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Blackwater Observatory Begins

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#26 Cotts

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:17 PM

Close up of my "Sharpie" circle. Drawing this circle on the stones destroyed TWO Sharpies! A very abrasive surface.....

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#27 Cotts

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

Here's where high school geometry and trigonometry meet reality. Is the Plinth the rights size? Well, yes it is. The OD of the Pod is 89" and the OD of the Plinth is, flat to flat (as opposed to corner to corner which is a little larger) is 89 1/4". Yay me!!!

Tomorrow I will drill and install two tapcons in each piece of the plinth to fasten it to the patio stones. Then I will screw the top pieces of the plinth on and it will be ready to receive the Pod...


I spoke to Wayne on the phone today and it seems that the Pod will be delivered on Thursday or Friday of this week, just in time for my install/bar-b-q on Saturday....

Dave

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#28 rockethead26

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:53 PM

Woohoo! Looking good, Dave. You should have this done just in time to leave for the TSP. :grin:

#29 EdTheEdge

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

Very interesting project! Thanks for sharing.

Best of luck and clear skies!

#30 Cotts

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:32 PM

News Flash! My Pod will be delivered tomorrow morning!!!!

:jump: :jump: :jump:
:yay: :yay: :yay:
:thewave: :thewave: :thewave:
:rockon: :rockon: :rockon:
:tomatodance: :tomatodance: :tomatodance:
:banjodance: :banjodance: :banjodance:
:elephdance: :elephdance: :elephdance:
:hamsterdance: :hamsterdance: :hamsterdance:
:whee: :whee: :whee:
:flexible: :flexible: :flexible:
:woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

Dave

#31 Project Galileo

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

The excitement builds. :gotpopcorn:

#32 stmguy

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

Great job Dave.

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#33 csa/montana

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:07 AM

Dave, Congratulations! It's looking great! When that Pod shows up, you will be excited beyond belief. Your dream is now a reality!

#34 Cotts

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:50 AM

The Big Truck!

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#35 Cotts

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:52 AM

The ginormous boxes!

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#36 Cotts

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:54 AM

Unpacked and ready. (Anyone need about 10 000 square feet of cardboard???)

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#37 Cotts

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:00 AM

The plinth is awaiting its burden. Today (Friday) I will assemble the dome halves, apply all the weatherstrip and metal bits. Tomorrow is the actual construction event with a few of my wonderful club mates over to help.

More pics coming.

Thanks for watching.

Dave

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#38 csa/montana

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:21 AM

What a great job you've done on it, Dave!

#39 rockethead26

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

Far out!

Sorry, a 60s flashback there. :rainbow:

#40 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

Up go the wall panels...

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#41 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:13 PM

More...

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#42 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:14 PM

Many hands make light work....

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#43 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:15 PM

And again.....

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#44 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:17 PM

The amazing crew from the North York Astronomical Association.....

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#45 Cotts

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:26 PM

The Pod is up and 'running'. There are some issues with my plinth base and the concrete 24"x24" pads that it is sitting on. I will have to do some shimming to level the top off. The dome rotates reasonably well but there are a couple of high spots that need levelling out.

I have locked the dome and left nothing inside. When I return from the Texas Star Party in mid-May I will silicone all the seams and take care of the final shimming and levelling. Then install some 120vac and 12vdc wiring, lights, the flooring pads and, finally the telescope and mount. Should be first light well before june 1!!

There will be more pics of these details as they happen.

Thanks for staying tuned.

Dave

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#46 rockethead26

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:33 PM

Looks great, Dave! I'm jealous.

#47 Starhawk

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:42 AM

That foundation you came up with looks pretty good, and getting through the door should be easier with the higher rim.

-Rich

#48 Cotts

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 07:44 AM

Rich, the door entry was one of my main thoughts. I had a chance to try a 'standard' height Pod and the entry was very difficult for me with my combination of height and inflexibility. My plinth adds a very helpful 7".

I entered and exited my Pod several times yesterday with ease and the extra height inside makes it feel very roomy....

Dave

#49 Midnight Dan

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:37 AM

Nice, Dave! I've purchased a pod and will be getting it this summer, so I'm very interested in this. I'm not as tall as you and probably not as inflexible (although I'm a lot less flexible than I used to be!), but I'm still thinking that a few extra inches of height would be nice. If I decide to do something like this I need to make plans now because I'm putting in the pier first and need to get it to the right height.

Some questions. Do you plan to do anything to support the bays? What did you use for the diameter (inner and outer) of the plinth? It seems like you got that information ahead of time since you built the plinth before the pod arrived. Is there anything holding the plinth segments to each other, or are they just bolted to the base? Any thoughts on what you'd do differently with the plinth if you had to do it over again?

Thanks!
-Dan

#50 Cotts

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:51 PM

Nice, Dave! I've purchased a pod and will be getting it this summer, so I'm very interested in this. I'm not as tall as you and probably not as inflexible (although I'm a lot less flexible than I used to be!), but I'm still thinking that a few extra inches of height would be nice. If I decide to do something like this I need to make plans now because I'm putting in the pier first and need to get it to the right height.

Some questions. Do you plan to do anything to support the bays? I will put some wood base under them especially when I have shelves in them. What did you use for the diameter (inner and outer) of the plinth? It seems like you got that information ahead of time since you built the plinth before the pod arrived. The exact dimensions are on the Sky Shed Pod website. Is there anything holding the plinth segments to each other, or are they just bolted to the base? They are only bolted to the 24"x24" concrete patio slabs. Any thoughts on what you'd do differently with the plinth if you had to do it over again? I have had trouble making the plinth level. There is a variance, high spots to low spots, of about 1/2" which are entirely due to the patio stones which are a #$^$%&^ to move around and level. If I had a second chance I would consider a wooden form and poured concrete for the plinth. But how much $ ?

Thanks!
-Dan








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