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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5739898 - 03/18/13 12:23 AM

Thanks for the tip JJK. And Dan, I'll let you know how the vibration issue turns out.

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5740095 - 03/18/13 04:48 AM

Yes, any sensible dome control software will allow for the offset of the OTA from the Ra and Dec axes, also any offset of the Ra and Dec axis interscetion from the centre of the dome. I'm updating the ASCOM software to do this at the moment.

Chris


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5740449 - 03/18/13 10:53 AM

If the gap around the pier is filled with Fiberglas insulation, that should reduce vibration, or at least settling time.

-Rich


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5740681 - 03/18/13 01:03 PM

Quote:

Yes, any sensible dome control software will allow for the offset of the OTA from the Ra and Dec axes, also any offset of the Ra and Dec axis interscetion from the centre of the dome. I'm updating the ASCOM software to do this at the moment.

Chris




Thanks for confirming that, Chris. And thank you for the work you do that benefits so many!


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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5742296 - 03/19/13 05:18 AM Attachment (66 downloads)

Quote:

Here are my quicky calcs for finishing off the pier. I hope this pic is legible. Its the first time I've done this so I appreciate any corrections/additions or practical advice. Starting from the floor and working up:

20" concrete pier
3/4" plywood transition
1" pier top plate
11" steel pier extension
16-1/2" to the insection of the RA/DEC axes for the mount (PME2). 43-1/4" to bottom of dome opening.

That should do it for height. The steel pier extension gives me a fudge factor and flexibility to make future changes. It also reduces the horizontal dimension from 16" to 11" to minimize chances of counterweight collisions and allow me to set the mount with the desired offset for zenith viewing.

I used the PME2 diemsion of 9-1/2 inches for the distance from the axes intersection to the versaplate. My quicky calcs indicate that in the extreme horizontal orientation I am left with a distance of about 12" to represent an OTA aperture that is not obstructed by the dome wall. This is a first dome for me - can anyone tell me if there is more to the max OTA calculation? Thank for any input.


Don't quite understand relationship between sketch and dome height eg where scopes axes intersect relative to lowest portion of dome shutter. My dome sketch below for my 12"SCT LX200 shows axes intersect ON the lowest section of shutter and central on the vertical axis through the dome so the scope is 50% obstructed when aimed horizontally. I've a fork mount with scope a constant distance from the dome itself. A GEM will offset the scope and clearances must be allowed for.

I find it useful for daytime testing to aim scope horizontally on distant objects for cam focus, finder alignment, effect of Barlow and focal reducers on image scale etc and not waste night set-up time. Also even with partial obstruction of scope aperture very lowly objects like Mercury, a comet or nova etc can be observed, depending on your horizon. Alternatively if the scope[s] are set way below the shutter and horizon unobservable perhaps a well located window in the obsy walls could serve for daytime set-up. Hope these comments help.



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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: nytecam]
      #5742706 - 03/19/13 11:25 AM

That's a big beautiful house! When it's finished, are you going to move permanently to Idaho or will you still winter in Arizona?

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: nytecam]
      #5742778 - 03/19/13 12:00 PM

Quote:

Don't quite understand relationship between sketch and dome height eg where scopes axes intersect relative to lowest portion of dome shutter. My dome sketch below for my 12"SCT LX200 shows axes intersect ON the lowest section of shutter and central on the vertical axis through the dome so the scope is 50% obstructed when aimed horizontally. I've a fork mount with scope a constant distance from the dome itself. A GEM will offset the scope and clearances must be allowed for.

I find it useful for daytime testing to aim scope horizontally on distant objects for cam focus, finder alignment, effect of Barlow and focal reducers on image scale etc and not waste night set-up time. Also even with partial obstruction of scope aperture very lowly objects like Mercury, a comet or nova etc can be observed, depending on your horizon. Alternatively if the scope[s] are set way below the shutter and horizon unobservable perhaps a well located window in the obsy walls could serve for daytime set-up. Hope these comments help.






Thanks for commenting Nytecam - and thanks for posting your sketch. I think your approach is correct - and mine is atypical. I believe it is common for the GEM RA/DEC axes intersection of one's mount to be positioned level with the lower dome opening. I confess I just couldn't get my brain past the idea of obstructing half of the OTA in the horizontal position so I "fudged" at the last minute and added the pier extension shown in my sketch. (If I ever realize I'm not a submarine commander trying to scan the horizon through a periscope I can lose the extension.). There is no science behind my decision. But I saw no downside to raising the height a bit.

And of course at the same I'm making these decisions many are imaging a comet near the horizon - so I envisioned trying to do that using a side-by-side mount of two scopes. It made my brain hurt less to just draw in a pier extension.


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5743165 - 03/19/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

That's a big beautiful house! When it's finished, are you going to move permanently to Idaho or will you still winter in Arizona?




Thanks hm! We have a 12-year old in school in AZ. So this will be a vacation home until he leaves the nest. But the home is designed with all the features of a permanent residence - which improves the chances of wife and kid being happy if I want to bring them along on a trip with no other real purpose than for me to try for that once-in-a-lifetime astro pic .

I'll cook up a web site for the obs soon. I can post details of the home there to keep things focused on astronomy here. I have registered the domain name. Link to come soon in my sig.


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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5748025 - 03/21/13 04:58 PM

Quote:

....And of course at the same I'm making these decisions many are imaging a comet near the horizon....


What comet might that be I wonder

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TeleTex
member


Reged: 01/27/08

Loc: Texas
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5755257 - 03/24/13 11:57 PM

This is really awesome!

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: TeleTex]
      #5769816 - 03/31/13 10:27 PM Attachment (55 downloads)

The concrete pier is now at its final height. The floor of the obs will be at the level of the upper brace you see in the pic. Curved steps will hug the outer wall to walk up that height.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902513 - 06/04/13 07:52 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

Here are pics of recent progress. This a view from the warm room. You look across the stairwell that leads up from the bedroom level - and through the framing you see the dome's viewing platform.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902519 - 06/04/13 07:54 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

And here is a view through the observatory doorway showing the stairs leading up to the viewing platform.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902530 - 06/04/13 07:57 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

The area under the viewing platform will be used for general storage (probably holiday decorations - we have waaay to many). The opening will have a cabinet-style door.

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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902542 - 06/04/13 08:05 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Here is a duct system designed to pull conditioned air into the dome space from the home. A thermostat in the dome will open a damper if the temp falls below 40-degrees (I'll have to experiment with the exact setting) and activate a fan. The idea is to prevent icing or snow accumulation on the dome. There is another duct like this with only a damper to return air into the home.

I will have a snow melt system on the roof area surrounding the dome that is activated by both a temperature sensor and a moisture sensor - and may be able to control the dampers/fan with that same control system.

Edited by rlandsboro (06/04/13 08:07 PM)


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902552 - 06/04/13 08:11 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

And here (lower right) is an exhaust duct. The idea is to open the dome to equalize temps inside and outside before observing. A fan in this duct is designed to pull ambient air down through dome opening and exhaust it out through an eave to speed the process.

Edited by rlandsboro (06/04/13 08:13 PM)


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5902814 - 06/04/13 10:29 PM

James,

My compliments, Sir! I've been pounding nails for a lot of years, and yours is about the finest owner-builder work I've ever seen. Well done!

Russ


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: roscoe]
      #5903325 - 06/05/13 07:28 AM

Hi James:

Looks like it's coming along nicely! Just wondering ... you have some unique design elements in the house structure, framing, etc. Did you have any trouble getting any of it by the building inspector?

-Dan


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5903775 - 06/05/13 12:06 PM

Quote:


Looks like it's coming along nicely! Just wondering ... you have some unique design elements in the house structure, framing, etc. Did you have any trouble getting any of it by the building inspector?





That would be a yes . The biggest issue was snow load, but I worked it out. The pier is signed off by a structural engineer. The observatory is now considered a mechanical space. The neighborhood has a 150 lb/ft snow load requirement and they take it very seriously. I researched and learned there are snow load deductions one can take for slope, slippery surface, and heated surface. That is why the 45 lb/ft dome with its sloping, slippery, thin metal skin qualifies if I heat the interior space. And the floor under the dome is rated for the 150 lb/ft snow load requirement so it can protect the living space below if the dome blows away. I will have an emergency generator that can ensure the heat supply in case of power failure. There is always a way to do it right .

In my case the only thing I had to do differently from the original plan was add the duct/dampers/fan system. I will also add a snowmelt system under the roof shingles around the dome (from warmzone dot com) but that is not a requirement. The snowmelt system has an automated control that uses a temp sensor and moisture sensor. If I can use that same control to also activate the dampers/fans to supply the obs with warm air from the home when the snowmelt turns itself on - that will be sweet .


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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: TamarackSkies Observatory build pics new [Re: roscoe]
      #5903895 - 06/05/13 01:06 PM

Quote:


My compliments, Sir! I've been pounding nails for a lot of years, and yours is about the finest owner-builder work I've ever seen. Well done!

Russ




Thanks Russ. It's really the work of many - I'm just the guy who writes the checks


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