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Alex Pratt

Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

Camera / Lens Combination:

Watec 902H2 Ultimate & Cosmicar / Pentax aspherical 6mm f/0.75, Az 140.1, Ev 47.9

Watec 910 & Computar aspherical 8mm f/0.8, Az 286.1, Ev 45.9

Watec 910 & 12mm f/1.2, Az 343.7, Ev 29.8



Alex Pratt obtained his first low-light video camera in 1996, equipped with a 12mm f/1.2 C-mount lens and used it to record meteors to VHS tape. Shortly afterwards, Len Entwisle started to use similar equipment, athough their attempts at 2-station analysis of meteors were thwarted by their very short baseline of 21km, which gave unreliable results.

About 10 years later, Alex and Len discussed setting up video systems using Metrec software, but this didn't progress beyond the conceptual stage. Len also mentioned the success of the SonotaCo network using UFO Capture software.

In early 2012 Alex evaluated the software with captures from a Mintron camera and an 8mm f/0.8 lens, then later tested a 3.8mm f/0.8 lens. He joined the Meteor Observer's Forum (recommended by Len) and Bill Ward gave very useful advice on configuring and using UFO Capture and UFO Analyser. Alex hoped that through this Forum or the SonotaCo Bulletin Board he might contact another 'UFO' user in the North of England to try 2-station meteor work, a tactic that ultimately proved successful.

Alex currently has three cameras (two Watec 910s and a Watec 902H2 Ultimate) deployed from his home in Leeds, with a Cosmicar / Pentax 6mm f/0.75 lens to his south-east, a Computar 8mm f/0.8 lens to his north-west and a Computar 12mm f/1.2 lens to his north.

Alex's north-facing camera is situated indoors, on a window sill in a spare bedroom, looking through double-glazing.