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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Just completed my new observatory!
      #6082809 - 09/15/13 08:58 PM Attachment (316 downloads)

I just finished building my observatory and thought I'd share a photo. It's remarkable how much more comfortable it is to observe from within, it's definitely my best astronomy investment yet!

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6082814 - 09/15/13 09:02 PM

Looks nice! Do you have any more photos of the interior or of the construction?

-Dan


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6082844 - 09/15/13 09:27 PM

I will have some photos of the inside soon (it's a disaster at the moment!) I didn't take a whole lot of pictures while it was being built, just of the pier.

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6082886 - 09/15/13 09:52 PM

Very nice, indeed! I've always said that the best use of my astrobucks was building my obs.

David


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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6083026 - 09/15/13 11:21 PM

That is a beautiful observatory. How long was it under construction?

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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Starman27]
      #6083049 - 09/15/13 11:46 PM

Beautiful. It looks huge. What is the circumference?

You'll certainly enjoy it. Looking forward to more pictures.


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Megabusa
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/28/12

Loc: Page ,AZ
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6083061 - 09/16/13 12:04 AM

Quote:

Looks nice! Do you have any more photos of the interior or of the construction?

-Dan


Yes I to would like to see Photos when your finished .

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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
*****

Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Megabusa]
      #6083088 - 09/16/13 12:36 AM

Wow! Very nice. As others have said we want more pics.

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qsipiMcKenna
member


Reged: 06/29/13

Loc: MK, UK.
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083260 - 09/16/13 03:44 AM

Hi Tori. I didn't know they'd moved mount Palomar into the woods. Superb. P.S. I hope it's just the photo, but if not, I'd put some support beams on it 'cause it looks like it's gonna topple onto that shed at the back!

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: qsipiMcKenna]
      #6083399 - 09/16/13 08:29 AM Attachment (149 downloads)

Here's another pic of the outside from an angle that doesn't make it look like it's going to fall over ;-)

It's a 16.6' dome with a ~10x10 warm room.

We started construction back in May, and it's finally where I can use it now.

The one big piece remaining is that stack of solar panels which need to be put somewhere. Right now it's running off of batteries and a generator. I've run fiber to my house for internet access but I didn't want to run power that far (800'). If I were only powering the telescope I might have just run copper but I want to be able to run a dehumidifier and AC and heat and the dome.

And I have to figure out what to do (if anything) to protect it from lightning.

Other than that, it's just clean up and little stuff.


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083416 - 09/16/13 08:39 AM Attachment (127 downloads)

One of a very few construction photos...

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083420 - 09/16/13 08:39 AM Attachment (111 downloads)

And another...

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083577 - 09/16/13 10:12 AM

Tori,

That is a fantastic observatory! Wow!

Yes, we will be most anxious to see the interior when you get it set up; or maybe pictures now, and then some following the finishing up of the interior!

Congratulations, on a spectacular observatory!!


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083583 - 09/16/13 10:16 AM

Wow - a 16.6 foot dome! As Spock would say with one eyebrow raised, "Impressive!" Did you build the dome yourself, or have someone fabricate it for you?

That first shot made it look like it was built on a steep hillside. These make it look more accessible.

-Dan


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wormstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6083599 - 09/16/13 10:23 AM

Yup- that's impressive, makes many of the rest of our observatories look like toys
Keith


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083674 - 09/16/13 11:07 AM

I bet an 800' run for buried cable would cost roughly the same as those solar panels. Especially once you factor in the batteries to run an observatory that big off batteries.

Beautiful shed, it's an awesome home for your setup . Where is the dome from? I'm assuming you're planning on automating it? What hardware are you going to use?

Congrats!

Edited by Raginar (09/16/13 11:10 AM)


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: wormstar]
      #6083683 - 09/16/13 11:12 AM

It's an Ash dome. There's no way I could have fabricated it myself.

I have the acreage and didn't want to have regrets on making it too small if I ever want to put a big refractor in.

Thank you all for your comments!

I'm not there to take pictures of the inside right now but I will later this week. (Even though it's still a mess!)

Tori


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083701 - 09/16/13 11:18 AM

Sorry Raginar, I didn't see your post until I posted mine.

I hired ACE to automate the dome; I've installed ACP to control the ACE dome software and the mount and focuser and MaxIm.

I also have an IP camera in the dome to watch everything, and I'm using a APC PDU to turn various things on and off (lights, AC, dehumidifier, exhaust fan, etc).

SADLY, internet service there stinks. I have two internet connections to my home: Fairpoint ADSL and Hughesnet satellite and both are and have been completely unreliable, so I'm still having problems remotely connecting to my observatory from my Boston home. From my living room, 800' from my observatory though, I can control everything beautifully!

Edited by Tori (09/16/13 11:19 AM)


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scopefreak
scholastic sledgehammer
****

Reged: 04/14/04

Loc: Mayslick KY
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6083794 - 09/16/13 12:00 PM

Tori, that is an OBS to be VERY proud of. Makes mine look like a simple shed . Can't wait to see the inside!

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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: scopefreak]
      #6083811 - 09/16/13 12:10 PM

Looks amazing. Also can't wait to see the inside.

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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: corpusse]
      #6083841 - 09/16/13 12:23 PM

Looks very nice Tori , I'm sure you will love it more each time you use it. I know I really enjoy not setting up each time and breaking gear back down

Norm


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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: stmguy]
      #6083923 - 09/16/13 01:06 PM

WOW! What a beautiful observatory. Sounds like you did your homework planning it too. Enjoy your new obs.

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?

Mike


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thesungazer
Sungazer
*****

Reged: 05/06/03

Loc: Maryland
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: MDB]
      #6083977 - 09/16/13 01:40 PM

Absolutely beautiful, Tori. Congratulations!

Please remember to show us more as you progress along.

Greg
http://sungazer.net/observatory


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: MDB]
      #6083986 - 09/16/13 01:44 PM

Quote:

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?




I do. I have a Planewave CDK24 coming in the next month or so.


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084011 - 09/16/13 02:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?




I do. I have a Planewave CDK24 coming in the next month or so.




That's a nice, small, modest scope...........

Holy Pasta Fazoli.... Extremely impressive setup. You can do some very serious work with all of that.


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6084074 - 09/16/13 02:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?




I do. I have a Planewave CDK24 coming in the next month or so.




That's a nice, small, modest scope...........

Holy Pasta Fazoli.... Extremely impressive setup. You can do some very serious work with all of that.




Thanks! If it's ever clear again I'm going to try!


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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084140 - 09/16/13 03:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?




I do. I have a Planewave CDK24 coming in the next month or so.





A premier setup in all respects!

Mke


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qsipiMcKenna
member


Reged: 06/29/13

Loc: MK, UK.
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084234 - 09/16/13 04:05 PM

Hi Tori. I hope you didn't mind the 'topple' comment. Just a bit of fun. It looks like a dream to me. I hope it brings you great joy. C'S', Tony.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084241 - 09/16/13 04:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

With a 16.6 dome and an AP3600GTO......I am guessing you have plans beyond the C14?




I do. I have a Planewave CDK24 coming in the next month or so.






-Dan


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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084243 - 09/16/13 04:11 PM

Congrats on your new obsy - domes are the way to go :-)

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my-spot
member


Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: South East Michigan
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: nytecam]
      #6084299 - 09/16/13 04:51 PM

Wow...
I can safely say that I'm a bit envious.


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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: corpusse]
      #6084393 - 09/16/13 05:40 PM

Tori,
Beautiful obs! How are you heating the warm room?
Michael


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: MHamburg]
      #6084568 - 09/16/13 07:32 PM

Thank you.

I'm planning on using electric heat. With the solar array I'm installing I should have enough power to run electric heat in the winter and AC in the summer. Not 24/7, but when I'll be out there I can turn it on.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084670 - 09/16/13 08:21 PM

Tori, how is cell service? Even a 3G hotspot would be OK.

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Raginar]
      #6084723 - 09/16/13 08:52 PM

Sadly the only cell service in 20 minutes driving distance in any direction is my microcell (my own mini cell tower) which works great when the Internet is working.

I do have a solution, but I'm not looking forward to using it. Dial up/modems. I just need access to web servers running on my network. I'm physically there at least once a week, so I don't need to transfer the data, just set up scripts. It's imperfect but it might be my solution until I have better Internet connectivity.


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RobertED
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/11/03

Loc: Smithfield, RI
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6084813 - 09/16/13 09:41 PM

It's a gorgeous building, Tori!! Much luck and great observing in the future!!! Can't wait to see photos of finishes interiors, mounting and the telescope itself!! Awesome job!!!!!

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: corpusse]
      #6085098 - 09/17/13 12:16 AM

You could turn it into a bed and breakfast.

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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6085446 - 09/17/13 08:20 AM

Fantastic! Thats my favorite type of design, (Dome with attached warm room) I wanted to same thing, but decided it was just too much for a "suburban neighborhood" location with only fair skys.

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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6085658 - 09/17/13 10:20 AM

Tori, that's quite a challenge. I think ACP's scripting and user interface will help you out. That's quite a challenge not counting that you'll need to go up there to collect your pictures

Neat.


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Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Raginar]
      #6086462 - 09/17/13 05:40 PM

Gorgeous outside. I can't wait to see the inside since I am at a similar point.

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Peter L.
super member


Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6087991 - 09/18/13 12:57 PM

That is awesome! Well done.

I noticed that your cedar siding is atarting to blacken where it gets wet. Some people like that, and if that's your intention, so be it. I have cedar shingle siding on my obs and used Cabots Oil Bleach to protect the siding. It keeps it a nice drift wood grey color. Even now, you can pressure wash, let dry, and apply to get the same effect.

Edited by Peter L. (09/18/13 12:58 PM)


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Peter L.]
      #6092291 - 09/20/13 06:42 PM

Just the other day I was wondering what had happened with your planned obs.....we heard a bunch from you months ago, and then nada....glad to see you've been busy! Awesome scope house, too!!!
Good on you!
Russ

and....you know you're truly rural when you have no cell and dial-up internet....we only two years ago got 768K, which is lightning compared to dial-up! no cell, though..... ah, the pain of dark skies!


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: roscoe]
      #6092325 - 09/20/13 07:02 PM

That is just beautiful! You're not kidding around here are ya! Wow!

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: WesC]
      #6099195 - 09/24/13 07:35 PM Attachment (65 downloads)

Thanks again everyone!

@Peter: I've been debating on whether or not to let it grey a bit then stain it, or paint it. The jury is still out, but I'm leaning towards painting it.


Here are a bunch of interior shots...

First, the warm room...


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099197 - 09/24/13 07:35 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Warm room again, from the other side.

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099199 - 09/24/13 07:37 PM Attachment (64 downloads)

Stairs up to the telescope

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099207 - 09/24/13 07:42 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Just a couple batteries. I'm going to build a box around them, for now they're normally covered with a tarp so they don't become a welder if someone drops something on them.

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099210 - 09/24/13 07:46 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

Inverter/charger / breaker panel. Electric is far from done and needs a lot of cleanup

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099218 - 09/24/13 07:49 PM Attachment (59 downloads)

Up inside the dome, just spent today building and hanging that flat panel. Getting it square to the telescope was a bit of a challenge....

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099221 - 09/24/13 07:51 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

My beautiful ATS pier

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099223 - 09/24/13 07:52 PM

Wow! Impressive electrical system! Looks like those are 6 volt batteries most, if not all, in series? Can you explain a bit about your system and how it's wired up?

-Dan


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6099229 - 09/24/13 07:56 PM Attachment (58 downloads)

All the Ash Dome controls were gutted and replaced by ACE. Instead of switches to rotate/open/close they're now buttons and all computer controlled. Here's the new controls.

All that wiring is going to be cleaned up too.

And you can see a security camera which faces my mount for monitoring the status of the telescope and dome.


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6099258 - 09/24/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

Wow! Impressive electrical system! Looks like those are 6 volt batteries most, if not all, in series? Can you explain a bit about your system and how it's wired up?

-Dan




They're 6v batteries, yup. It's a 48v system, so I have 8 batteries in series, in parallel with another two sets of 8 batteries in series. This gives me a total of 1200aH @ 48v, enough to keep it cool in the summer and heat it in the winter and leave my computer/security camera/all sky camera/dome/telescope/cameras all on indefinitely.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! *DELETED* new [Re: Tori]
      #6099396 - 09/24/13 09:49 PM

Post deleted by tim57064

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BYoesle
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Goldendale, Washington USA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: tim57064]
      #6099967 - 09/25/13 09:15 AM

Awesome observatory Tori and detailed thread - gave me a few ideas.

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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: BYoesle]
      #6101326 - 09/25/13 09:31 PM

Awesome! Obviously, you had a very big budget.
Michael


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SpaceConqueror3
super member


Reged: 09/19/13

Loc: Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: MHamburg]
      #6101486 - 09/25/13 11:07 PM

Wow! That's a dream for anyone.

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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: SpaceConqueror3]
      #6101749 - 09/26/13 06:03 AM

Looks fantastic! You are really going to enjoy it I'm sure
Norm


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PhilCo126
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: stmguy]
      #6101827 - 09/26/13 08:28 AM

just a couple of batteries

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6101974 - 09/26/13 10:04 AM

That is a fantastic setup! Congratulations, your dream has arrived!

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6102208 - 09/26/13 11:56 AM

Thanks all

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

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6104442 - 09/27/13 03:24 PM

I could run my house on that battery bank my solar setup that runs all the living room electronics is 24 volts at 464AH

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BradleyB
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Mary B]
      #6106651 - 09/28/13 10:01 PM

I see 24 batteries that look like Rolls Surrette S-460/530/600. So it would be three parallel strings giving 1380, 1590, or 1800 Ah total. that is at the 100 hour rate of discharge, you'll probably have a bit faster discharge when running your larger loads so a little bit less capacity, but this is a nice large battery bank. I've designed a lot of systems just like this one, that is what I do. I like this choice of Magnum inverter, panel, and MidNite charge control, good stuff. I think the MidNite lightning arrestors you have on the side with the blue LED's in them are probably some of the best in our industry, you'd have to go to the lightning suppression industry to get anything more.

Brad


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: BradleyB]
      #6106975 - 09/29/13 06:00 AM

Yup! S-530's. I did my math at the 20 hour rate, but in reality my usage will be somewhere in between. And I wanted to make sure I have enough capacity even when it's -15F. Though I have yet to get a satisfactory answer about their performance when they're that cold. I figure if their performance suffers I'll have to put a lightbulb in the battery box, knowing that heating the battery box will obviously draw power and lower performance in and of itself. I'm hoping that simply cycling the batteries keeps the battery box a little warmer than the bitter cold low at night and that I won't need to do anything.

I'm glad to hear your comments about the lightning arrestors. Quite honestly I hope I never have to see them work but we get some really nasty lightning storms around here.


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BradleyB
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6107702 - 09/29/13 03:06 PM

Fist realize that even if your temps get down to -15°F the batteries will not. They have a lot of mass and will stay at about the average temperature over the period of a few days. Batteries like this (and most lead based batteries) will have about 45% of it's full capacity at -15°F. If they really only get down to about say 20°F they will have about 65% of their capacity. They will heat up a little when being charged, but not much when being discharged. Having the solar array connected will make a big difference in how well they do. Having that solar power connected in the winter will help keep the batteries fully charged. It's really hard to take good care of batteries with just a generator. You'll also really like having that silent solar power source working for you all the time. I have not heard of putting a heater in the battery box as ever ending up with a positive result. It will generally cause a lower state of charge and less available energy, and if it discharges the battery far enough will damage it, especially if it freezes. And do make sure that the inverter and charge control temperature sensors are placed somewhere in the middle of the battery bank where it will get a good reading, this is very important. I expect you'll like this system.

Brad


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wavecloud
sage


Reged: 09/22/13

Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: BradleyB]
      #6108012 - 09/29/13 06:49 PM

What are you calling your obs?

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: wavecloud]
      #6108274 - 09/29/13 09:48 PM

You could use rigid foam on the outside of the battery box to insulate it.

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6109139 - 09/30/13 11:50 AM

Thanks for the helpful information Brad!

@WaveCloud: "My observatory" *chuckle* It doesn't really have a name. Maybe Swain Hill 'cause that's where I live?

@Karen: Great idea! Maybe I'll just use rigid foam AS the battery box.


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wavecloud
sage


Reged: 09/22/13

Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: corpusse]
      #6114155 - 10/02/13 09:55 PM

You should call it the Dewdrop Observatory. Sounds nice, and it fits

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

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: wavecloud]
      #6115608 - 10/03/13 04:37 PM

My batteries are in an enclosed porch that is unheated. Lowest I saw them drop was to ~35 degrees f when it was -21 outside.

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Mary B]
      #6115719 - 10/03/13 05:26 PM

While this is probably not your specific batteries, lead acid batteries in general fall off quite fast in efficiency as the temp gets below freezing.

Effecinecy vs Temperature

You might want to check the curves for your specific manufacturer. I'm guessing they probably have them on the web.


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6118259 - 10/05/13 12:19 AM

Perfect design! I love it.

Can you tell us more about the panel for flats? As in a nice write up! :-)


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6119285 - 10/05/13 04:32 PM

For the flat panel I bought a 30" split electroluminescent panel from Knema.com (aka LuminiousFilm.com). I also bought three 33" square pieces of white translucent acrylic from tap plastics. And some 1"x1" wood trim. Then I made a sandwich of acrylic, EL Panel, acrylic, wood trim, and another piece of acrylic. The wood trim is around the edge (but just inside the acrylic) and is used as a spacer, keeping the two "front" pieces of acrylic a little bit apart. I do this to get rid of any little blotchyness in the EL panel as well as to hide the little tiny thin line down the middle of the panel.

I then drilled through around the perimeter and bolted it all together.

Mounting it to the dome was really a PITA, and it's still not quite perfect and won't be until I get my new telescope and know the exact measurements.

In truth I think this is all overkill. I think a sandwich of acrylic, EL panel, and acrylic would be plenty sufficient, and much lighter. The light wouldn't be perfectly even but I seriously doubt the flats would ever notice.


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6120175 - 10/06/13 08:20 AM

I made an ELP for my scopes as well. Mine fits the dew shield of my 8" CPC and has insets to drop the size down for my other scopes. It's about 14" square. Pretty easy to make and it stores in a cubby hole.

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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6120625 - 10/06/13 01:40 PM

Setting the batteries on top of rigid foam will help with their winter temps.

As for PV solar charge controllers, MPPT controllers are currently the most efficient type. They typically cost a bit more but will give you about 5 to 10% more charging on average, which allows them to pay for themselves rather quickly.

Are there any wireless ISP's (WISP's) in your area?

http://www.wispa.org/find-a-wisp

Great observatory!


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6120793 - 10/06/13 03:28 PM

What kind of fire detection/protection do you have?

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6120868 - 10/06/13 04:08 PM

Thanks Christopher- the Midnite Classic charge controller I have is an MPPT charge controller. And sadly, no, there are no wireless ISPs. Maybe I should start one!

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Raginar]
      #6120877 - 10/06/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

What kind of fire detection/protection do you have?




Fire? If it catches fire it's gone. Let's not go down that path.

Burglar and vandalism, however, I've got covered...


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ManuelJ
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6122029 - 10/07/13 10:05 AM

That's ok.










Would you marry me?


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starquake
sage


Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Nádasdladány
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6122699 - 10/07/13 02:57 PM

Gorgeous observatory, congratulations! May I ask if you have some special plans with your future telescope? Some automated supernova patrolling? Spectroscopy? Minor planet search? People rarely do such decisions without a serious reason.

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: starquake]
      #6123043 - 10/07/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

Gorgeous observatory, congratulations! May I ask if you have some special plans with your future telescope? Some automated supernova patrolling? Spectroscopy? Minor planet search? People rarely do such decisions without a serious reason.




Thank you

Searching for SN definitely, and maybe comets, and deep AP.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6124864 - 10/08/13 12:47 PM

I brung it up because of the batteries. I'm assuming its a professional install. But if those aren't SLA just be aware of the requirements for venting. And, cins udder a secondary containment if god forbid they froze... A metal pan would work. I also wouldn't put anything flammable nearby since you're running remote. Secondary containment is important to any hazardous material installation.

Sorry, used to be a fire inspector

And finally, and some 10-lb ABC fire extinguishers. You never know. They're great at stopping that little fire. I dunno if you're doing a remote security company but wiring in a smoke detector or three to a NEST server would be a good investment. Might reduce your insurance costs as well.


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Raginar]
      #6124930 - 10/08/13 01:22 PM

It's not a pro install, it's a me install.

I do not have a pan under the batteries but I will, thank you. I do have a vent sucking air out behind the batteries (you can see it in the pic) to maintain negative pressure in the to-be-built battery box.

I do have a couple fire extinguishers in there... My grandpa used to be the fire chief and drilled THAT in.

Thanks!


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6126020 - 10/08/13 10:39 PM

Quote:

Thanks Christopher- the Midnite Classic charge controller I have is an MPPT charge controller. And sadly, no, there are no wireless ISPs. Maybe I should start one!




There are both licensed and license-free wireless point-to-point digital radios available with bandwidths up to 15Mbps and can shoot up to 30 miles with clear line-of-site.

If you can get a clear radio shot to someplace with a good Internet connection, that might work for you.

I hope this helps.


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6126154 - 10/09/13 12:01 AM

Tori, you might try this for battery storage

http://www.solarmaxcabinets.com/pdf/SolarMaxbatterycabinetGSPR-1.pdf


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6126211 - 10/09/13 12:44 AM

Karen, those really are nice cabinets for batteries!

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6126240 - 10/09/13 01:20 AM

Yeah they're nice! What can I say, I have excellent taste in all things technical.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6126243 - 10/09/13 01:21 AM

That's a classic observatory! I expect it will be a joy to have.

-Rich


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jmasin
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Murphy, TX (DFW)
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6126738 - 10/09/13 10:48 AM

Wow... beautiful!! Congrats.

***EDIT*** Reread and answered my qeustion about the dome!

Edited by jmasin (10/09/13 10:55 AM)


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woodscavenger
sage


Reged: 08/20/13

Loc: Boise, ID
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: starquake]
      #6127202 - 10/09/13 02:56 PM

Don't paint it. The spackle/mud on the sheetrock look like Messier objects!
That is one cool observatory. Strong work!! Clear skies to you.


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: woodscavenger]
      #6128398 - 10/10/13 06:03 AM

Thanks everyone

@Chris: Unfortunately it would mean a couple hops. What I'd really like to do is manage to get fairpoint to fix my ADSL connection so it is more reliable and/or get Hughesnet to work on the dish a little. I don't mind the connection being a little slow, I just want it to be reliable enough that I know I can always get on and control my observatory.


@Karen: Those cabinets are mighty nice. Something I'll definitely consider!


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6128414 - 10/10/13 06:36 AM

Quote:

Thanks everyone

@Chris: Unfortunately it would mean a couple hops. What I'd really like to do is manage to get fairpoint to fix my ADSL connection so it is more reliable and/or get Hughesnet to work on the dish a little. I don't mind the connection being a little slow, I just want it to be reliable enough that I know I can always get on and control my observatory.

If you have reasonable cellular signal there than another possibility is cellular data. Not cheap and not always reliable but it might be better than what you are getting now!

CradlePoint routers have USB ports on them for cellular data modems. Usually they are there as a backup when the primary uplink goes down but they can also be used as the primary or only Internet connection.

Although it looks and sounds like you are really on top of things so this is probably information that you already knew!

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starquake
sage


Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Nádasdladány
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6457914 - 04/10/14 07:07 AM

I wonder if there's an update about this obs, and especially whether the planned PlaneWave 24" scope is on site now?

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