Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place.
Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:08 AM
Here is an image before we started:
Start of the Dig by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Levelling the base of where the deck will go:
20130619_083900 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Thank god for the excavator I hired! You can see the POD in the background.
20130619_084642 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
The giant hole for the footing. 4.5' deep. Frost line is 4'.
Hole for footing 4.5' below grade by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Footing in place, levelled:
Newer BigFoot footing system by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Footing in place by AstroJeff, on Flickr
The trench begins. The guy working the machine loved the hard pack clay since he was used to digging in bedrock:
Trench is started for electrical and USB over Ethernet by AstroJeff, on Flickr
12/2 underground feeder, even though my electrician said it was direct burial I put it in conduit anyway. Conduit was $45 for 100' with pull string, which we didn't use and should have. Ethernet is Cat5e direct burial with silicon core. I didn't put this in conduit. I am using it for USB over Ethernet, because isn't it an imagers dream to control everything from inside the warmth of the house when its -50c?? Lazy, yes but you're cold and I am warm! Plus I get to watch Dr who reruns on Netflix WHILE I image!
Trench done from Skyshed POD deck the following: by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Power and Ethernet: The main pier form is no longer level. He told me that concrete auto levels but it can be adjusted when the add the extra 4' extension.
20130619_112953 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
20130619_115203 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
20130619_132700 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Next isn't for the observatory but is the cause for 100% of my pain today:
Project 2, nearly complete by AstroJeff, on Flickr
My wife wanted stairs to the basement outside. She is 7months pregnant so I am not arguing, figure I get an observatory and she gets the stairs, she deserves the, plus the observatory serves as my "Dog House".
These were called Stair Stacker by Shaw Brick. You can fill them with whatever you want, I chose class A stone. We were not planning on doing the stairs but they do look nice. My back is dead!
Stay tuned for more. Deck goes in next week.
Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:31 AM
Those are really neat; I've not heard of them before; but they certainly look extremely nice! Those that need some steps to their observatories should look into them!
Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:35 AM
Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:27 PM
Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:28 PM
Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:29 AM
I didn't put the power in the pier because the company I hired brought this new plastic modular system and is completely enclosed until concrete is poured. It ended up not being very level after digging the trench but I am sure it can be fixed when the other levels go on. I will also take a shot of the pier plate. I am using the Starizona CGEM pier plate. I didn't do a template I just used the bottom plate and keeping it raised 3" off the concrete to adjust for any levelling. I am using 10" L anchors with the L's pointed inward. Tightend with 1 nut on top, 1 washer and two nuts and 1 washer on the bottom. It will give me a little wiggle room for fine levelling adjustment.
I will be using the Compass app I downloaded for my Android phone. It has a true north function. As long as I get True north, close, the CGEM is very forgiving in azimuth but it would be nice to get it near perfect in case I upgrade the mount some day. If the boss.. err my wife lets me.
Stargaz18, yeah, floating deck. Kind of funny because of all of the rain. I should have named the Observatory, The Ark. You should see the inside where it is for now.. always wet. can't wait to get it on the deck.
Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:17 AM
Decking is starting to go together:
20130624_114738 by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Pier Adapter (Starizona CGEM) and the top of the footing is cut off:
Footing ready for pour by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Concrete has arrived. I had to get it by truck since I requested 4000psi. It was pretty thick:
Concrete has arrived by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Rebar Cage in place, was moved to center:
Part of the re-bar structure by AstroJeff, on Flickr
12" Sono Tube in place, was a bit nervous because the tube went around the hole of the footing. Both poured at the same time and rebar married between. Should be solid!
12" Sono Tube in place by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Shims put in place to get level close:
Pouring Concrete by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Brace added because even though the shims got it close to level, it wasn't perfect so a brace was added, bit nervous when I remove these today, hoping the pier doesn't want to topple over. Was told it wouldn't but I keep thinking about gravity:
Bracing added by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Pier Plate added and leveled:
Starizona Pier plate added by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Picture to show how level it is:
Showing its "levelness" by AstroJeff, on Flickr
As recommended by folks in this community I added screening to keep the bugs out:
Screening nearly done by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Screening stapled about the pier, so no bugs there either:
Screening stapled to sono by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Deck is Completed:
Finished Deck by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Was my wife and my 7 year anniversary yesterday and when I got home I checked on the Pier and noticed that when they added the bag it was sealed and all sorts of condensation happened, I cut some holes to let the air out on the side, left the top as it was supposed to rain:
Supposed to get rain, it was wrapped to avoid this. by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Should I leave the bracing on for a few days? or is it safe to remove now? it was hard as rock last night, the workers said I can remove the sonotube and bracing today. they pour the piers for the massive signs you see at mcDonald's and such.
How long before I can seal and paint it?
How long before I can mount my scope to it (50lbs)?
Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:20 AM
Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:59 AM
My pier was completed recently but I hadn't given any thought to sealing and painting. What do you plan to seal it with?
Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:51 AM
Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:58 PM
Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:24 PM
Posted 29 June 2013 - 01:50 PM
Pool of water
Water issues by AstroJeff, on Flickr
First day of rain
Pooling of water due to torrential rain by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Second day of Rain
2nd Day of rains. by AstroJeff, on Flickr
You can see on the left, the erosion, the water is coming down where the trench was dug.
Once it is seeded and grass is growing, I think it will be ok.
Rain is coming down the hill by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Small trench was dug
Trench made to release the pressure. by AstroJeff, on Flickr
As you know the footing was all one unit, open on the button. It extends 2' above the ground and is encased in its plastic form. The sono tube went around this tube and leveled and is 4.5' below the ground. Frost line is 4'.
With the water issues I was planning on filling in the hole as much as I can to avoid any more flooding. two of the floor posts are in dekblock and two are sitting on patio stones. The wood is pressure treated and cuts were resealed with the green paint. If the wood posts are buried in either Class A stone (the rock you see on the bed) or with earth would is cause any issues?
Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:21 PM
Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:13 PM
If it moves then I guess it goes back to them
Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:27 PM
I am just curious as this may be an option I may look into instead of a roll off roof in my limited size backyard. I just can't see how not having the footings even with a good base would keep it/the deck from moving.
Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:04 PM
Winters here aren't that harsh, not as bad as some think, yes the frost line is 4' but the last 4 winters have been wet and mild (as winters are this far north) the ground does freeze for a few months but it isn't bad. If it snows it adds insulation My soil is primarily hard packed clay and when we excavated we built up a gradual incline to the pier.
I was working on it today. First day in a long time we had more than an hour between downpours. I started moving the scope and mount inside the house to prep the big dismantle and move. I decided I wanted to remove the forms, it was a week figured it was long enough. The concrete company told me to soak the sono down with water and the cardboard will just peel off. Yeah right, not sure what kind of water he used but it isn't that easy. I also put the mount on, just resting in place. It sits 67" to the top of Dec! Nearly as tall as me. The reason I did this is because I want to make sure my scope AND guidescope are above the wall (thinking about low objects in the east like morning comets) My scope is 27" long 18" wide (With guidescope) and 16" high (highest point, the focuser) I sure hope I did the math right. :|
Untitled by AstroJeff, on Flickr
Untitled by AstroJeff, on Flickr
As you can see still having issues getting the cardboard off. Anyone have suggestions?
Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:31 PM
Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:43 PM
Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:54 PM
Lazy astronomer, I know.
Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:19 AM
Just wondering if you used the POD simulator app on the skyshedpod website (on the More Info page). It allows you to put in parameters for your scope and mount, and see how everything fits as you "slew" the scope around inside the virtual POD. I used it when planning the height of my pier. Haven't gotten the POD yet so I'm not sure how well it worked.
Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:11 AM