Hardware, programming and astronomy tutorials and reviews.

RedCat 51 and ToupTek ATR3-16000-KPA for lightweight astrophotography

RedCat 51 is a lightweight and portable telescope-lens from William Optics. With 250 mm of focal length at f/4.9 it can be used for widefield deeps space imaging or during daytime as a tele-photo lens. I've paired it up with ToupTek ATR3-16000-KPA - a cooled camera with large color sensor. Here is my initial take on the setup.

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Image optimization with Python and web services

Image optimization is a broad topic. Image can be converted to different file formats, resized and so on. All for saving bandwidth and decreasing time needed to load all elements of a webpage.

But what if we have an image that is ready to be posted on a web page by a user that isn't an expert? What tools can we use to automatically optimize uploaded images? In this article I'll go over few Python and service based solutions for image optimization.

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Geforce Now - first impressions of game streaming

Geforce Now (GFN) is a game streaming platform by Nvidia. Games are run on Nvidia servers and you play from your PC without the need to install the game or to have hardware needed to run it. Everything is run on the server and streamed to your laptop, Nvidia shield or other PC. Right now the service is in beta and with the announcement of Google Stadia streaming service both got a lot of attention. I got beta invite recently so lets check how Geforce Now looks right now.

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Quick review of few recent astrophotography books

Astrophotography is an interesting and complex hobby. There is a lot of tutorials on the web but usually they focus on one topic and general overview is what is missing. Such complex astrophotography overview can be handled by a good book - but does books are able to keep up with the flow of new technologies and astrophotography techniques development? I've decided to check it out and ordered few more recent books about astrophotography. Here is a short review of them.

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Building a small form factor system with upgrade options on the cheap

AMD Ryzen processors with integrated Vega graphics are a proven product that even allows for some gaming without a dedicated GPU. There is the popular DeskMini A300 or bit bigger systems like HP Pavilion 590 that use them. DeskMini lacks the upgrade path while such features in a pre-build systems may also be limited unless you pay extra for a higher model.

In this article I'm going to make and test a custom small form factor PC based around Ryzen 3 2200G but with keeping upgrade options for CPU and GPU. I hope you will find some of my tips and tricks useful.

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Price to performance of used graphics cards - July 2019

With the release of new graphics cards some may opt to upgrade to a new one while many others could see an opportunity to hit a bargain on a used graphics card. I've decided to check what are the local prices for used graphics cards and how they relate with price/performance to current new cards.

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Measuring power draw of DC-DC Pico PSU power supply powering AMD APUs

AMD APUs are a power efficient package of CPU and a capable integrated graphics. They can be used for some gaming not to mention more day to day PC usage. All of that in a small package -but how small actually can you get with an Athlon 200GE or Ryzen 3 2200G? How much power does such system needs and can you use PicoPSU alike DC-DC super compact power supplies for ultra thin and ultra stylish builds? Let's find out.

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