New telescope!

I saw a Skywatcher 12″ FlexTube Dob for sale on DoneDeal recently, and managed to scrape together the cash to go and get it. For once the new astro equipment curse did not hold true, and I had a clear night sky to play with. First light was with M35, M1, and M42. M42 is beautiful with 12″ aperture. Then I decided to go and clean up and start the modding process. I took the mirror out and gave it a good rinse, carefully using fingertips and hydraulic pressure to remove the crap that had built up on the mirror …

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Elite Dangerous – removal of offline play – looks like they lied to get the Kickstart backing..

So I backed Elite Dangerous some time ago on Kickstarter, and I was looking forward to a modern interpretation of the old Elite games. However, the developers have made a design decision to completely remove the offline play component of the game, meaning that all in-game interactions with planets and other ships and systems absolutely require interaction with an online server to complete. This means that there is no opportunity to pootle about in a true single-player mode, as the universe is constantly updating as other players (who likely will have lots more time to play and advance) explore and …

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Winter weather forecast from MT Cranium

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=92725959&postcount=244 MT’s forecast on Boards has generally been the most accurate for the winter – certainly beating that Kiwi liar/fraud/idiot/clown Ken Ring all of the time! So an unremarkable winter overall ahead, stormy after the New Year, a bit of cold once a month and the Atlantic steamroller dominating most of the time. A cold March though.

New astro camera arrived..

I sourced a nice Samsung SCB-4000 video camera through one of the video-astronomy Yahoo groups, and the camera arrived from South Africa recently. Testing it has been eye opening as to the sentitivity of this camera, and how well it performs under light pollution. It easily pulled about 2 magnitudes deeper than my naked eye could see in moderate moonlight, using a cheap f1.4 zoom lens working at about 8mm. The 1/2″ chip does make it harder to get wide angles without vignetting. I haven’t yet attached it to a scope, partly as the tv that I was using for …

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Moved house! (a few months ago..)

I’ve just realised that I hadn’t updated here that I had moved house. A few months ago I had to move away from Cois Ghruide where I’ve had a presence since late 2006, when the house owner decided to simplify his renting of the house. I moved to an end-of-terrace house in a nearby estate, taking over the rental of the 3 bed house myself. The new place has a few improvements over the old place. There’s a fireplace so I can have an open fire again, that’s something that I have missed when in the Duplex. There’s also a …

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Check out my 41.4 km Ride

Check out my 41.4 km Ride on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/161229036 Top 10 out of 650 riders on one of the routes in the Jump Park, in the top 8% of 1200 riders on the 4X course, and a 6:34 time on the full Chevannes DH course. Nice :-D