Jump to content


Photo

Orion Ranch Observatory nears completion

  • Please log in to reply
128 replies to this topic

#51 hm insulators

hm insulators

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4819
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2007

Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:52 AM

Beautiful observatory!


#52 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:06 PM

Originally Posted by tim57064:Beo,love the look of everything. You've been doing a great job. Would like to know where you got the almost all sky camera and dome so as I can build a similar one. Thanks Tim.  This is the camera came I used.  It has integrating capability, etc., although I had to turn off the auto ranging to keep it from getting too noisy at night.  They actually offer a range of "starlight" cameras, and this was in the middle as far as cost.  Supposedly this lens would give a full 180 degrees if it was used on a 1/2" CCD instead of the 1/3" it's paired with.
 
Here's the dome.  Just toss the black inner shroud.  Both together cost under $100.  If I leave out the cost of the other stuff I tried looking for a cheap solution, the whole thing was probably under $150, excluding the DVR from the security system that's recording for me.
 
Beo


#53 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

November 27th, 2013:

Started excavating the second pier on this day, 2009!

So the automatic gain mode of the camera wasn't really working well at night as it would turn the gain too high and cause a lot of static in the images, rather than just showing stars against black.  I had already cabled to allow the addition of a remote control of the camera menu, but hadn't obtained a separate joystick assembly for that purpose.  I finally just decided to risk the cable I had and create a new assembly.  Worked like a charm!  Here's the new camera side assembly.



Installed on the camera along with the new adapter for the control cable.



 


And then the menu control joystick adapted to allow using a network cable run between.  The cable can always be adapted to replace this with an IP camera or the like somewhere down the line if that becomes necessary.



 


Went ahead and installed the rest of the observatory lights temporarily.



 



Beo


#54 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:08 PM

November 29th, 2013:

Routing speaker wires for stereo surround sound, a speaker on the other side of the door, and zone 2 speakers in the observatory.





 

 

 


Remote speaker zone in the observatory itself.


Adding a remote control cable to the air conditioner outlet to allow the PC to control the temperature.




Adding an extra cable or two for observatory cameras and future expansion.




LOTS of cables in the wall, including power, network/data, camera, speaker, and control cables!





Beo


#55 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:19 AM

Thanks to Greg K., I have my thread back from the old/new site. I'm going to miss the HTML formatting, but hopefully we'll get it back when we go wherever we go next. In the meantime it's back to the old BBCode links!

Beo

#56 Starman27

Starman27

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4320
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Illinois, Iowa

Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:55 PM

This build is so nice!

#57 John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

    In Focus

  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2004
  • Loc: AR

Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:34 PM

Wow! I've seen these metal roofs go up, but didn't realize what a pain in the neck those ridge caps are.  Lots of detail work.

That is not the usual ridge cap used on most metal buildings and residential roofs. The common ridge caps are much wider and screw onto the ridges of the roof sheets with rubber washer screws. They go on rapidly. The caps shown here are deluxe top of the line virtually leak proof designs.

#58 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:39 AM

Thanks Herman. Yeah, John, the nice thing about the standing seam roof designs is that there are no exposed penetrations, and the only possible way for water to get in (if installed correctly) is for it to blow up over a ~1" high barrier. The only exposed fasteners at all are pop rivets added to the ridge caps on the outside of the Zee to prevent them from slipping or the wind from possibly blowing them off. Any water that goes through the pop rivet hold ends up on the outside of the roof under the edge of the Zee.

Beo

#59 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:53 PM

November 30th, 2013

Finished anchoring all cables and cleaning up the warm room prior to installing insulation.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

http://photos.orionr...1130-184013.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1130-184015.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1130-184210.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Getting all the insulation moved in to be ready for next time.

http://photos.orionr...1130-185153.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 8th, 2013:

First roll of 5.5" insulation in the ceiling.

http://photos.orionr...1208-100046.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

The remainder of the first roll of batting.

http://photos.orionr...1208-100059.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Second roll installed:

http://photos.orionr...1208-113449.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished the ceiling insulation installation with some very tired arms!

http://photos.orionr...1208-160958.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1208-161014.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1208-161023.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Installing the first piece of insulation on the wall.

http://photos.orionr...1208-163853.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

First roll done.

http://photos.orionr...1208-171612.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

First wall almost finished by the evening.

http://photos.orionr...1208-183013.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Beo

#60 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:31 PM

December 11, 2013:

Forgot to mention on the last post, but this is just over four years since the second pier was poured (December 5th, 2009), and two years since I was finishing up the footings for the warm room.

One last wiring task. Installing one more conduit for routing a secondary ground wire from outside to the breaker box.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Running a ground wire from the breaker box to the ground rod outside and connecting with the secondary lightning suppression.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Of course the ground post was originally driven near the end of the conduit, but when it wouldn't go any deeper, this is where the top ended up!

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Filling the end of the conduit with caulk to keep bugs and water out.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Completed the insulation on the first wall by lunch time.

http://photos.orionr...1211-110425.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished the north wall by the end of the day, with a few bats cut for the east wall. Working around all those outlet boxes and cables is a pain!

http://photos.orionr...1211-180320.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1211-180331.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1211-180342.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 14, 2013:

Even slower going on the east wall with all the cables!

http://photos.orionr...1214-094021.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished the east wall by about 12:30.

http://photos.orionr...1214-123847.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Saved the hardest for last, putting insulation over the electrical panel and conduits.

http://photos.orionr...1214-172649.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished the insulation in the mid-wall and stuffing bits in the cracks at the corners. The camera lens is fogged up due to the temperature and humidity from my breath after bringing the camera in from the cold observatory!

http://photos.orionr...1214-191939.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

It's finally time to bring in all the paneling for the walls, and when I uncovered everything, my worst fears were realized. Some critter got under all the tarps and ate through the inner layer protective plastic lining so water leaked in and ruined most of the plywood! :( :bawling:

http://photos.orionr...1214-192821.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

I was able to salvage just enough panels to do the warm room. I'll have to buy more to do the observatory. Put them in the warm room to acclimatize overnight.

http://photos.orionr...1214-195345.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

And a few more that can be used after cutting off the bad portions. These should work in locations where only partial panels are needed.

http://photos.orionr...1214-195351.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1214-195401.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Beo

#61 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:34 PM

December 22nd, 2012:

One year after the start of construction on the building, four years after completing the eyepiece holder for the piers.

Cutting the first panel for the ceiling.
Posted Image
Posted Image

Using a couple of ladders to help hold the panels in place while I staple them.

Posted Image
Posted Image

The first ceiling panel installed.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Halfway done with three ceiling panels up.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Ceiling finished with all six panels up.

Posted Image
Posted Image

http://photos.orionr...1222-134229.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Putting up the west wall as it gets late. Check out all the fine sawdust floating in the air.

http://photos.orionr...1222-161006.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished paneling the south wall up to the door by the end of the day.

http://photos.orionr...1222-191150.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 24th, 2013: Merry Christmas!

Finished paneling on the east wall.

http://photos.orionr...1224-132838.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished trimming out the paneling around the door into the observatory.

http://photos.orionr...1224-132852.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Last piece of paneling to be installed over outer door.

http://photos.orionr...1224-184027.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1224-184029.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finished paneling the north wall.

http://photos.orionr...4-191054-01.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 27, 2013:

Getting prepped for installing trim, bringing in the baseboards and window casing, as well as both saws.

http://photos.orionr...1227-083440.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-083447.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Ripping a couple of 1x12s for the window sills.

http://photos.orionr...1227-083522.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Installed the casing around the outer door.

http://photos.orionr...1227-115708.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Installed the casing around the observatory door.

http://photos.orionr...1227-124928.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Baseboards installed all the way around.

http://photos.orionr...1227-161503.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161510.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161519.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161523.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161551.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161616.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

A couple of full views of the doors. WOW! :ooo:

http://photos.orionr...1227-161606.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-161633.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finishing with cove trim pieces in all the corners.

http://photos.orionr...1227-183413.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-183427.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1227-183459.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Beo

#62 FOUNTAIN1

FOUNTAIN1

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Winder, Ga

Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:31 AM

Beo, I have thoroughly enjoyed your thread. Are these latest pictures your current status of the observatory, or are they older ones reposted? I know you've been trying to repost pictures that were lost during the changeover the site experienced, but I wasn't sure if the project was completed or not. Thanks for all of the updates, it's fun to scroll and see the progress you have made.

#63 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 16 April 2014 - 08:54 PM

Thanks Glen,

I'm trying to get caught up on posting all the construction pictures. What I've posted so far is up to right at the end of December, so I'm further along than that.

Beo

#64 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:54 PM

December 28th, 2013:

Installing the first window sill, made from a 1x12 ripped in half, routed, sanded, and trimmed top size.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Added more paneling to face the inside of each window frame in addition to adding the sills.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Adding casing around the window frames to complete them.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image

Framing the air conditioner with casing as well.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Here's a scan around the room with all the trim done. Looks pretty amazing if I do say so myself!

http://photos.orionr...1228-183600.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1228-183606.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1228-183621.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1228-183635.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1228-183642.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 29th, 2013:

Finishing touches before painting.

I had to glue the edges of the ceiling panels together to keep them from bowing differently and introducing gaps.

http://photos.orionr...1229-131753.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Then I had to put wood filler in the trim all around and come back and sand it clean. And remember, if you really want to see all of these, you can always follow the link icon and view neighboring pages.

http://photos.orionr...1229-131819.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

And after having glued all of the inter-joist joints.

http://photos.orionr...1229-190025.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Finally, I had to remove all the labels with a blow dryer to warm them, then acetone to remove the glue. I'm not sure WHY they put those on the finish side of the panels!

http://photos.orionr...1229-190017.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 30th, 2013:

Adding the first coat of polyurethane. Makes the wood look extremely rich!

http://photos.orionr...1230-172107.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Took me the rest of the day to get the first coat everywhere.

http://photos.orionr...1230-172113.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1230-192848.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1230-192904.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1230-192933.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1230-192937.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1230-193013.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

December 31st, 2013:

After another full day of painting the second coat of polyurethane, I finally get to put up the ceiling fan with the custom artwork I'd designed (and now I finally get to share the pictures!).

http://photos.orionr...1231-192906.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1231-193202.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1231-193131.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

And the actual artwork.
http://photos.orionr...231-193131b.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Installing light switch covers and other finishing details.

http://photos.orionr...1231-193219.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...1231-211842.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

And the nice flashy window frame after two layers of polyurethane.

http://photos.orionr...1231-193228.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Enjoy!

Beo

#65 FOUNTAIN1

FOUNTAIN1

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Winder, Ga

Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:35 AM

Absolutely beautiful! The ceiling fan was a very nice touch to the O.R.O.! :bow:

#66 Raginar

Raginar

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6138
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Rapid CIty, SD

Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

Cool fan! :) Nice job.

#67 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11297
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:43 AM

Wow! That fan is awesome! Great job on the artwork and a nice compliment to the rest of the work you've done! :bow:

-Dan

#68 tim57064

tim57064

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA

Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:55 AM

Lookin' Great Beo.

#69 MAURITS

MAURITS

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1019
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Belgium

Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:04 AM

What a great project, congrats ...

#70 MHamburg

MHamburg

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA

Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:59 PM

What a refuge from all things mundane!
Michael

#71 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:16 PM

Thanks everyone! I've been waiting a long time to finally post the pictures of the fan, as I'm pretty happy with it too! I have one or two other cool things to post when I get there.

BTW, I discovered that the link to the original thread is broken after the move (it points to the "new" site that's no longer there). Thus, I'm re-posting that link here.

http://www.cloudynig...3430560/page...

Beo

#72 crazyqban

crazyqban

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Miami, Florida

Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:31 PM

Looks great, I love the fan, excellent job. Enjoy!!!!

#73 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:06 PM

Thanks Sergio.

January 2nd, 2014:

Installing an RGB LED strip for a red light night light. Attempt one, anyway, since it kept falling down until I stapled it in place. The glue on these isn't worth much. This attempt was to stick it to the trim in case I ever needed to replace it.

Posted Image
Posted Image

The power supply and driver is installed under a blank plate and controlled from a light switch below.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Adding some cheap speakers installed as rear surround sound speakers.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Installing the PIR motion detector for the alarm system.

Posted Image
Posted Image

A shot of the finished wall with outlet plates installed.

Posted Image
Posted Image

January 3rd, 2014:

Finished north, east, and west walls with outlet plates installed. Still have some work to do on network keystones, etc. but that may only happen as needed.

http://photos.orionr...0103-121828.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...0103-121850.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...0103-121842.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...0103-121835.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Completely repaired, cleaned, and installed sectional sofa and area rug. See additional images on the site if you're interested in the process of getting the sectional back together.

http://photos.orionr...0103-211422.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

That rug will have to go, but it's good enough for now!

http://photos.orionr...0103-211433.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

http://photos.orionr...0103-211443.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

And with the queen sleeper open. We probably only used this twice in the 20 years we've had the sofa. The mice that got into it in storage spent more time in it than we have!

http://photos.orionr...0103-212400.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Nothing like buying new furniture to mess up your design plans, but Fry's had a good deal on for Christmas. Originally I was going to place the old stereo on a pedestal in the corner, with old cheap desks to either side. Now I have to run speaker wires to the corner from the rack.

http://photos.orionr...0103-211453.jpg
http://photos.orionr...ages/link31.png

Beo

#74 Lord Beowulf

Lord Beowulf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:25 AM

Given that I've posted all of the exterior pictures up to now, I suppose I can go ahead and make this post for all of you who have stuck with me this long!

So I finally took the time to piece together close to a year of time lapse video and create a short construction video of the entire build. I’ve posted the two minute long, 1800X version, and will post a slower 20 minute version later. That one contains the full number of frames but at 6X the speed of the five frame per second version as shot. I'm missing bits here and there due to dead batteries, full memory cards, and even a dead camera. You'll also see where I switched cameras a couple of times before going back to a replacement of what I started with which was far superior to the others. If you watch closely you might catch some deer and my donkeys. You'll also see some wild weather including a freak snowfall. Just another little treat for those of you who've stuck with me through all of this. I hope you enjoy it!

Beo

Posted Image

#75 FOUNTAIN1

FOUNTAIN1

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Winder, Ga

Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:41 AM

That was a great time lapse video!!!! Looking forward to the full version you mentioned. I kept trying to pause the frames randomly so I could catch your donkeys in the frame. Finally did it at 1:53. :grin:






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics