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My Modest Observatory

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#26 Raginar

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 11:21 PM

That's really neat. How's it secured to the ground?

#27 csa/montana

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 12:47 AM

:bow: Really a nice setup! Nice pier also. I noticed in one of your pictures, you had a radiator type heater, did that not give enough heat to stay comfortable? Just curious. :)

How do you secure it for high winds?

#28 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:30 AM

thanks,
the electric heater was ok but since i only have one circuit
i wanted to go with non electric for heat and save the amps
for running lights and computer from 110v...dew control with a 12 volt 30 amp power supply.
running the electric heater on high really taxed the one
circuit i had.
for anchoring astrogazer sells a anchoring system made just
for this and its supposed to handle up to 90mph winds.
once anchors are in place....they are driven into the ground
about 2 feet and then you pull on the cable thats attached
and anchor turns 90 deg and is in the ground securely.
it also comes with the standard tent type stakes
for weekend use but i would not count on them for more than
about 30 mph.
after you drive anchors in the ground you use supplied winching straps to cable in the ground and on cable
attached to 4 of the support poles.
then there are 6 more straps you attach from bottom ring
of frame to rotating ring on base of dome after your done
with observing session.
while observing there are pins that attach through roller
brackets that hold dome on and still let you rotate dome.
you can see upper cable attached to support pole in picture.

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#29 Midnight Dan

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:09 AM

the electric heater was ok but since i only have one circuit
i wanted to go with non electric for heat and save the amps


Farther down, it looks like you are now using a catalytic propane heater. I have one of these for my Skyshed POD observatory and it works well - usually.

Problem is - the by products of propane combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor. In cold, humid weather, that water vapor will condense on the cold surfaces inside your observatory, like the pier, mount, and scope. I found that, on some days, I just couldn't use the heater because everything ends up soaked.

-Dan

#30 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:33 AM

the electric heater was ok but since i only have one circuit
i wanted to go with non electric for heat and save the amps


Farther down, it looks like you are now using a catalytic propane heater. I have one of these for my Skyshed POD observatory and it works well - usually.

Problem is - the by products of propane combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor. In cold, humid weather, that water vapor will condense on the cold surfaces inside your observatory, like the pier, mount, and scope. I found that, on some days, I just couldn't use the heater because everything ends up soaked.

-Dan

you have a point there....i think i will keep the electric
in there also...plenty of room.
as long as i just run the led lights and maybe telescope
i should be alright with heater.
i can use my jumper pack batteries for the dew control.
the electric did keep it nice and dry.

#31 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

temps were a balmy 50 today so i think i will try doing first light tonight.
mounted the 14" on the cge pro today.

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#32 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

plenty of room once telescope is mounted.
i custom made the dovetail on bottom and made it solid.
also custom made the dew shield with pvc and used 2" velcro
and prostar flocking inside.
left it sitting in garage last month and it handles the cold well.

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#33 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

left a little room under tube to make sliding counterweights.
flocking inside dew shield looks great.

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#34 mustgobigger

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:02 PM

i sent the levenhuk 80mm triplet back.
going to go with the williams optics 81mm triplet with flattener.

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#35 Raginar

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:51 PM

That is neat. A commercial product I take it?

#36 jimbo728

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

I like that very much...There may be one in my future.
Jim

#37 mustgobigger

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

you can find them here.

astrogizmos

#38 tim57064

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

Do you have to rotate the entire structure? I checked out the site and still do not see how it rotates. Do not see any track or casters for rotation? Very curious.

#39 Midnight Dan

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:25 AM

Do you have to rotate the entire structure? I checked out the site and still do not see how it rotates. Do not see any track or casters for rotation? Very curious.


Here's a video.
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=B0sz8Wc0k6o
You can see it rotating near the middle of the video.

-Dan

#40 tim57064

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:49 AM

Dan,Thanks for the link.You could just see the base stationary and the dome movement even if it was for a mere second.Quite expensive though for a temporary shelter,don't you think?Yet if a person does not have the space for a permanent structure,well :scratchhead:,I guess this would work.

#41 Midnight Dan

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

Does seem pricey to me too. For only $400 more, you can get a SkyShed POD which, being a rigid structure, will hold up much better to winds and general abuse.

On the other hand, this is 10' in diameter compared to the POD's 7' diameter. And, if you want a structure that you can tear down and move to a dark site for a few days' stay at a star party, this might be a better choice.

-Dan

#42 Raginar

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:33 PM

It's interesting. I wonder how it holds up in the wind? Still, imagine taking it in a camper and having a pop up observatory for a month somewhere?! Kind of neat.

#43 csa/montana

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:49 PM

My concern would be how it handles a snow load. Rather than sliding off, it looks as though the snow would sink between the metal frame pieces, especially the "dome" opening.

Other than that, it looks like it will be a great observatory for you; and especially a lot more comfortable than out in the open. Not having to setup/tear down equipment is a big plus, also! :bow:

#44 nytecam

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:51 AM

Very nice obsy - well done but what's with the two heaters ? Are you camping out there :-)

#45 mustgobigger

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:39 AM

My concern would be how it handles a snow load. Rather than sliding off, it looks as though the snow would sink between the metal frame pieces, especially the "dome" opening.


it does have support bars that go between the opening
after your done viewing to put strength back into
frame.
also some long plexiglass sheets that slide between
supports just for that purpose.
ill post pictures later today.

#46 csa/montana

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:00 AM

My concern would be how it handles a snow load. Rather than sliding off, it looks as though the snow would sink between the metal frame pieces, especially the "dome" opening.


it does have support bars that go between the opening
after your done viewing to put strength back into
frame.
also some long plexiglass sheets that slide between
supports just for that purpose.
ill post pictures later today.


:waytogo: That definitely would be of help with a heavy snow!

#47 mustgobigger

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:06 PM

Well I was away for 2 days and
Returned to find 8" of snow
And most rolled off but not the
Top 20%....I used a window washing
Squeegee on a extending handle
Similar to those used for painting
high ceilings.
Cost was about $8.00 at hardware store.
was about a 1 minute job
Cleaning excess snow off.
I dont think I would worry about
Snow very much unless it snows
more than about 15" at once.
We get those heavy snows like
That maybe once a year.
I guess you would just have
To be around to brush snow
Off if you lived in a area that gets
Continual deep snow...or build
Permanent.
as I will be retiring Soon a permanent
Structure was not a good option
At this time.

#48 Midnight Dan

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 05:49 PM

Top 20%....I used a window washing
Squeegee on a extending handle


:waytogo: Exactly what I use to clear off my POD dome.

-Dan

#49 terraclarke

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:19 PM

I love it Brian. Very nice!! :bow:

#50 mustgobigger

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:54 AM

Thanks terra....now all I need is
Some clear skies ... and some practice
With celestron hand control.
Been a autostar user for years....
One time out and not clear enough
For a 2 star alignment.
Also working 70 hours a week.
heat wave coming Monday....40 deg.






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