Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Happened???

I was updating regularly, working on projects and generally being a good little blogger.

Then, poof gone.  Nothing for almost three weeks.

Two days old and already a deep thinker.
Well this is the reason:

This is my daughter, Lily Elizabeth Drew.

Born September 10, 2012 at 6:04am

9 lbs, 1.6 oz 19.1 inches long.

Full head of hair and happy as can be.

My wife and I heard, read, and watched all the horror stories about labor and delivery.  We didn't experience anything like that.  Keep reading for our story, be warned its long.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lightbridge 3: The Paintening

There are two key parts to a good paint job.

Surface prep and patience.  Professional obligations (work) is a fine substitute for patience and can make waiting for the paint to dry seem to go quicker.  Plus its hard to touch the fresh paint when you are sitting in the office. :-)

My sample piece got another wet sanding with 2000 grit sand paper and then I hit it with clear.

I wet sanded again with 2000 and did another coat of clear.

 I am VERY happy with the results.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lightbridge Mods Part 2

A productive weekend with the scope rebuild.

I started out by putting the foam on the truss tubes, I may still go with heatshrink eventually, but the foam was cheap and it works for now.

I started by laying everything out and making sure that my foam tubes were cut to the correct sizes.
Since I glued the seam with the Pilobond, they were solid tubes and the seam is pretty hard to see.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meade 12" Lightbridge Mods

Last year on table mountain, I sold my beloved 10" Odyssey Compact.

I sold it to make room for and help finance a larger dob.  I dream of someday owning a 16" to 20" scope but for now I have settled on a 12" Meade Lightbridge that a guy in my astronomy club was selling.

The story is that the scope was damaged in shipping, someone picked up the pieces and pulled a Humpty Dumpty on it.  The base was replaced with what looks like a dobstuff base.  This was ultimately a pretty nice upgrade from the stock Meade base.  The bottom tube was a little dinged up but mechanically everything is in pretty good working order.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Kitchen Saga......

What follows is an account of my kitchen and the domino effect remodeling it had on my life.

This is one of the main reasons I haven't updated the blog with astronomy stuff and why I am opening up the format of my blog a little.

Be warned, this is a long post.

Without further ado..

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Opening up the scope of the Blog (har har)

When I initially started this blog, I had intentions of it being dedicated to astronomy, unfortunately astronomy is only one of the many "hobbies" I spend my time on.

Astronomy while a primary hobby of mine, its not something I do every week or even every month.  This is due to several reasons, not the least of which has to do with the weather in Seattle being not exactly cooperative.  Just because I am not observing, doesn't necessarily mean I am sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

I still plan on posting more astronomy related content, but I will also start including home improvement, horticulture, and other random posts as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Barndoor Enhancements

I have continued refining my barndoor mount.

I built a ball mount for the camera out of plumbing parts and a round wooden ball that was designed to be a drawer pull.
I built it with the help of my father in law (he has a drill press) and it works very well and is pretty sturdy but it has a pretty bad dead spot directly over head.

I didn't like this so I bought a RAM mount that is more flexible.  I suspect that the flexibility may be adding additional vibration to the mount as a whole.

I also picked up a mead 8x12 finder to help align it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm Not Dead!

Anyone home?

I have not abandoned the blog.

Its a consequence of living in the Pacific Northwest.  From about November until about now(May) the clear nights are few and far between.  There have also been many changes to my life.

Biggest news is that my wife and I are having a baby.  You can read all about that on my wife's blog.

Second biggest news is that registration for the Table Mountain Star Party opened on May 1st.
The dates are July 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2012.

With improvements in the weather along the way, I should be updating more.

Now for astronomy related content!

2012 Transit of Venus

You can also get some inexpensive solar viewing film from draco productions.

I picked up a few kits last year at Table and made some filters for my binoculars and my camera.
Here's a shot I took last year using one of the filters I made for my binoculars, which incidentally fit perfectly on my DSLR.

Keep looking up and look forward to more posts in the future.