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KevS

Anybody Playing Tonight?

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23 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Does taking a pic with the iPad out the window count? 😁

77266823-0C82-428A-A2AD-364E9BDDE932.jpeg

That's a lot better than I have got lately. 

K

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49 minutes ago, Gina said:

I think what is needed is a fully remote controlled observatory and imaging rig and control laptop on bedside table so that the roof can be opened and imaging set up all from the comfort of a nice warm bed 😀

Sounds like a plan.

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It should be possible.  I have the hardware done for motorising the ROR, just need to write the firmware for the Arduino Nano plus modify an INDI driver for the RPi 3 and upload it all.  I have a laptop which I need to sort out.  I think it's software and have a Linux Mint DVD from which I will re-install the OS.  Then I can install KStars and it should work.  I already remotely control my imaging rig from my desktop.  All this is a little way down my project schedule yet - working on ASC currently.

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4 hours ago, johninderby said:

Does taking a pic with the iPad out the window count? 😁

77266823-0C82-428A-A2AD-364E9BDDE932.jpeg

Wow! That's an amazing picture of Bennu, considering it was done from indoors...

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Weather doesn't look at all promising for nights this week.  Doesn't stop me advancing my projects though - just no imaging.

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7 hours ago, Gina said:

I think what is needed is a fully remote controlled observatory and imaging rig and control laptop on bedside table so that the roof can be opened and imaging set up all from the comfort of a nice warm bed 😀

 

6 hours ago, Gina said:

It should be possible.  I have the hardware done for motorising the ROR, just need to write the firmware for the Arduino Nano plus modify an INDI driver for the RPi 3 and upload it all.  I have a laptop which I need to sort out.  I think it's software and have a Linux Mint DVD from which I will re-install the OS.  Then I can install KStars and it should work.  I already remotely control my imaging rig from my desktop.  All this is a little way down my project schedule yet - working on ASC currently.

Gina,

That was my plan when I installed my obs just over 3 years ago. In theory I could run it remotely as I've tested everything and it works sometimes, but that is the problem, sometimes it does not. I found that the USB connection on the cloud sensor would drop out meaning that it didn't auto shut down when it started to rain. Furthermore my rig is mounted on a lifting pier which needs to be lowered, as well as parking the mount so that the roof could close safely. I have 3 sensor to check 'safe to close', the pier and both RA and Dec axes, but on one occasion when I was in the obs warm room the roof started to close with the pier still raised. Being on site I was able to manually abort the close, but if I had been asleep it would probably have destroyed some or all of the scope, mount and pier valued at close to £15k, so since then I've given up on the idea of fully remote operation and am always in attendance, albeit sometimes indoors monitoring everything remotely. I now NEVER start or close an imaging session remotely; maybe I'm overly cautious, but I can't afford to take the risk....

Good luck, Geof

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I've been spoiled ..... but at least I admit it <g>.

We've had an awful time of it here since October 6th on this side of the pond once the weather "flipped" from hot Fall to cool Fall.  No sympathy from Steppenwolf - you folks in the UK have to deal with this transparency issues MUCH more than we typically do. 

But its really been frustrating.  Especially after finally getting Astrotortilla's plate solving to work almost every time.

The first few months I was doing this (since early July) no doubt spoiled me silly with how many great nights we had to image.  Since the 6th, I've looked - and thought maybe it is not that bad.... hauled all the gear out, setup, do the polar alignment, then slew to the target, and after the first time exposure, shut it all down and move it all back inside.  The image looks like I'm shooting thru a fog bank or snow storm! It will be crystal clear until about 5 pm, then the moisture layer starts coalescing. By 8 pm the entire US that is otherwise clear during the day, is clouded over with this thin layer of moisture haze. 

I found a good site that seems to predict the seeing vs transparency issue - https://www.cleardarksky.com/ that covers North America pretty well for astronomical observing. 

This sight also helped with some visual "rules-of-thumb" - https://www.astroleague.org/content/seeing-and-transparency-guide .  Sunday night you could see Polaris, Vega, etc - but no stars on the Little Dipper.

Tonight is not looking hopeful - despite a clear and beautiful sky with a few puffy clouds right now !

Rich

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Geof,

My pier is fixed so don't have that problem, also most of my imaging rigs can be in any position and clear the roof when it closes.  I have two telescopes that would need parking in a special position before closing the roof - MN190 and my Ha solar scope.  I doubt I would run solar unattended and will not use the MN190 if there is any chance of rain and just do what I do at present, except that the motor can close the roof when I'm certain the scope is parked.  I shall be able to control it from inside the observatory as well as remotely.  I'd probably disable the automatic roof closing on detecting rain (I could just switch off the motor drive system).

Edited by Gina
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CO is saying 20% cloud but it's clear blue sky. Not opening up yet as it can all too easily change. MO is forecasting clear sky from 10 o/c. We'll see.

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Strangely  the sky has almost cleared here too.  Just  a few cumulus clouds on the southern horizon.  But as you say, Dave, it can all change by dark!

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CO tells me clear at 01:00, by which time I will  be in the land of Nod, busy day tomorrow and thinking head has to be on.  Last opportunity this week me thinks, can someone please remind me I'm enjoying myself. 

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I have a busy day tomorrow too and have a man coming to fix my Rayburn early morning so want to be up and had breakfast by the time he arrives.

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i will be out later tonight if its clear after work

Fingers crossed

 

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Hey guys, just been shooting some b-roll for my astrophotography channel, second video. This time I'm going to be shooting M33 for the first time. Glad to have finished the Eastern Veil tbh, 4 nights of imaging since August it's nice to start imaging a new target, especially one I haven't imaged before. Still get a big buzz when I see new DSOs on the back of my DSLR!

Looks quite clear tonight and no Moon until 1-2am so hopefully a few hours on it.

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The forecast is for it to clear here later, but tomorrow I'm driving down to Essex to visit my late dad's cousin, who will turn 102 next month, so I'm not sure that I want a late night tonight. I'm taking a couple of cousins with me; I think that the 3 of us are her 1st cousins once removed. It's remarkable to realise that she was born during the Great War (WWI). She has an excellent memory right back to the period between the wars, including of my dad who was born in 1925, when she was nearly eight...!! The night sky will always be there (weather permitting), but at 102 I'm not sure how many more times I'll be able to visit this wonderful lady, who is the last survivor of her generation in my family....!!

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28 minutes ago, KevS said:

CO tells me clear at 01:00, by which time I will  be in the land of Nod, busy day tomorrow and thinking head has to be on.  Last opportunity this week me thinks, can someone please remind me I'm enjoying myself. 

Well you are depressing me....lol

It shows clear at 11pm here....mind you it has said that before and in 10 mins time it will probably go Red.....😫

 

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40 minutes ago, Gina said:

Strangely  the sky has almost cleared here too.  Just  a few cumulus clouds on the southern horizon.  But as you say, Dave, it can all change by dark!

And it already has, seeing cloud bubbling up to the west and splodges of cloud overhead. Still not opened up, but keeping an eye out.

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34 minutes ago, Gina said:

I have a busy day tomorrow too and have a man coming to fix my Rayburn early morning so want to be up and had breakfast by the time he arrives.

Is that the same guy that's been coming for 2 years ?

Clear here ATM and forecast to last 'till around midnight so I've gone as far as uncovering the scopes.

Dave

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Yes, it is!  Had a phone call earlier confirming he's coming tomorrow so remaining hopeful but there have been times in the past when he's dropped out at the last minute with an emergency!!  I'll believe my Rayburn is fixed when it's fixed and working again!

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The forecast here has suddenly changed from cloudy to clear skies from midnight until sunrise.  Not entirely sure I want to be kicking stuff off at midnight I have to say, but perhaps I'll at least try to check out the focuser etc on the OTA I've added the reducer to.

James

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3 minutes ago, Gina said:

Yes, it is!  Had a phone call earlier confirming he's coming tomorrow so remaining hopeful but there have been times in the past when he's dropped out at the last minute with an emergency!!  I'll believe my Rayburn is fixed when it's fixed and working again!

Fingers crossed then, must take ages to fill a bath with a kettle 😂

Dave

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I have an immersion heater in the hot water tank so no problem with hot water - just the electric bill!!

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The orange block for "now" has turned red, what a surprise. Not. The rest looks orange, with 20% cloud forecast. Wonder how many more of the blocks will be turning red.

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