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Orion Ranch Observatory

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#26 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:32 AM

And of course at about 1.5-2 feet, I hit a nice sheet of limestone. Time to get out the redneck jackhammer! I had a pointed steel bar laying around and used my T-post pounder to break through the rock. Worked pretty well. By the time I was done the sun was down and Jupiter was bright in the sky. I managed to snap the hand-held shot shown in the upper right in which you can even make out some moons!

Beo

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#27 gr0uch0

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 01:36 AM

Mark, Jeff, Ed, Kelsey, you...pretty soon there won't be anyone left going to the club's site. Gonna be lonely up there!
Looks like it is gonna be a real winner. Congrats!

#28 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 07:59 AM

You are going to have a great observing site when it all done. I'm looking forward to you future construction photos.

#29 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 11:19 PM

Mark, Jeff, Ed, Kelsey, you...pretty soon there won't be anyone left going to the club's site. Gonna be lonely up there!
Looks like it is gonna be a real winner. Congrats!


Oh I'm sure I'll still be out at COE on occasion, but I'll probably just bring the 11" for viewing. I enjoy the public star parties where we get to share the hobby with others, so I'd miss that as well as the general socializing with the rest of the group. And with the land halfway between here and COE, it's a convenient waypoint.

The real challenge will be developing complete remote automation so I can take pictures when I'm not there and without a high speed internet connection to remotely control it. :scratchhead: THAT will be one heck of a (fun) project. We'll see if I actually get around to it before I get around to building a house and moving out there permanently!

Beo

#30 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:28 AM

Well, after another long day I'm only about 2.5' deep! Unfortunately a backhoe isn't the greatest match against solid rock. Chances are I could have made similar progress with a pick and shovel and probably not been much more sore. When rock doesn't move, the tractor moves instead. It beats you up pretty good!

We'll see how it goes tomorrow, but if I don't make some progress I may just have to drill the remaining stone an pin the concrete to it. I may do that anyway, but we'll see...

Beo

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#31 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:49 AM

Since I had to stop when it got dark and it was too cloudy for viewing, I spent the evening working on the form for the pier. I'm doing a 12" pier with a Dan's Pier Plate, but I didn't want to have to deal with all sorts of stuff crowded around the scope. Thus, I'm putting three junction boxes with separate conduits in the column. The goal is to have AC power, low voltage DC power for the drive with separate remote dew control, and digital (USB/serial/Ethernet) paths as needed. While I would like to have had the boxes at the same level (for at least two of the three) I was concerned that would cause too weak of a link in the concrete. As is, I staggered them in angle and height to keep the column as solid as possible. Once all the rebar is in place it should be fine as-is.

Beo

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#32 bryansay

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:10 PM

Wow! You have been busy. Looks like you are making great progress out there. Can't wait to see it.

#33 csa/montana

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:52 PM

Great photos following your progress! Love the little tracks on your cases :lol: Good thing you took that tree down; that could have been bad!

#34 matthew2000tx

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:45 AM

Lookn' good some day my wife and I hope to have a nice roll off roof here in Texas. Can't wait to see the finished project. It looks good so far

#35 Mike I. Jones

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:27 AM

I was wondering: before you pour your pier, do you have to do anything to keep the liquid concrete from leaking into the outlets? Wrap them with Saran wrap, masking tape, etc.? Or is it a problem at all?
Thanks,
Mike

#36 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:37 PM

I was wondering: before you pour your pier, do you have to do anything to keep the liquid concrete from leaking into the outlets? Wrap them with Saran wrap, masking tape, etc.? Or is it a problem at all?
Thanks,
Mike


Mike:

I actually put covers over each box and set them up with duct tape at the top and bottom. I slit the tube at top and bottom of each box and pulled the duct tape through to seal top and bottom. If you look closely you should be able to see it along the outside edge of each box. I'm relying on the contact to the tube on either side to keep concrete from leaking in that way. If all goes well I'll be able to just remove the covers and install whatever I need. I'll take pictures of the outside of the tube before or when I pour the pier so you can see how that looks.

Beo

#37 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:50 PM

Well, after another couple of long days I managed to more or less level the bottom of the hole, while at most getting another inch or so deeper overall. At this point I think that's as far as I'm going to be able to go...

Beo

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#38 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:56 PM

Since I have a bunch of unmovable rock, I might as well use it, so I'm pinning the concrete to it. I drilled about 6" deep in various directions and hammered 1/2" rebar into the rock.

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#39 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:08 PM

And, after a few more hours of work I have a rebar cage made up. I probably should have made it SLIGHTLY smaller to give more concrete between walls/top/bottom and the rebar, but this'll have to do!

Beo

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#40 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:12 PM

And thanks to Bryan, Carol, and Mathew for your comments! One more day off and I should be able to get the concrete poured! :jump:

Beo

#41 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:43 PM

Another long day. Here's the rebar for the pier.

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#42 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:47 PM

As promised, here's a shot of the outside of the pier tube where you can see one of the three outlet boxes.

Beo

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#43 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:51 PM

Here's the pier plate with the anchor bolts installed and wrapped to protect it from the concrete.

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#44 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

Mixing the last batch of concrete as the sun sets!

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#45 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:55 PM

Finishing up in the dark.

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#46 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:58 PM

And in case anyone every tries to take this thing out! :lol:

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#47 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:59 PM

And the date (would have put the time if there was room!) :lol:

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#48 David Pavlich

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:57 AM

I don't know, Beo...looks a bit flimsy to me. :lol: I can't imagine a whole lot of vibration from it. :ohgeeze:

David

#49 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:12 PM

Here's the pier plate with the anchor bolts installed and wrapped to protect it from the concrete.


Did you forget to insert the pier plate into the wet concrete?

dan

#50 quantumac

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:46 PM

Looks like your pier has about the same amount of concrete in it as mine. My pier hasn't budged in 15 years. At the time, my step-dad thought it was overkill, but I figured concrete is cheap and you can't have too much stability. :)


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