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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180161 - 11/06/13 11:12 PM

Fantastic shot of a Lynx.Love it and have never seen one in the wild myself.

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Aquarist]
      #6180171 - 11/06/13 11:17 PM

Quote:

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




Next arrival WILL be exciting! AP shipped an AP1600GTO this afternoon. It's in the hands of Fed Ex now!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180172 - 11/06/13 11:20 PM

Indeed a Lynx is rare to see. Great photo of a most illusive animal!

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180415 - 11/07/13 06:57 AM

Omg Terry an AP1600 GTO would be a pipe dream for me,Kudos to You. What mount do you have already. I suppose it is a big upgrade.

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: tim57064]
      #6180519 - 11/07/13 08:35 AM

Hi Tim:
I have been mountless for 10 months or so. I became addicted to astrophotography and inconsistant narrow band subs frustrated me with the mount I had. I am not sure it was really the mount's fault. There are a slew of other possible causes. I decided to eliminate them all and start from scratch with equipment that is beyond reproach.

I had planned on an AP1100 but, with the observatory definitely going to happen, I changed my order at the last minute with the mantra "you can never be overmounted" ringing in my ears.

Incidentally, not to be pedantic, the "big cat" is not actually a lynx but a bobcat. I have seen lynx in the far north (The Yukon) on two occasions . . . never within photo range. This is my first bobcat. He was hunting, attracted by a flock of ducks that waddled up to my bird feeders from a small stream that flows through my property. He was unsuccessful in his charge into the flock. In the picture he has blown his cover and is disconsolately leaving, presumably very hungry.
The flock of ducks he charged into contained a replendant wood duck drake, the first I had ever seen here in NS. I do not begrudge the cat a dinner but I would have been very upset had he gobbled up "my" woodie!

Back on topic, I have to go into town to fax a power of attorney form to FedEx to clear my mount through customs. I hope this thing gets through the process without too much in the way of bureaucratic delay!


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6180602 - 11/07/13 09:30 AM

I left my Dan's Pier Plate bolts at 3". You could go a small amount lower, but with concrete, it may not be worth the risk.

I'd just suggest leveling the bottom bolts, then putting the plate on with the upper bolts in the receiver and tightening the bottom bolts. It was a bit tough, but I only had to do it once.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Footbag]
      #6180717 - 11/07/13 10:27 AM

Mouting the Dan's Pier Top Plate: What worked for me was the following . . .

1/ Put the three shoulder bolts into the plate and use nuts to prevent their falling back out.
2/ Insert the half inch center bolt into the plate, again using a nut to hold it and don't forget the center bushing.
3/ Put the bottom nuts on the 3/4" stainless L bolt threads.
4 Level the plate ensuring the L bolt threads do not rise so high as to interfere with the mount head adapter plate. The L bolts must not rise above the top of the plate! Not even a little bit!
5/ Tighten the plate in the level position.
6/ Place a 90 degree 5/16" Allen key into the the center bolt.
7/ Remove the retaining nuts placed in steps one and two. The hardware is now free and will fall down until the concrete stops them. They will not fall entirely out as there is insufficient room for them to do so . . . which is the problem in the first place. If there was enough room for them to fall entirely out, we wouldn't be doing all this! The center bolt can not fall all the way through either but having it supported by the Allen key before removing the retaining nut makes it easier as it's a long reach to the center of the plate for the fingers.
From there on, it's easy.


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thesungazer
Sungazer
*****

Reged: 05/06/03

Loc: Maryland
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6181473 - 11/07/13 05:07 PM

Fantastic site, Terry! Thanks for the photos.

You are going to love the AP. The investment is well worth it.

Keep us updated.

Greg


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6188501 - 11/11/13 12:25 PM

Quote:

Hi Tim:
I have been mountless for 10 months or so. I became addicted to astrophotography and inconsistant narrow band subs frustrated me with the mount I had. I am not sure it was really the mount's fault. There are a slew of other possible causes. I decided to eliminate them all and start from scratch with equipment that is beyond reproach.

I had planned on an AP1100 but, with the observatory definitely going to happen, I changed my order at the last minute with the mantra "you can never be overmounted" ringing in my ears.

Incidentally, not to be pedantic, the "big cat" is not actually a lynx but a bobcat. I have seen lynx in the far north (The Yukon) on two occasions . . . never within photo range. This is my first bobcat. He was hunting, attracted by a flock of ducks that waddled up to my bird feeders from a small stream that flows through my property. He was unsuccessful in his charge into the flock. In the picture he has blown his cover and is disconsolately leaving, presumably very hungry.
The flock of ducks he charged into contained a replendant wood duck drake, the first I had ever seen here in NS. I do not begrudge the cat a dinner but I would have been very upset had he gobbled up "my" woodie!







My mother's neighborhood (Sun City West, Arizona) recently had a wandering bobcat.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: hm insulators]
      #6190450 - 11/12/13 11:25 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

The mount arrived from IL in record time . . . 44 hours from hanging up the phone with Astrophysics and the arrival of the FedEx van at my door! I was astonished to see the FedEx truck backing down the drive!! No big deal for US residents used to such service perhaps, but in Canada? Including customs clearance and payment of sales taxes? Mind boggling!

Next step will be the floor. I may (or may not) mount the AP1600 on the pier and cover it with a Telegizmo in the interim. At the moment though, I'm too busy playing with it indoors.


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6191392 - 11/12/13 07:08 PM

That sure is pretty!

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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6191493 - 11/12/13 08:04 PM

Very Very Nice Terry.Congrats on the new mount.

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: tim57064]
      #6192144 - 11/13/13 08:00 AM

Hey Terry--
When the declination axis is horizontal how tall is the centerpoint of the saddle mounting surface from the floor? (This is one measurement that helps to determine roof clearance when parking a scope).

My AP1600 is still in boxes awaiting the structure to be ready.

JimC


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6192264 - 11/13/13 09:20 AM

Quote:

Hey Terry--
When the declination axis is horizonatal how tall is the centerpoint of the saddle mounting surface from the floor? (This is one measurement that helps to determine roof clearance when parking a scope).

My AP1600 is still in boxes awaiting the structure to be ready.

JimC



JimC,You say your building an OBS? Will you be posting it here with images? I hope so as we are running out of new builds being posted on here.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: tim57064]
      #6192299 - 11/13/13 09:39 AM

Not wishing to hijack the thread, but I'm currently building a workshop structure next to my domed observatory. The workshop will accomodate my large dob, which is now housed in the dome. Once the dob is out of the dome I'll set up the AP1600 with a homebuilt 16" newtonian astrograph. The longer range plan is to procure an Ash dome, and to make everything controllable remotely.

JimC


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6192366 - 11/13/13 10:19 AM

When someone is posting and says they are in the process of an addition or currently building and OSB,I like to find out where the thread is.
If it seems as though I was trying to high jack Terry's thread ,I am so sorry.
Jim,please if you would, post your build and pic's in the Observatories forum as I believe it has some content that applies.
Terry Please keep the pic's and progress of your build coming.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6192529 - 11/13/13 12:01 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Quote:


When the declination axis is horizonatal how tall is the centerpoint of the saddle mounting surface from the floor? (This is one measurement that helps to determine roof clearance when parking a scope).

My AP1600 is still in boxes awaiting the structure to be ready.

JimC




Jim:

18-5/8" to the center of the dec cap when set for my latitude (N44d34m26s). That is with the mounting ring sitting on the floor. The 1216FSA will raise that by another 1/2". This is NOT the highest point of the DEC axis when it is horizontal! When calculating clearance, keep in mind the dec motor housing protrudes well above the high point of the dec axis cap when in AP's "Park 1" position. I get about 28" for the height of the dec motor housing above the floor in Park 1.

I installed the Dan's Pier Top Plate and the 1216FSA on the pier today as pictured.

Edited by dawziecat (11/13/13 12:32 PM)


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6192575 - 11/13/13 12:24 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Necessary or not, I applied anti-seize compound to all the fasteners after reading how SS threads can be especially susceptible to "galling" which sort of "heat welds' the connection. S/S Galling link.

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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6192657 - 11/13/13 01:10 PM

I see what you mean about the dec motor being a possible factor in limiting clearance.

The height of the dec axis is also the height of the telescope optical axis when pointed due south (after adding the pier height of course). The measurement is important when thinking about wall heights and the ability to point at low elevation angles.

Thanks for the info!

JimC


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: My observatory thread . . . new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6196295 - 11/15/13 10:45 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

November 14, 2013 . . .

I took the AP1600 out and mounted it on the pier. It's a long way up without the floor being in place yet.
While this mount is heavy, I found it no real problem to get the 58.5lb RA/fork assembly onto the high pier although two men would have made it really easy. I used a 2X10 between the two step ladders as a rest place to transition from lifting the weight from ground level to getting it up above shoulder height and into the 1216FSA collar that holds it. I did a rough alignment with the Right-Angle Polar Alignment Scope (RAPAS) at dusk too.

Edited by dawziecat (11/15/13 10:46 AM)


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