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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place.
      #5930762 - 06/20/13 08:08 AM

So I have started the final resting place of my Skyshed POD. It will be on a 10x10 floating deck.

Here is an image before we started:


Start of the Dig by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Levelling the base of where the deck will go:


20130619_083900 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Thank god for the excavator I hired! You can see the POD in the background.


20130619_084642 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

The giant hole for the footing. 4.5' deep. Frost line is 4'.


Hole for footing 4.5' below grade by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Footing in place, levelled:


Newer BigFoot footing system by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Backfilled:


Footing in place by AstroJeff, on Flickr

The trench begins. The guy working the machine loved the hard pack clay since he was used to digging in bedrock:


Trench is started for electrical and USB over Ethernet by AstroJeff, on Flickr

12/2 underground feeder, even though my electrician said it was direct burial I put it in conduit anyway. Conduit was $45 for 100' with pull string, which we didn't use and should have. Ethernet is Cat5e direct burial with silicon core. I didn't put this in conduit. I am using it for USB over Ethernet, because isn't it an imagers dream to control everything from inside the warmth of the house when its -50c?? Lazy, yes but you're cold and I am warm! Plus I get to watch Dr who reruns on Netflix WHILE I image!


Trench done from Skyshed POD deck the following: by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Power and Ethernet: The main pier form is no longer level. He told me that concrete auto levels but it can be adjusted when the add the extra 4' extension.


20130619_112953 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

The backfill:


20130619_115203 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Backfill complete:


20130619_132700 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Next isn't for the observatory but is the cause for 100% of my pain today:


Project 2, nearly complete by AstroJeff, on Flickr

My wife wanted stairs to the basement outside. She is 7months pregnant so I am not arguing, figure I get an observatory and she gets the stairs, she deserves the, plus the observatory serves as my "Dog House".

These were called Stair Stacker by Shaw Brick. You can fill them with whatever you want, I chose class A stone. We were not planning on doing the stairs but they do look nice. My back is dead!

Stay tuned for more. Deck goes in next week.

Thanks,


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5930789 - 06/20/13 08:31 AM

Congratulations on getting ready for your observatory! Looks like you have some great skies in which to enjoy the "final resting place".

Quote:

Stair Stacker




Those are really neat; I've not heard of them before; but they certainly look extremely nice! Those that need some steps to their observatories should look into them!


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5930796 - 06/20/13 08:35 AM

They don't make them anymore I bought the last ones ever made. Don't know why, they work really well. Thank god my observatory won't need steps lol. I don't want to ever work with these again haha.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5930954 - 06/20/13 09:57 AM

No wonder I'd not heard of them!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5931305 - 06/20/13 01:27 PM

Wow, so much green. Must rain cats and dogs there constantly. Everything here is brown.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5931405 - 06/20/13 02:28 PM

Looks like a great start! What happened to the idea of conduit in the pier from your other thread?

-Dan


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Stargaz18
sage
*****

Reged: 01/04/11

Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5932272 - 06/20/13 11:15 PM

Floating deck?? Where's the water?

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Stargaz18]
      #5932694 - 06/21/13 09:29 AM

We have had over 800mm of rain the last few months. It has rained more than anything here. Its the wettest spring I can remember.

I didn't put the power in the pier because the company I hired brought this new plastic modular system and is completely enclosed until concrete is poured. It ended up not being very level after digging the trench but I am sure it can be fixed when the other levels go on. I will also take a shot of the pier plate. I am using the Starizona CGEM pier plate. I didn't do a template I just used the bottom plate and keeping it raised 3" off the concrete to adjust for any levelling. I am using 10" L anchors with the L's pointed inward. Tightend with 1 nut on top, 1 washer and two nuts and 1 washer on the bottom. It will give me a little wiggle room for fine levelling adjustment.

I will be using the Compass app I downloaded for my Android phone. It has a true north function. As long as I get True north, close, the CGEM is very forgiving in azimuth but it would be nice to get it near perfect in case I upgrade the mount some day. If the boss.. err my wife lets me.

Stargaz18, yeah, floating deck. Kind of funny because of all of the rain. I should have named the Observatory, The Ark. You should see the inside where it is for now.. always wet. can't wait to get it on the deck.


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5939352 - 06/25/13 09:17 AM

And we continue this episode today with the Deck and Pier going in!

Decking is starting to go together:


20130624_114738 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Pier Adapter (Starizona CGEM) and the top of the footing is cut off:


Footing ready for pour by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Concrete has arrived. I had to get it by truck since I requested 4000psi. It was pretty thick:


Concrete has arrived by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Rebar Cage in place, was moved to center:


Part of the re-bar structure by AstroJeff, on Flickr

12" Sono Tube in place, was a bit nervous because the tube went around the hole of the footing. Both poured at the same time and rebar married between. Should be solid!


12" Sono Tube in place by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Shims put in place to get level close:


Pouring Concrete by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Brace added because even though the shims got it close to level, it wasn't perfect so a brace was added, bit nervous when I remove these today, hoping the pier doesn't want to topple over. Was told it wouldn't but I keep thinking about gravity:


Bracing added by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Pier Plate added and leveled:


Starizona Pier plate added by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Picture to show how level it is:


Showing its "levelness" by AstroJeff, on Flickr

As recommended by folks in this community I added screening to keep the bugs out:


Screening nearly done by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Screening stapled about the pier, so no bugs there either:


Screening stapled to sono by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Deck is Completed:


Finished Deck by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Was my wife and my 7 year anniversary yesterday and when I got home I checked on the Pier and noticed that when they added the bag it was sealed and all sorts of condensation happened, I cut some holes to let the air out on the side, left the top as it was supposed to rain:


Supposed to get rain, it was wrapped to avoid this. by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Should I leave the bracing on for a few days? or is it safe to remove now? it was hard as rock last night, the workers said I can remove the sonotube and bracing today. they pour the piers for the massive signs you see at mcDonald's and such.

How long before I can seal and paint it?
How long before I can mount my scope to it (50lbs)?

Thanks everyone,


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5939359 - 06/25/13 09:20 AM

I also used a compass app I download from the Play Store on my phone. It has a feature for true north and that is what I used to position the plate.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5939414 - 06/25/13 09:59 AM

Hi Jeff:

My pier was completed recently but I hadn't given any thought to sealing and painting. What do you plan to seal it with?

-Dan


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5939497 - 06/25/13 10:51 AM

Honestly, I don't know, sad as that sounds. Whatever the cheapest sealer I can find, then I will paint it white and spray the bottom and top with invisible glow in the dark spray paint. right now I just want to make sure the thing stays put. I will post more on that tonight.

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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5939648 - 06/25/13 12:20 PM

Looks like you're off to a good start!

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jazle
super member


Reged: 05/20/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5941750 - 06/26/13 04:58 PM

I used the Kilz sealer. Bonds to concrete like glue! And then you can paint it with regular latex. I would wait a week after the pour to pull the sonotube, but I've pulled them within 48 hours as well. It leaves a better finish if you can wait a week though. You can take the bracing off after 24 hours. Once the tube is off, let it breath a day before sealing.

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Orion58
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/11

Loc: Southern Wisconsin
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: jazle]
      #5942163 - 06/26/13 09:24 PM

Glad to see that your obs is moving along Jeff! Looking great so far

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Orion58]
      #5946709 - 06/29/13 02:50 PM

A little more was done, and Mother nature has struck:


Pool of water

Water issues by AstroJeff, on Flickr

First day of rain

Pooling of water due to torrential rain by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Second day of Rain

2nd Day of rains. by AstroJeff, on Flickr

You can see on the left, the erosion, the water is coming down where the trench was dug.
Once it is seeded and grass is growing, I think it will be ok.


Rain is coming down the hill by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Small trench was dug

Trench made to release the pressure. by AstroJeff, on Flickr

As you know the footing was all one unit, open on the button. It extends 2' above the ground and is encased in its plastic form. The sono tube went around this tube and leveled and is 4.5' below the ground. Frost line is 4'.

With the water issues I was planning on filling in the hole as much as I can to avoid any more flooding. two of the floor posts are in dekblock and two are sitting on patio stones. The wood is pressure treated and cuts were resealed with the green paint. If the wood posts are buried in either Class A stone (the rock you see on the bed) or with earth would is cause any issues?


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5948053 - 06/30/13 01:21 PM

I did not notice in your previous posts. Did you not put footings in where your corners are? You just have them sitting on top of the ground with concrete pads? I hope this is not the case.

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5948128 - 06/30/13 02:13 PM

Nope, the company I hired to do the work told me sitting the deck on deckblock, packed class a and patio block will be fine.

If it moves then I guess it goes back to them


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5948146 - 06/30/13 02:27 PM

Yes, yet with your setting the observatory on the deck,does that not take the chance for movement especially since you are so far north and freeze and thaw conditions? Can the Skyshed Pod handle the movement and still allow for rotating and proper sealing out the weather? I did not notice at the beginning of your post where you stated it was going to be a floating deck ,til' now.
I am just curious as this may be an option I may look into instead of a roll off roof in my limited size backyard. I just can't see how not having the footings even with a good base would keep it/the deck from moving.

Edited by tim57064 (06/30/13 02:29 PM)


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5948444 - 06/30/13 06:04 PM

The Skyshed POD can handle uneveness rather well. Right now its sitting on a tarp on the ground over winter and part of summer. I do have issues leaking under the lip and where the secondary and primary dome meet but I have to replace the seals. This will be done one I move it

Winters here aren't that harsh, not as bad as some think, yes the frost line is 4' but the last 4 winters have been wet and mild (as winters are this far north) the ground does freeze for a few months but it isn't bad. If it snows it adds insulation My soil is primarily hard packed clay and when we excavated we built up a gradual incline to the pier.

I was working on it today. First day in a long time we had more than an hour between downpours. I started moving the scope and mount inside the house to prep the big dismantle and move. I decided I wanted to remove the forms, it was a week figured it was long enough. The concrete company told me to soak the sono down with water and the cardboard will just peel off. Yeah right, not sure what kind of water he used but it isn't that easy. I also put the mount on, just resting in place. It sits 67" to the top of Dec! Nearly as tall as me. The reason I did this is because I want to make sure my scope AND guidescope are above the wall (thinking about low objects in the east like morning comets) My scope is 27" long 18" wide (With guidescope) and 16" high (highest point, the focuser) I sure hope I did the math right. :|


Untitled by AstroJeff, on Flickr


Untitled by AstroJeff, on Flickr

As you can see still having issues getting the cardboard off. Anyone have suggestions?


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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5948468 - 06/30/13 06:31 PM

I would think that with that small of a footprint, frost heavage would be of little concern. It would "float" evenly at all four corners. Get a good nights sleep and don't worry about it. It's the pier that you don't want to move, however it would only move vertically up and down anyways. Mike

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5948656 - 06/30/13 08:43 PM

Well, I guess it is not like a roll off roof so the weight isn't there to affect it that much. I have a concrete pier in my backyard and was thinking about doing a small roll off,now I may consider a Skyshed Pod or the likes.

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5948762 - 06/30/13 09:54 PM

The Skyshed POD is small but I am not a small guy either. I can move around in it rather comfortably given my size. When I am West of the meridian I have to mold myself into the walls sometimes but with the scope higher now I won't have to worry plus I ran ethernet for USB extension so I will go out just to uncover lol.

Lazy astronomer, I know.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5949186 - 07/01/13 07:19 AM

Hi Jeff:

Just wondering if you used the POD simulator app on the skyshedpod website (on the More Info page). It allows you to put in parameters for your scope and mount, and see how everything fits as you "slew" the scope around inside the virtual POD. I used it when planning the height of my pier. Haven't gotten the POD yet so I'm not sure how well it worked.

-Dan


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5949472 - 07/01/13 11:11 AM

Yes I used that tool. Works great. I just hope I got the mount portion correct. If the rain ever stops I might get to move it.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5949555 - 07/01/13 12:16 PM

What you have done for remote operation is exactly what I intend on doing for winter use. I made an attempt last year trying to use usb extention cables running them 45 feet to my shop and the signal had degraded too much to be useful. Thought about wireless and am in the process of setting it up that way.

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5951007 - 07/02/13 09:52 AM

Winters can get cold here and I have seen my fair share of them and experienced them as a youth and when I got older. I have been through the numerous -50c with the eyelashes freezing to the eyepieces and with a baby on the way at the end of August I want to be closer inside and still to Astrophotography. Someone in the RASC pointed me to USB over Ethernet and I decided to go for it. I bought 45m of Cat5e direct burial with silicon core and I direct buried it. I tested inside the house to make sure the USB-RJ45 worked and they did even through my 7 port Hub! I buy all of my cables from Monoprice. I can't believe the prices places like Best Buy charges.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5951222 - 07/02/13 11:58 AM

Congratulations, with a baby on the way,you will be plenty busy and you will still be able to enjoy observing and imaging while keeping an eye on the little one.

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5962915 - 07/09/13 08:26 PM

if I was to put in GFI do I need to use a GFI breaker and a GFI plug in the observatory? or will one in the observatory be fine with a 20amp regular breaker at the panel be fine?

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astro-monkey
member


Reged: 01/28/13

Loc: Nebraska
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5965494 - 07/11/13 11:00 AM

You will need either a GFCI breaker OR a GFCI outlet but not both of them.

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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: astro-monkey]
      #5984116 - 07/22/13 08:20 AM

Made some progress this weekend, I hired a licensed electrician to do the electrical hookup instead of doing it myself, for insurance purposes.

Had to drill a few holes because our moron builder set the panel 2' below grade. Mast comes in and is covered by drywall. Each hole we drilled hit concrete. We managed to find a spot, at the EXTREME top of the panel! We used a spare 15amp.


Power to panel by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Inside the observatory is a 15amp GFCI. The door cover will be replaced with a wall plate once the dome is on and secured. You will notice I only have the two plugs and no switch. I did this because I wanted to keep it simple, straight line in. I will use the switch at the panel to turn it all off. I have a headlamp, no need for lights. I have a red rope light for the pier plus a 2 to 6 plug surge protector. I will just use zip ties to keep the AC brick to the side of the pier.


15amp GFCI inside by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Later in the day I started moving the dome, what you see here is the Skyshed POD dismantled and pressure washed. Used a shop vac to remove any water left behind in the PODS.


Started to move the Dome by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Laid out the walls and pods according to the 10x10 deck on the Skyshed POD site and because I am offsetting to the North (direction of the pods) it means that they sit quite a bit over the edge so I have decided to go back to the 1 on each side of the door and 1 in the back configuration, more pics on that later.


10x10 configuration by AstroJeff, on Flickr

removing the cardboard is impossible! the company who poured it didn't use an releasing agent, I tried Trisodium Phosphate, soap and water and a pressure washer. Figure, just leave it.


Space inside by AstroJeff, on Flickr

You can see I have lots of room out front. PODS face N and wall faces S. I still have to go a few inches North but I need to get the scope mounted before using the lag bolts.


Showing front door. by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Edited by Magellan (07/22/13 08:32 AM)


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5984168 - 07/22/13 09:15 AM

Cool.

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Footbag
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5984182 - 07/22/13 09:29 AM

Very nice! Looks like you'll be using it soon.

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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5984215 - 07/22/13 09:53 AM

Jeff,
You are going to enjoy having your own special space.
Michael


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5990918 - 07/26/13 09:23 AM

Made a little progress, temporarily mounted scope to check for clearances:


IMG_20130724_190824 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

After months of calculating, doubting and wondering if I measured right, I am happy to report I officially have 1" of clearance! I might have more once I adjust for the north offset.


IMG_20130724_190855 by AstroJeff, on Flickr


IMG_20130724_191043 by AstroJeff, on Flickr


IMG_20130724_191120 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

I might have to turn the OTA 180 degrees if I run out of room, hopefully it doesn't mess up the balance to the point I have to move it further up the dovetail.


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Tom McDonald
sage
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Reged: 12/19/06

Loc: No where man!
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5993556 - 07/27/13 08:07 PM

"I will use the switch at the panel to turn it all off."

You don't mean to use the breaker to turn it off, do you?
Not a good idea. Breakers are for safety, not as a means to turn power on and off.
If I am mistaken, please forgive me! I would not want you to have a false sense of security.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Tom McDonald]
      #5993672 - 07/27/13 09:10 PM

Tom,

He's required to have a switch. For 120V, you're only required to have a single pole switch at the out-building to control it. He means that, I'm sure.

Jeff, thanks for posting that. I'm going through adding 120V at the shed and it's nice to see how you did it. Did you have it 'trenched' or did you use a vibratory plow?

Thanks,
Chris


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5996071 - 07/29/13 08:02 AM

No.. the electrician I had hook it up to the panel told me to use the breaker switch in the panel to turn off and on. I do not have a switch in the observatory. I requested it but was told to just use the panel. Is it difficult to do this myself? I have a two plug GFCI in the observatory, how hard is it to put a switch in?

I hired a company to do it, the trench had to be over 100' long and I can't dig that and Home Depot rentals do not rent trench diggers here. They brought a mini excavator in and dug it down two feet. Power is direct bury but I put in in conduit, the ethernet is direct bury without conduit.


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #6010938 - 08/07/13 07:26 AM

I have made a few additions to the observatory and that is:

I bought some 1/2"x4" Lag screws and bolted the Skyshed POD down. I am 3 short, no big deal I can get more. I had twice as many washers, maybe I have another bag somewhere.



IMG_20130806_191321_1 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Next thing I did was take the scope down and the CGEM mount so I could attach a teflon based material down on the Starizona CGEM plate, pay no mind to my crude drawing. I wasn't sure after peeling the sticky side whether I could see through it so I measured to be sure.


IMG_20130806_195006 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

You can see after sticking it down I could see the holes that I need to cut out:


IMG_20130806_195145 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Finished cutting away the access:


Teflon, to help with Azimuth movement by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Anyone with a CGEM knows what I mean when I say that moving the mount in Azimuth using the knobs and next to impossible. Too much friction, even with the center bolt loosened. You turn and turn and turn and nothing happens. Then its that last frustrating turn that the mount finally moves the amount of the many turns. With this teflon substance it is as smooth as a baby's bottom and I have to thank a fellow member of CN (ORION58) for packing up, sending and paying for postage to send me the teflon substance he had left over. It is people like him that truly makes being part of this extended family we like to call CloudyNights an amazing experience.

Edited by Magellan (08/07/13 07:29 AM)


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n1wvet
super member
*****

Reged: 04/22/11

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA, Earth
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #6018515 - 08/11/13 03:08 AM

Circuit Breakers are not switches. They are safety devices used to protect a circuit from overcurrent. I think your electrician brushed you off by not listening and installing a true switch. Now having said that, installing a switch yourself is easy. There are many turorials on line for installing a single pole switch. Do you only have one circuit?

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Craig Ballew
newbie


Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: n1wvet]
      #6018524 - 08/11/13 03:43 AM

Did you consider using fiber optic cable instead of cat 5e cable for the underground run?

I would worry about strong current surge induced by lightning strikes. I've seen underground cable runs that were never affected but I have also seen some 40 ft runs that burned out electronics repeatedly from ground lightning strikes up to a mile away.

Edited by Craig Ballew (08/11/13 03:44 AM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Craig Ballew]
      #6018716 - 08/11/13 09:51 AM

Craig, Welcome to Cloudy Nights! Glad you joined us, especially here in Observatories!

Thanks for sharing your experience & suggestion for the OP.


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Magellan
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6020681 - 08/12/13 12:29 PM

I never thought about using fibre, never had issues with lightning, in fact we rarely get thunderstorms, mostly just hurricanes and snow storms.

The power run is from the panel to the switch and only one circuit. I will look into putting in a switch.


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