Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: piaras]
      #5684327 - 02/16/13 09:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Just some more food for thought. It might not be your bag, but...

There are very small computers that would fit on the side of the pier and handle remote access, imaging, telescope tracking...etc. Having Ethernet and an HDMI cable MIGHT be warranted. It's likely these will have a wireless module, but that is more heat and a slower connection.

I've been looking at the NUC, which essensially is a computer in a 4 by 4 by 2.5 inch case. The current crop isn't enough for me to part with the cash, but the next round of CPUs will run in the 20-35 watt range. That would imply being able to use your pier as a heat sink.

Anyway, it's food for thought.




Yes the pico boards, Neo-itx APC-8750 or even the Raspberry might be the future for a local computer on a network mounted right on the pier or even on the mount itself. Then all you would need is the Ethernet, and power supply wires.
Pierre




It was the Rasberry PI that got me thinking on this, then found these "Pico ITX" systems that can be mounted right to the back of a LCD moniter (I also dabble in HTPC). HAving 4-6 USB outlets, HDMI and Ethernet would be perfect for me. Not sure what the Haswell designations will be, but a duel core CPU with anything over 2.4GHz is what I'm thinking.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5684583 - 02/17/13 02:25 AM

I generally-prefer metallic conduit for a fourplex electrical outlet in a waterproof electrical box and a raceway that can be opened-up and re-closed for data cables.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ron Walker
member


Reged: 01/07/06

Loc: Arizona
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5685004 - 02/17/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

Okay, try this link. Can't say that the writeup is very good, but at least it is there.

http://alexastro.com/Alex%20Home%20Page/Equipment/Cabling/Cabling.html

Alex




I agree. Alex this is just what the Doctor ordered. A great and informative write up. Also good info on the Keystone jacks. Thank you again!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
piaras
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/26/09

Loc: Niagara Region
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5685368 - 02/17/13 02:50 PM

Quote:

It was the Rasberry PI that got me thinking on this, then found these "Pico ITX" systems that can be mounted right to the back of a LCD moniter (I also dabble in HTPC). HAving 4-6 USB outlets, HDMI and Ethernet would be perfect for me. Not sure what the Haswell designations will be, but a duel core CPU with anything over 2.4GHz is what I'm thinking.




I have been looking at the Zotac Zbox ID80 based systems. I have been running Mythtv for HT for at least 6 yrs. Started with the mini itx Epia boards but the new stuff has me thinking about pier mounted unit to handle scope and camera via network. Cables are our downfall currently and I hate it.
Pierre


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ron Walker
member


Reged: 01/07/06

Loc: Arizona
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5685818 - 02/17/13 07:42 PM

Quote:

Just some more food for thought. It might not be your bag, but...

There are very small computers that would fit on the side of the pier and handle remote access, imaging, telescope tracking...etc. Having Ethernet and an HDMI cable MIGHT be warranted. It's likely these will have a wireless module, but that is more heat and a slower connection.

I've been looking at the NUC, which essensially is a computer in a 4 by 4 by 2.5 inch case. The current crop isn't enough for me to part with the cash, but the next round of CPUs will run in the 20-35 watt range. That would imply being able to use your pier as a heat sink.

Anyway, it's food for thought.




Interesting. My problem is that with my retirement cash flow I can't experiment the way I used to. I have a couple of older computers which will have to do me for now.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MHamburg
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Ron Walker]
      #5685944 - 02/17/13 08:55 PM

Maybe slightly better prices.
Michael
http://www.cableorganizer.com/cord-cover-elasco/#prices


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/13/08

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5688752 - 02/19/13 11:59 AM

Thanks to Alex for his article. That generally matches everything I've planned for on my observatory. I poured my piers with three different conduits, one for 120 VAC, one for 12 VDC with possible regulators for lower voltages (e.g. 3V) for running lasers, etc., and one for communication.









Even after that I realized that USB was likely to be a problem and I might not have enough room in the 3/4" conduit for communication stuff, so I did a catch-all in the slab, running a 4" PVC pipe from the pier to near the wall.





A couple of other things on the 12V supply. Definitely a large gauge wire is a requirement (planning on using good speaker wire for minimal inductance and loss) but I think regulation/surge suppression at the load is important too if you're using multiple devices on the same supply. Otherwise, steps in the current draw along that long supply line will cause surges at the various loads. My plan is to actually use multiple supply lines so that the power is split back at the source rather than at the load, which will help minimize that problem. I've also planned to add some regulation in the box for 5V/3V supplies for USB hubs, lasers, etc. that would reduce the need for wall warts out at the pier.

My other thought on the UPS is that while it makes sense to have any AC components supported by a UPS, in some respects using the UPS to run a 12V power supply is a bit backwards. Basically you're taking a 12V battery, up converting to 120V and down-converting back to 12V! My thought is to have a couple of deep cycle batteries tied to my DC supplies in such a way that the battery takes over if the power supply goes down. I'll have to look into diode protection, etc. on this scheme to make sure it works, but that seems like a slightly more efficient and longer lasting solution. Heck, hacking a UPS or two to run off the larger battery has also crossed my mind. That should keep things going for a long time!

Beo


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #5688799 - 02/19/13 12:25 PM

>>>>you're taking a 12V battery, up converting to 120V and down-converting back to 12V!

I see what you are saying. But, really, the UPS is there mostly for power regulation, and for cleanup. I cannot imagine running for a long time without line power. And while it may seem like I am upconverting and then down converting, in fact, unless I am running off the UPS backup supply (i.e., the line power has failed), I am not upconverting at all, but just running off the regulated 110 volt.

>>>>>My thought is to have a couple of deep cycle batteries tied to my DC supplies in such a way that the battery takes over if the power supply goes down

Worrying about the needs of a couple of deep cycle batteries, with a float charger to keep them happy, is something I need not deal with.

But, to each his own. No doubt, your solution would work for you.

Alex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: What wiring on the pier post? new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5689309 - 02/19/13 05:14 PM

Automatic DC switchover + float charging for your battery http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=pg40s

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/13/08

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: What wiring on the pier post? [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5693444 - 02/21/13 08:02 PM

Quote:

>>>>you're taking a 12V battery, up converting to 120V and down-converting back to 12V!

I see what you are saying. But, really, the UPS is there mostly for power regulation, and for cleanup. I cannot imagine running for a long time without line power. And while it may seem like I am upconverting and then down converting, in fact, unless I am running off the UPS backup supply (i.e., the line power has failed), I am not upconverting at all, but just running off the regulated 110 volt.

>>>>>My thought is to have a couple of deep cycle batteries tied to my DC supplies in such a way that the battery takes over if the power supply goes down

Worrying about the needs of a couple of deep cycle batteries, with a float charger to keep them happy, is something I need not deal with.

But, to each his own. No doubt, your solution would work for you.

Alex




Hey Alex,

I wasn't criticizing your solution. That's actually the way I ran for a year or so after pouring my piers. I had an intermittent power failure problem that I originally attributed to poor country power service, but it turned out to be a bad breaker contact in the old breaker box that I replaced.



At any rate, as I've been considering the finished design for the observatory, it just struck me that using UPS for all the 12V stuff was less efficient than running straight from the battery. It also increases the size of inverter you need on the UPS to handle all the load. While we generally aren't talking about major loads, it's still a consideration. Of course the one thing I'm considering now is whether or not to actually put the AC outlets on the piers on a UPS that's wired back in somewhere. I wouldn't want to have to put a big UPS underfoot at the pier! Something to think about...

Beo


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
7 registered and 16 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Christopher Erickson, Mitchell Duke 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1859

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics