Other interests?

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #3377 by ChrisLX200
Other interests? was created by ChrisLX200
When I have my DIY geiger counter up and running it will placed on the outside wall of my astronomical observatory (A.K.A 'Garden Shed') where it will join the weather station stuff and radio meteor detector antenna. The meteor receiver doesn't work so well since the large Eastern Bloc analog TV transmitters stopped working, there is still a large RADAR transmitter in S. France which it is just about possible to receive reflected signals from but the results are comparitively poor and less interesting to me now. Using FFT analysis of the reflected (from the ionisation trail) TV carrier signal one could get recordings of meteor stikes in the upper atmosphere that looked like this (I was recording two channels at the same time - that means two different TV transmitters effectively looking in two different directions):



The astronomy Obs is really a control room containing computers and other harware to run my remote astro imaging rig which is sited on a permanent pier about 15meters away, astro-imaging is all I do now (visual observing not so much fun with my eyesight - and it gets damn cold sat outside and I prefer the nice warm control room :-) ). I've collected hundreds of CCD images of the past few years, mostly using narrow-band filters to reduce the effects of light pollution where I live. A couple of examples (much reduced in size):





Anyway, those are a couple of my own interests :-) Hope you guys can add to the list!

ChrisH
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6 years 8 months ago #3379 by mw0uzo
Replied by mw0uzo on topic Other interests?
Very interesting post! Those images look amazing. What are the telescope details/specs etc?
Do you take any infrared pictures/nightvision?
Also I recognise that frequency plot, I used the same thing to develop my QRSS radio beacon B)
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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #3380 by ChrisLX200
Replied by ChrisLX200 on topic Other interests?

Very interesting post! Those images look amazing. What are the telescope details/specs etc?
Do you take any infrared pictures/nightvision?
Also I recognise that frequency plot, I used the same thing to develop my QRSS radio beacon B)


Thanks! Yes, you probably recognise the program as DL4YHF's Audio Spectrum Analyser (SpecLab), it's a very useful program for all sorts of things and was a favourite with radio meteor observers.

For those images I used a 5" refractor (Televue NP127is) mounted on a 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II robotic mount. The camera was a Moravian Instruments G4-16000 cooled CCD using either RGB broadband filters (for the Andromeda Galaxy image) or Chroma 3nM bandwidth narrow-band filters (H-alpha, Oxygen-III and Sulphur-II (second image which is the Jellyfish Nebula - a supernova remnant). It takes many hours exposure to collect enough data to create images like those - up to 20 hours tracking across the sky extremely accurately. I have (rather too many actually) other telescope optical tube assemblies including a 12" aperture ODK12 - that's an Optimised Dall-Kirkham (and a hefty weight). That one offers more light-grasp and longer focal length for close-ups.

This is the 5" refractor with a different camera fitted:



This is the larger 12" ODK:



Everything controlled remotely from in the control room:





There are two DIY computers to drive everything:



And the odd hassle that forces me to go outside in the cold - like shooing off the odd Owl that has decided to sit on the end of the scope while I'm taking images... :-)

Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by ChrisLX200.

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6 years 8 months ago #3381 by AstroW
Replied by AstroW on topic Other interests?
This is awesome, Im really impressed of your setup and photos. Really nice! :woohoo:
I have been looking into buying a nice telescope but as a student I have to wait a few more years.
In the meantime I keep my interest at a more earth like plane; I have a fully automated vivarium in which I grow orhids, a interest I´ve had since I was a teenager. Other interests is Particle physics, medical physics and watch making :)

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #3382 by ChrisLX200
Replied by ChrisLX200 on topic Other interests?

This is awesome, Im really impressed of your setup and photos. Really nice! :woohoo:
I have been looking into buying a nice telescope but as a student I have to wait a few more years.
In the meantime I keep my interest at a more earth like plane; I have a fully automated vivarium in which I grow orhids, a interest I´ve had since I was a teenager. Other interests is Particle physics, medical physics and watch making :)


Astro-imaging is something of a money pit! However a decent Dobsonian visual telescope is much more affordable. I had a 12" Newtonian reflector for many years.

'Automated Vivarium'? What is that - something that monitors temperature, light level and humidity and keeps them within certain spec? Would be good to see a photo of that :-)

Particle physics I find fascinating but well outside my field, although I was involved in experimental MRI imaging for a couple of years (spin physics - very much more as hands-on rather than theoretical). My grandfather was a watchmaker and I did inherit some tools from him as a teenager (that was many years ago!). I must have also inherited some of his mechanical interest because I was an avid model engineer in my middle years, and I still have a decent workshop even now. I suspect my garage looks a little different to most other's :-)





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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #3384 by AstroW
Replied by AstroW on topic Other interests?
Impressive workshop :D
My workshop is my desk. The vivarium is a terrarium for plants in short terms. I have a Raspberry PI to keep track of temperature and humidity. The Pi is connected to a wide array of relays which switch on/off the heating, cooling and the misting systems depending on the temp and humidity. The systems also have timers so it can switch on and off the light att the right time of the day. I can even let the setup be controlled by a PID. During night I lower the temp with the use of 4 TEC coolers and during the day the lamps often provides to much heat så the TEC coolers has to kick in when the temp gets too high.
I can monitor and control all the parameters from anywhere in the world, the water backup for watering and misting holds for 2 months.

This is the first prototyp; I will build a much larger and higher vivarium to implement all that I have learnt from thin one.
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