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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mary B]
      #6160990 - 10/27/13 03:45 PM

Congrats on the new observatory! Just like you, I feel for those trees! You will love your observatory

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mary B]
      #6162233 - 10/28/13 10:49 AM Attachment (36 downloads)

Oct. 28, 2013 . . . Disaster Forestalled!

Rained heavily overnight Saturday night! I came down Sunday morning and was horrified to see the wind had completely blown the tarp off my sonotube. It was soaked! You're not supposed to use wet, cardboard sonotubes. I guess that's obvious.

So, what to do?

I slit another tube vertically, wrapped the wet one and strapped it with rebar tie wire and the two load straps I had on hand.

Also braced the tube as shown. There is some water in the footer. I will pump that out when the concrete contractor gets here.

None of this is what you would call "ideal!"

Sometime I envy our desert-dwellers! Heck, LOTS of times I envy them!

I really want to get this pier poured!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6162320 - 10/28/13 11:40 AM

I hope everything turns out ok for the soaked sonotube. Appreciate the rain, it's snowing here!

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Peter L.
super member


Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6162736 - 10/28/13 03:02 PM

I hope everything turns out for you, Terry. I had to battle similar weather issues during my build two summers ago. I live in PEI, so I know your weather well. I have in-laws in NS. Where abouts are you?

Peter


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Peter L.]
      #6164693 - 10/29/13 02:14 PM

Beautiful countryside!

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Peter L.]
      #6164843 - 10/29/13 03:55 PM

Quote:

I hope everything turns out for you, Terry. I had to battle similar weather issues during my build two summers ago. I live in PEI, so I know your weather well. I have in-laws in NS. Where abouts are you?

Peter




Thanks, Peter. I am located on the South Shore, about an hour west of Halifax.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6164889 - 10/29/13 04:16 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

October 29, 2013 . . . Pier Day!!

My neighbour poured (shoveled, actually!) the pier today. The reinforced, soggy sonotube seemed fine. The real dangers with soggy tubes is that the pressure from the backfill can collapse them below grade. Then it's time! Didn't happen here.
Pier is setting up now and the Dan's Pier Top plate is high and level . . . and hopefully aligned N-S with sufficient accuracy. It allows plus/minus 10 degrees azimuth adjustment.

Getting this part done is a real load off my mind!

Edited by dawziecat (10/29/13 04:33 PM)


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MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6164905 - 10/29/13 04:27 PM

Terry, congrats!!
Michael


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KenK
sage
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: MA, +41°, -71°
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: MHamburg]
      #6164985 - 10/29/13 05:11 PM

Congrats, all that's left to do now is wait for it to cure!

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: KenK]
      #6165034 - 10/29/13 05:40 PM

Thanks, Ken and Michael.

Gott'a tarp it again as tonight is gonn'a be another frosty one.


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nemo129
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6165254 - 10/29/13 07:59 PM



That is just awesome Terry!



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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: nemo129]
      #6165263 - 10/29/13 08:02 PM

Terry,Am very glad to hear you were finally able to get the pier poured. Kudos to you.

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Peter L.
super member


Reged: 04/19/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6165995 - 10/30/13 09:29 AM

Quote:

Thanks, Peter. I am located on the South Shore, about an hour west of Halifax.



That's a beautiful area. My in-laws are in Shubenacadie. Good luck with your build.

Peter

Edited by Peter L. (10/30/13 01:21 PM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6166102 - 10/30/13 10:21 AM

Congratulations on getting the pier done!

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6168385 - 10/31/13 12:24 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

October 31, 2013 . . . Dan's Pier Plate Caveat

The pier is curing. I removed the external "reinforcing" sonotubes and had to try installing the pier plate.

There is a pitfall waiting to snare the unwary, such as myself, with the pier plate from Dan's. DON'T LEAVE THE THREADS FROM YOUR L BOLTS TOO SHORT!!!

The adapter plates that hold the mount head attach FROM BELOW!! If your L bolt threads are too short, you will not have room to get the mounting hardware up into the plate.

The instruction sheet carries the notation "approx. 4" minimum if telescope is to be used in alt-az mode."
There is nothing more about the length of threads from the L bolts to protrude from the concrete. As I was not intending any alt-az use, what did I care? So I blithely ignored that instruction thinking it did not apply to me. My L bolt threads protrude only 3". Still "do-able" but pretty tight trying to get the bolts in where they belong. This is probably unclear to those who have never actually tried to install one of these plates. The top-most nuts on the plate are NOT accessible when you are attaching the mount head adapter! The adapter plate covers them. So you can't insert the hardware and lower the plate onto the L bolts. You must attach the top nuts first.

I was afraid I would have to drill and tap the plate so the adapter would be attachable from above. That would have worked. However, as shown, the plate is fine and I have enough room, just barely, to get a 90 degree Allen key in there to tighten everything up.

This was "good luck" as opposed to "good management." But, all is well.

Next step is preparing the base. The shed guy will do that. I await his pleasure and the weather will be wet the next few days. Mud will slow things. I expect no further progress for a while.


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6168399 - 10/31/13 12:33 PM

Terry,very glad to hear you averted disaster. There would have been a second chance on this.If you had to,you could have added couplers to the bolts to add height yet it is great that you did not have to do so.Whew,good job.

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6179260 - 11/06/13 01:16 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

November 6, 2013 - Hard Stuff is done!

Yesterday a few inches of crushed rock was spread and leveled with a water barrier underneath.

The shed contractor is aiming for an early December completion. He will fabricate the Skyshed in his shop, assemble it, test the roof for smooth functioning, diassamble it and transport it here for final assembly on the site.

Such is the plan at present.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180081 - 11/06/13 10:08 PM

That is a superb site! Can't wait to see progression.

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180087 - 11/06/13 10:14 PM

Wow,now that's a steep pitch on your House.
Hope your Sky Shed does not match it. Have much wildlife around in them thar woods?


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: tim57064]
      #6180155 - 11/06/13 11:07 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Quote:

Have much wildlife around in them thar woods?




I've been here a long time. Deer are common as are raccoons.
The most exciting thing I've seen was the fellow pictured here, photographed through the front window not quite two years ago. They may be "common" enough but it's pretty rare to actually see one!


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