Blackwater Observatory Begins
Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:17 AM
Since I am 6'6" tall I have decided to raise the Pod 6 1/2 " on a plinth consisting of 2x6 and 2x4 pressure treated wood in a 16-sided (decahexagon? hexadecagon?) pattern. The extra height is not needed under the center of the dome but the 'shoulders' of the dome would have been a bit cramped for me at the standard height.
The site base will be 2'x2' patio stones in an 8' square over several inches of compacted fine gravel within a frame of railway ties. The plinth will be attached to the Patio stones with TapCon screws and the Pod will be screwed down to the plinth with large wood screws.
There will be no permanent electrical connection (again with the temporary nature of the project). I'll be using an extension cord from the house.
And there will be no pier, either. I'll make do with the Losmandy HD tripod which is plenty strong.
I'm starting the thread now so that it will be there as I post pics and updates. I will be breaking ground within a week as the frost leaves the upper foot of soil...
If all goes well it will all be done by April 26.......
Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:25 PM
Last year, I completed a small (8'x8') RoR, and although the weather has been miserable for about a year, I've been able to sneak in short imaging or visual sessions because everything's ready to go. A thirty minute sucker hole here and there is better than nothing!
Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:26 PM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:07 PM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:12 PM
Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:10 AM
I'll have to run an electrical connection under the plinth but I can't hook it directly to the mains from the house without having to enter the world of permits and inspectors... I could put it in some plastic pipe... Any suggestions?
As for the wind, my yard is very sheltered by trees and hedges to the northwest, west and southwest and the house to the east. (My sky is a strip running north to south - I'll be doing all my observing within +/- 30 degrees of the meridian due to these obstacles.
And, a cool anecdote. Months ago I went to the city by-law officer for my area of Toronto to get some answers about my project and, to make a long conversation short, he refused to answer any of my questions until I gave him my address! (They want their pound of flesh and control from the get-go!) I ended up looking up the bylaws myself on line. Where I found that if I had any permanent electrical hookup to an outbuilding it must be installed by a licensed electrician and inspected and a building permit is required. This would run me well north of $500 so I will make do with extension cords across my lawn (taken up only for mowing...)
Thanks for listening.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:37 PM
If we teamed up we would be Black and Blue.
I am pathetically still just running an extension cord up to mine. Hopefully as the weather continues to warm up I will get many many little things completed on mine.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:44 PM
Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:13 PM
Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:16 PM
Trivia: The Hypotenuse/ diagonal for 9' sides is 12' 8 3/4 "
Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:28 PM
* Having dug the above I will next install the 4x4 'frame', carefully level it and spike it in place. The inside dimensions of the frame will be 8' x 8'. Then I can dig out the middle down to about 6" below the (level) plane of the top of the frame. Next will be 4" of screening gravel, levelled and compacted followed by 2" thick 2'x2' concrete patio stones which will bring things up to the level of the frame.
The lumber and other materials are being delivered on Sat., Apr 13.
Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:24 PM
BTW; I also run a cord to my observatory.
Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:40 PM
Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:58 PM
If you look carefully you will see that the building inspector is on the job....
Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:08 PM
Yay!! My first Robin sighting. Haven't seen any here yet.
Your plan is looking good. I'll be watching your progress, as I hopefully will have my own POD in the coming year or so.
Thanks for photos.
Best, Linda B.
Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:44 PM
Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:53 PM
Next step: Limestone screenings inside the frame to within 2" of the top. Level and compact and then install the patio stones. I'm working Tuesday to Friday so Saturday will be the next step.....
Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:55 PM
As for progress - a little at a time. The Pod arrives next week.... I have to have the site prepared by then.
Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:05 PM
Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:10 PM
Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:12 PM