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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:18 pm 
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. My friend just helped me post the three photos above. these are on the bottom of the previous page.
Unfortunately they are in the wrong order.
So the third photo is of the engineer fitting the Wi-Fi sensor unit which can be controlled from a kilometre away with up to 256 units and the same controller.

The second photo is of the lit lamp when the engineer left after descending with the cherry picker.
It shows the shield that the local council fitted two days after I asked for a shield.
It reduces the light intrusion into the bedroom by 90%.

The first photograph which actually should be the last is of Corvus I think which is one of the constellations. Is the other friend or foe a sparrowhawk? Is it male or female?
I took seven photos of the pair as they swapped places seemingly quite happy just to enjoy the flying.

Cloudy today so no observations of the sun.

Regards David


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Location: Manchester
Dear David
Thanks !
Your three pics are very interesting.
However, it may be me (but the way I see your 2nd pic) it appears a yellowish lighting not white ?
Is my interpretation of the colour correct?
I note the background lighting suggests the sky isn't\wasn't dark so possibly your pic was taken just when the engineer was just checking\testing the light was working ? not in dark night conditions when the lights are of "practical use" ?
However, from what I could assess from your pic No2 the new street-light lantern looks quite compact\small - which is one of the "secret wonders" of LED street-lights, enabling the lighting to be well directed (hopefully from our point of view downwards).
Incidentally, as I understand it a problem with "old" street lighting Low Pressure Sodium in particular and High Pressure Sodium to a degree as well, wasn't entirely that it was totally impossible to direct the lighting down - the problem was that it would have been extremely expensive to manufacture satisfactory lantern reflectors particularly for LPS.
From what I gather LED street lights (use many small LEDs per street-light but these are still very compact and the relatively small efficient reflectors can be made more cheaply.
So as regards Local Authorities LEDs are probably Win-Win relatively cheap to buy and cheap electricity cost for very bright lights.
For amateur astronomers I suppose the good news is LEDs should be better downward directed. As I see it bad news might be LEDs are likely to be very bright white 9a lot bouncing back off the ground.
With regards dimming LEDs that might be good news for amateur astronomers - but will the public in general ever want them dimmed ?
Another possible problem. If people like the new bright LED street-lights, will they be happy when they walk a few yards away and go to a pitch black area (or at least darkish one) ???
I know one Greater Manchester town (although I'm talking 20 years back) where the local authority street-lighters apparently provided well down directed street-lights in a residential area but claimed the residents didn't like the new streetlighting because although it lit the street itself well enough it, the residents front gardens and driveways were still dark and people couldn't see where to stick their keys in front door locks. So the LA changed the lighting to spread the lighting about more ? (I have to say I did wonder if that was a cock & bull story.)
It will be interesting to see how the new LEDs work out ????
Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:17 pm 
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. Dear Cliff,
the lights are indeed yellow not white.
Also the second photo in fact all the photos were taken in the middle of the day.

When I was out I saw the light opposite was lit and I couldn't understand it. So I took quite a few photos of the lamp and its bulb. It is sodium of some sort I think double filament.
When I got back I was making some tea in the kitchen and saw a fellow on a cherry picker messing around with ' my' lamp. After a while I indicated to him that the lamp opposite was lit even though it was around midday I think. He signalled to me that he could not hear anything because he was wearing hearing protectors. Why I don't know because his work is not very noisy. Anyway eventually he shouted out that it was working, that is the lamp unit opposite left.
I took some photos of him going about his job. But when he descended back to the Earth I noticed that my lamp was also lit and later the lamp on the far right opposite was also lit. So that is three street lamps were lit in the middle of the day, probably more.

This I thought was daft but that is how it works. These lamps were on until night and carried on being on to the next morning. Apparently this must be how they are meant to work when they have been installed. Or at least the new Wi-Fi sensors.

For some reason these Wi-Fi sensor units use electricity more efficiently than the older types. Why and how I don't know. But up to 256 lamps can be worked from one controller in a 1 km radius although the line of sight range is 8 km.

I found it all quite interesting to watch and read about but I don't understand it.

When I was 11 and got a scholarship and left my primary school I won a prize of a lovely book called I think ' how it works' or something like that. I've been always interested in this type of stuff. I liked a girl called Gloria Bayliss. I think, she used to sit next to me in class. I wonder where she is now.
on a school trip to a large gasworks I resolved to work in such a place as it was so interesting. I think they said they made about 1500 products as a byproduct of the whole process. Needless to say I did not end up in a gasworks.

All the best, David

P.S. These are not new lamp units. In fact they were installed perhaps three years ago, I can't remember when. They are taller than the previous lamp units and that is why I had to ask for a shield as they were in fact worse for me then the older units. even though they have much better cut-off than the older units. The best way to see and photograph this is when it is foggy when the beam is very clearly delineated.
The only new thing is the Wi-Fi sensors that the engineer fitted as described in my previous post.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Location: Wellingborough
Our street has just had it's (relatively new, good cut-off) sodium lamps replaced with these new LED types. The number of lampposts has halved but the new ones are considerably higher, but luckily not high enough to shine over the house roofs, so my observing site is still shielded. I am sure the new units throw more light into our front gardens though, and they do look a little incongruous in our semi-rural location, appearing more suitable for a lorry-park IMO.

I too see the lamps as distinctly yellow, not white. When they switch off, the "bulb" appears to glow red-hot for several tens of seconds before as it cools. Up to now, I've been unable to detect any remote-control aerials on these units.

I just hope they do prove to be an improvement wrt light pollution,

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:50 am 
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Location: Lancashire
Congratulations David on getting your light shield courtesy of the local council. Did they tell you that to pay for the shield, they'll be bumping up the council tax? Better not tell the neighbours! :lol: .
Now get them to chop down obscuring trees and you'll be a happy man. I wish they'd chop down the trees here.
Not only are we surrounded by tall trees, but they encroach into gardens too. I'm forever pulling up rogue saplings; it reminds me of "The Day of the Triffids".

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:08 am 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Re trees etc.......between the front of my house and the other side of the close there is a hedge which was tall and straggly but did hide the light from a bulkhead wall-light in the flats opposite. Nicely trimmed and tidied-up I can now see the light if viewing from the upper west window!!regards maf


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:30 am 
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Location: Lancashire
Alas, not every light pollution story has a happy ending Mike. You'd better start feeding that cropped hedge with liquid manure in the night and watch it soar in summer. With a bit of luck, they might forget about it. On the other hand, if it's too vigorous, they might root it up altogether :lol: .
There's a sports field behind me, so there are no offending street lamps, only obscuring trees, which are just as bad in their own way. They were planted by the County Council nearly twenty years ago, immediately behind the back gardens. Local residents were never consulted, the council crew just stuck 'em in and went away.
Before the plantation, it was possible to see Mercury rising over the sports field and plenty more besides.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:10 pm 
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. So far as I remember the Trifids were mobile as they walked so at least you would have various views of the sky at least until they thought you might be tasty.

This morning I tried to view the sun with the PST but I only managed to see one fifth of the disc because of a tree a few gardens down. The bit I saw had no prominences or disc detail.
I did however consider viewing the sun reflecting off a nearby window pane but the problem is the window pane would not be flat and also glass only reflects 4% of the light from its surface so the image would be too dark in the PST.
At the moment basically the sun is too low for me.

I don't know how much the shield cost perhaps half an hour labour and travelling time and maybe an inflated price for the shield. Who knows they might charge £200 for something that might be 5 pounds. also the cost of the cherry picker.

The horrors that are our council have posters stuck up saying that the weekend for three weeks in a row at the moment parking will be free instead of up to 7 pounds a kick. Unfortunately, people then parked in residence bays not appreciating what would happen. They got £120 fines half price if you pay within two weeks I think.
The council have destroyed the shopping trade in the high Street by their draconian measures.
This is parking costs, outrageous council rates, outrageous salaries for themselves at the top and £30 million plus given to Iceland in their casino operation.

Amazingly, one determined individual went to the High Court because they increased residents parking fees 300% i.e. four times the price. He won against determined underhand opposition and they now have to repay £1 million.

In addition, to park you have to pay by mobile phone and this often doesn't work and results in fines which are illegal as well as parking wardens who most definitely are paid by results and frequently put illegal tickets on cars.
I've seen people in tears because of the actions of these individuals.
Anyway I think that the council realised they are up to no good and new parking machines have appeared which may actually take money but they are still covered in thick polythene so I cannot read the complex instructions.
of course they uprooted and probably destroyed the rather new parking ticket machines that they had until maybe two years ago. Basically a lot of overpaid incompetents.

Anyway today was quite nice although cloudy so I couldn't even see the sun in white light.

Regards David


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:39 am 
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Location: Lancashire
The Sun's as acned as a teenager at the moment, but because of a combination of cloudy days, low solar elevation and obscuring trees, I haven't used the solar kit for a at least a fortnight.
Never mind, it gives a reason to do those astro-DIY jobs that keep being put off. I've just adapted an old, but rigid, German pan-and-tilthead to a large CULLMAN G-clamp. It's a pretty solid set-up for the ACUTER spotter.

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