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Gina

Personal Astro Thoughts for 2019

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I can't remember when I last did any astro imaging!  I have all this equipment lying around doing nothing.  Astro cameras, telescopes, excellent mount on a pier and in an observatory that took me a lot of time and effort to build.  Plus very expensive filters and other stuff.  It really isn't right!!  I should either pass on what I can to others who might make use of it or get my mind back into astro mode.  OTOH nobody sees to have had much luck with clear skies lately.  But with the new year coming up I've been starting to think!!!  Not only lots of hardware doing nothing but software too - I had PixInsight barely long enough to work out how to use it when astro imaging just seemed to stop.

Some things have taken priority admittedly.  I need to declutter - with a vengeance, which I have been doing.  I think I may need to declutter my brain as well!  I believe I need to do some serious thinking and decide where I'm going in the coming year.  I have a couple of projects I want to finish but that doesn't stop future planning.  Can I get back into astro imaging I wonder - many of my friends say I should - they have been very impressed with the images I have taken to date.  I have what is basically a new project for me - gardening - for the warmer times.  But this doesn't need to conflict with astronomy.  Gardening in daytime when weather permits - astronomy is mostly at night except for Ha solar which is another new project for the future.  Apart from narrow band AP I also have some interest in planetary which I might look into in the future.

Apart from my main observatory, I have also had plans in the past for a second pier and micro-observatory to take a single widefield imaging rig with ASI1600MM-Cool astro camera and vintage SLR lens plus filter wheel and NB filters.  This would be entirely remotely controlled from my living room.  It would also involve a DIY mount as the mounts I have are too big.  This is an interesting project in its own right.  But have I enough "little grey cells" left to get my head round it all, I wonder!

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Gina I'm sure your "little grey cells" are in prime condition to allow you to plan and complete any project you want.
Good luck with what ever you decide for 2019.

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Look forward to where your enthusiasm takes you with your astro work 🙂 

The bright side (?) of cloudy nights is that when we do get them - they're even more special 🙂

David

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I look forward to reading your posts Gina, always interesting and indicative of 'grey cells' in abundance.  As for 'de-cluttering', my artist bent requires a degree of clutter for my brain to function appropriately - but every December even I have a good think as to constructing a 'shape' rather than a detailed plan for the new year.

What ever you decide to do - go for it and all the best for 2019.

from George in Lowestoft

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I share your frustration, Gina, for all the gear and no activity. I would side with those who hope to see more of your images in the future. Maybe if you get a few clear skies, your enthusiasm may return? Either way, I wish you well with progressing your plans for 2019.

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I have only been a member of this forum for around 12 months but the extent of some of the projects you take on amazes me and some of the 3D printer projects especially interest me. I also understand the de-cluttering aspects you refer to as it is so easy to get involved in many projects if you have an inquiring mind but obviously finding the time to complete all of them is the tricky part.

However, with all the great equipment you possess I hope you can find the time, and the clear skies in the new year and would love to see the results.

Steve

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Good luck with the decluttering.

In the new year I need to make an effort and do the same thing.
Have loads of photo gear I don't use plus I have thousands in G scale trains I don't use as well.

Got some astro stuff I need to shift as that's not used and I'm happy just doing Ha widefield imaging.

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Sharing your frustration in UK conditions - have managed B. all since Sept really, and not through lack of staring at partially cloudy/misty/murky/full moon skies. 

😞

 

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Having a lot of projects on the go always frustrates me a little, and like you I think de-cluttering is going to be a good way to get a grip on some of them.

Biggest struggle next year will be letting go of some projects im just not going to have the time/funds for, like cars etc. But will free up some space in the workshop and in my head.

Good luck and hopefully there will be better skies in 2019 and you can rediscover your interest in the imaging!

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Been thinking about widefield rig with micro-observatory and DIY mount as one of my most interesting projects.  My latest design was for a dual rig but maybe that's a bit too ambitious as a start. A single camera with filter wheel and lens would be simpler, smaller and generally easier all round.  I think I should start with that and maybe upgrade later if I feel inclined.  Better to have something relatively simple the works than a half built project giving problems!

The next thing to decide is the type of observatory - dome, clam-shell or whatever.  I already have a dome part built but I don't know how difficult it would be to slave it to the imaging rig.  A dome has several advantages otherwise.  When my Giant 3D printer upgrade is complete I shall be able to print in a volume of 470mm x 490mm x 600mm.  I guess a clam-shell might be easiest - motor drive to open it at beginning of session and close it at the end.  Disadvantage is that it's entirely open to wind, dew and next door's insecurity light (though I can probably get them to turn it of while I'm imaging).

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4 minutes ago, Gina said:

Better to have something relatively simple the works than a half built project giving problems!

Definitely!

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Not really though I do have an ASI178MM, mono camera.  I think a colour camera would probably be better.

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