Sunday, 27 June 2010

New Camera Astro Photo’s

Great Bear Bizibilder managed to get a couple of “wide field” test photo’s last night.  He assures his viewer that they are not spectacular at all!

The first is of the Constellation Ursa Major (The Great Bear) and was taken by “adding together” fourteen separate photos, each of five seconds duration.  The result is a photo of effectively 70 seconds exposure.  (The bright star top right is NOT Polaris – its actually Beta Ursa Minor)
Cygnus The second is of the Constellation Cygnus (The Swan). (Looks like a cross – unfortunately in this pic its “head” is pointing down – Cygnus is about to crash!!) This time only 9x5secs=45secs exposure.

Bizibilder must add (in his defence!!) that he was working under adverse conditions – it wasn’t properly dark (11.00GMT and there was a full Moon!)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

New Moon?

Moon1GIMP Bizibilder has found time to have a play with his first image of the Moon. He has made it B&W and slightly tweaked the brightness and contrast. An “unsharp mask” has helped to bring out the details. This is the SAME image as below - just tweaked it!

The “acorn shape” mentioned by Ann is actually the phase of the Moon – officially a “waxing gibbous” ie between first quarter and full. (The bottom left of the moon is not illuminated by the sun yet – lunar night time).

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Moon

Moon1 Bizibilder’s first photo of the Moon using his new camera AND through a telescope!  Admittedly he only held the camera to the eyepiece and snapped BUT it worked (after a fashion).

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bizibilder’s First Official Astro photo !

IMG_0081 Bizibilder’s first Astro photo, now that he has an “official” astro camera (not just his trusty point and shoot).
You can see the Moon and Venus (top among the trees) taken last Thursday night.  No quality at all – just automatic everything and click! (Very expensive point and shoot really!!)

Can you guess what it is yet? (Finale!)

IMG_0107 This is the additional wood block needed to secure the locking bolt for the roof.  A commercial bolt was used although Bizibilder had seriously considered fabricating his own but at £1.99 for the commercial one it was an easy decision for him.  The locking plate (unfinished here) was home made.
IMG_0117 The locking plate in place on the sliding roof
IMG_0118 Roof shut, bolt locked – all snug for the time being.  The pins and bolt have very little clearance (about 1/64th" of an inch) and with the “self clamping” nature (see below) the roof is secure and quite immoveable when closed.  As for security – it IS only a shed and whilst locked it will never be a vault!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Can you guess what it is yet? (Part 4)

IMG_0696 Bizibilder finally got round to installing the new roof bolts that he has spent this week of evenings making!  First he had to jack up the roof on wooden blocks so that he could get the drill in!  It always amazes him just how difficult “modifications” become!  Anyway it worked.
Above is the first “bolt” in place on the roof (it is really a fixed steel pin).  The leading edge of the pin is tapered to help it “find the hole”!!
And the first matching “hole” for the pin to slip into.  The alignment tool worked perfectly.  These holes have a tapered “front” to help the pins slide into place.
IMG_0702 On the left is the “front pin” easily clearing the “rear pin” as the roof slides fully open!

One advantage of the alignment tool was that it was used with the angle simply hand held in position on the observatory framework.  Bolting the angle down, (after drilling the receiving hole) had the effect of pulling the angle tight down onto the timber, slightly compressing it, thus “lowering “ the hole by a small amount.  Thus all the pins not only slide into place but also gently “pull” the roof down!
The rear pin about to engage.  Each piece has now been painted and Bizibilder is waiting for the paint to dry as he types these notes!
The rear pin fully engaged.  Bizibilder just has the final bolt to fix to lock the roof into place.  With the pins in place the roof has become an “immoveable object” – which was the general idea!!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Can you guess what it is yet? (Part 3)

IMG_0692 All the bits made with all the holes drilled EXCEPT for the holes that will finally receive the big pins.  Bizibilder can’t drill these until the brackets are in situ.  (You can also see a special little punch to help with this job in the middle).
IMG_0695 The pointy thing here is the home made punch – hardened and tempered from silver steel.  It will be used to mark the exact positions that Bizibilder will need to drill the “pin receiving holes”.
It will temporarily replace the pins and a good clout with an ‘ammer should impress a suitable mark in exactly the right place!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Can you guess what it is yet? (Part 2)

IMG_0686 Cutting the various angles to fit – Mainly “cut and try” as Bizibilder never really works from drawings!
IMG_0687 Four pairs of angle brackets cut and filed to shape.
IMG_0690 “Loose assembled” in the operating position.  The pins, firmly bolted to one piece of angle, will engage into holes in the second piece of angle.  All the holes are yet to be drilled!
IMG_0691 “Loose assembled” in the open position.  The pins will slide out of engagement…….
……….as the Observatory roof slides open and will re-engage as the roof slides closed.  once closed the roof will be locked shut with a simple bolt.  So NOW YOU KNOW!!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Can you guess what it is yet? (Part 1)

IMG_0663 Cutting up a piece of angle, on the home made power hacksaw, to make a whatsit.  (You’ll have to wait and see!)
Component parts and a drawing that may help. IMG_0665
IMG_0670 First machining operation on the hexagon bar – two at a time machined back to back – minimises waste material!
Taper the ends then two into four – with a hacksaw! IMG_0671
IMG_0676 The other end machined
Hand cranking the lathe to start the die to cut the required threads. IMG_0678
IMG_0681 Finished apart from a final trim to length “on the job”

(Sorry about some of the pics – the flash was bouncing off the white worktop and I hadn’t realised!!!)

Friday, 4 June 2010

Motorised Telescope Mount

IMG_0044 Bizibilder has been saving his pennies recently and has just installed his new all singin’ and dancin’ motorised telescope mount.  He is just waiting for it to go dark so he can get to use it for the first time tonight.  The main target will be Saturn, after first spending a little while getting the mount accurately aligned.
IMG_0046 A rather large “leisure battery” powers the new mount and was chosen with a bit of “future proofing” in mind as it is of quite high capacity (75Ah).  This will eventually power the mount, observing lights, anti-dew heaters and anything else that Bizibilder throws at it!