Lens-Artists Challenge #75 – Nostalgic

There was a time when video games came in boxes with manuals and often other goodies. Sierra’s adventure games were notorious for sudden deaths and dead ends. The rival Lucasfilm Games even added a joke about them in one of their games.

Shop Window

Shop window in Heidelberg Hauptstraße, Christmas 2014

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #74: Abstract


Lens-Artists Challenge #73 – COLD

It has been a while since I participated in a photo challenge. I recently stumbled upon the Lens-Artists Challenge, which is a spiritual successor to the discontinued WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Here is my take on the challenge #73 – COLD.

Turku Market Square, Summer 2015

A view Turku Market Square as it was in summer 2015. The square is currently being renovated, and a new parking facility is being built underground. The Hamburger Börs hotel is closed and will be demolished.


A giraffe
A giraffe at Hellabrunn Zoo in August 2019

Sky-Watcher SynScan GoTo Upgrade Set for EQ3-2

I bought a GoTo upgrade for my EQ3-2 mount from Astroshop Warehouse Deals. The connectors for R.A. and Dec. cables are in inverse order with correct but upside-down labels. The defect appears not to affect the actual operation.

The Sky-Watcher upgrade kits do not contain installation instructions for the motors, and the handset manual was for a previous version. Fortunately, a blogger has provided self-made instructions, and Orion has a V5 hand controller manual. Orion also offers a manual for installing the motors, but the motors are different. Even so, the manual provides a couple of tips not mentioned in the blog: the setscrews in the gears should hit the flat part of the worm gear shaft, and the R.A. motor gears are more comfortable to align without the motor cover on the way. In the end, installing the kit was not too tricky, but getting the gears aligned required some trial and error.

To check if the device works properly, I made a dry using my iPhone and SkySafari as a telescope. On the first attempt, the GoTo was totally off, but after double-checking the setup (the controller wants the day and the month in reverse order), it was able to point to the general direction of the target. Later the sky cleared enough, and I was able to perform a real test. Unfortunately, no stars were visible, and I was not able to test alignment. Lunar tracking worked well enough for visual given the crude polar alignment.

So far, I have only used the hand controller, but Stellarium seems to be able to connect with the mount, and it should be possible to use SkySafari via SynScan Pro App for Windows. I am not sure if I want to go through the hassle of installing EQMOD at this point, but it has some exciting features like using a gamepad to control the mount or using any star for alignment.

The Moon 9.8.2019

To Colonia! – Final Entry

I have arrived at the Jaques Station in Colonia, and the eighteen-month journey is finally over. The legs with dates are in the table below. The Cobra lost 65 % of its paintwork, and my exploration rank increased from Surveyor to Ranger.

My ship had a meagre ~26 light-years jump range. Upgrading to a Diamondback Explorer or Asp Explorer would have shortened the trip, and I should have enabled the jet-cone boost from the beginning. Visiting all Blue Star Line, and Colonia Connection systems led to some detours, but in exchange, I was able to collect more exploration data. Next time I will probably only visit the stations to save time.

Hillary Depot Blu Thua AI-A c14-10 10.3.3304
Amundsen Terminal  Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10 17.3.3304
Eagle’s Landing Eagle Sector IR-W d1-117 31.3.3304
Eudaemon Anchorage Rohini  15.4.3304 Removed Planetary Vehicle Hangar to increase jump range.
Sacaqawea Space Port Skaudai CH-B d14-34 25.7.3304
Gagarin GateGru Hypue KS-T d3-31 30.12.3304Started using the neutron star jet-cone boost.
CaravanseraiGandharvi  16.9.3305Installed Advanced Docking Computer.
Polo HarbourBoewnst KS-S c20-959 21.9.3305
Vihara Gate Kashyapa 21.9.3305 Installed Super Cruise Assist.
Jaques StationColonia22.9.3305

All posts in the “To Colonia!” series:

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