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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5461897 - 10/09/12 10:49 AM

It's been a while since my last update, but it's also been pretty slow going now that it is getting darker earlier and I can only work on the weekends.

Everything is mostly sealed up with house wrap and roof underlayment so no more worry about weather (thank goodness with all the rain we've had lately). I had planned on putting up the siding this weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans and gave us a couple days of rain. So some interior work was done instead.

The warm room now has a window to the outside world and a proper ceiling (framed, at least). I discovered two very interesting things while putting the ceiling in place.

First, an 8 ft x 16 ft ceiling framed with 2x4's is rather heavy and unwieldy. Especially when you are trying to hoist it into place alone Lots of bracing and levers were used.

Secondly, I had to move the roof for the first time since fully sheathing and bracing it. There is no motorization yet, so I just tied a rope to one of the trusses near the south end and pulled from inside. To my surprise, that monster of a roof moved without much trouble at all. I'm really loving those v-groove casters and angle iron now. Perhaps the 1300 lb hoist is just a bit overkill, eh?

If the weather holds up, siding will be done this weekend and I may even get to start on the roof metal.

More pics to come soon


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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5462667 - 10/09/12 06:48 PM

Thanks for the update. Progress can be slow sometimes, but the result is well worth it. I use ropes too on my split roof ROR. The inverted V track and V groove wheels make it roll like it's sitting on glass. It's been working w/o maintenace (except replacing ropes) for over 27 years But as I age I may be giving up the exercise and motorize it.

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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5471155 - 10/15/12 09:39 AM

Another milestone nearly completed. An out of town friend stopped by to help me put up the cement board siding yesterday. Most of the building is now sided, but I still need to complete the gable ends of the roof. Darkness just comes too early these days. At least those pieces will be light enough to carry up the ladder by myself.

We may have finished the whole thing had Mother Nature not been conspiring against us. High winds and on and off heavy rain definitely slowed us down. Those big sheets of cement board sure due catch the wind nicely

I'm also please to say that the observatory survived the first wind advisory that we've had since all the sheathing was put in place. We fell asleep to the sound of the house shaking in the wind and everything was still in its proper place the next morning.

There was one amusing incident while I was showing off the motion of the roof where the wind kicked up and started to open up the roof. Quite glad I have those turnbuckles in place now

Next week is another "vacation" week, so I'm hoping to get the siding finished, roof on and electric run.

Sooooo close now....


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5471222 - 10/15/12 10:27 AM

All the work will be well worth it, when you open that roof for your first night of observing!

I still get such a thrill, when the roof starts opening, and the beautiful night sky is exposed!


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5484187 - 10/22/12 07:14 PM

Things are coming along nicely now. The siding is up and painted. Wednesday the roof metal should be going up and if the weather holds, Friday will see the trench trenched for the electrical and network cables.






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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5527710 - 11/19/12 11:08 AM

Time for another quick update.

I HATE CLAY. Ok, now that that is out of my system...

The power and Cat6 are in the conduit and run out the observatory. Nothing is hooked up yet, but it should be this weekend. A good deal of the rough electrical is already done out in the obs in preparation for turning the power on.

I can't wait to get the roof motorized. I've been able to roll it about half of the way off by hand, but after a certain point, I just lose my leverage and can't go any further.

Filling in the trench is going to take far too long. After all the rain we've had, the clay has just turned to a sticky mess and just doesn't want to go back in the hole. It doesn't seem like it should take very long to put dirt back in a skinny trench, but when it glues itself to everything that touches it...

My piers will be delivered this evening (10" gas pipe welded up to my specs by a local welder) and I'm hoping to get a coat of paint on them in the next couple of days while we have a warm stretch.

Who knows, I may be up and running by Christmas


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5527722 - 11/19/12 11:16 AM

David, things will move quickly now; and hey, that's a nice Christmas present!

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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5527725 - 11/19/12 11:17 AM

I certainly hope so Carol. It seems so slow going since I can only work on the weekends now (no daylight after work) and those are now filled with holidays

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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5528959 - 11/19/12 10:15 PM

Woohoo! The piers have arrived.



They were made from a long section of 10" steel gas pipe that a friend in the astro club happened to stumble upon (he's in the gas business). $75 for the pipe that would end up as two piers was a great deal. I drew everything up in Sketchup and sent the drawings off to a couple folks with ads on craigslist.

Each is made from half of the original pipe (about 43" each) + 3/4" plate on each end (14" square). The bottom plate is solid and has slots to attach to the concrete bases with a little wiggle for alignment. The tops are similar but have a 4 inch hole in the middle to allow for filling with sand or something similar later on. The corner slots on the top plate will allow for 3/4" threaded rods to be used to attach one final 3/4" plate above with about 6" of space in between for leveling/aligning and room to attach my current CG5.

I even got a couple "spare" 14" plates that were cut incorrectly for the bottoms.

The guy that won the job actually seemed interested in what I was doing and had the right price + time line + equipment combo. If only he'd been able to do the painting for a reasonable cost (he wanted $100 per + I'd buy the paint cans). He's actually requested an invite to the "grand opening" when I get everything done. A little unintended outreach

Hopefully I can get a couple coats of paint on them before the really cold weather hits.


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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5529042 - 11/19/12 10:50 PM

David,

Those things would sure look nice sand blasted and powder coated!

Mike


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: MDB]
      #5529554 - 11/20/12 08:09 AM

They sure would Mike. If only I could find someone that could do it locally for a reasonable cost....

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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5532601 - 11/21/12 04:30 PM

Painting of the piers is almost done. I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out. Sure, powder coating would have been ideal, but I don't think this paint job will be seeing much exposure to the elements.





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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5533971 - 11/22/12 01:34 PM

Took a couple hours this morning to get the electric hooked up before I completely filled in the trench. Just to be sure



Now it's time to relax and enjoy the company of family.


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