2012 February

Telescope operational again

Telescope operational again

Stardate 27022012

Telescope is fixed.

The telescope motor control board arrived from High Point Scientific, it’s all installed and everything is working great!

Huge relief there!, and the weather has been a little better than normal lately too, so with any luck the sky will remain clear for some observing sessions.

A big thank you to Robert and Grant!

and the big news….

Observatory here I come!

I managed to pick up a fiberglass dome and base from Trademe – it came with a shed part, but it was rubbish.

Here’s a picture of it



It was all the way out in Tauranga, which is about 2.5 hours drive from home. The dimensions are 2.2 meters square, so it’s quite big and heavy. Managed to get it up to Auckland with a car transporter, and a 4 wheel drive that a friend managed to borrow, with another couple of friends, we managed to get it home… took all day.

As you can see it needs a major clean up and a few repairs, but that’s ok, I just need to prepare a site for it now, and build the ‘shed’ part for it to sit on.

I’ve also been trimming some trees so I get better view of the skyline and I cut one down where the observatory will be going, so I’ve been pretty busy.

and bad news…

Pluto died from liver cancer. It’s been a very sad event, and I miss him very much.


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New stuff coming…

New stuff coming…

stardate: 16022012

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Ok, first up my apologies for not updating the site for a while.

So what’s new. Well, I broke my telescope! Actually the motor control board died. This is a worst case scenario for me, as support from little ole NZ is very difficult, especially as I bought the scope in the US, rather than a local distributor.


I’ve been in touch with both Celestron and Highpoint Scientific. Turned out that Celestron have run out of boards anyway until the end of march! Robert from HighPoint Scientific came to the rescue however, I’ve sent him my old board, he’s pulled one out of a working CGEM DX mount and is sending it to me, he’ll deal with the warranty claim on the other scope.

What fantastic service. I really recommend these guys at Highpoint Scientific they ROCK! Robert saved the day!

While the telescope was getting dealt with, my weather station arrived!



I’ve updated the site with a weather tab, which is constantly being updated from my computer, which is connected to the weather station LCD panel via USB.

You can also see more information by going to this page.

And most fun of all, my weather station is now listed under wunderground.com, and I can get more detailed specific information based on the data from my weather station, you can see that here.

Weather Underground say this about their service.

All of our forecasts are generated from our proprietary forecasting system that leverages our vast amount of neighborhood weather data that we get from our community – we refer to the system as Best Forecast™.

Our ever-expanding network of 22,000+ personal weather stations is the largest of its kind and provides us with a unique ability to provide the most local forecasts based on actual weather data points. BestForecast™ uses the most innovative forecast models available and cross-verifies their output with all of the localized data points. Only our unrivalled amount of local neighborhood weather data can generate forecasts for your front door.

it’s pretty cool, and I’ve found their forecasts to be much more accurate than our local metservice.

There is one other surprise which is heading my way (and yours via the site…) but you’ll read about that after I pick it up next week.

I’ll leave you in suspense until then.

-kirk out.

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