CLOUDY NIGHTS FORUM ARCHIVES
"Live Forums" can be found here: Live Forums


Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | (show all)
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Raginar]
      #5987120 - 07/23/13 11:39 PM

Quote:

Since the roof rolls off, do you GFCI the entire thing?




Hopefully that will never be an issue, but heavy dew is always a concern, so yes, I have all the "user" outlets on GFCI. Only the permanent appliances like the AC, fan, and lights are not protected directly.

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5987155 - 07/24/13 12:07 AM

Saturday, June 15th, 2013:

So I decided it only made sense to buy a nice medium sized 1080P TV to use as a second monitor in the warm room. That of course means I need a TV antenna so I can tune off-the-air. I had a number of old pipe poles, including the one that the previous owners had a lousy little antenna attached to.







Stacking and priming the poles since the galvanizing was in bad shape. I have a lot more length than I need, but had to go down to 1" to hold the TV antenna on the end.







Adding magnetic sensors to all the doors and windows for an alarm system.






















A wiring box for the alarm, as well as a shot of the new 4-gang box for two interior and two exterior light switches.




And the alarm:




With motion sensors "installed" temporarily:







And back to painting the pole sections brown:







Tomorrow we put it together and stand it up!

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MHamburg
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/21/06
Posts: 579
Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5987493 - 07/24/13 08:34 AM

Beo,
Have you had any time for observing or imaging?
Michael


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5988756 - 07/24/13 11:58 PM

Quote:

Beo,
Have you had any time for observing or imaging?
Michael




Not a bit! Unfortunately we haven't had much in the way of decent weather either. I'll get there eventually though!

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jazle
member


Reged: 05/20/10
Posts: 43
Loc: California, USA
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5988962 - 07/25/13 03:10 AM

Quote:

Hi Jason,
You mentioning HDMI gave me pause. Presumably that's for a remote monitor near the pier? I'd been planning on having my laptop nearby if needed, but that's a thought. Problem is I'm really running out of wood in my wall framing to add many more cables! I still plan to run security cameras with remote switches to disable the power to turn off the LEDs. (I might actually look at just hacking the power to the IR LEDs rather than turning the camera off completely, but we'll see.)






I have a number of HDMI uses. But for the pier, I do run USB and HDMI from the main control PC that is a desktop machine in the warming room. I have an identical resolution monitor running off an HDMI splitter. Then another keyboard and mouse. So, that effectively gives me a matching PC control setup at the pier to what I have in the warming room. Works great for adjusting the equipment or doing video imaging where I am usually at the pier and needing to see how any changes are affecting the image in real time.

The other uses are for the all-sky camera (which I quickly convert from NTSC to HDMI using a converter box). Otherwise, you tend to get a pretty fuzzy image when running an NTSC signal down 50' of *BLEEP* CCTV coax.

I also have a CCTV camera mounted side-by-side the telescope on the mount that gives me a real-time feed of where the telescope is pointing in the sky. I use this camera in case the guiding starts to fail, I can have a TV in the warm room to see if there are clouds in that vicinity of the sky. That is also an NTSC output that is converted to HDMI and sent to the warming room.

And, of course, my Blu-ray players and U-verse are HDMI outputs so I can run them (as well as the main PC) through the HDMI 4x4 switch to a couple of TV's in the warm room and main observing room. Then if I want to show folks a planet or the moon, I can switch the observing room over to the main PC and see the Imaging Source camera doing its thing in real-time on a nice 39" screen.

--------------------
Jason

Sacramento, CA

Celestron EdgeHD 11"
Orion 6" RC
Orion 80ED
CGE mount
Orion Parsec 8300C
Imaging Source DMK41AU02.AS and DMK21AU618.AS
Canon Rebel T1i, Hap Griffin modified
Starlight Xpress Lodestar Autoguider
Starlight Xpress SXV Adaptive Optics
ImagesPlus, MaxIm DL Pro Suite, TheSkyX Pro, RegiStax, DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Lightroom


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: jazle]
      #5990549 - 07/26/13 12:09 AM

Hi Jason,

Given the trouble (and potential structural degradation) of running too many more cables through the wall, I'm not sure I want to try fishing HDMI cables along the route. I think I'd rather plan on using a couple of the CAT6 lines for an HDMI extender if I ever end up needing it. For remote viewing I was envisioning using remote desktop from my laptop, assuming I'm not actually using the laptop to run the imaging session to begin with.

Interesting concept on the CCTV camera. I'm going to be installing an 8 camera security system, so I could pretty easily use one for that purpose. I'd have to disable the IR LEDs, I'd imagine. What did you do there?

What are you using for an all sky camera? I'm looking at various options for cobbling together my own, including a modified webcam or just using one of the CCTV channels to record. The webcam would potentially give me the option for higher resolution and longer exposures, but I'm still looking around to figure out the best choice.

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jazle
member


Reged: 05/20/10
Posts: 43
Loc: California, USA
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5990657 - 07/26/13 01:57 AM

My CCTV is actually an integrating camera that doesn't use IR. It goes to about 4 second exposures and can make out the Milky Way. Even thin cirrus clouds become clearly visible. About $200, however, with lens. I picked mine up at Frys. Don't remember the model, but search for integrating cctv and you should be able to find many.

For the all-sky, I'm using the Orion original all-sky camera (they are on model ii now). I got it on clearance for around $650, and have been happy with it. It has an iris so it works well during the day too. Make sure you go with an iris lens CCTV or you will find that the sun will burn out the bayer matrix on the fixed-aperture cheapo color cameras (or go monochrome and problem solved).

The Orion also uses an integrating cctv camera guts just placed in a dome with a fish-eye lens with the dc iris. So, you can go that route and probably craft something together for around $400. The Orion is nice, however, that it has a dew heater built-in and came with a USB video capture dongle and software.

--------------------
Jason

Sacramento, CA

Celestron EdgeHD 11"
Orion 6" RC
Orion 80ED
CGE mount
Orion Parsec 8300C
Imaging Source DMK41AU02.AS and DMK21AU618.AS
Canon Rebel T1i, Hap Griffin modified
Starlight Xpress Lodestar Autoguider
Starlight Xpress SXV Adaptive Optics
ImagesPlus, MaxIm DL Pro Suite, TheSkyX Pro, RegiStax, DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Lightroom


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/19/10
Posts: 1955
Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: jazle]
      #5991197 - 07/26/13 12:21 PM

You can get some SDC-435s with fish eye lenses for about 100 bucks... if they're going to be outside you'll need enclosures too.

--------------------
Chris-SD
Rapid City, SD
AT8IN, Orion ED80, C5, ST-10XME, MI250 w/ Gemini2, Lodestar autoguider

My Astro-bin Account, pictures here
My Sky Shed


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Raginar]
      #5997519 - 07/29/13 11:28 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check 'em out!

Sunday, June 16th, 2013:

Shortening the antenna pole length to about 24' and bolting everything together.







Drilling a hole for the base. Buried the digger, so it's close to 4' deep.







Adding a diagonal brace to the rail extension and using a plumb-bob for the hole location.




Here's the amplified HDTV antenna with integrated rotator.




Detail of the attachment of the HDTV antenna. You can see the two orange knobs that clamp the rotor to the mast




While I'm at it, I decided to try adding a directional antenna to the cell phone booster to improve performance.




Both antennas mounted and about ready to stand it up.










Standing it up! The post standing and bolted into place and pointing more-or-less towards Bertram.







The cell antenna seems to work better picking up a tower in Burnet even though it's further away. This points down the hill rather than up the hill, so that makes sense.




A nice first quarter moon behind it!




As usual, there are a number of extra shots on the website in between these. Still more to come. Enjoy!

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rimcrazy
member


Reged: 03/03/12
Posts: 79
Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5997956 - 07/30/13 08:27 AM

Nice antenna setup. Curious about lighting protection. Is that an issue where your observatory is located?

--------------------
Scopes - 10" Meade LX200, Lunt LS35T, Orion 80mm Guide
Cameras - Atik 320E, SBIG ST-7XME, DFK31, Orion StarShooter, Canon 7D
Filters - LRGB,OIII,SII,Ha; SA100 Diffraction; J/C UV,B,V,Ic,Rc
Way too many computers....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07
Posts: 3542
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5998447 - 07/30/13 01:27 PM

Quote:

Hi


I probably should have run an extra 220V outlet to the outside (the roof drive is 220) for my welder, but I really don't want to be welding in the area and risk burning the whole mess down anyway!



Beo




That's for sure! Instead, I recommend the Handyman's Secret Weapon: Duct tape.

--------------------
Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07
Posts: 3542
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5998459 - 07/30/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Nice antenna setup. Curious about lighting protection. Is that an issue where your observatory is located?




You mean lightning, don't you?

I'm sure Lord Beowulf will figure out something in terms of grounding--he's near Austin and they can get some wild storms down there, especially in the spring.

--------------------
Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Edited by hm insulators (07/30/13 01:40 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5999376 - 07/31/13 12:52 AM

Quote:

Nice antenna setup. Curious about lighting protection. Is that an issue where your observatory is located?




Hey, you're getting ahead of me!

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013:

Adding an external ground rod for a secondary safety ground for the electrical (conduit path) and lightning protection for the RF cables coming into the observatory. Started with a hole dug to the limit of the post hole digger.







Using cardboard to protect the wall from oil splattering from the jack hammer used to drive the rod.




That's It! After a lot of effort, this is as deep as it's going. I'll just have to bend it over from here. I've yet to successfully drive a full 8' rod all the way down, but this is the best I've done so far! There's already grounding under the slab too.







That took most of the day. Then I switched back to getting the alarm wired up to the window and door sensors.










Saturday, June 29th, 2013:

Connected the dual cables from the HDTV and cell antenna to a grounding block and lighting surge suppressor spark gaps at the entry to the warm room.




The ground wire comes down through a conduit and runs underground to the ground rod.




Temporarily just wrapped around the ground rod.




Another grounding block is installed at the pole to ground the cables directly at the pole. A scrap of copper tubing soldered over the ground wire makes for a pretty substantial 3' ground rod in addition to the post itself.







Running the last wires for the spotlights at the end of the rail system. The 3-conductor Romex ran out just a couple feet to short, so I had to use a 2-conductor with an extra wire.




"Roofing" the box for the octagonal light to keep water out of it.







And still more caulking. I went ahead and ran a bead along the top of the siding below the capture rail.




And the paint arrives! Tan for the building and brown for the trim and rails.










Now comes the arduous task of actually painting this beast!

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MHamburg
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/21/06
Posts: 579
Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5999677 - 07/31/13 08:42 AM

I hope you have enough energy to stay up at night after all that excellent work during the day.
Michael


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Midnight Dan
Postmaster


Reged: 01/23/08
Posts: 8955
Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5999702 - 07/31/13 09:06 AM

Quote:

Now comes the arduous task of actually painting this beast!






After essentially building a second home, you consider painting the trim to be arduous?

-Dan

--------------------
Brockport, NY:
Scopes: C8, C5, SV110 ED, EON-72 ED, Orion ST 80, ATRC6, Megrez 90
Mounts: iOptron iEQ45, NexStar SE, Orion Astroview (EQ3), Vixen Mini Porta
Eyepieces: Baader Hyperion 36mm Aspheric, 24mm, 21mm, 13mm, 8mm, 5mm, Baader Mk III Zoom 8-24mm
Other: 2x,2.5x Barlow, 0.63x FR, DewBuster, SQM Meter, Canon Rebel XS, SSAG


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6000608 - 07/31/13 09:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Now comes the arduous task of actually painting this beast!






After essentially building a second home, you consider painting the trim to be arduous?

-Dan




I just hate the messy stuff! It's really just one of those piddly painstaking tasks that takes a lot of time and effort to get right, especially when you're having to work around the weather, etc. While I'm not about to complain about the much needed rains, I've been rained out or threatened out just about every weekend I've been trying to finish painting!

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics


Reged: 05/21/10
Posts: 2698
Loc: Minnesota
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #6001614 - 08/01/13 04:22 PM

I hate painting, ranks right up there with having a tooth pulled. Rather do the construction! Looking good and to improve your grounding add another rod ~12 feet away and tie it to the first.

--------------------
CG5ASGT
Astro-Tech AT6RC
Zhumell 10 inch dob deluxe kit
10x12 observatory


Echo Astronomy maker of Custom bahtinov masks and Duncan collimation masks.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/13/08
Posts: 1123
Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Orion Ranch Observatory - Construction Begins! [Re: Mary B]
      #6002173 - 08/01/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

I hate painting, ranks right up there with having a tooth pulled. Rather do the construction! Looking good and to improve your grounding add another rod ~12 feet away and tie it to the first.




Once I attach the ground rod to the mains, it will have the second ground connection under the slab. I'm a bit nervous about the idea of connecting a potential lightning strike back to the power ground, but apparently that's normally done to code.

Beo

--------------------
Celestron 11" Edge HD CPC, 11" NexStar GPS, 8SE; Meade AR6, AR5; SkyWatcher ED100, Astro-Tech AT80LE, Orion ST-80
CGEM w/ ADM Saddle, Knobs, and SBS Dual Saddles
Celestron NightScape, NexGuide; Modded Canon 450D, Nikon D90, StarShoot AG, & HD webcam
Denk PowerxSwitch S2
TV 3.7, 8, 13, 17, 21 mm Ethos, Astro Tech 40 mm.
Filters: TV OIII Filter; Lumicon selector, UHC, H-Beta, & Deep Sky; Baader solar film/continuum
www.orionranchobservatory.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | (show all)


Extra information
0 registered and 18 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Chris Schroeder, csa/montana 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 28273

Jump to

CN Forums Home



Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics