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The Bone Yard

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#26 Raginar

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

:) I felt the same way. It'll be worth the wait!

#27 CounterWeight

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

Chris,

Congrat's on your observatory, I agree with what David said about it being some of the best $ spent for hobby -especially for imaging. Doesn't change everything but it sure changes a lot of things that make a huge difference as you already noted. Looks great by the way - you do good work :) Looking forward to your imaging from the new 'astro-hangar'. Am curious as to what/ how you based decision on the wall height? Thanks for the great thread / images here.

#28 Raginar

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

Hey Jim,

Thanks! I can't wait to produce some quality photos too. I'm still learning but I'm happy with the progression from where I started and where I'm at now. I figure it'll get easier and easier as I try new things. The obs at least allows me to have a consistent platform every night!

Astro-hangar, that's awesome! I hadn't thought of that one. I like it :).

My walls were based on the plans; my neighbor and I (he's a carpenter, not into astro) went back and forth on the wall height. He suggested making them higher so that I could walk in without the distraction of almost hitting my head (6' 5" or so). I decided to go with how the Sky Shed plans were out of simplicity. I didn't want to make a change and have it ripple through the plans as I was building things! What I found? it doesn't matter. Since the Sky Shed design relies on the gables and the runners to keep the roof straight so it's fairly open on the inside. If I'd decided to run 2x4s across the runners to strengthen to roof, I would've had a need to increase the wall height.

One other consideration is how much of the sky do you want to see. I can see down to about 20 degrees in the E-S-W. The N is obviously a little more worse (40 degrees) due to the roof. So, the lower walls have other advantages as well.

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. This was a wonderful project and I'm glad my wife let me do it. I enjoy DIY around the house and this was definitely the biggest project I'd tackled so far. It gave me a reason to buy some new tools an learn some new tricks! Cutting 22.5 degrees is ridiculous... biggest suggestion is to buy your gable ends pre-made. They have them at Menards and for 35 bucks a piece, it was the best money I spent :).

GL, feel free to PM if you have any other questions.

Chris

#29 budman1961

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:53 PM

I really enjoyed viewing your show, and chatting finally! It was a really great time! Your Bone-Yard is fantastic!

Andy

#30 Raginar

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:54 AM

Thanks man, it was fun sharing the sun at the same time. The cool part was getting two different views between my ED80 and your LX200 :).

Mallincam is doing well it seems, glad you're reallly getting it done.

#31 Bart

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:30 AM

Chris,

Very interesting thread. Nice job on the build. Question: how did you install the wood pier? Did you use cement to anchor it?

Thanks
Bart

#32 Raginar

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

Hey Bart,

Yea, my pier is very simple. Just the straightest 6x6x6' post I could find at Menards and 2 bags of 'post' concrete. I dug the hole about 36" down, put the post in, poured the post concrete around it, and started to wet/mix it in the hole per the manufacturers instructions. 24 hours later she was straight as an arrow.

The best part? The post hasn't warped at all. I dunno why/how, but It's still the straightest piece of lumber I bought for this project :).

#33 Raginar

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:35 AM

Posted Image

Update to the obs. My mom decided she didn't need a C5 for birding and passed it on to me. I decided to throw it on the CGEM and see what I could do with it. Thankfully I still had some of my AP accessories so it was a pretty easy go of it. It's really improved my CGEM's ability to take good images.. Apparently the AT8IN was a little heavy for my particular CGEM.

Best example so far:
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CS!

#34 Raginar

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Updated picture with my new equipment. An MI-250 makes a wonderful observatory mount. In addition, I upgraded the ED80 with a moonlight focuser and bought an SBIG ST-10XME for AP.

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New mount and camera by mads0100, on Flickr

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DSC_2272 by mads0100, on Flickr
Posted Image
The Bone Yard. by mads0100, on Flickr
Results:
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Not bad for 60 minutes of data!

#35 EddWen

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:13 PM

When you said Bone Yard, I thought you might be thinking of this...

Attached Files



#36 Starman27

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

Looks like a rock solid setup. The MI250 is wonderful mount.

#37 Raginar

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

Thanks Herman, it's working really well so far.

Edd, that's where it comes from. And, from our beauties down the road. If the weather is right, they come over my house.

#38 PWP

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

Looks pretty sweet Chris...nice job! The staining really made it look sharp and it weatherproofs it as well. :)

#39 Raginar

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:39 AM

PWP,
Thanks! It matches the surroundings pretty well. I've really enjoyed having a shed for all my stuff. Clear skies!

#40 Starman27

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

Just saw your recent image of M42 taken with this rig. Outstanding!

#41 Raginar

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

Thanks Herman :) It's good to see everything coming together!

#42 csa/montana

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Congratulations Chris! You did a beautiful job on your new observatory! :bow: I really like the new stain on it; it really adds a lot to the overall appearance! A big plus for the awesome equipment you have, also! :bow: You will so enjoy being able to observe in minutes, without hauling all your equipment out, and then back in! :)

#43 Raginar

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:58 PM

Thanks Starman and Carol. I finally installed a network connection and connection to make the extension cord work a little better. I also added a UPS and a laptop just for the shed. No more macbook sitting in the cold!

I'm still debating about making automating the roof. I don't have permanent power.. but it'd be neat when the WX is good to just click a button and wake it all up.

Carol, I am enjoying the complete lack of setup! :D

#44 bunyon

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:54 AM

What is the wood disk you have the mount sitting on?

It's a beautiful observatory.

#45 Raginar

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

Paul, my wife's contribution. My new mount came with a top plate but no bottom plate. I mentioned that I was love a round think piece of wood... And she agreed me the prefab bed 12" bar stool seats at Menards!

Really cool :)

#46 celtictexan

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

I like the way you have made it double for a kid play area with the swing.

#47 Raginar

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:12 AM

Thanks CT, it was a pork barrel add-on from the CFO. I probably could've done without it :).

I'm currently working to put a 'normal' door on it. Of note, the plans from Sky Shed are no kidding 1" too small for 'custom' exterior doors length wise. If anyone reads this, make your walls an inch higher!!!

Chris

#48 Raginar

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:11 PM

Update to the Bone Yard:

Recently been through a few projects to make it slightly more automated around my shed. The first thing I tackled was the addition of a garage door opener (Genie series 900, 1/2 hp, screw drive, required 1 extension kit to move a full 10').
Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

This took some modification to my original Sky Shed plans. I added a 4x4x10' to the end of the rail as a place to support it and I had to lower the 'center' rail that was always there by about 18" for the new garage door track to clear the track. This wasn't trivial as it required me to re-align the track as it had warped slightly over the last year. On the plus side, it's even 'more' stable than it was before :).

Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

Here is a picture of my kids.. And, how I 'rigged' the end of it. This isn't flashy but it works for the time being. I think in the future I'll use a post end cap to tie it appropriately to the rail. I already have the end cap, just need the will to do it now. Of note, place this rail so that your 'screw' in the middle of it still has its end in the little holders that go up and down it. If it isn't, the drive will get out of wonky and you'll have issues.

Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

This is a picture of how I rigged up the outside of the shed to move. This needs to be very sturdy as you can imagine. I tried a 'minimalist' approach to start with and this failed... any slop in the system will make it 'more difficult' to open your room. So, these are 1" tubular steel with 1/4" holes all over them. It works great, and the 1/4" holes allowed me to install numerous 1/4" bolts. I started with lag bolts into the 2x4 on the end and followed that up with the bolts when I only had plywood sheathing to attach it to. They're tied into angle iron on the other side.

Also of note is the black piece. What I found was that when it opened it would pull the 'sled' into the c-channel track and it would jam up. That black piece, furnished with the Genie, allowed me to keep it out of the c-channel.

You'll also notice the safety cord. It's the only way to manually close the shed. This thing will NOT move on its own. The screw drive is impossible to move by hand.

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Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

Here she is. Total dimensions are roughly 12" by 12" by 18". The picture makes it look worse than it really is. I thought about putting it outside the shed and just couldn't think of a good way to seal it up. Also of note, make sure you put the opener up and figure out exactly where you're gonna put her. I cut a rather big hole in my shed... and really needed a smaller one. On the plus side, I epoxied the piece back in but still... it was annoying. The 'shell' for the motor is the 'thickest' 'L' iron I could buy at Menards. I bought 3 total pieces of it. Otherwise, just a bunch of lag screws into the 2x4s and 1/4" bolts to hold it together. You need to do something like this... at first I didn't have the steel frame and flexing caused issues. I think it added about 30 bucks to the project.

Also of note, the sensors are setup to reflect the IR beam off of what we call 'glint' tape in the military. We use it to ID friendlies on the ground in our IR sensors. I snagged a few pieces of it and put it on my mount where it is visible to the sensors in the parked position. It allows me to ensure I don't 'open' the shed with scope in the incorrect position. Unfortunately, that safety doesn't work the other way.

Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

This just shows how it's mounted to the wall.

Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

This picture shows how I bolted the tubes on the outside to the inside of the shed. The more points the better! There are lag screws into the 2x4, but once I needed spots where there was only sheathing I came up with this. Just like the sky shed guys, it's not pretty but if you planned it out better.. it could be. The bolts are freakishly too big too :).

Posted Image
Sky shed garage door Opener by mads0100, on Flickr

Finally, glint tape. This is what it looks like. The sensors are pointed right at it so it reflects back at them to keep the scope safe.

Next up, a full up Foster Systems weather station and ROR controller. I'm excited to see how it works and if it'll do what I want it to do. I had an 'incident' that involved a pop-up thunderstorm soaking my shed... the CFO approved emergency aid to make the shed close itself. I was lucky that nothing was wrecked in the few minutes of rain that fell on it (besides a laptop power supply). Anyways, I'll keep you updated.

Any questions, please send me a PM or post in here. If you need a particular picture, just ask and I'll get it for you.

Clear skies.

#49 Raginar

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:22 PM

Posted Image
Untitled by mads0100, on Flickr

Forgot to post a new picture of the rig. Things are cleaned up a bit; traded out the 8" newt for a 12" LX200. Moved the majority of the electronics to the top of the scope and changed out the power of the majority of the electronics to a 12v regulated power supply.

Things left to do to the equipment include adding an arduino-based stepper focuser to the LX200.

One other thing I 'discovered'. Gorilla Glue works great for securing electronics plugs. All of my USB cables are now 'gorilla glued' into their sockets. The benefit is no more disconnects due to the scope moving. And, the glue is removable and doesn't appear to do any harm to the electronics.



#50 Raginar

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:19 PM

Posted Image
Untitled by mads0100, on Flickr

Finally got around to putting in electricity. We dug the trench with the help of the kids. I almost got a trencher/vibratory plow but I'm glad I didn't. My soil/fill is very rocky and it just wouldn't have paid off. The deciding factor was the installed sprinkler system being in 3 parts that I'd have to hand dig around. After that... it just wasn't worth it.

Total time to dig down to 12" for roughly 75' was 4 hours. Some direct burial Cat5E and 12-2 was about 100 bucks.

Electrician will be here on Tuesday to hook it all up. I wish I'd done this from the start! The amount of 'damage' to the yard was minimal (you can see that side of my lawn isn't doing so hot) and it's pretty simple.

CS,






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