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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5929649 - 06/19/13 04:39 PM

Well I would have taken the cheap railing off once the POD was installed LOL.

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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: audioaficionado]
      #5937167 - 06/23/13 09:35 PM

Since I'm waiting for the observatory, it seemed like a good time to install some fence posts. This is, after all, a horse pasture so I'll need something to keep the horses out. I've found that, no matter how much I plead with them, they just don't treat my equipment the way I'd like.

That's my tractor and post hole digger. As mentioned in the earlier photos, It's not real heavy duty and is fine for fence post holes, but would not have handled the 2-foot auger needed for the concrete holes.



-Dan


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5938021 - 06/24/13 01:19 PM

Hey Dan,

Didn't know you were such a wimp! I always dug my fence post holes with a hand operated auger. Even dug a well with one once. Much younger then though. Probably couldn't get more than a few inches into the dirt nowadays!

That platform looks great. Can't wait to see it with the pod installed.


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Skip]
      #5938084 - 06/24/13 02:02 PM

Quote:

Didn't know you were such a wimp! I always dug my fence post holes with a hand operated auger. Even dug a well with one once. Much younger then though. Probably couldn't get more than a few inches into the dirt nowadays!




It's amazing how the wimp factor increase with age! BUT ... As I get older I've found that heavy equipment is the answer to many of life's little problems!

-Dan


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5939763 - 06/25/13 01:08 PM

nice job. I didn't get the same decking for mine. I was told to avoid it as it soaks up the heat of the day so I went with pressure treated. I too hired someone, but I helped where I could. I went with 4000PSI and had to be delivered by truck, just did it yesterday. It was nearly set in an hour! thickest concrete I have ever seen! The Pier was almost too hot to touch while it was curing! I just hope it stays put when I remove the braces tonight.

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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: Magellan]
      #5940336 - 06/25/13 07:24 PM

Quote:

I was told to avoid it as it soaks up the heat of the day so I went with pressure treated.




The composite decking is much more dense than wood, and most of it is darker colored, so it will absorb the heat more. I went with the lightest color they had. Would have gone with white, but that was special order and MUCH more expensive.

But, even with the lighter color it heats up more than wood. On the other hand, from what I've seen in the past few days of 90+ degrees here, it seems to cool off pretty quickly too when the sun gets low. Everything's a tradeoff and I decided to give up a little in the heat-retention department in favor of no maintenance. We'll see how it works out.

-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]
      #5952613 - 07/03/13 07:22 AM

Well, I didn't get the POD yet so the "end of June" estimate obviously didn't pan out. I'm leaving for a two week vacation soon, so I'm expecting it will now be end of July before the POD arrives.

-Dan


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5953660 - 07/03/13 07:17 PM

What the frack? Do they build them as they are ordered or are they just so popular that they are behind in orders?I for one would be pulling my hair out.What little I have left.

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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: tim57064]
      #5953671 - 07/03/13 07:26 PM

Not a big deal. I've had this on order since December. The Skyshed folks let people know that the prices would go up first of the year (very nice of them!) so I and many others placed orders in December. But ... I knew I wouldn't be ready for it till mid summer so I told them to go ahead and fill other orders ahead of mine if that was convenient.

It appears that they have lots of orders and the factory, which also makes other products for other clients, batches them up to make a bunch which are then delivered. I let Skyshed know I was ready with my deck, but I think they probably already had enough in the pipeline that they didn't get to mine in the end-of-june batch.

Anyway, I've got enough on my plate that it won't kill me to take a break from working on this till it arrives.

-Dan


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5953752 - 07/03/13 08:21 PM

Well you have been pretty busy the past month and have done a great job so far on what you have. Hope you can be up and running before too long.If you get any imaging done,will be nice to see what you post.

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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: tim57064]
      #5956096 - 07/05/13 01:20 PM

No observatory yet, and sooooo much rain here in upstate NY. Getting tired of no astronomy so I set up my mount today with my new ADM side-by-side plate, threw a bunch of equipment on it and practiced balancing the rig:



-Dan


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5957249 - 07/06/13 09:34 AM

I like the side by side plate.

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munchmeister
sage
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Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Raginar]
      #5957718 - 07/06/13 03:10 PM

Dan, what is the item between the camera and that nice focuser? Looks like some kind of off axis guider but it looks like you have an autoguider mounted upper left on the RC. Just curious.

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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5958290 - 07/06/13 11:20 PM

Hi Munch:

Yep, it's a Taurus Tracker III off axis guider. And yes, that's also an Orion Miniguider mounted in the finder shoe. You caught me!

I was just throwing a bunch of equipment on the mount to play around with balancing with a heavy load. I wouldn't actually use it in this configuration. In fact, I'm not sure I'd actually even put the SV110 refractor and ATRC6 on the mount together. Between the two of them, the side by side hardware, cameras, guider, etc. it weighs in at about 35 pounds. That's an AP load that's pushing it a bit for a mount that's rated at 45 pounds for visual.

I may try it someday, but I'm more likely to use the EON72 or Megrez 90 for a guide scope alongside the ATRC6. The OAG is mostly for use with the C8 to help deal with mirror shift, although I have used with with the ATRC6 as well.

-Dan


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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5960243 - 07/08/13 09:54 AM

Dan,
Once you get the viewing guide focused to be parfocal with your imager (I found to be harder than it sounds), the TIII is a great OAG. Too bad Ron seems to have disappeared from the radar.
Michael


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5960333 - 07/08/13 11:02 AM

I'm surprised you are still using the stock focuser on the AT RC 6 don't you find it slips too easily?

The only way you'll know if your mount can carry everything in the picture is to try of course you probably don't need an OAG and a mini guider at the same time unless it's for balance.


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
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Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: corpusse]
      #5960548 - 07/08/13 01:27 PM

Nice thing about the TTIII is that you can use one of the ports to slide in a diagonal mirror, for aiming purposes.

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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: seryddwr]
      #5960692 - 07/08/13 02:54 PM

The TTIII is a great piece of kit and it's a shame that Ron's site has evaporated.

To be honest though, I've only used the ATRC6 a few times, and the same goes for the TTIII. One of the reasons for the observatory is that life has taken a turn towards the busy and the hour or so setup time plus tear-down time at the end has made it it very difficult for me to find the time to do much. The Observatory should help a lot with that!

I haven't had a problem with the focuser slipping, but I don't think I was imaging too close to zenith, plus I don't think my focuser load is all that heavy. The camera and TTIII weigh about 2.5 pounds together. I'm not using filter wheels or autofocusers or other accessories that add weight. Good to know that it's something to watch out for though!

-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]
      #6065788 - 09/06/13 09:38 AM

Well, I finally got the email I've been waiting for. The Skyshed POD shipped! Hopefully that means I should receive it in a week or so. Hard to say though. People on the Skyshed POD Yahoo forum were saying that the last shipment got delayed at the US/Canadian border and some people didn't get their PODs for several weeks after the ship date. But at least I know it's on the way!

-Dan


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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6066008 - 09/06/13 12:10 PM

Thats great news Dan. I'll keep my fingers crossed its sooner rather than later.

Regards. Peter.


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