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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5885817 - 05/26/13 03:59 PM

Absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful job so far, but I am hoping for pictures once the inside is done.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5918353 - 06/13/13 08:41 AM

Finally the floor!It's a 3/4" hardwood floor. I couldn't be sure any of the laminate or engineered floors wouldn't come apart in the exterior conditions. You can always trust a hunk of wood though If it does buckle a Screw or two will tame it.



thanks to JP for the courage to trail blaze a floor like this!


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5918387 - 06/13/13 09:10 AM

I think you should rename it the "Cigar Box" observatory.

Beautiful!

JimC


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5918410 - 06/13/13 09:27 AM

LOL! I'll ask the wife :-)

I'll fill the space around the pier with rubber to seal the floor to cement spacing. I should paint that cement too...


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5918864 - 06/13/13 02:06 PM

That floor is absolutely beautiful!

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5919059 - 06/13/13 04:02 PM

Now it makes me want to move out of the house and into my obs!

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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5920330 - 06/14/13 10:34 AM

Wow that floor is amazing. Easily the nicest I've seen in an observatory. I hope one day mine looks half as good.

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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: corpusse]
      #5920425 - 06/14/13 11:42 AM

Stunning floor! I'll have to get one of those for my house.

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sandybourne
member


Reged: 12/18/12

Loc: Texas
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Starman27]
      #5921511 - 06/14/13 11:59 PM

Great job,, just like a ballroom floor, you can now get ready for your very own "Dancing with the Stars"

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: sandybourne]
      #5926363 - 06/17/13 09:14 PM

That has to be one of nicest looking observatories I have seen. Easy to live in when the wife puts you in the doghouse.

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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: EFT]
      #5929269 - 06/19/13 01:37 PM

I would love to move out there once the AC is in the window :-) All in good time!

Next project is the eyepiece and equipment case. There are quite some strong feelings regarding what type of case is appropriate; indeed almost as strong as the ones for eyepieces alone! After going through a few reams of pick 'n pluck foam I'm ready to settle down for a less than super optimized solution. For me, I prefer a stationary (with wheels) case for the bulks of my eyepieces stored in a location where this mode of storage is most useful; an Observatory for instance. :-) and a mobile case discussed further below.



I lost the interest plucking out roughly conformal holes in the foam only to find out that I was off by one row, couldn't fit the last eyepiece in, had to replace the sheet when I added the next eyepiece in the series, etc... ignoring fact that in the cases where pick 'n pluck foam worked best, or that it provides a good measure of protection, and was relatively inexpensive, I went with normal 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inch 'egg crate' foam. In a mostly stationary cabinet I only need to keep the eyepieces from rolling around. The weight of the wide-angle eyepieces alone keeps the foam in place, while the gentle slope of the foam valleys keep the eyepieces lined up. Also, since the foam isn't customized in anyway, I can rearrange eyepieces to my malign hearts desire! As many times as I want!



Meanwhile coupling this with a complementary mobile storage container featuring hardened corners, hinges, and fasteners unlikely to pop open (below). I've fielded this many times over the last year. It works very well for a combination of wide (Pentax XW in bolt cases) and narrow field (Brandons) eyepieces, as well as a useful complement of hardware; filters, barrel extensions, screws, and cleaners, as well as a Collins I3, and a second set of narrow fields :-) and nary and split seam or burst half cocked fastener to take away 10 year out of my life!



Finally, it all fits right nicely with the color scheme!



Really now, Scopes will not be stored on the case as shown abost. I have a couple of butchers block table for that. The top surface of the case is for assembling eyepieces, eye caps, and etc...

Edited by MRNUTTY (06/22/13 01:24 PM)


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5929492 - 06/19/13 03:06 PM

What an amazing observatory! fantastic work and attention to detail!

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MDB
super member


Reged: 06/06/12

Loc: Idaho
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread [Re: WesC]
      #5932305 - 06/20/13 11:42 PM

WOW! Beautiful and very well done too. Enjoy

Mike


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MDB]
      #5938051 - 06/24/13 01:41 PM

John,

Excellent. Looks like you need to do a little tree trimming.
I applaud your willingness to block the lower part of the atmosphere from your observing. Remove temptation to go dirt diving is a decent rule.
My own dob has altitude stops to prevent me from going too low. You just did it with walls.

As for the load on an EQ mount, yes, making the support structure more rigid does increase the load capability but only to a point. At some point the motors will not drive the weight smoothly and "barbell flexure" in the declination shaft will interfere with tracking due to differential flex with altitude of pointing.

Every mount will have its least periodic error with a light load. The periodic error will increase smoothly as the load increases up to a point where the PE goes up rapidly. That "break point" is the effectively maximum load for the mount. It is usually lower than the manufacturer's claims unless the mount is a really high end mount (Paramount, PlaneWave, etc.) which are often conservatively rated.

PEMPRO can help you analyze that in the mount and provide the feedback to reduce the PE to vanishingly low levels. Very long exposures are possible when the PE of the mount is cancelled and controlled. It makes guiding easy and successful. Being out of the wind also makes longer exposures possible.

For primarily visual use, I suggest an empirical approach to mount weight limit. Use a high power eyepiece and look for "jitters" in tracking. If you see them, you are probably above the load the motors can handle, though a lack of smoothness in the drive gears and worm can influence this, too. Many mounts improve over a period of years by essentially self-lapping the gears. I had a friend who would lubricate the gears on inexpensive mounts with toothpaste and run them at high speed back and forth. He showed me some gears he had "conditioned" this way, and they looked shiny and very smooth.

One of the primary issues with the CGEM as it comes out of the box is poor adjustment of gear-worm engagement. Spending a little time getting this right will also help reduce PE. I'm probably preaching to the choir, here, but it really helps the CGEM.


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Starman1]
      #5958564 - 07/07/13 08:10 AM

Quote:

John,
Excellent. Looks like you need to do a little tree trimming.
I applaud your willingness to block the lower part of the atmosphere from your observing. Remove temptation to go dirt diving is a decent rule.
My own dob has altitude stops to prevent me from going too low. You just did it with walls.





Don, once again you've given me more to think about than I anticipated, or perhaps than you've intended.
Part one:
I have two Pines on the property, in the south SSW direction that need their top 1/4 lopped off. Not sure how ethical that is to ask an arborist to do. They're hard to get to, and will do a lot of damage coming down the wrong way, or employing more than hand tools. The debris of the take down attempt, and a previous tree fall from storm damage also would need to be set to the conservatory commissions tastes as this small area borders our neighbors (in good standing), and huge drainage right-of-way in out backyard we left for in, plus a hugely undeveloped wooded area containing Tennessee gasline depot, and high voltage right of ways, I rather not draw overt attention too. so beyond this, most atmospheric conditions below 45 degrees from zenith make observations, other than for the purposes of alignment, of
Part 2:
coming..... later, again another interruption; vacation and all! Be back to finish my thoughts around lunch I hope! So, here we are, later at light, just finished my Delos sale purchases-yum! Now back to business! I designed the OBY walls more according to strength, and if I'm going by BYO, as to me a minimalist design, capable of free standing construction by my contractor. Who's a regular Joe when he comes to buildings. I've micromanaged him to death building out the recording studio when one wrong screw or nail would require tearing it down to the offending "acoustic short", and removing that screw. Its was a devilishly simple yet, very specific design that would brooke no changes in design or methodology. When this acoustic guy I brought in (no my own contractor); that hung the acoustic channel, for 20 years hung it incorrectly; waiseways and upside down, I had to diplomatically inform him in my application it needed to be the 'nonstandard way', with a long list of requirements for each screw that I was going to personally check and reject any out for out of of spec construction; for had designed for zero design rule check construction; there was no way this baby was being build buy bleeding laggards with 20 years experience in building concert halls. phiff,. ...
Part3:
We had much more smoothly sailing on the BYO OBS. The hight of the walls come from standard build construction, I can always make the pier higher; adjustably higher in fact. I can mix this around to suit myself. if count even be a GEQ that telescopes down, or stiletto style, jack knifes to fix back into the hanger deck. once the space is there it's all fab time form there on out.
Part4:
I've beem designing in my head and mini-peir for the new iEQ450-AZ ( can handle 90 lb of scopes spread across balanced scope mounts. Thinking the AT12IN ringing at 40-ish, and the Mead 10 AFC all on a ALT-AZ mount with track and trace! incredible! I wouldn't even need a ladder; maybe a camp stool for the SCT :-) exciting times!

OK, thans the end! I need some speed for tomorrow at EPCOT!


Edited by MRNUTTY (07/08/13 09:14 AM)


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Scanning4Comets
Markus
*****

Reged: 12/26/04

Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5996862 - 07/29/13 03:47 PM



Very Nice John!

Cheers,


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5997289 - 07/29/13 08:57 PM

Great job! Hope you don't cry the first time you walk in and track wet grass clippings on the pretty floor

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astrodog73
super member


Reged: 02/22/13

Loc: Australia
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: DeanS]
      #5997302 - 07/29/13 09:07 PM

The flooring is nicer than my loungeroom! Puts my boat-carpet-over-plywood obs floor to shame!

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Carl N
super member
*****

Reged: 03/18/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #6177280 - 11/05/13 12:23 PM

Quote:

Finally the floor!It's a 3/4" hardwood floor. I couldn't be sure any of the laminate or engineered floors wouldn't come apart in the exterior conditions. You can always trust a hunk of wood though If it does buckle a Screw or two will tame it.


thanks to JP for the courage to trail blaze a floor like this!




Actually, Engineered wood would have been better. It is essentially a plywood bottom with a smaller strip of the "hardwood" glued on top. THe advantage is that engineered wood deals with moisture better by not warping like a single hardwiood with the grain all natural all the way through. Engineereed wood typically will have the same number of refineshes available, stripping & sanding, as solid hardwood. While laminate ofers no refineshes. The only negative of engineered over solid is the appearance of the joints, whre the solid produces the look of a basketball floor.


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snommisbor
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: "The Monstrosity" Build Wrap up Thread new [Re: Carl N]
      #6177324 - 11/05/13 12:47 PM

This has to be the most beautiful observatory yet. You have upped the standard.

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