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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5704852 - 02/28/13 08:15 AM Attachment (60 downloads)

Inside the dome

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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5708262 - 03/02/13 07:30 AM

Hi Anthony,

Sorry for the slow reply.

Well it looks as if the new pulley system has effected a cure to your struggles with the shutter of your Pulsar dome !

Looking at your last image though, ("Inside the Dome"), I note you are working from the original tripod. Have you any plans to install a pier ? They do provide extra room to the limited space these domes offer although in my case, I think I have lost such that I gained with mine by mounting my two 'scopes horizontally parallel to each other !

Also, is that also a dehumidifier I spy at the back ? If so, I did consider one for my dome but thought they were somewhat expensive; (Sky at Night magazine advertised one once for £170+). Does it do a good job ?

I have since got around that potential problem by use of a simple 1KW fan heater which is timed to "kick in" for a quarter of an hour in every hour through out the night, (when the dome is not in use of course).

My humidity gauge appears to indicate that it does indeed keep moisture at bay; evidenced too by laying a hand on the iron counterweights. Any moisture around and these are the first to allow it to condense !

Anthony, I wish you all success with your dome, with your coming family visit and to a meeting with you, hopefully in April. And, should you be able to attend the IAS in Leamington after all, then I'm sure you'll let me know nearer the time.

Hoping that these eternal grey skies eventually pass: (I think so far this year, we have had less than half a dozen clear nights ,let alone seen the Sun in the daytime) !

Best regards,
Tel


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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: Tel]
      #5713866 - 03/05/13 05:02 AM

Good Morning Tel,
The interior does look rather cluttered and that’s before I bring in the comfortable observing chair!
Normally the de-humidifier lives indoors but ivo the high humidity levels in the dome during the last few months it has remained in situ. Actually this appliance is extremely efficient, with many settings.
I will often switch it on, having set the timer for 2hrs then switch off the power from its source indoors, so that it can be switched on when necessary & controlled indoors without entering the dome.
The 1Kw dimplex heater seen on the table is a permanent feature remaining on 24hrs per day it uses v.little power and keeps the chill off the dome interior. Obviously it is removed several hours before a planned observing night.
Incidentally I always keep the ‘scope and mount covered with a heavy poly/foam sheet as in the past, heavy condensation on the dome roof has dripped on the equipment.

Your comments concerning the amount of room taken up by the existing v.heavy weight tripod are indeed valid but I have no current plans to replace the set-up with a pier because of the huge amount of work involved.
Originally it took, ‘forever’ to set up all the equipment, balancing the OTA in ‘three dimensions’ to provide for exchanging eyepieces with cameras and other gear all affecting weight differentials.
Achieving the GOTO facilities to a reasonably accuracy required much time and patience in setting the 6x star alignment process. Then finally working through the ‘drift method’ for accurate sidereal motion can take a while....all of which requires a good clear night sky at least for several hours!!!
For photography I additionally use the ‘Orion Star Tracker’
So many tasks before one begins to actually use this expensive equipment I sometimes I wonder if I chose the right hobby/pastime but having read a book on astronomy aged 10yrs I was completely smitten with the subject and couldn’t wait to own my first telescope.

I am currently living with my friend Jane in the wilds of Woodend nr. Marlow and checking the night sky at 7pm on Sunday was amazed to see a sky completely devoid of clouds, this ‘phenomenon’ remained until a large cloud bank began rolling in from the East at 10:30pm.
Jane’s house has almost a 360 deg vista allowing views of all the winter constellations in the South and clear views of the rising Spring Constellations. Leo etc in the East.
Absolute magic!!!...My location is quite restricted.
Were you also blessed with a brilliant night sky?
The downside was of course being away from my observatory on an exceptional night not seen for months.

My son Steve now tells me that due to his Company’s re-organisation plans in London he is unsure of his visiting dates this year: could be June or even July, so I may well be able to join you in a trip to Leamington in May, buy I will of course let you know asap.
In the meantime I will look forward to seeing you perhaps at ‘my house’ in April a date we can arrange idc. You are welcome to come in the morning or afternoon and can return home before dark fall.
With Best Wishes,..Anthony


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Tel
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5717681 - 03/07/13 03:04 AM

Good Morning, Anthony.

Many thanks for the invitation to visit you when the days draw out a little more. April, for example, would be a fine time. I'm normally free most days, so if you can propose a date nearer the time, I'm sure it would be acceptable.

I agree entirely with your comments on the number of tasks one has to undertake before even getting to use the equipment.

Even with a permanent set up and with one single imaging target in mind for capture, I would guess that on average it takes me somewhere between one hour to one and a half hours to get the main 'scope aligned, .... camera focused accurately on a bright star, .... guide 'scope equally camera focused on a bright star, .... move to target, .... review exposure levels, .... centralise target on screen if necessary, .... set up guiding system and then eventually, .... with fingers crossed .... GO !

And all this with a anxious eye on the weather.

Oh that we might have more than one clear night occasionally, since part of the problem in my case, is that such are so few and far between, I tend to forget the routine !

Best regards,
Tel


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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Observations new [Re: Tel]
      #5733668 - 03/15/13 09:02 AM

Good Morning Tel,
Lady luck has given me some reasonably clear night skies this week and situated here in Woodend nr Marlow.
As previously mentioned such is the high isolated locality of my friend Jane’s large garden it allows an almost 360deg vista of the night sky. Not wishing to ‘crow’ it is truly wonderful and majestic to see so many constellations at the same time, all slowly moving westward allowing one to easy understand how the Earth rotates.

Although the temp was below freezing with a cold north easterly howling and requiring much warm clothing, the low humidity in the air provided incredibly sharp views: Andromeda could be seen very easily.

Wishing that my observatory and ‘scope were with me I had to be content lying back in a chair with low power binoculars, albeit with a good FOV.
Unfortunately this wonderful experience lasted only an hour before dense cloud banks from the N.E sky rolled in, slowly and menacingly moving across the night sky until within 10minutes that wonderful stellar vista had been removed.

The forecast seems to show a week of wet and windy weather and its times like this I dream of moving to places with sunnier climes and great night skies!!!!
What have the night skies been like in Wallingford these last few weeks Tel and have you been able to do any astrophotography?
I hope the weather improves during April!
Best Wishes and clearskies but one has to agree this web forum is well named!!.
Anthony.
ps Thought I had better change the title to something more appropriate


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5733747 - 03/15/13 09:56 AM

Quote:

ps Thought I had better change the title to something more appropriate





Changing titles is rather confusing for those reading the threads.


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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5761893 - 03/28/13 08:12 AM

Hi Tel,
Haven’t heard from you for a while and wondered if you had received my 15Mar post at which time I was curious to know the quality of the Wallingford night skies given that in South Bucks on that date they were crystal clear albeit only for 2 hours.

Surfing the various Forums I came across the ‘Nextstar’ in which it seems you have been actively engaged in providing help/assistance to the many questions posted on this Forum….“Where do you obtain all your knowledge?”

My career was far removed from the ‘technical’ and following my first purchase of a Newtonian / PM 1 Mount from the legendary ‘Rob Miller’ back in 1991 I spent much time learning about RA/ Dec Circles and the Drift Method of aligning Mounts.

We still have some snow and temps have yet to resemble Spring but I am hoping it will warm up for your drive to Bledlow Ridge in April.
I am not sure which day you had in mind to visit the Royal Leamington Spa/Astronomy show in May but I can now certainly make Saturday the 18th.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Clear skies and Regards
Anthony.



.


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Tel
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5763689 - 03/29/13 05:58 AM

Hi Anthony,

My abject apologies for having missed your post of the 15th but I don't tend to browse other forums too much outside that of the Nexstar one; basically because "Nexstars" are 'scopes I know most about !

I did however own an EQ mounted 8" Newtonian before acquiring my Nexstar 8i in 2006, so I became equally au fait with the use of setting circles, although I didn't bother with drift alignment as, at that time, I was having to carry the assembly to and fro: from house to garden and back again ! It was thus not permanently sited. But since then and as you know, I have developed my set-up by acquiring my "Dome", (2010), and pier mounting both the N8i's OTA plus a 4" refractor on a Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro, which performs well.

I'd had branched into astrophotography as far back as 2006 using my N8i, (then Alt./Az. mounted), combined with a Meade DSI Mk.1, but soon realised the limitations with the system !

As to whatever knowledge I have ? I confess that such is pretty well confined to my experiences with the above, although as a former industrial chemist who was enjoyably engaged in customer problem solving, I guess I just can't stop "poking my nose in" when the occasion arises !

Sad to say though, I haven't been able to do any practical astronomy myself in a long, long while.

Being nowadays as stated, mainly interested in the photographic aspect of our hobby, I am more than ever reliant on prolonged clear skies; something that's been in very short supply of late !

I will try to fix up a date with you for my visit to Bledlow Ridge next month. Perhaps you could drop me a PM stating when you might be free ?

As to the Leamington visit, the Saturday would fit in very nicely with our plans for that is the day on which we intend to visit. Again though, we can iron out the details nearer the time.

Once again, my apologies for (nearly) missing your post here !

Best regards,
Tel


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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Pulsar Observatories new [Re: Tel]
      #5768149 - 03/31/13 07:02 AM

Many thanks for your message Tel,
Interesting to read how you settled with your current set up, notwithstanding the high costs of astro equipment, one has to indulge in much research before finally deciding on particular items.

Astrophotography is a demanding hobby necessitating much patience and waiting but then ultimately the rewards are very satisfying, even with the ‘old’ film emulsion days. albeit a trial and error process.
Although now days with digital A.P the results are immediate available to you we are always at the mercy of the ‘perfidious night skies’

Anyway a date for April!! Assuming we are lucky enough to select a dry warm day may I suggest any day during the April period from Sat 20th…….Sat 27th.
Hopefully this would perhaps allow us to check the weather forecast nearer the time.
Look forward to hearing from you and wishing Clear skies
Regards Anthony
Sorry Tel but had problem sending a PM


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