Images representing different hobbies

It's my firm belief that, when you stop learning, you're dead - or you might as well be. This is a place where I hope to share many of my hobbies and interests, and hopefully encourage others with creative and enquiring minds to have a go as well.

The website keeps growing, plenty of new pages added on Messier Objects and starting to add some Free Plans.

As real life is just far too boring, I apologise in advance for the nuggets (easter eggs?) of cheesy humour hidden across these pages, but it's all good clean fun. Well, mostly.

The finely chiseld figure of Stub Mandrel, an icon for millions.Enjoy!

Stub Mandrel

LATEST UPDATE: - Workshop Books by Neil Wyatt

Image of the Month for April 2018: The Lunar X and V in Colour

 The  unar X and V 22 Feb 18 COLOUR


In February it was almost perfect observing conditions for the two well-known ‘lunarisms’ the ‘X’ and ‘V’. These are both effects caused by crater rims/ridges that reach up above the lunar shadow. They can both be seen along the lower part of the lunar terminator (the line between light and shadow).

I used my astro-modded and cooled Canon 450D (although the cooling was switched off) with a Celestron C90 Maksutov on a hybrid bresser/skywatcher EQ mount. Despite being a small scope this gives a near ideal match of resolution with sensor so works well for the bright moon, with the advantage that distortion due to poor seeing is minimised compared to my larger newtonian.

98 RAW frames were pre-processed in PIPP using AHD debayering and preserving the colour information to give centred and cropped 16-bit TIFFs.

These were stacked in Autostakkert3! using rather large (200 pixel) boxes. 60% of frames were stacked. The resulting image was duplicated. One was processed as a ‘conventional’ mono image with a relatively light hand – adjustment of curves to reduce the contrast between the rim and terminator, noise reduction was unnecessary, followed by Lucy-Richardson deconvolution. As the image was already sharp a combination of a small kernel with stronger than usual deconvolution was successful and did not create artefacts, notably no ringing was created along the rim, often a problem with deconvolution.

The second image was also adjusted to reduce contrast and using a temporary high-saturation layer the colour balance was adjusted, the main requirement being reducing the red content to compensate for the astro-modification of the camera. The high saturation layer was then removed. Cycles of a soft light + luminance layers process to gently increase saturation were applied – this approach is less likely to ‘blow out’ colours and keeps them more faithful than simply increasing saturation.

The mono version of the image was then applied over the colour one as a luminance layer and merged down.

I am very pleased with the final image as it captures one of the classic moments in the moon’s monthly phases and faithfully demonstrates the faint colours of the lunar surface without over exaggerating them.

See past month's images

So far the topics covered by this website concentrate on four main areas:

Model engineering - the making of working models essentially using the same materials and techniques as the prototypes.

Norden Steam Engine Typical model engineering project - Norden Steam Engine

Metalworking workshop - not just for model engineering, all sorts of hobby engineering

Quick Change Toolpost In the workshop - make this Quick Change Toolpost

Projects - mostly boats so far, but I will be adding other stuff! All the things that aren't mostly made of metal.

Miss Britain III Fast model boats - Miss Britain III

Astronomy - a hobby that offers opportunities for photographic, engineering and electronic projects while also opening my eyes to the vastness and variety of the universe.

Andromeda Galaxy Astronomy and astrophotrography, probing the universe!

That's not everything though, I will be adding reviews of some of my favourite music, and perhaps a few of my own tunes, some of my photography and you will also find the obscure Adept Lathe Register on these pages.

Adept Lathe The internet legend is here - The Adept Lathe Register