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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498067 - 10/31/12 04:41 PM

Hi Mike,

It's only 1/8" difference in height between the sides but very easy to shim the wheels on the short side if you want perfection. In my case the height difference was about 1/2" and that gave a bit of unwanted tilt to the roof that was evident to my eye.

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498114 - 10/31/12 05:15 PM

Yeah, I thought about having the guys shim it, but an eighth of an inch over 16 feet won't be noticeable. They've already got it all welded together and ground smooth now. They can raise the east side of the roof back to level with the west side when they build the frame for it.
Mike


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498153 - 10/31/12 05:43 PM

That's what I did--shimmed the wheel mounts not the rails.

Your observatory is looking really good!

JimC


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498226 - 10/31/12 06:29 PM

Thanks Jim - how did you fare after Sandy? I was in Newport News Oct. 23-24. Man, am I glad we got out of there ahead of it!

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498377 - 10/31/12 08:05 PM

No problems here other than power out for about 24 hours. We had a peak gust of 63 mph, which is in line with occasional winter peaks. I use turnbuckles, plus large C-clamps to anchor the roof when wind is expected. So far so good.

JimC


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5498461 - 10/31/12 09:02 PM

I was more worried about you having to build an ark to dodge the river rising. Glad to hear ya'll are safe...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498464 - 10/31/12 09:05 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

Here's Kennan, welding the northeast corner track support. They'll finish the tracks tomorrow, then work the roof frame next. The wheel boxes should arrive Friday or Monday, and he can get them welded to the roof frame early next week.

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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5498538 - 10/31/12 09:58 PM

Looking good Mike! That steel work ought to be rock steady and nearly indestructible. What do you estimate the roof will weigh once completed?

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5498730 - 10/31/12 11:50 PM

Dunno, Kennan's going to frame up the roof out of 2x2 12 gauge square steel pipe, then top it off with 24 gauge R-panel. Could be 400-500 lbs? I'll insulate it with TekFoil, but that won't weigh much.

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501501 - 11/02/12 08:08 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Here's the awesome trio of weldin' dudes, Chris, Kennan (my neighbor) and Randy. They finished all the track supports and trusses this week. A really nice touch: they filled and smoothed any holes or gaps, ground them smooth, and put a coat of primer paint on so this weekend's rains won't rust. Next week we'll start on the roof base frame and V-groove wheels, stick down the 2x2 angle track, and start on the roof trusses.
Mike


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501505 - 11/02/12 08:10 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

West side view, showing the finished track supports.

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501508 - 11/02/12 08:13 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Sunset picture of the west side.

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5501510 - 11/02/12 08:14 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

And finally for this week, a view south showing the tracks and building.

Imagine what it's gonna look like this time NEXT week!
Mike


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502015 - 11/03/12 07:27 AM

Wow! Now that is some heavy duty workmanship. You could practically build a roll-off 2nd story addition on that.

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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: johne]
      #5502247 - 11/03/12 11:31 AM

Impressive.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502383 - 11/03/12 12:59 PM

Mike, that is awesome! Wow; what a nice observatory you will have! No wood to warp on the railing system!

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5502639 - 11/03/12 04:40 PM

Thanks Carol! If only our soils here were that stable! We go down maybe a foot of prairie topsoil here, then hit untold feet of this sticky red clay that shrinks and swells with drought and rain that can crack house slabs and warp rails. It's going to be interesting to see how steady the roof rides the rails with/without rocking over the years to come. I'll have four wheels on each side, and an open/close cable system, so I'm not too concerned about it rocking a bit here and there.
Mike


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5502714 - 11/03/12 05:46 PM

You should have some of my ground, shale rock.

Your observatory is certainly very well thought out; it will be exciting when you "move" in!


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5503979 - 11/04/12 02:00 PM

Wow is that an impressive build. It's clearly built to last with that nice steel rail set.

How are the skies overhead?

-Rich


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5504017 - 11/04/12 02:30 PM

Meh, so so - green on really clear nights, yellow on hazy nights. Seeing can be great here, but transparency is not always great. Milky Way visible almost any night if straight overhead in Cygnus. Still workable with filters.

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