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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5504363 - 11/04/12 06:40 PM

Ground here is 3 feet of great farm land then I ran into clay. We were digging the pier hole during a wet period so I had 2 feet of wet clay to deal with. Next time I rent the power auger and dig 4 holes then connect them!

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mary B]
      #5504414 - 11/04/12 07:22 PM

I learned something dealing with this nasty sticky red Texas clay when digging my pier - spray WD-40 on your auger, post-hole diggers or sharpshooter. It's good for about 2 digs, but man does that mess come off easy! Then you have to spray it again. I haven't tried Pam yet

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Mark Harry
Vendor
*****

Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Northeast USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5505004 - 11/05/12 07:13 AM

Nice build, Mikey! What's the beertab so far??!!
M.
*****
Seriously, nice well made project!


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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5507312 - 11/06/12 05:59 PM

Nice building looks nice enough to live in .To move the roof will it be powered ? Guess you do not have to worry about snow in the rails.

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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: kfrederick]
      #5507367 - 11/06/12 06:37 PM

I'll use a manual crank and cable system - should be plenty. I don't trust motors - they're strong and don't know when to quit! We get maybe a few inches of snow here each winter, so right, snow is not a concern.

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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]
      #5509697 - 11/08/12 10:44 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

The guys got the rolling roof frame built. I used six 1NWC3 steel V-groove fixed casters from Grainger, which have plenty of strength.

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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]
      #5509700 - 11/08/12 10:46 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Details on roof baseframe and NW caster. The roof baseframe is made from 12 gauge 2x6 steel. I'll have roughly 12" eaves all around, and the roof walls will come down 18" on the sides to help trap blowing rain.

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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]
      #5509704 - 11/08/12 10:47 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

View down the west side roof baseframe, looking north.

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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]
      #5509709 - 11/08/12 10:49 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Details on roof baseframe and SW caster.

We'll get primer on all the steel today and white enamel on tomorrow. The R-panel for the walls was ordered today.

Mike


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Mark Harry
Vendor
*****

Reged: 09/05/05

Loc: Northeast USA
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510185 - 11/08/12 04:09 PM

Pitched roof, or flat?
M.


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mark Harry]
      #5510308 - 11/08/12 05:32 PM

It is pitched with a 2' center height. The building is a little over 16' wide, so that's about a 1:8 pitch. I'll have 12-15" eaves all around the outside.
Mike


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510443 - 11/08/12 07:46 PM

Really nice Mike!

Quote:

I don't trust motors - they're strong and don't know when to quit!




Don't quite follow your concern about the roof motors.


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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]
      #5510464 - 11/08/12 08:04 PM

I guess it's just safeguarding against human error, and possibly faulty limit switches. A buddy of mine out in the country south of San Angelo TX, with a 20' x 20' observatory and a much bigger roof, crushed the top of his 22" Dobbie in with his roof while opening up! His roof is very heavy and pretty much has to be motorized. He was rolling it off and forgot to check if his scope was in stow position. GARRRUNCH tinkle tinkle, followed by GROANNN and maybe some naughty words! Purely human error for sure, but still, OUCH!

My roof isn't as large as his, and it should work fine with a hand crank.

Mike


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kfrederick
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5510842 - 11/08/12 11:34 PM

Are you using the back part ? if you put second roof so The moving roof goes over it . you could maybe have your polisher in there

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5511088 - 11/09/12 07:07 AM

Quote:

I guess it's just safeguarding against human error, and possibly faulty limit switches. A buddy of mine out in the country south of San Angelo TX, with a 20' x 20' observatory and a much bigger roof, crushed the top of his 22" Dobbie in with his roof while opening up! His roof is very heavy and pretty much has to be motorized. He was rolling it off and forgot to check if his scope was in stow position. GARRRUNCH tinkle tinkle, followed by GROANNN and maybe some naughty words! Purely human error for sure, but still, OUCH!
Mike




I wonder if you could jury-rig an optical sensor from an old garage door system to stop the motors if something was in the path of the closing roof? Might not be too hard to do and give you some peace of mind.

[Edit] Sorry, I noticed you're going to use a hand crank, after I posted this.

Edited by johne (11/09/12 07:09 AM)


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Mike I. Jones
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/02/06

Loc: Fort Worth TX
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: johne]
      #5511168 - 11/09/12 08:11 AM

Thanks John. That's a nice toy list you have there! If my roof was bigger and heavier I'd probably motorize it with mechanical and optical sensors. As it is, I "think" the hand crank should be plenty. And, it will work when the power's out (and the skies are darkest!)

Prescott ehh? Bet you're in really dark skies. Not so dark here, but thanks to Don Goldman I can still do some nice photography.

Mike


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Observatory progress update new [Re: Mike I. Jones]
      #5511206 - 11/09/12 08:35 AM

Quote:

Thanks John. That's a nice toy list you have there! If my roof was bigger and heavier I'd probably motorize it with mechanical and optical sensors. As it is, I "think" the hand crank should be plenty. And, it will work when the power's out (and the skies are darkest!)

Prescott ehh? Bet you're in really dark skies. Not so dark here, but thanks to Don Goldman I can still do some nice photography.
Mike




Thanks Mike. I've been very fortunate over the years and have picked up many of my toys on the used market, including the Paramount ME. I initially started off with a new CGE14 system... what a big mistake. I set that asside and found the Tak FSQ-106ED and the Paramount ME and life was good after that. Yes, the skies are wonderfully dark here. I'm on the side of a small mountain, facing away from downtown Prescott & Prescott Valley (away from the lights.) The average SQM is around 21.2 or so w/o the moon.

Your observatory is coming along so great. You're blessed to have such good neighbors and acquaintances. How great will it be when its done and you get to use it. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

John


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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]
      #5512534 - 11/10/12 12:24 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Time to get primer paint on all that fresh steel. Rachel is still fairly paint-free at this point, but she took a while to clean up with paint thinner after the job was done .

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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]
      #5512540 - 11/10/12 12:28 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Here's our grandson Grey, playing with Lightning McQueen under the freshly primed ROR track structure.

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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]
      #5512548 - 11/10/12 12:32 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Detail on the NE corner of the freshly primed track assembly. Notice that we did not prime the roof baseframe, as there will be significant welding on it that would just mess up the primer at this point. I'll prime the entire roof structure after the welding is done but before attaching the R-panels and Tekfoil insulation.

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