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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Well, every journey starts with a first step
      #5160483 - 04/07/12 10:32 AM

Got the stakes put in the ground and lines painted for the contractor. Should start this coming week to dig for the footings and piers. Hopefully you can see the lines from this shot. It will be a 10.5' x 13.5' structure with the central pier offset on the long dimension to allow for a little room for a corner desk, chair and some cabinets. Have to keep it under 144 sq ft so I don't need a permit. Going to have the contractor dig me a trench for a couple of conduits (power, ethernet) back to the main house.



Kudo's to all of you that can dig your own but I know for a fact, for me, the Dr. bills for fixing my back after I attempt such an endeavor will far exceed any savings I would have made. The central pier will have about a full yard of concrete (2' cube in ground with a 16" dia sonotube riser, about 3000lbs) so it should be beefy enough to hold anything up to about a 16" to 18" telescope. I currently own a 10" Meade LX200 that is about 8 years old. Should work fine for now. One thing at a time as they say. Just want to get the building up (ROR) and the telescope in and secure and then we shall see where we go from there.

Here are the anchors for the telescope pier and the roof upright supports



Edited by rimcrazy (04/07/12 02:48 PM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Well, every journey starts with a first step new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5160530 - 04/07/12 11:04 AM

Looks like you'll have a nice spot! And don't apologize for not digging your own footers. I dug the hole for my pier and filled it with concrete and I can tell you that I'll NEVER do that again!

David


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: Well, every journey starts with a first step new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5160706 - 04/07/12 12:35 PM

Good idea not doing the digging. Caliche' is down only 6" or so where my Solar Post is ;-)

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Bachus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Nashville,TN.
Re: Well, every journey starts with a first step new [Re: EddWen]
      #5163169 - 04/09/12 07:30 AM

If you can rent a Post Hole Digger (6" for one person), that'll do the job. It took me four hours to do (7) holes for the footings (8" x 27") and the 3x3x3 hole for the pier. And congrads and good luck on the project.

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
And now it's about ready to build new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5171081 - 04/13/12 08:09 PM

The contractor finished the foundation today. Looking sweet.



The main pier and foundation. There is a conduit trench back to the house so I can put in a couple of conduits for power and ethernet. Yea.... I know... the pier is huge. Up here the standard sizes for sonotubes is 12" and 24". I was thinking of a 16" but they would have to special order and it would have been a week or two delay. I figure error on the high side. My son is going to make a custom metal pier that will be bolted to the base and we set the height so the concrete will be a few inches below the floor. This will give me room to run a conduit to the hole and I can figure out something to plug it up to keep the spiders down to a minimum.



Here you can see the two piers to hold the uprights for the roof.


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powerstroke01
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/19/07

Loc: Western Sierra Nevada Foothill...
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5171134 - 04/13/12 08:47 PM

Dang that pier is huge.. Congrats on starting your build.

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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: powerstroke01]
      #5171158 - 04/13/12 09:05 PM

Good job on that foundation and pier!

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rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5171753 - 04/14/12 10:38 AM

Looking great!

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Marc-Andre
sage
*****

Reged: 08/18/11

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: rigel123]
      #5171843 - 04/14/12 11:22 AM

Very nice! And arn't you glad You didn't do the digging.

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: Marc-Andre]
      #5171942 - 04/14/12 12:17 PM

Quote:

Very nice! And arn't you glad You didn't do the digging.




Ah, yea you can say that again. Had I, I would currently be in emergency care on a morphine drip. ;-)


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5172425 - 04/14/12 05:45 PM

Those bricks look heavy

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Orion58
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/11

Loc: Southern Wisconsin
Re: Well, every journey starts with a first step new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5173253 - 04/15/12 08:32 AM

Congrats! Looking forward to regular updates...

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: Raginar]
      #5173483 - 04/15/12 10:57 AM

Quote:

Those bricks look heavy




They are not bricks; rather cement blocks and they are hollow inside. Not that heavy.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5173487 - 04/15/12 11:00 AM

Looking great! One thing about that pier; you will be able to upsize to almost any scope! Using the cement blocks should give you a nice temp inside that doesn't fluctuate too much.

Looking forward to more photos, as it progresses!


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: And now it's about ready to build new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5173802 - 04/15/12 02:16 PM

Quote:

One thing about that pier; you will be able to upsize to almost any scope!




That is kind of what I figured. Rather error on the side of too much vs too little. Job was already quoted and paid so the cost was the same. I can easily adapt to what I need and go forward. My current scope is a Meade 10" LX200. Not a bad instrument but I've got some ideas on upgrading and there is enough room in the structure to go to at least a 16" without squeezing too bad and maybe even a tad larger.

I will post the progress as things move along.


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Things are starting to come together new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5677828 - 02/13/13 03:01 PM

Not posted any pictures as progress has been on hold for parts. What started as a ROR design is now a dome. My 10' Home Dome from Technical Innovations arrived this morning.



Just getting it off the truck was a bit of a trick. It was packed very well but the box was so large it was too big for the tongs on the fork lift. With the cooperation of the delivery truck guy we jacked it down with the fork lift on one end and the lift gate on the truck on the other. The next excitement was the truck was so big it could not get around to the back of the building where the bay door was located. I took a floor jack out to the street and between the jack on one end and the fork lift on the other we were able to "walk" it slowly around to the back and into the bay. Like a kid at Christmas. Opened it up and checked things out.



As you can see it's packed very well.



Just a few Tab A's that go into Slot B's

I'm pre-assembling it in my son's shop. Nice 70 degrees here in Phoenix. Much nicer than trying to do that in 10 degrees up in Overgaard. Once we get it all in ship-shape I can shuttle it up on my trailer disassembled and put it together pretty quick at it's final home.



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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Things are starting to come together new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5677995 - 02/13/13 04:50 PM

Curious as to why you switched to a dome. How did you redesign the roof to accommodate the dome? Nice job so far!
Michael


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Things are starting to come together new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5678028 - 02/13/13 05:14 PM

Quote:

Curious as to why you switched to a dome. How did you redesign the roof to accommodate the dome? Nice job so far!
Michael




This started as just something I would use exclusively to an observatory that will be remotely controlled and possibly used by others. If all goes to plan, my 10" LX200 Meade will be replaced with a 20" Planewave. While you can put interlocks out the wazoo, it is still possible to hit your telescope with the roof if you have a ROR. Not likely but possible. That, and coupled to the fact that I'm just not a visual observer. This telescope will be use 99.99% for imaging and we get a fair amount of wind at times in Overgaard. With a dome, while other things bad can happen, I can guarantee I will not hit the telescope with the roof and I have significantly more wind protection with a dome vs a ROR. I'm not knocking ROR's they are great but for how I intend to use this facility and for where it's located, a dome is a much better option.

Redesign the roof was almost a non issue. I just squared it up so the HomeDome would fit. In happy coincidences my dimensions just happen to work out perfect for the 10' HD. What was a little painful was the pier design. What I had before was more than sufficient for a 4' - 5' pier that was supported by the concrete foundation. In going to a dome, the height of a 450lb to 500lb Planewave setup would put the telescope just under 10' in the air. What I had was just borderline ok, especially given like I said this is an imaging instrument only. I am fortunate in that my son has his own metal fabrication company so I can get nice custom metal things made for significantly less than someone else. I've got a pier design that should work well and not cause significant thermal issues and be very stable.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Things are starting to come together new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #5678054 - 02/13/13 05:36 PM

Beautiful building! You are going to have a very nice observatory, soon!

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Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Things are starting to come together new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5678290 - 02/13/13 08:19 PM

Looks great! My stuff starts shipping March 6 so it is nice to see your project going forward.

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