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Bezonomics   The Consumer You: Marketplace

Started Sep-5 by Alfi (THIALFI); 2145 views.
kizmet1 said:

You have a very, very, very large family to feed. Deduct the cost of food and see how you are doing.

Fur-kids mostly.

kizmet1

From: kizmet1

Sep-29

Yes, they know a good deal (with a good man) when they smell it.

And kitten has found himself a feline mentor. Both of them are curled up together.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk

Sep-29

You may not hear from him.  It’s sad.

kizmet1

From: kizmet1

Sep-29

Awwwe. That sounds so sweet. A surrogate parent?

Oh, definitely. They know they have a good deal.

I'll hear from him when it's a crisis.

Kind of like 3 years ago preparing for the eclipse. I needed the telescope that was supposed to go on the equatorial mount so I could get the weight and balance and counterweight issues resolved.

Begged starting in March 2017 that this stuff needed to be debugged NOW.

April came and went. So did May. Then June. And 4th of July came and went. Still no telescope to get the measurements. So I finally just bought an identical telescope and set it all up. And I needed a week of photographing sunspots with the setup to fully get everything working.

They didn't show up until August 16th. We had to leave on the 18th. If I hadn't bought a duplicate telescope it would have been a disaster because I actually had to spend a coupe of days cutting and fitting and welding a special bracket to hold the tube and the other cameras with long lenses and safety filters, to get everything to track properly and stay in alignment as the weight shifted throughout the day as the entire instrument load moved over the axis.

It involved some machining, the placement of weights and changing their positions so the whole thing was properly balanced with everything on the rig that was supposed to be.

He showed up practically at the last minute, finally with the telescope that was needed several months before to calibrate. We never even unpacked the thing for the eclipse because I already had custom fitted and balanced the one I had bought, and gotten that setup where it was bullet-proof reliable.

As a result I got some excellent eclipse pictures, and by re-adjusting the counerweights and removing some ballast when the other cameras and long lenses aren't on the rig, have gotten some good pictures of crescent Venus and some other sunspot pictures some good closeups of the moon, and the moons of Jupiter, rings of Saturn, and other things in the 3 years since the eclipse.

If i'd depended on him to show up with the equipment, the trip would have been a total Charlie Foxtrot as it would have been impossible to fix the complex balance issues in the field.

Someone else who was at the same site on the ranch, a couple hundred yards away from our campsite, also had an elaborate equatorial mount and telescope. Their picture were a complete bust because they had not practiced with their equipment either. I got such excellent pictures for one reason only - I'd taken a couple thousand pictures of sunspots all through July and early August, including a couple of full dress rehearsals of the penumbral phase of the eclipse (just sunspots but through the time of day of the real eclipse)..

And I had to trim the mounting brackets a coupe of times, had to lop off a couple of inches of the bracket that would hit the tripod leg, or make it nearly impossible to line it up and keep it tracking the sun. I also had to change the design of the counterweight arms because the original counterweight was a concentrated mass, while the camera array and telescope was a distributed mass, and thus needed a more distributed counterweight setup so everything stayed balanced through the entire roughly 270 degree arc the telescope assembly could be swung.

All of that required precision cutting, drilling, tapping, and welding equipment to continue to massage the mounting bracket, add stiffeners and gussets and stuff to counteract twist, and generally tweak the shape of stuff several times, each time do a day of shooting pictures of the sun to test the performance until I got it working well enough to be certain that everything would work flawlessly on eclipse day.

Same with the power for the clockwork motor that drives the equatorial mount to compensate for the curvature of the earth. It required building a voltage regulator, ordering special plugs, and assembling the whole thing so it could run off of a car battery.

The car battery was one thing they tried real hard to discourage me from bringing due to its size. It turned out to save the day because Nebraska can have some very strong winds that spring up suddenly - kind of like West Texas. The heavy battery set on the ground under the tripod and partly supported by a hook under the tripod center, kept the wind from bowling the entire apparatus over and either breaking things or knocking them out of alignment.

So there were weeks of testing and fabrication required to get the rig working properly. It could have never possibly been done between the 17th and the 21st.

Yep. Like a surrogate parent.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk

Sep-30

I notice everything you do technically is very complicated with a lot of steps.  Most people don’t know the steps innately like you do.

I've learned much of that the hard way, sometimes with very expensive and disastrous results.

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