Archive for month: June, 2012

Rings ‘n things…

June 25, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last night, I took the scope out again and tried to get a few quick images of Saturn. My focus was really soft, but this was what I came up with after processing the video with Registax. It’s actually pretty comparable to the level of detail that I could see through the Meade ETX 90 […]

First astrophotography with the Microsoft Cinema HD webcam…

June 24, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I had gotten a Microsoft Cinema HD webcam to convert for use in astrophotography. Today, I got my Meade ETX-90 out, and decided to give it a test on the daytime moon. Sadly, my mount’s tracking capabilities seem to be pretty glitchy: the autostar seems to be […]

Happy Birthday Alan Turing…

June 23, 2012 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today would have marked the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. Turing’s contributions in artificial intelligence and computing alone would have guaranteed his place among the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, but that was only a small part of his genius. His pioneering work on cryptography at Bletchley Park allowed the British to crack the […]

Adapting a webcam for telescope use…

June 16, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been a bit more intrigued by one of my old interests: telescopes and astrophotography. During the transit of Venus, I hooked up an old black and white video camera, and tried to take some snapshots, but wasn’t really pleased with the results. So, I decided to try to adapt […]

A few more notes on the OpenBeacon…

June 7, 2012 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few days ago I wrote about my experience building the OpenBeacon, and Jason Mildrum, NT7S, it’s creator was nice enough to happen by my blog and leave a comment. In that original article, I said that the instructions were (and I quote) “barely adequate”. Jason asked (perhaps more politely than was truly deserved) what […]

Still from a video snap of the Venus Transit

June 6, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

I did try to take some video of the transit, but the higher magnification created by the rather small imager in the video camera, combined with too much AGC and a lot of wind buffeting didn’t make for very interesting imagery compared to the surprisingly excellent iphone snaps I had before. But just to give […]

iPhone photos of the Venus transit…

June 6, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday, I setup my Meade ETX-90 outside with a solar filter in the courtyard between buildings at work so that my coworkers could have a glimpse of this rather rare astronomical event. I had a pretty steady stream of people coming out to have a peek throughout the day. I managed to shoot some video […]

First reception report for the K6HX OpenBeacon…

June 5, 2012 | Amateur Radio, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

The honor goes to Chris, WB5FKC. Chris and I exchanged signal reports occasionally back when I last was on the QRSS kick a couple of years ago, so it was nice and fitting that he was the first to spot me again. The signal is pretty rocky, but the power level here is just 100mw, […]

My OpenBeacon is on the air…

June 4, 2012 | Amateur Radio, My Projects, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sometime last week, I got my Etherkit OpenBeacon kit in the mail. Like many of my projects, it was probably destined to sit on the shelf for some time, but in a fit of personal productivity (for a loose definition of productivity) this week I cleared a few hours of my time and got it […]

No Saturn, but how ’bout the moon?

June 3, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

I thought I’d give my video camera a test. I considered Saturn, but by the time I got outside the weather was getting colder and blustery, and I wasn’t feeling very good, so I just managed to snap some quick video of the moon. The wind was buffeting the telescope, and I was impatient, but […]

Prepping for the upcoming transit of Venus…

June 2, 2012 | Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog, but I’m trying to get some projects going. This week marks a rather rare event: the Tuesday (for us in North America) transit of Venus across the front of the sun. According to this transit calculator, the transit will occur between 3:06 and 9:47 (well after sunset). Back […]