A time lapse of a 3D print. THe item being printed is a bracket that will mount to the 4040 extrusion in the printer frame and serve as a camera boom, which will help to make better time lapses in future :)

Who knows what goes through the mind of a guinea pig? One moment you're nibbling some hay, then next minute, zoooooooom!

Documenting ongoing problems with the SBIG CCD camera at TAO.

New guinea pigs. 6 weeks old and still very timid. Coaxed out by food when they thought no-one was watching. Filmed under very poor lighting conditions, time lapse 2 frames per second

Don't get scammed. Some unscrupulous sellers on eBay are selling counterfeit batteries. The fakes are pretty convincing but easy to spot if you know what to look for. Here's how.

We are lucky to have our observatory in the heart of a lovely little nature reserve on the Isle of Thanet, Kent UK. Thanet is technically an island but not really and incorporates Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. The nature reserve is dressed in the browns and reds of autumn at the moment and is looking very photogenic, so I thought I'd take a short walk and show you around before talking about the EQDrive system that we've installed on the telescope in Thanet Observatory. This is where we hold our public observing sessions every month with Monkton Stargazers.

A graphic visualization of the commit history of the ASCOM Platform. This is a project I've been involved with on and off for more than a decade.

ASCOM began it's journey towards becoming open source in 2009 and the initial burst of activity is the import of the version 5 code base into (then) Subversion. This was a pre-GitHub era and there was an everything-in-one-big-heap mentality. We had 3rd party drivers and all sorts of stuff in there. As version control in the cloud became more common these were phased out. Driver developers we encouraged to migrate code over to their own repositories and you can see large areas of code disappearing.

Some time around April 2018 the repository was migrated from Subversion to Git and hosted on GitHub. You can see some of the committer username change at this date.

Music from
"What Is Love" by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

A library of free, open source annunciators and indicators for use in applications that need to display status and alerts. These are the same controls that are in the ASCOM Platform, but updated and with a few bug fixes and re-published as a NuGet package, TA.WinForms.Controls. Sorry for the noisy audio, I've filtered it out as best I could.

Source code and documentation:

The distinction between Windows and Linux is getting quite blurry. In this video I take a look at the Windows Subsystem for Linux plus some preview technologies including: Windows Terminal, a new terminal host; Powershell Core, the new cross-platform command prompt for Windows; and Edge Insider, the new web browser based on the Chrome rendering engine.

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

The quick and easy way to debug your ASCOM LocalServer project. Don't over-think it!

How to generate a self-updating version string in your Arduino sketches, so that your code always reports an up-to-date version number that's automatically calculated from your Git commit history. No more forgetting to update your version number and publishing code with the wrong version information!

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

What's happening at the observatory (live)?

I recently heard about a Russian designed telescope drive system and it came highly recommended by someone I trust, so I thought I'd get one and try it out. This is my first look. Later I'll fit it to the telescope in TAO and we'll try it out for real.

eBay and Amazon sellers are regularly breaking the law by selling appliances with illegal mains plugs. They tend to bundle cheap travel adaptos which are not legal in the UK and I call them "Deathdapters" (a phrase I stole from Big Clive). The irony is that it's really cheap and easy to stay within the law, and this video shows you how.

Sorry for the poor lighting - this was filmed in my kitchen.

The SBIG camera is STILL having problems. SBIGs reputation is streteched to breaking point now. This is their last chance to do the right thing.

The trip through Valdepeñas de Jaen, up the mountain road onto Monte de las Animas, to the new observatory being constructed near the peak. The last 2 Km of the road was constructed specifically to gain access to the observatory complex and is a dirt track. It's great fun driving the 4x4 Landrover up and down, but such a large vehicle is a bit challenging in the narrow streets of the town.

Staying with my friend Tom in Carennac, France - a beautiful unspoilt medieval village on the Dordogne. Resting up for a couple of days before travelling onward to Spain. On my return journey, perhaps I'll try to film some of the village. For now though, I was woken up today by this thunderstorm. The best bit is at about 7:50 where I filmed a lightning bolt.

How to install and use the NexDome ASCOM Server beta release.

Get the Installer:
Report issues:

Time-lapse video of Monkton Nature Reserve Open Day 2019, filmed outside The Thanet Observatory. Captured at 1 frame per second, played back at 60 frames per second, so 1 minute of video is 1 hour real time. The video covers the entire event from pre-opening to post-closing. Can you see yourself?

Why do developers give their code away for free, and then undermine that good gesture by attaching all kinds of strings to it? I nail my open-source philosophy to the mast.


Created 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

32 videos

CategoryScience & Technology