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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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mikey cee
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Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5948468 - 06/30/13 06:31 PM

I would think that with that small of a footprint, frost heavage would be of little concern. It would "float" evenly at all four corners. Get a good nights sleep and don't worry about it. It's the pier that you don't want to move, however it would only move vertically up and down anyways. Mike

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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5948656 - 06/30/13 08:43 PM

Well, I guess it is not like a roll off roof so the weight isn't there to affect it that much. I have a concrete pier in my backyard and was thinking about doing a small roll off,now I may consider a Skyshed Pod or the likes.

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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5948762 - 06/30/13 09:54 PM

The Skyshed POD is small but I am not a small guy either. I can move around in it rather comfortably given my size. When I am West of the meridian I have to mold myself into the walls sometimes but with the scope higher now I won't have to worry plus I ran ethernet for USB extension so I will go out just to uncover lol.

Lazy astronomer, I know.


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5949186 - 07/01/13 07:19 AM

Hi Jeff:

Just wondering if you used the POD simulator app on the skyshedpod website (on the More Info page). It allows you to put in parameters for your scope and mount, and see how everything fits as you "slew" the scope around inside the virtual POD. I used it when planning the height of my pier. Haven't gotten the POD yet so I'm not sure how well it worked.

-Dan


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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5949472 - 07/01/13 11:11 AM

Yes I used that tool. Works great. I just hope I got the mount portion correct. If the rain ever stops I might get to move it.

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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5949555 - 07/01/13 12:16 PM

What you have done for remote operation is exactly what I intend on doing for winter use. I made an attempt last year trying to use usb extention cables running them 45 feet to my shop and the signal had degraded too much to be useful. Thought about wireless and am in the process of setting it up that way.

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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: tim57064]
      #5951007 - 07/02/13 09:52 AM

Winters can get cold here and I have seen my fair share of them and experienced them as a youth and when I got older. I have been through the numerous -50c with the eyelashes freezing to the eyepieces and with a baby on the way at the end of August I want to be closer inside and still to Astrophotography. Someone in the RASC pointed me to USB over Ethernet and I decided to go for it. I bought 45m of Cat5e direct burial with silicon core and I direct buried it. I tested inside the house to make sure the USB-RJ45 worked and they did even through my 7 port Hub! I buy all of my cables from Monoprice. I can't believe the prices places like Best Buy charges.

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tim57064
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5951222 - 07/02/13 11:58 AM

Congratulations, with a baby on the way,you will be plenty busy and you will still be able to enjoy observing and imaging while keeping an eye on the little one.

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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5962915 - 07/09/13 08:26 PM

if I was to put in GFI do I need to use a GFI breaker and a GFI plug in the observatory? or will one in the observatory be fine with a 20amp regular breaker at the panel be fine?

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astro-monkey
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Reged: 01/28/13

Loc: Nebraska
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5965494 - 07/11/13 11:00 AM

You will need either a GFCI breaker OR a GFCI outlet but not both of them.

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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: astro-monkey]
      #5984116 - 07/22/13 08:20 AM

Made some progress this weekend, I hired a licensed electrician to do the electrical hookup instead of doing it myself, for insurance purposes.

Had to drill a few holes because our moron builder set the panel 2' below grade. Mast comes in and is covered by drywall. Each hole we drilled hit concrete. We managed to find a spot, at the EXTREME top of the panel! We used a spare 15amp.


Power to panel by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Inside the observatory is a 15amp GFCI. The door cover will be replaced with a wall plate once the dome is on and secured. You will notice I only have the two plugs and no switch. I did this because I wanted to keep it simple, straight line in. I will use the switch at the panel to turn it all off. I have a headlamp, no need for lights. I have a red rope light for the pier plus a 2 to 6 plug surge protector. I will just use zip ties to keep the AC brick to the side of the pier.


15amp GFCI inside by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Later in the day I started moving the dome, what you see here is the Skyshed POD dismantled and pressure washed. Used a shop vac to remove any water left behind in the PODS.


Started to move the Dome by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Laid out the walls and pods according to the 10x10 deck on the Skyshed POD site and because I am offsetting to the North (direction of the pods) it means that they sit quite a bit over the edge so I have decided to go back to the 1 on each side of the door and 1 in the back configuration, more pics on that later.


10x10 configuration by AstroJeff, on Flickr

removing the cardboard is impossible! the company who poured it didn't use an releasing agent, I tried Trisodium Phosphate, soap and water and a pressure washer. Figure, just leave it.


Space inside by AstroJeff, on Flickr

You can see I have lots of room out front. PODS face N and wall faces S. I still have to go a few inches North but I need to get the scope mounted before using the lag bolts.


Showing front door. by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Edited by Magellan (07/22/13 08:32 AM)


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5984168 - 07/22/13 09:15 AM

Cool.

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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5984182 - 07/22/13 09:29 AM

Very nice! Looks like you'll be using it soon.

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MHamburg
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Reged: 06/21/06

Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5984215 - 07/22/13 09:53 AM

Jeff,
You are going to enjoy having your own special space.
Michael


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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: MHamburg]
      #5990918 - 07/26/13 09:23 AM

Made a little progress, temporarily mounted scope to check for clearances:


IMG_20130724_190824 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

After months of calculating, doubting and wondering if I measured right, I am happy to report I officially have 1" of clearance! I might have more once I adjust for the north offset.


IMG_20130724_190855 by AstroJeff, on Flickr


IMG_20130724_191043 by AstroJeff, on Flickr


IMG_20130724_191120 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

I might have to turn the OTA 180 degrees if I run out of room, hopefully it doesn't mess up the balance to the point I have to move it further up the dovetail.


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Tom McDonald
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Reged: 12/19/06

Loc: No where man!
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #5993556 - 07/27/13 08:07 PM

"I will use the switch at the panel to turn it all off."

You don't mean to use the breaker to turn it off, do you?
Not a good idea. Breakers are for safety, not as a means to turn power on and off.
If I am mistaken, please forgive me! I would not want you to have a false sense of security.


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Tom McDonald]
      #5993672 - 07/27/13 09:10 PM

Tom,

He's required to have a switch. For 120V, you're only required to have a single pole switch at the out-building to control it. He means that, I'm sure.

Jeff, thanks for posting that. I'm going through adding 120V at the shed and it's nice to see how you did it. Did you have it 'trenched' or did you use a vibratory plow?

Thanks,
Chris


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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. [Re: Raginar]
      #5996071 - 07/29/13 08:02 AM

No.. the electrician I had hook it up to the panel told me to use the breaker switch in the panel to turn off and on. I do not have a switch in the observatory. I requested it but was told to just use the panel. Is it difficult to do this myself? I have a two plug GFCI in the observatory, how hard is it to put a switch in?

I hired a company to do it, the trench had to be over 100' long and I can't dig that and Home Depot rentals do not rent trench diggers here. They brought a mini excavator in and dug it down two feet. Power is direct bury but I put in in conduit, the ethernet is direct bury without conduit.


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Magellan
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Reged: 01/26/06

Loc: Enfield, NS Canada
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. new [Re: Magellan]
      #6010938 - 08/07/13 07:26 AM

I have made a few additions to the observatory and that is:

I bought some 1/2"x4" Lag screws and bolted the Skyshed POD down. I am 3 short, no big deal I can get more. I had twice as many washers, maybe I have another bag somewhere.



IMG_20130806_191321_1 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Next thing I did was take the scope down and the CGEM mount so I could attach a teflon based material down on the Starizona CGEM plate, pay no mind to my crude drawing. I wasn't sure after peeling the sticky side whether I could see through it so I measured to be sure.


IMG_20130806_195006 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

You can see after sticking it down I could see the holes that I need to cut out:


IMG_20130806_195145 by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Finished cutting away the access:


Teflon, to help with Azimuth movement by AstroJeff, on Flickr

Anyone with a CGEM knows what I mean when I say that moving the mount in Azimuth using the knobs and next to impossible. Too much friction, even with the center bolt loosened. You turn and turn and turn and nothing happens. Then its that last frustrating turn that the mount finally moves the amount of the many turns. With this teflon substance it is as smooth as a baby's bottom and I have to thank a fellow member of CN (ORION58) for packing up, sending and paying for postage to send me the teflon substance he had left over. It is people like him that truly makes being part of this extended family we like to call CloudyNights an amazing experience.

Edited by Magellan (08/07/13 07:29 AM)


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n1wvet
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Reged: 04/22/11

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA, Earth
Re: Belt of Orion Observatory Final resting place. [Re: Magellan]
      #6018515 - 08/11/13 03:08 AM

Circuit Breakers are not switches. They are safety devices used to protect a circuit from overcurrent. I think your electrician brushed you off by not listening and installing a true switch. Now having said that, installing a switch yourself is easy. There are many turorials on line for installing a single pole switch. Do you only have one circuit?

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