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New shop with second story observatory

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#1 George P Dunham

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 01:32 PM

Broke ground. Plans done. Dome on delivery. It's on baby!!

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#2 George P Dunham

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 01:33 PM

Ground broke view 1

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#3 George P Dunham

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 01:35 PM

Ground broke view 2

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#4 David Pavlich

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

Looks terrific! If you have a chance, take some pictures in all directions. It looks like a very nice site.

David

#5 TL2101

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:59 PM

A shop and observatory it doesn't get better than that. Post lots of photo's.

#6 csa/montana

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:43 PM

:applause: Way to go!

We're looking forward to following the build!

Congratulations!

#7 woolbrig

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:34 AM

Congrats!

I plan start building an observatory in my shop in the next month also. Looking forward to following your progress.

#8 rkayakr

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

I'm in the planning stage for a shop / observatory. Do you have any plans or sketches of your approach that you can share?

#9 stmguy

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:00 AM

Sounds like a fun project!

Norm

#10 khendrix2

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Hi George, I can't wait to see how this turns out. Please feel free to let me know if you need any help.

#11 snommisbor

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:17 PM

Looking forward to this one. :bigshock:

#12 Starman27

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:40 PM

+1

#13 herrointment

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:57 PM

How come I've not thought of this?

Nirvana!

#14 George P Dunham

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:35 PM

So...plans have stalled in the engineers lap. Meanwhile I brought home an 8 foot Exploradome and I am itching to get started.

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#15 TCW

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:46 PM

Looks great! I hope you can get your engineer to finalize the design before winter starts!

#16 George P Dunham

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:51 PM

In the mean time...I need suggestions on wiring for the telescope and parts. I will have 4 120v circuits. One will be for digital-photo only (converted to 12v). Second, for mount electronics (CGEPRO), fans, dew control, misc electronics for scope (for wall warts). Third for weather computer, scope computer, monitor(s),LED lights, misc electronics. Fourth, for lights and non-sensitive electronics.
Any advice on line filtering, protection, isolation ...assuming an electrician won't be hip to noise issues.

#17 TCW

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:34 PM

If lightning is a major issue in your area look into surge protection that is hardwired in (type 1 or 2). Those plug strips that claim surge protection are apparently worthless (type 3). Intermatic offers a number of heavy duty options.

http://www.intermati...iveDevices.aspx

http://www.leviton.c...79&minisite=...

#18 George P Dunham

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 10:08 AM

lightning is a real problem here (foothills west of Denver). I would like to be able to physically disconnect all circuits that feed the observatory when storms are close. I would like to do that remotely or locally. I have a boltec system (I am a nerd) that could automate this I guess.

#19 TCW

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:31 PM

I am not familiar with the boltec system so I can't comment on that but apparently it must be some sort of disconnect? I have found through experience that even unplugged items can have lightning damage. It must be the EMP pulse that is generated in a nearby strike but I have lost a number of electronic items that way. My electrical wholesaler claims that some electronics can be fried through the ground and recommended to me a ground disconnect for my well controls.

#20 George P Dunham

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 03:14 PM

Boltec is a lightning detection system that could be used to trigger a disconnect.
I occasionally have strikes within a tenth of a mile but no fried electronics yet. I heard of a local house burning to the ground when a charge came through a ground circuit and fried a kitchen appliance that then caught fire.
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#21 TCW

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 03:35 PM

I have lost a computer, telephone system, 4 well controllers, a fax, a DSL modem and a wireless router as well as a 120v circuit due to a 12 gauge wire being burned through. I also had a DSL filer explode! My current computer had some hard drive damage after a storm went through and it was completely unplugged!

#22 rimcrazy

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:54 AM

Lightening is a real issue. I have my residence as well as my observatory protected. As you can see:

Posted Image

The rod is on the north side which, behind me while I took the picture are very tall ponderosa pines, so having the rod at that location does not really affect me much as I could not do much in that direction anyway.

During the monsoon months, July/August, we get numerous strikes on my property. While I've yet to take a direct hit I've lost lots of routers, modems, etc to what I believe have been ground strikes. (I have buried CAT5 between my home and garage/shop). I had a licensed lightening contractor put rods on my home, garage/studio and observatory. The observatory has a large copper cable buried all around the structure as well as a huge copper plate buried about a foot down. There are lightening interrupters on all of the electrical boxes as well as grounded bypass on all of the main CAT5 feeds between all of the buildings.

Another reason for the protection, in addition to the electrical damage from a strike, my home, as well as many in the location, use propane for heating. The propane feeds from a 500gal tank through underground pipes to each structure. Within the structure the propane is distributed via flexible gas lines. While these lines are within code and are perfectly safe to use, their wall thickness cannot carry the current that older, traditional black pipe can. Because of this, if not protected (grounded with LARGE FAT CABLES!!) a strike on my home or garage could literally explode the building as the current could easily burn through the metal of a gas line and then explode the propane within the line. This has happened to buildings in my location.

As a wise person said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

#23 MJB87

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:12 AM

Good advice.

Another thought is to avoid burying Cat5/6 cable. Bury fiber optic cable and use media converters at each end. Not only is the bandwidth higher (who knows how bandwidth demand will evolve in the future) but the fiber will not transmit current from a ground strike.
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#24 TCW

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

My neighbor has a 6" section of his PVC water pipe vaporized by a lightning strike! :shocked:

#25 George P Dunham

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

After a month and a half of delays...plans approved, subs hired, ready to go.  Should be done by mid September....hoping to miss first real snow.








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