Getting to use the astro kit

I’m learning how to take better astrophotos.. This photo is of the current setup that I’m using for taking star photos. I’m using a Celestron Onyx 80ed refractor (black scope on the bottom) with the Canon 600d, with a field flattener and Astronomics CLS clip-in filter to take the actual images. To guide, I’m using my IKI 70ed refractor with a recently sourced Synguider self-contained autoguider, which sends corrections to my new Celestron AVX mount that I got before Christmas. Wednesday night I tried to take lots of sub images of M51, the whirlpool galaxy. All looked good, the first …

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Fun and Games in Kerry for the Kayaker’s New Year!

2015 turned to 2016, and I spent it in the depths of Kerry once again. Spending time with ULKC members on an unofficial trip to the Kingdom, it’s the only way to ring in the new year! Sharing the Sleepy Camel with UCDCC was enlightening, listening to the best of acoustic music, and seeing the social interactions between the club members, as well as seeing old acquaintances once more. It was good to bump into a few of the oldies from my original era of uni paddling, Joxxer, Richie Gillespie, and a few more. Paddling? There was some for sure. …

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Black Friday deals.. A bit of a splurge!

Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Lovely little words that mean decent deals on techie things, and an opportunity to get a few bits and pieces that I’ve been meaning to get for a while. On the astronomy front, I’m ordering a Celestron AVX mount. After a year without a computerised GoTo system, I’ve been missing the ability to just select an object and have the scope slew to wherever that object was. Plus, I’ve got my low-light security camera all ready to do electronically-assisted astronomy, to get a look at all those little smudges of light.. So, I’m getting this …

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Back in college officially.

Yes, the time has finally come, where I get my arse in gear and forge ahead with the completion of my Master’s Thesis, and to finally complete this Masters of Engineering course that I’ve been pursuing over the past while. My letter of re-admittance arrived this morning, I’ve contacted the relevant Department personnel with regards to my supervisions and other relevant internal matters, and all looks good. I’ve been given a deadline to complete the document by in order to graduate this January. It’ll be tight but certainly possible. A nice side effect will be being properly of student status …

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Nice! NCT passed no issues!

After failing the last Nct in May, and being out of the country for a while kayaking, the earliest date they could give me for the next test was today.. So I dropped the silver car in to be examined. I was a little apprehensive about the little ‘scratch’, but they didn’t consider that an issue thankfully! Everything was in order, and the car drives very well for a car with 334,000kms on it! Given what I’ve invested in it to keep it running, I’ve no immediate need to change it, but I’m always window shopping for a nice German …

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C&S Recruitment drive – a long, but fun day..

Yesterday was the annual ULSU Clubs and Societies recruitment drive, hosted in the UL Arena. For the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing the Skynet cluster infrastructure for this event, resurrecting the physical webserver after the hdds cooked during a previous aircon failure, and getting a few other little bits and pieces sorted. I had a lot of work to do to facilitate Keith O’Neill of Bluechief, as he was updating and upgrading the ULSU website, and Skynet had agreed to provide the hosting and backend management for that site. The day itself was a long long day, in the …

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Fun in Bikepark Ireland

I was recently out in Bike Park Ireland and had a great day out there. John came along for his first time there, and he brought his ’07 Specialised Enduro and I brought my Santa Cruz V10 dh bike. It was definitely far too early for me to be getting up at that hour of the morning after finishing work at something like 4am, so I was definitely slower than I’d like to be but John was definitely getting up to speed as the day went on. Definitely a good day. Somewhere about 20 runs in total, mostly on the …

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More toys.. A Wii has been added to my collection

Yes, I’ve sourced a Nintendo Wii! I was doing a little tidying up of some stuff in the house, and I came across an old external harddrive. Looking at the contents I realised that I had backed up the games that were there when a Wii used to be under the television. I remembered fondly some of the games, and after some checking on Adverts.ie I found a decent set of a Wii and accessories and a nice games collection for a decently low price. So I picked it up yesterday evening, and immediately proceeded to set about softmodding and …

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A little bit of solar system astrophotography!

Saturday night after work, I set up the 12″ dob with the camera attached, and I tried recording some video clips of Jupiter and Saturn, and after a bit of processing I got these two spectacular pictures out at the end.. Jupiter, with Io and it’s shadow on the cloud tops: Saturn, with a clear Cassini’s division : Quite happy with these pics, and it’ll only get better!