20 February 2022 at 8:34 pm #575170David ArdittiParticipant
From the estate of the late Ian Miller, a stalwart of the VSS, I have been passed a number of instruments for disposal, including this item, which I cannot identify.
It has a power supply that can be connected to the mains, but on doing so, there is no sign of life. The brass tube on the right would appear to fit a 1.25-inch focuser, and on the left would appear to be an eyepiece. It quite heavy, and in a flight case.
I suspect it is some sort of visual photometer, long superseded in use.
Does anybody know what it is, and does anybody want it?
I am at a loss what to do with it, and may have to throw it away.
Attachments:20 February 2022 at 11:19 pm #585255Rob JanuszewskiParticipant
Looks like a Zollner type photometer which would fit with Ian being a variable star observer. If I recall correctly the observer adjusts an artificial star brightness to match the star in the FOV.
Rob Januszewski21 February 2022 at 10:05 am #585256Daryl DobbsParticipant
Ian built a photoelectric photometer in the early 1980’s but couldn’t get any useful observations from it, I think this could well be it. What I don’t know is why he couldn’t get it to work as he intended, it would be a shame to throw it away if someone could investigate it further. Perhaps Roger Pickard or Gary Poyner could shed some light on to why it didn’t do what he expected it to do?
He was a lovely chap and the VSS and Swansea AS do miss him.21 February 2022 at 3:42 pm #585257Denis BuczynskiParticipant
Don’t thow it away just offer it for sale to members, highest bid wins. Even as a curiosity it worth more than putting it in the bin.21 February 2022 at 9:20 pm #585258David ArdittiParticipant
I’m happy to give it away to a member and even pay carriage out of BAA funds. I’m just trying to establish what interest there is in it.22 February 2022 at 8:16 am #585260DawsonParticipant
David, is it possible to see some more images of the device to see all sides of it and get any idea how it might have been used. The turning know suggests a focus or a means to act as some kind of comparator.
James22 February 2022 at 10:14 am #585261Melvyn JoslinParticipant
It looks very similar to something I have used in the past. When looking through the eyepiece a loop of wire is in focus and when a current is applied it glows red and the more current will turn it to orange then all the way to white hot. When placed in front or next to a heat source which in my case was a small furnace the wire would appear lighter or darker than the heat source. Then when a current was adjusted you could match the colour perfectly and it would tell you the exact temp of the inside of a hydrogen furnace. This device may have worked in a similar fashion.22 February 2022 at 1:54 pm #585262Gary PoynerParticipant
I remember chatting with Ian about his early days with PEP over lunch in some bar in some city years ago, and he did indeed have problems with his home built kit, but it’s been so long ago that we had this conversation that I can’t recall details. When CCD’s became available, Ian would have packed the PEP away (working or not) and gone with the new tech as soon as he was able, to that I’m sure.
David. I’ll be happy to take it off your hands to keep it within the VSS at least. I’ll drop you an email about it.
Gary18 August 2022 at 10:53 pm #612016Tony ValeParticipant
It might be worth mentioning that there is an active PEP section in the AAVSO led by Tom Calderwood. They specialise in using PEPs to obtain high quality photometry of bright stars which can be difficult targets for conventional photometry with CCD or CMOS cameras. They might be able to advise.
Tony19 August 2022 at 10:51 am #612021Gary PoynerParticipant
I’ve had Ian’s photometer in my care since April. When we have our next VSS section meeting, I’ll bring it along.
The device is currently in the possesion of my old friend Rob Januszewski, who knows a thing or two about these things, and he’s hoping to fire it up and test it at some stage in the near future. I’m sure Rob will report back through this forum when he’s had a go.
Gary19 August 2022 at 12:13 pm #612024Daryl DobbsParticipant
I’m glad Ian’s photometer is in the care of the VSS, Ian was a stalwart member of the VSS and I’m sure he would have been delighted, it is certainly interesting what will happen when it’s fired up.19 August 2022 at 4:06 pm #612032Mr Giovanni Di GiovanniParticipant
Try taking it apart, at least opening one side. As I see it, I would think of a lunar visual photometer, based on old schematics.
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