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Cosmic Acres!

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#326 tim53

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:15 PM

I did manage to set off the smoke detector by getting joint compound dust in it.  Took it off, took the battery out, and blew it out, but it still went off when I put the battery back in.  Will use the vacuum cleaner next time, and take the smoke detector off the wall before sanding the next room...



#327 SteveGR

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:16 PM

I did manage to set off the smoke detector by getting joint compound dust in it. Took it off, took the battery out, and blew it out, but it still went off when I put the battery back in. Will use the vacuum cleaner next time, and take the smoke detector off the wall before sanding the next room...

It’s always something. Just part of the fun, right?
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#328 tim53

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 03:35 PM

Holy cow!  Dropped to page 6!

 

Well, we've got our [hopefully] final inspection of the house scheduled for this Friday (grading).  The house itself isn't quite done inside, with interior finishes and kitchen cabinets to build/install, but the place is liveable.  We have water, power, HVAC.

 

So, while we're going to be continuing work on the house for many months to come, if we're signed off by the county this week, I'm going to start designing the observatory.  My wife says I should make it as big as I need it, and not try to avoid permits by keeping it under 120 square feet.  She wants it to have a bathroom, so I don't wake her up going back and forth in the middle of the night to use the one in the house.  

 

I already have several scopes I could put in it and get right to work, plus a few under construction that I'll add later.

 

-Tim.


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#329 Jon Marinello

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 05:04 PM

Congratulations on this major milestone Tim.

#330 Geo31

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:20 AM

Holy cow!  Dropped to page 6!

 

Well, we've got our [hopefully] final inspection of the house scheduled for this Friday (grading).  The house itself isn't quite done inside, with interior finishes and kitchen cabinets to build/install, but the place is liveable.  We have water, power, HVAC.

 

So, while we're going to be continuing work on the house for many months to come, if we're signed off by the county this week, I'm going to start designing the observatory.  My wife says I should make it as big as I need it, and not try to avoid permits by keeping it under 120 square feet.  She wants it to have a bathroom, so I don't wake her up going back and forth in the middle of the night to use the one in the house.  

 

I already have several scopes I could put in it and get right to work, plus a few under construction that I'll add later.

 

-Tim.

Outstanding Tim.  I wish I had a nice dry environment to build my observatory.  I'd have a roll-off for at least two permanently mounted scopes (probably one visual and one AP).  You've got some great scopes to choose from to put in yours.  And we're getting old, so a bathroom nearby is a big plus.  ;)


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#331 roscoe

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:56 PM

Tim - congrats on getting to the last hurdle, and hopefully that'll be an easy one to jump over!

 

because you have a 'real' bathroom in the house, can you get by with a composting-type one in the obs?  the fixture itself would be more expensive, but....no plumbing needed...  



#332 tim53

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 11:29 PM

Well, crud.  We didn't pass.  Couldn't find the inspection of the fire sprinklers, and I'm not sure we ever got a copy.  And we needed address numbers.  So we have address numbers, but the guy from the fire department who did the inspection was off yesterday.  But I did talk to him, and hopefully we'll get a copy soon.  I probably won't have time to go back for another two weeks.

 

-Tim.



#333 Geo31

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 09:03 AM

Phooey Tim.  That sucks.



#334 jrbarnett

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 10:42 AM

Biggest problem with the outlying areas in the Mohave is that nobody is there to watch your stuff.

It's a bit of a teeter-totter.  The further out you are the fewer neighbors who can watch your stuff, but likewise the fewer miscreants...er..."borrowers" there re for the stuff to require watching. 

 

I thought about buying one of the half-sized transoceanic shipping containers, digging a hole and burying it, cutting/building stairs down to the doors of the container (maybe use railroad ties for the stairs, and then rigging some kind of a blind or cover for the stairs.  The idea would be to build secure onsite storage for camping gear for multiple observers plus whatever astronomy gear they might want to leave on-site year-round.

 

Nice thing about the containers is that they are weatherproof and hard to penetrate with only the doors/locking solution being vulnerable.  But here's what my buddies and I decided - the more effort you spend securing and hiding something in a remote location, the higher apparent value you give it from the perspective of anyone discovering it.

 

Good luck with your project and getting comfortable on the security teeter-totter.  I've started observing from south Joshua Tree a couple times per year (Cottonwood Campground) since my mom moved to La Quinta a few years ago.  She's there half the year (winter) and on an Island in Puget Sound the other half of the year (summer).   Her new place is less than an hour from Cottonwood Campground, so after a couple of days of family time, I camp out for a night or two.

 

There's also a lot of interesting stuff to do by day in the area.  Last time I did the Lost Palm Oasis hike out of the campground.  It was really stunning.  Next there's a very long (multi-day) native pre-contact "trade route" trail running N-S in the Santa Rosas that I'd like to walk, but I suspect I would need permission as large segments are located on reservations.

 

Best,

 

Jim 


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#335 Jon Marinello

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:09 AM

Hang in there. You're almost done Tim! Can't wait to see your ideas for the observatory!


Edited by Jon Marinello, 10 February 2019 - 11:13 AM.


#336 tim53

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:37 AM

It's a bit of a teeter-totter.  The further out you are the fewer neighbors who can watch your stuff, but likewise the fewer miscreants...er..."borrowers" there re for the stuff to require watching. 

 

I thought about buying one of the half-sized transoceanic shipping containers, digging a hole and burying it, cutting/building stairs down to the doors of the container (maybe use railroad ties for the stairs, and then rigging some kind of a blind or cover for the stairs.  The idea would be to build secure onsite storage for camping gear for multiple observers plus whatever astronomy gear they might want to leave on-site year-round.

 

Nice thing about the containers is that they are weatherproof and hard to penetrate with only the doors/locking solution being vulnerable.  But here's what my buddies and I decided - the more effort you spend securing and hiding something in a remote location, the higher apparent value you give it from the perspective of anyone discovering it.

 

Good luck with your project and getting comfortable on the security teeter-totter.  I've started observing from south Joshua Tree a couple times per year (Cottonwood Campground) since my mom moved to La Quinta a few years ago.  She's there half the year (winter) and on an Island in Puget Sound the other half of the year (summer).   Her new place is less than an hour from Cottonwood Campground, so after a couple of days of family time, I camp out for a night or two.

 

There's also a lot of interesting stuff to do by day in the area.  Last time I did the Lost Palm Oasis hike out of the campground.  It was really stunning.  Next there's a very long (multi-day) native pre-contact "trade route" trail running N-S in the Santa Rosas that I'd like to walk, but I suspect I would need permission as large segments are located on reservations.

 

Best,

 

Jim 

Interesting!  I've been visiting the park since the late 50s, when I distinctly remember riding in the back of my parent's 53 Hudson Hornet to the park.

 

Somewhere in my collection, I have a regular 8 movie that I shot with my friends 50 years ago this spring.  It includes coverage of the Lost Palms Oasis hike we went on.  Not a lot of it, of course, since I probably only brought the one roll in the camera with me, and wouldn't have wanted to flip the roll over in the middle of the hike.  I've also been on that trail in winter when it started snowing on us!

 

-Tim.



#337 roscoe

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

It's a bit of a teeter-totter.  The further out you are the fewer neighbors who can watch your stuff, but likewise the fewer miscreants...er..."borrowers" there re for the stuff to require watching. 

 

I thought about buying one of the half-sized transoceanic shipping containers, digging a hole and burying it, cutting/building stairs down to the doors of the container (maybe use railroad ties for the stairs, and then rigging some kind of a blind or cover for the stairs.  The idea would be to build secure onsite storage for camping gear for multiple observers plus whatever astronomy gear they might want to leave on-site year-round.

 

Nice thing about the containers is that they are weatherproof and hard to penetrate with only the doors/locking solution being vulnerable.  But here's what my buddies and I decided - the more effort you spend securing and hiding something in a remote location, the higher apparent value you give it from the perspective of anyone discovering it.

Jim, I think your last sentence about covers it.  Probably best would be a really ragged old camper-trailer with some ragged curtains in the windows, and stuff like a vintage barbecue and a couple of old lawn chairs stashed underneath, looking like it was a hunting or prospecting camp.... and keep all the gear in mouse-proof containers, which would also look normal.  I don't think I'd leave my APO out there, though.....

 

A giant problem that has emerged lately are 18-volt cordless 4" angle-grinders.  Locks no longer exist. cables no longer exist.  A little time and a few batteries, you can cut a hole in a shipping container big enough to walk right through.  Given time and batteries, you can cut through a re-enforced concrete wall.  Used to be, the police would look for prybars and hammers and ropes, now they look for grinders. or electric chainsaws.  not far from here, someone, assuming the doors and windows were alarmed, sawed a hole through the wall of a high-end vacation house and cleaned it out.

My police chief suggests a couple of disguised game-cams watching over the place - if there's wireless access at your site, you can get them that'll download to your cell phone, and nice photos of the perp and their vehicle come in real handy if bad things happen.  Most take decent photos in the dark, too.  A painfully loud alarm set up so if the perp enters it trips will also drive them away, but set it up so it can't be seen and whacked with a stick to shut it up.


Edited by roscoe, 14 February 2019 - 07:15 PM.


#338 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:26 PM

Jim, I think your last sentence about covers it.  Probably best would be a really ragged old camper-trailer with some ragged curtains in the windows, and stuff like a vintage barbecue and a couple of old lawn chairs stashed underneath, looking like it was a hunting or prospecting camp.... and keep all the gear in mouse-proof containers, which would also look normal.  I don't think I'd leave my APO out there, though.....
 
A giant problem that has emerged lately are 18-volt cordless 4" angle-grinders.  Locks no longer exist. cables no longer exist.  A little time and a few batteries, you can cut a hole in a shipping container big enough to walk right through.  Given time and batteries, you can cut through a re-enforced concrete wall.  Used to be, the police would look for prybars and hammers and ropes, now they look for grinders. or electric chainsaws.  not far from here, someone, assuming the doors and windows were alarmed, sawed a hole through the wall of a high-end vacation house and cleaned it out.
My police chief suggests a couple of disguised game-cams watching over the place - if there's wireless access at your site, you can get them that'll download to your cell phone, and nice photos of the perp and their vehicle come in real handy if bad things happen.  Most take decent photos in the dark, too.  A painfully loud alarm set up so if the perp enters it trips will also drive them away, but set it up so it can't be seen and whacked with a stick to shut it up.


I vote for thermite!

https://youtu.be/gDbyjI8hAWU
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#339 tim53

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:15 PM

Don''t tell the kids, but we pleasantly discovered that we'd put funds in a savings account to pay for construction jobs that ended up being paid for out of another account.  We were so busy, we didn't realize we were burning at a higher rate than expected from that account.  But since the funds were put in the wrong account last year, we probably have enough to finish the kitchen and the observatory.  Now, we just need to get back out there and get that fire sprinkler inspection sorted out.  We literally haven't had time to go out there for more than a month now.  Next weekend is probably the earliest we'll get back, but the fire sprinkler inspection and county sign-off will have to be later than that.


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#340 Jon Marinello

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 05:26 PM

For once a senior moment paid off! Good for you guys Tim!
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#341 StarWolf57

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 12:09 PM

Hi Tim - any updates? I've been lurking on this thread since the beginning, living the dream vicariously though your project laugh.gif It's been a lot of fun watching it evolve.



#342 Jon Marinello

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 12:26 PM

Yeah Tim, what’s the latest news on this? Any new pics?

#343 tim53

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 06:53 PM

Hi folks.  Forgot to report that we got signed off by the county inspector while I was at RTMC.  My wife went to meet the inspector with the fire sprinkler cert in hand, and he called before he came out and said we were done.  

 

We've been out a couple times since to work on interior stuff in the house, and I've alerted our architect about helping us design an observatory that will fit with the design of the house.  I should have taken pics when we were out this weekend to meet with a contractor to start installing a garden wall around the front and west patio.  Only 3 feet high, and adobe styled.  The trick for the observatory will be to make it look like adobe and have a rolloff roof!  

 

We're taking a 3 week vacation to Europe in a couple weeks through New Years, so we won't be starting on the observatory until after that.  And since I think we're going to want to have a warm room with a half bath, it likely will be bigger than 120 square feet and need a permit.  But we'll see.  I might consider two 120 square foot "sheds", where one's the observatory and the other is the warm room.  Or even something altogether different.  I'd also like to build a garage, for when we move out there full time.  But that's likely to be expensive if we stick build it.

 

We came back on Saturday, thinking we'd miss the holiday traffic on Sunday, but it still took us over 4 hours to get home (usually a 2 hr drive).

 

-Tim.


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#344 Jon Marinello

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:41 AM

Looking forward to the latest pics and observatory plans Tim!




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