 minutes after set-up, no Darks, Bias or Flats. Guiding was on but not really necessary up to one minute.

The one thing with Hyperstar that is critical is focussing due to the narrow depth of field generated by the f2, for this I use Focusmax via a Starizona Micro-focusser and take time to get it as good as I can for the seeing; I do have failures in this aspect but I love the Hyperstar system, at the moment it suits me perfectly.

Hope that this helps, any more questions just ask!

Regards

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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Another bit advice for operating remotely, Update windows manually, not automatically, just had another glitch due to a windows upgrade not going in properly. From the IP camera I can see that it just needs a key press to finish the installation but!!!!!. still I shall be home for a treatment next week so no problems.

Must admit I had not double guessed that one.

Regards

Mike

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Hi,

After a couple of glitches with the IP 9258 shutting down my remote operations until I return back to Norfolk for a reset and a replacement item that was a disaster I have now switched all of my power switching requirements to the APC 7920. Although much more expensive, to date the control software appears much more stable and positive and  no glitches, fingers crossed having said that now!!

Regards

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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Hi Mike, great post, and given I'm just about to purchase a Pulsar 2.2 to replace my ROR which has served me well (at least until I got a bigger scope which no longer fits) this post addresses lots of questions I had. I was just wondering how the automation was going, and why you chose the Shelyak over the Rigel remote dome kit offered by Pulsar?

Like you I considered sending my scope to a remote location, however I've decided I enjoy tinkering too much to send it afar, and for the cost spent over 2 years, I could have a dome for close to that price.

Thanks

Julian

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Hi Mike and Julian,

I am sorry to hear of the failure of the IP 9258 unit. This IP switch was recommended to me but I have decided on a different route to control my dome ancillaries under USB control as I can wake my PC from anywhere with an Internet connection so USB is then available to me. I have previously experimented with an Energenie power controller but this proved to be poorly constructed so I have decided to make my own.

I have the Rigel dome controller and this uses a Velleman K8055N USB controller for azimuth and aperture control and I use a spare port on the board to switch my automatic 'flat-flap'. However, the LesveDome control software that operates the dome drive motors can also address a further 8 ports under ASCOM Switch protocol using a second Velleman K8055N USB board.

My requirements would be neatly served by the following switches:-

1. General Accessory 12v PSU (Mount, Focuser, Flat-Flap, AAG Cloudwatcher)

2. Dome Controller PSU

3. Accessory (12v) switch

4. Camera 1 PSU

5. Camera 2 PSU

6. Observatory Illumination

7. Dehumidifier

8. Intruder Tazer - only joking, (or am I?)

So, with Wake Up On LAN using a 'magic packet' to fire up the PC from anywhere with an Internet connection and the ability of that PC to control all the equipment in the observatory, a new phase begins!

I hope the APC 7920 proves to be reliable, Mike.

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Latest update, to totally remove the problem of tracking my IP address via DynDns for the remote operation I have changed internet provider to ZEN and now have a Static IP address. For safety I have also installed a second IP Camera inside the dome.

 

Regards

 

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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can you recomend a reasonable price ip camera Mike, looking to install something into my obsy

 

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2 hours ago, red dwalf said:

can you recomend a reasonable price ip camera Mike, looking to install something into my obsy

 

The one that I have just fitted is Vstarcam H.264 1280 x 720p Home Surveillance Camera Wireless IP Camera Built in Microphone with One Key WI-FI Configuration APP, Motion Detection, Remote Viewing Function, 3dBi WIFI Antenna,Black from Amazon. initial impressions are good, easy to set up and always loads, also a zoom function.

 

regards

 

Mike

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AGHHHH, the November curse has struck again and my battery's are flat from no sun on the (3) solar panels so I cannot open the shutter. Another problem apart form the siteing of my dome is that the solar controller shuts down totally if the voltage drops below 9.5V and I have no way of recovering the situation from Spain. Fortunately my son is visiting the house this weekend so he can charge them up so all should (could) be OK but of course I have missed some clear nights.

The shutter hardware (the older Shelyak) must remain live and obviously draws current however small but Pulsar are not aware of any-one else with this problem but with my dome position/installation I get this problem every year, normally  as we change the clocks; I am working on (another) solution as it must be solved. The problem is that the top of the dome revolves around the base so no permanent connection from a mains battery charger can be made to the battery. However, the dome always returns to the same "Home" position so the plan is to use this fact to install some form of swipe contact system with a connection at that point, battery charger on the base ring through to the battery via the interface, the battery charger would only have a connection with the dome at the Home position but that would be enough for me to regain control of battery status. I would be able to switch power to the battery charger from the APC 7920 so when the sun is higher and more powerful and the panels are in sunshine I would continue to use that charging system.

I have my ideas but has anybody else come across this problem and solved it successfully? Any ideas would be welcome.

 

Regards

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear that you still have this issue with charging. A twin copper strip with matching swipe blades is certainly one solution and is often use by dome users, not for charging but for closing the aperture when the dome is in the 'park' position. However, the principle is identical.

A more high-tech solution would be to use an inductive coupling (this works on the same principle as a cordless electric toothbrush charger - you just drop the toothbrush on the charger base and it starts charging the battery by electromagnetic induction). However, the requirement for the dome to be parked still applies so a low-tech solution would be just as viable and easily a 'home-brew' project. If you need any help with constructing this, just let me know.

My own dome is positioned well for charging so I don't have this issue myself.

 

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18 hours ago, steppenwolf said:

Although the solution shown here is a little 'clunky', a slimmed down version would work just as well:-

View 1

View 2

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your input, I don't care if it is clunky as long as it is reliable and works, it does look similar in principle to what I was planning. However my intention is to use spring loaded carbon brushes from a washing machine (AEG part no 50680490005 )  as the transfer medium, spring loaded should be better for my extended remote operation at least IMHO, I can't pop down to adjust the screws. The success of the system may be determined on how the spring loaded brushes ride up the slip tube on initial contact but if the spring pressure is enough for it to work at set-up it should be OK for some time. I think that the induction method would complicate things unnecessarily but you never know if this"clunky" method  does not work!!!! There are induction systems available for 12V to 12V (the majority appear to be for 12V to 5V) this one may be a contender  http://www.robotshop.com/uk/12v-600ma-wireless-charging-module.html suitably housed

 

Regards

 

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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On 3/28/2015 at 08:53, mhard26339 said:

AARRHH, Grounded, just as I thought all was going so well the router is not talking to Dyndns so I cannot connect to the dome, so frustrating. I am not back in UK for 4 weeks so must grin and bear it as our key holder is not a techie, all I wanted was a router restart to see if that solved the problem!. I guess that the next time we are home for a while I must change my ISP to one who allows me to have a Static IP address (at a reasonable cost) any contenders please?. I hope it is a simple fix because after much racking of the grey matter between an 814 or 694, I have just bought a Starlight Xpress Trius 814 and started building an all-sky camera based on a ASI120MM.

Will keep you updated

Mike

Have a look at eclipse or Kcom as they are now know. Really good support if its ever needed. Been with them for about 15 years and always had a static ip that I can change whenever needed. Not sure if they still do it but also free webspace and address. Domain email address.....

 

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On 11/21/2016 at 15:03, spillage said:

Have a look at eclipse or Kcom as they are now know. Really good support if its ever needed. Been with them for about 15 years and always had a static ip that I can change whenever needed. Not sure if they still do it but also free webspace and address. Domain email address.....

 

Hi Spillage,

Thank you for your advice although I have already done the deed and moved to Zen; to date all seems well albeit a bit more expensive but I now no longer need to use Dyndns so savings there.

regards

mike

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