Few words about me:

From very childhood I loved computers, electronics, lasers, sulfuric acid and liquid nitrogen. I always wanted to be making microchips, UAVs and see nuclear explosion.

Now I am doing software engineering and in the spare time - some microelectronics and physics/chemistry experiments.

I live and work in Russia, Moscow.

Amateur astronomy starts now!

For quite some time I wanted to buy a telescope - but it was nowhere to store it in rented apartment. Here is my previous attempt. Finally this time has come - I ordered Sky-Watcher 10" DOB SynScan from famous German shop http://telescope-express.com. Even with delivery and customs taxes it was cheaper than in local stores. 10" was selected as largest diameter which could still be used at balcony.

April 22, 2015

Switzerland 2014

In the summer of 2014 i've been on business trip to Switzerland. Finally got some time to share few photos.

The most iconic one is probably the cows eating grass in Alps, 2000 meters above the sea level:
April 17, 2015

Requiem for a winter 2015

 
March 24, 2015

Solar eclipse 2015

Today there was 65% solar eclipse in Moscow. Probably the last time I am taking astronomy photos with Sony 500mm/F8 - my new telescope is already at the post office
March 20, 2015

AMOLED shenanigans and new microscope lens Olympus LUCPlanFl 20x/0.45

Finally managed to break smart phone glass for the first time. FIrst 4 times it was hitting concrete just fine, and now it landed straight face-down: screen was shattered. Bought glass replacement kit on ebay including UV-curing glue. Old glue+glass is removed by heating to ~120-150 °C.

Unfortunately I managed to overheat 1 spot to 220 °C which lead to unexpected effect: black (organic?) contrast-boosting pigment has burned and revealed display internals in more details. Also, the most sensitive, blue subpixels stopped working in this spot. With my "new" (ebay again) microscope lens LUCPlanFl 20x/0.45 with cover glass thickness correction I managed to make photo of AMOLED internals with more details (for comparison see earlier photos):
March 20, 2015

PCB cross section

Ever seen PCB cross section? Total thickness is ~1.5mm, you can even see how glass fibers are interleaved.
 
January 22, 2015

Temperature stability of AirSpy SDR receiver

Recently I got AirSpy SDR-receiver : it has 20Mhz/12bit ADC comparing to 2.4Mhz/8-bit one in RTL2832-based devices. Capture bandwidth is 9Mhz. Also, it uses TCXO with 1.5ppm frequency error spec. In this article I focus on it's frequency error vs temperature. More detailed review of AirSpy will follow in the nearest days...

BTW, for the first time in human history we have blueberry-cooled electronics:


Here are frequency errors. I was measuring 35-th harmonic of FE-5680A rubidium frequency standard generating 2^23 Hz, i.e. ideal frequency should have been 8192*1024*35=293'601'280 Hz.

HardwareQuartz (E4000+RTL2832)AirSpy TCXO
After warm-up293'627'555 Hz +89.49ppm293'601'318 Hz +0.129ppm
Tcase ~0C293'626'824 Hz +87.00ppm293'601'185 Hz -0.324ppm
Tcase ~60С293'628'227 Hz +91.78ppm293'601'386 Hz +0.361ppm
January 4, 2015

I didn't make it to amateur astronomy (this time)

Recently I've bought telescope optical tube assembly - Levenhuk 200mm F4 carbon - there was nothing else in this class left in stock in Moscow, all sold out. But, as one could expect, chances to get decent Chinese F4 parabolic mirror are slim...

December 23, 2014

Brief test of DPSS laser parts

Finally got some time to play with neodymium solid state lasers : ordered 2W IR 808nm laser for pumping and few glued crystal assemblies of YVO4:Nd+KTP (size 0.8*1.3*2.5мм). Unfortunately supplier made a mistake and sent 400mW IR laser instead of 2W one and promised to send the replacement. Meanwhile I decided to run few tests on the table with this first laser.

After focusing IR beam on the crystal generation immediately started as well as second harmonic generation - nice green spot appeared on the targer:
November 23, 2014

Globular cluster M15

62 minutes exposure on T24 telescope from iTelescope.net (61cm aperture).
50 minutes for luminosity, and 4 minutes each for RGB with 2x2 binning. Apparently, color shots needed more time to lower noise.

The brightest starts in the cluster have magnitude of 12.6, and that super-bright star at the top-right part of the photo has magnitude 7.6 (which is twice weaker than we can see with our eye in perfect conditions). There are more than 100'000 stars in this cluster.

 
November 15, 2014

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