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daz

Observing notes & reports

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OK, as I posted in my SPM report, I am acutely aware that my observing logs are non-existent and I really want to do something about this.

So my plan is this - bear in mind my handwriting is appalling!!

Scribble notes in rough during the observing session

Transfer those scribbles to Deep Sky Planner as soon as possible afterwards

Print the session report for filing away

I (like MartinB and a few others) have been inspired to try sketching the moon, and these will be both scanned into DSP and filed away with the reports.

How do others keep their observations/reports/logs ?

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Daz, I take notes in a notebook, for what it's worth my handwriting is pretty bad in daylight and I often have to reread what I've written a number of times, then post a report on my blog. I'm using the blog as a record. I have it subscribed to via RSS to get a full copy locally as well.

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Hi Daz.

I generally scribble notes in the book or guide I'm using at the time (currently working my way through the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders) then type them up later in MS Word or something when I get time. The neat copies get filed in a ring binder and posted on this forum or Yahoo group. I don't have a problem with writing in a cheapish book, although some people might worry about messing it up. If it's a decent hardback (like the Kepple and Sanner Night Sky Observer's Guide or the O'Meara guide to the Herschel 400), I'd use a notepad but then type it out for the ring binder again. I have tried using a voice recorder to take verbal notes during sessions, but find it really time consuming transcribing it out later. Maybe I should get a secretary.... ;)

My very amatuerish efforts at sketching just get filed away as is.

If I was less of a luddite, I would probably use one of the planning/logging programs, but my system works for me, so why change?

So long as it gets recorded somewhere, that's better than nothing.

Regards, Dave

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......currently working my way through the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders).......

Regards, Dave

What a brilliant book! Just got it on loan from my Library - but I am going to have to go and buy it.

It's the next step after Turn Left At Orion.

Brian.

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I've gotten fed up with trying to work out what I've written as my handwriting is pretty bad in daylight let alone the dark. Last night I went out to take some notes on some alignment issues and nicked Kate's dictaphone. Works a treat although I don't know what the neighbours would have thought at the muffled mutterings emanating from the back garden :?

James

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Daz, have you considered a digital recorder? Dictated notes (imho) are far superior to notes jotted down in the dark, and even though you'll need to transcribe them later it's a real luxury to keep your eye on the target rather than continually writing things down.

The meat of the session is written into my current logbook, and the digi-notes are loaded onto the computer. At my leisure the session is typed, printed, and put online. I usually take my sweet old time with that last step though, which is why you don't see too many online reports from me.

(Yeah, I know.. gotta work on that. ;))

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I keep a journal-type observing log which I write in as I go. I too have awful hand-writing, but the journal is just for me, so do I care? I stick in sketches and photos as well.

There is new version of Astroplanner due out soon that looks as thought it will include some seriously good observation logging functions. If this turns out to be half as good as it looks, I am then going to transcribe my observing books onto Astroplanner and include scanned copies of my sketches and my images as well.

My plan is to continue to use my observing journals as my main source of recording stuff, but Astroplanner will act as both a back up and make the whole record searchable.

As an aside, W H Smith presently have the A5 lined paper, plastic-cover, spiral-bound notebooks I use as journals on sale for just £1.99 each at the moment.

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My mindset is that observing notes ought to be handwritten - which of course is silly! As long as they are recorded somehow, somewhere is what counts.

Thanks for all the input ;)

1.99, eh?

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