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scorpius

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  • Content count

    282
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About scorpius

  • Rank
    Saturn's Groupies
  • Birthday 10/30/1934

core_pfieldgroups_99

  • Biography
    My web pages tell it all --- The good, the bad and the ugly..... But basically I have spent nigh on 65 years in radio communications, operating, designing and building, servicing etc from very high power industrial transmitters to mini micro devices. I have held a ham licence G3UJS / VK6DX for almost 50 years, since June 1964. Became interested in Astronomy at the turn of the century and plunged in head first and built my first DOB, an 8", using a storm drain pipe for the tube and a couple of 2nd hand mirrors.
  • Location
    Parkwood 6147 WA
  • Interests
    Just about everything
  • Occupation
    Life of leisure
  • Astronomy Equipment
    8" home brew Dob 10" Dob
    EQ6Pro asstd Binos/scopes.
    Canon 350D, A520. Var film.

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://dsmithdale.net

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Western Australia

Recent Profile Visitors

520 profile views
  1. Every bloke should have a junk shed Ray. There is even a box of complete parts and MDF boards to build a CNC machine ! I am waiting for my son to gain interest and give me a hand in making the beast. Dave
  2. Remember that ancient saying? "Necessity is the mother of invention" My Dad was great inventor, he taught me so many things. Being a Millwright and Engineer, always said, "Why pay someone else to make it if you can make it yourself" Val is always complaining about my "Junk Shed", but when I told her I saved myself $100.00, using what she considered rubbish for the bin --- there was a huge smile on her face. Dave
  3. Insects can be be a technicians nightmare, when I was working on long range radios in trucks and harvesters etc in the wheatbelt, (1970/80s) I experienced a number of failures of those old HF radios blowing up components, the biggest cause was from cockroaches which were very prolific in the wheat transport and harvesting vehicles. Some of them were whoppers as well, over 2" long, how they got into the cases was often a mystery. But they are notorious in squeezing between two fag papers glued together !!!! Dave
  4. Had a look around for a set of rings for the 8" but as I built that into a length of storm drain tubing I cannot get a reasonable fitting pair of Scope rings. Those available for a 10" would have set me back $100 delivered ex East. (By the way Greg at NVT in Melville told me he was running down his stocks of Astronomy equipment due to lack of interest in WA, seems I am the only customer left) Any way, I happened to go in the back shed and saw hanging on the wall with lots of dust and spider webs hung the top half of the steel rings I made for the 10 inch. They were never used because I made the top half using 1/4" thick teflon which I cut into 1" wide straps. So, I cut of the hinge end, prepared two straps and borrowed the Dovetail plate off the 10" rings. (Have ordered an extra Dovetail Plate from HK) Viola! one set of 8" rings from the junk box Below is a pic of the setup. I need to add additional support and trim the bolts etc and paint the L pieces which lock the rings together one either side with wing nuts. I may even Piggyback the MAK90 to feed the view onto my 10" remote display. This scope is excellent for moon shots. Dave
  5. 'Fraid the bank balance got hit today, Val decided to buy some shrubs for the front garden, + Mulch + Osmocoat + this + that . I'm broke. (again) Dave
  6. Thanks for info Shane, I do not think my shakey hands would be up to the task of stripping it down and modding it. Plus the fact I do not really have a good enough cam for DS imaging. I also got the 8" out over the weekend and blew the cobwebs out of that. Did not not recall how specky that little scope is for close up viewing of the moon terminator which did last night with a Seben 24 - 12mm variable plossl. (that was one of the first variables) was quite impressed with it. Dave
  7. Nice one. Seen it several times but never thought about catching it. Last week was setting up the 10" and happened to look up and saw it very brightly at dusk on a SW to NE trajectory. Called Val out of the kitchen to see it. Some where in a suitcase of old photos I have a black and white shot of "Sputnik". Now that going back a few years caught it at North Walsham in Norfolk. I also have a tracking program and often thought of giving them a call on the Ham radio frequenqies. Another of those "round Tuits" Dave
  8. Film Cameras I have Ray, Olympus OM1 - Pentax SP500 - Canon Eos 500 - Canon Eos 1000. The Pentax was just about paid for in the early 70's when I scooped a picture of an MMA Plane at Broome which had overshot the runway and buried its nose wheel in the mud during the "wet". I ran an entire film and gave it to one of the MMA Pilots I knew who took down to Perth to WA Newspapers. I was running an Agfa Silette L 35mm film cam at the time. Dave
  9. Certainly is Ray, it was also very highly technical, formulae for processing films and prints. Light Values and so forth. I used an old 1/4 plate camera as an enlarger fitted with a home made film holder (120) diffuser and light source. My father had a full plate and a half plate camera. Genuine steam drive photography Somewhere I think I still have my old film developer tank. Likewise in some hidden corner is my old Western MkIII light meter. You never went out without that hanging round your neck. Dave
  10. The main answer to a question about which camera to use or which scope to use is as varied as the combinations that are available, the size of the scopes and your hip pocket. Having said that I started out with a 3" tin dobsonian from EBay, a cheap and nasty device with 3/4" plossls which I am sure the lens were made from plastic! and an el cheapo 2.5mpx point and shoot digital cam held against the view finder. It was a picture of the moon and I was as excited as if I had used a multi thousand dollar camera on a 24" scope. I eventually gave that first scope to the kids next door, with the severe warning "Never Look anywhere near the Sun" Their parents said it will only be allowed out after sundown under strict supervision. I then graduated to an 8" dobsonian which I made from parts I found on various sites. It was a startling success and I was able to view the moon and actually see the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. I also "upgraded" to a 4mpx Canon A520 camera. one small leap Wow I have been interested in photography since I was 11 years old (c. 1945 I still have my original 'Box Brownie' by Kodak) It was not until I became interested in Astronomy that I changed from film to digital. Currently I run a Skywatcher MAK 90, my 8" home made Dob and a Skywatcher 10 Dobsonian, mounted on an EQ6Pro Equatorial mount. My current camera is a Canon EOS 500D. Which is used in "prime focus". That is, directly mounted into the focuser using either a 1.25" adapter or a 2" adapter. (No lens used) To return to main question. It is generally accepted that Canon, Sony or Nikon are the most popular and in recent times prices of a used Canon 300D has fallen to around $AU150. Since I turned digital I have had experience with the 350D 500D and 1200D. I have not used Sony or Nikon. However I would suggest when stepping into the DSLR era, to look at a camera that has similar features as the Canoon 500D also known as the Rebel Kiss X3. or the EOS Rebel T1i. It has what Canon calls "live view" that is a setting that you can view the scene you are taking, the 500D also has an HDMI mini output socket to enable you to display the scene on an external 10" TFT mobile monitor available on EBay for around $AU120. This not only allows you to view the focus situation and tracking, but also the photo taken in greater detail. Other essentials IMHO are you also need remote control of the camera by small electronic shutter release device and modify your focuser to be driven by a focuser motor (ie The Meade Focuser is reasonable priced and perfect for Crawford focusers.) A remote I use plugs directly in the remote control socket and the transmitter is the size of car alarm fob. They also have a combination security coding so you do not fire off some one else's camera ! Canons also have a dedicated remote control, the RC5 and the RC6 which utilises the sensor on the front of the camera. This is not always convenient if the camera is pointing at the Zenith. You also have to "switch" on the remote in settings Having a super priced, beyond belief Camera will not produce any better photo than a budget camera if you do not know what you are doing. I was brought up using the Famous Ilford Manual of Photography, The original bible of all film photographers. In fact I have the latest version which has stepped into the digital world. Another set of books on using DSLR is the series by Scott Welby called the "Digital Photography Book" It comes in five parts and available from Amazon on-line book store. The complete set will set you back a bit over $100 USD plus shipping. If you do not know much about cameras and their use, you will after reading this series. To learn the hidden Secrets of the Canon EOS Rebel range There are some excellent detailed guides available from Lark Photography Books, under Magic Lantern Guides, these are not official guides but written by experts who have the cameras, also available from Amazon book store. They also come with a couple of CD guides as well. Some of my work and equipment is shown elsewhere on this forum. I have been on a disability support pension for over 25 years and have taken up many hobbies. The aim at the the start of each hobby is to learn, read as many books and obtain as much information as possible, either by buying books of visiting my local library. If you know a bit about what you are doing and what you are trying to do, it makes life so much easier and so much enjoyable. Keep within your budget and that will keep the "War Office" in the kitchen happy, better still try and get you partner interested as well. Check my web page at http://dsmithdale.net/ Dave
  11. Yes, Ray. Last year I was was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. Very small just developing, and the Dr wanted to monitor them every 6 months, he will operate when they become "large enough" ATM their growth is slow. I also have Glaucoma in the right eye caused by the first tumour, but the pressures are also low being controlled by nightly Ganfort drops. So each visit always has a ? mark before I see him. The Eye Clinic is part of the Perth Lions Eye Clinic network. Dave
  12. I always keep a set of fully charged batts Ray, and the 500D handy for occasions like this, they are so short lived at times. My friend Kerryn was saying that it seems like Autumn has been given a miss and we have gone straight into winter. It was wicked at Wexford Medical Centre yesterday, howling gale and very high chill factor. By the way my eyes passed all the tests and appears that everything is in good shape, in fact far better than most people of my age. So much so the Ophthalmologist has extended my visits from 6 monthly to 9 monthly. That image is only 16K. The original CR file is around 7MB ! Dave
  13. Late news: Sunday night set up everything and all worked perfectly. Tagged onto Jupiter and it only moved about about 3cm across the 8" monitor in Live mode. This was without exact positioning of mount and no alignment With a spot of careful setup and fine tuning, Stellarium appears to do a very good job tracking without all the Ascom stuff to worry about. Plan on making up a wiring harness with central power supply to all functions including camera. Dave L to R Focuser control. Yepo Note Book, Win10. EQ6 controller, FDTI USB/Ser adapter, 8" TFT monitor HDMI in from Camera. Very old mouse pad 2002. Computer converters went out with floppy disks. ! Excuse a bit of hand shake, taken after setting up this lot. Anyone spot the deliberate mistake ??
  14. When its cloudy and everything in the sky is blanked out there are occasions when you can point your camera to the heavens. March 21 2017 around 6am I think the sky was even angry with itself ! Dave The little white dot is a street light! Canon EOS500D 1/800 @ F5 55mm IS lens ISO 200