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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5926361 - 06/17/13 09:12 PM

Cool Dan, you had to tease yourself huh!?

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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5926364 - 06/17/13 09:15 PM

Dan - Does the pier seem more solid since it has setup some?

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: ben2112]
      #5926647 - 06/17/13 11:57 PM

Yes it does. I can still feel a wee bit of vibration if I whack it, but it takes some serious whacking and I have to really pay attention to detect the vibration.

-Dan


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5926913 - 06/18/13 07:20 AM

You know how funny that scope looks on the mount right?

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5927051 - 06/18/13 08:54 AM



Yes indeed! BUT ... I will be using that scope on this mount from time to time. Although it will likely be along side another scope on a side-by-side setup.

Since I don't have the observatory yet, I had to carry everything out and back just to take these photos. I went with my smallest scope so I could get everything in one trip. You'll also notice there are no counterweights, no power, etc. Although I may not have needed counterweights with that scope!

-Dan


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5927090 - 06/18/13 09:29 AM

Dan I do not recall, are you planning on a 12 volt system to power everything with a solar panel for recharging or will you be running 110 volt underground to the observatory? Guess I am to lazy to go back and read the entire post again.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: tim57064]
      #5927445 - 06/18/13 12:33 PM

I'm planning on 12V solar to start with. It's a pretty good distance from the nearest power so I don't plan on running AC any time soon, but I may change my mind down the road.

The idea is to run everything off of 12V and then if I decide to go with AC later on, I'll just get a hefty, well-regulated 12V power supply.

-Dan


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scopefreak
scholastic sledgehammer
****

Reged: 04/14/04

Loc: Mayslick KY
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5928231 - 06/18/13 08:41 PM

Hi Dan, that's really going to be a nice setup. I wish I had those horizons where my OBS is located!!

I really like the pier top where your mount attaches. You said you had that custom made? If you don't mind my asking, about how much did it cost you? I have an EQG on a Kens pier and with the C11, I am getting some vibration when slewing the scope, and it is also not very tight from the bolt having to be left a little loose when I originally put it together several years ago(due to having to adjust in AZ for PA).

Is that the iOptron mount? What is its load capacity?

You are doing a great job in building your "Dark Arts Observatory". Can't wait to see the finished product!!


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

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Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: scopefreak]
      #5928260 - 06/18/13 09:05 PM

Hi Kevin:

The pier plate cost me a little under $300 to have made. I was also looking at Dan's Pier Plates online:
http://www.pierplates.com
They make a pretty nice plate and it costs about the same as what I paid. I think mine's a bit heavier material, plus I used solid rectangular plates to connect the top and bottom parts, instead of bolts. I think mine might be a touch more solid, but I think Dan's Pier Plates would work just as well. Plus no messing around with designing your own, doing mechanical drawings, etc.

I did end up getting the 3/4" stainless steel J-bolt kit from Dan's Pier Plates. Those are the bolts sticking out of the top of the concrete. You'd think that concrete anchor bolts are pretty boring, basic pieces of gear. But I have to say I was rather surprised when I got them. They're very heavy duty and look like pieces of precision machining. Very impressive!

For the mount, I've got the iOptron iEQ45 with a 45 pound capacity. Of course, for mounts in this class the rating is for visual, not AP. Its a good idea to only load it up to 1/2 to 2/3 of the rated capacity for imaging. I'm going to try to keep it under a 30 pound load.

-Dan


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5928264 - 06/18/13 09:09 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

In case anyone's interested, I've attached the drawings I provided to the machine shop for the iEQ45 pier plate.

-Dan


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5928428 - 06/18/13 11:27 PM

The deck passed final inspection today! Woohoo!

To celebrate, Maureen & I just spent the last hour down at the observatory deck. Took a bottle of wine and the Megrez 90mm scope on the DSV-1 alt/az mount. Spent time sipping wine, gazing at the sky, and checking out the moon through the scope. Beautiful night, good company, good wine, and good views of the sky. Doesn't get much better than that!

-Dan


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5928444 - 06/18/13 11:36 PM

Sounds like a fun night. I thought you were going to say you smashed the bottle against the pier That would have been fun to clean up.

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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: corpusse]
      #5928724 - 06/19/13 06:56 AM

SWEET!! Glad it passed inspection. And glad you had a good night with the better half enjoying your new deck and viewing the heavens. Can't wait to see the pod sitting there.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5928864 - 06/19/13 09:42 AM

Dan, congratulations! Yep, it sure doesn't get any better than that!

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scopefreak
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/14/04

Loc: Mayslick KY
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: ben2112]
      #5928874 - 06/19/13 09:52 AM

Dan, thanks for the link. I'll check it out once I get back to my PC. I do most of my posting on my iPad 4 as its more mobile then my laptop. Go figure that one, right?

Anyway, I've managed to use the C11 on the Atlas at pretty high power with no vibration. Up to 315X using a moto focus on both the main focus and the EVH precision focuser. I estimate my load at about 32 pounds. Do you think this is too much for decent AP?

Glad to hear about the inspection going in your favour! Also your night sounds similar to mine as yesterday my wife of 25 years and I spent a quiet evening watching thunderstorms roll thru the area! The lightning was so bright at times you could almost read the paper!

How long till that pod gets there?


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: scopefreak]
      #5929034 - 06/19/13 11:22 AM

Yes indeed, I'm waiting for the pod too.

Can't wait to see it on that beautiful deck.

Best,


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Agatha]
      #5929226 - 06/19/13 01:25 PM

Congratulations on passing inspection!

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: scopefreak]
      #5929292 - 06/19/13 01:45 PM

Hi Kevin:

I'm no expert on AP loads on the Atlas. But I would think that 32 pounds coupled with the long focal length of a C11 puts it a little on the edge. Keep in mind that there's no hard limit for the load, just what *your* tolerance is for frustration, non-round stars, etc.

A lot depends on how you use it. If you're using it at native focal length for planetary imaging, or with a focal reducer on long exposure imaging, its probably ok. It would be happier on a larger mount, but I think there are many who image with that combination.

The POD is supposed to be shipped late in June. However, depending on when it gets here and what else I have on my plate at the time, I may not be able to get it set up until several weeks later. I have a two-week trip coming up in mid-July and a lot I need to get done before hand.

-Dan


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audioaficionado
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5929379 - 06/19/13 02:17 PM

I'm surprised they didn't try and make you put up railing around your deck. At least they have some good sense considering your POD will take up most of the room on top of it and will act as the railing while you're inside.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5929597 - 06/19/13 04:08 PM

The rule on railings here in NY is that if the deck is more than 30" off the ground you need a railing. Originally, I wanted to go 3 or 4 feet up to get a little better height above the mists that can sometimes settle into that field. But when I found out about the railing requirement, I decided it wasn't worth the extra expense and time, so I stayed a few inches under the 30" limit.

-Dan


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