Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Cosmic Acres!

  • Please log in to reply
423 replies to this topic

#401 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 24 May 2020 - 01:00 PM

Found another pic of an EM-500 on the pier:  http://www.astrosurf...pes_1994-01.jpg



#402 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 25 May 2020 - 10:44 AM

And... because I can!  Slab and outrigger footings from 10 meters up (it looked lower than that when I was flying, though).  Interesting drying pattern the morning after it was poured.  

 

The picture is oriented roughly north up.  Yes, the observatory is off north by about 17 degrees, to match the house's orientation. And the reason for that was energy efficiency - less full sun on the walls in the morning.  The pier footing is also not in the center of the 10x12 space.  The door will be on the right, so i figured I'd want the most room for people entering the observatory from the east.  I also plan to put my small army field desk in one of the corners (the door will be in the center of the wall) with the ability to move it around to suit.

 

-Tim.

 

Slab_from_10m.jpg


  • Scott Mitchell, dmdouglass, R Botero and 2 others like this

#403 KentTolley

KentTolley

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 595
  • Joined: 26 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 26 May 2020 - 01:41 PM

The pad is sweet.  



#404 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:10 AM

Framing has sprouted!  1 day's progress yesterday.  And that's with Craig having to wait for me to give him the rough opening for the window on the west wall (yes, it's an observatory with a window).

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Obs_framing1.jpg
  • Obs_framing2.jpg

  • StephenW, Scott Mitchell, dmdouglass and 6 others like this

#405 Jon Marinello

Jon Marinello

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,204
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Santa Barbara, CA

Posted 27 May 2020 - 01:04 PM

Framing has sprouted!  1 day's progress yesterday.  And that's with Craig having to wait for me to give him the rough opening for the window on the west wall (yes, it's an observatory with a window).

Very, very exciting Tim! waytogo.gif bow.gif yay.gif whee.gif



#406 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:26 AM

Progress from early yesterday.  Craig said it was hot in the afternoon, so when he packed up for the day, he just went home.  He said today he's working on the roof track beams, and mortising the wheels into the beams.  So probably not at Cosmic today.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • framing_3a.jpg
  • Framing_4a.jpg

  • dmdouglass, niteskystargazer, Jon Marinello and 2 others like this

#407 Calypte

Calypte

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,557
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Anza, California

Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:00 PM

I've missed something.  Who's Craig?  What observatory experience does he have?  Mine was built by BYO.  I've been happy with their work.  I wish I'd ordered the motor kit when they built it (2012).  Last year I broke my right tibia, and I realized that my days of pushing with my legs on a cinder block to open the roof were over.  I installed BYO's motor kit over the past winter.  I wonder: why was I so stupid that I didn't have them install the motor back in 2012?  I chose the site for the observatory specifically so that a bright light on a neighbor's property was blocked.  But my wife was ahead of me.  She called the local electrical co-op, and they came out and installed a shield on the offending light.  Alas, during the past 3-4 years cannabis-growing operations have sprouted up all over Anza.  My sky isn't as dark as it was just eight years ago, to say nothing about comparing to 2003, when I first started coming up here.



#408 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:30 PM

Craig Drake has built many of the GMARS observatories. He’s out of 29 palms, so local to me. 



#409 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 01 June 2020 - 08:49 AM

The "wall guys" finished up the garden wall around the back of the house.  Among their images is this one, with the observatory extending out of the frame to the right.  Craig has the OSB up!  I haven't seen any pics from him in a few days, so hopefully I'll get an update today.  The one window we have planned for the west wall gets ordered today.  So it may delay finishing the exterior, unless we can get them to put a rush on the order.  

 

-Tim.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Garden_wall.jpg

  • Jon Marinello and KentTolley like this

#410 SteveGR

SteveGR

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 964
  • Joined: 04 May 2013
  • Loc: Western Michigan

Posted 01 June 2020 - 02:31 PM

The "wall guys" finished up the garden wall around the back of the house.  Among their images is this one, with the observatory extending out of the frame to the right.  Craig has the OSB up!  I haven't seen any pics from him in a few days, so hopefully I'll get an update today.  The one window we have planned for the west wall gets ordered today.  So it may delay finishing the exterior, unless we can get them to put a rush on the order.  

 

-Tim.

I'm envious, Tim.  I was going to take a whack at building one this Spring, but the virus shutdown and associated problems and demands on my time have punted it till next year.  Not that it would matter much, with all the clouds and rain we have been getting the past couple of seasons.

 

You should have a real winner when it's done.
 


Edited by SteveGR, 01 June 2020 - 02:33 PM.

  • tim53 likes this

#411 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:37 PM

Progress!

 

Craig has the frame for the roof on and the OSB on.  Hasn't cut the opening for the window on the west side, as it won't be ready until the 10th.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • progress_2020-06-01_a.jpg


#412 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:38 PM

2nd pic

 

progress_2020-06-01_b.jpg


Edited by tim53, 01 June 2020 - 07:39 PM.

  • brave_ulysses, niteskystargazer and StarWolf57 like this

#413 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:39 PM

3rd pic 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • progress_2020-06-01_c.jpg

  • davidc135 likes this

#414 MJB87

MJB87

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 1,540
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:50 AM

Looks great!  One question -- why put a window in the west wall?  Aren't you worried about the sun heating up the interior during afternoons?  Why not put the window in the north wall, where it will more often be in shade?



#415 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:53 PM

Looks great!  One question -- why put a window in the west wall?  Aren't you worried about the sun heating up the interior during afternoons?  Why not put the window in the north wall, where it will more often be in shade?

Purely esthetics, to break up the flat expanse visible from the road.  I also am hoping to design a sundial for the south wall, but that's going to have to wait until the observatory is up and running, we've installed a kitchen in the house, and finished all the interior details in the house.  

 

There's a small air conditioner going in the north wall, which isn't visible to anybody but the two houses up the hill from us, and you should see their concern for esthetics!  

 

In addition to the expense of building the observatory, I just learned yesterday that my van needs a transmission, brakes, and power steering repairs.  For a LOT.  But it's cheaper than a replacement.

 

-Tim.


  • KentTolley likes this

#416 KentTolley

KentTolley

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 595
  • Joined: 26 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 03 June 2020 - 09:00 AM

Sundial      waytogo.gif

Van repair  crazy.gif

 

From the overhead shots the rock pile looks flatter than it appears in these new shots.  Fitting that you, a geologist, has a big rock pile in his backyard.  With all your fine telescopes you need a couple more piers and pads.  Would be a pity not to be able to use your big Cave.


  • tim53 likes this

#417 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:14 AM

Sundial      waytogo.gif

Van repair  crazy.gif

 

From the overhead shots the rock pile looks flatter than it appears in these new shots.  Fitting that you, a geologist, has a big rock pile in his backyard.  With all your fine telescopes you need a couple more piers and pads.  Would be a pity not to be able to use your big Cave.

The sundial will be an interesting project, but it's downrange a ways.  The Van needs the love.  VW hasn't imported the Eurovan (Transporter) since 2003, so if you look at prices you'll be shocked.  Heck, a 1980s 4x4 Vanagon camper can run over 40 grand!  Worse, there's nothing available that's comparable.  Mine has a relatively young engine (my wife killed the last one by running it out of oil when the pan cracked off road several years ago).  New from VW in Germany about 75K miles ago.  Front suspension rebuilt 4 years ago.  It's the smoothest running car I've ever had, so I'm going to hang onto it as long as practical.  

 

I'd like to be able to use the Cave 12.5" in the Observatory.  I may fit Byers drives and servo motors to the axes to enable goto, PEC, and autoguiding.  If I do that, it'll be reversible.


  • KentTolley likes this

#418 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:14 AM

Progress yesterday:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Roofclosed_2020-06-03.jpg

  • R Botero, niteskystargazer, Jon Marinello and 1 other like this

#419 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:15 AM

too:  

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Roofhalfopen_2020-06-03.jpg

  • R Botero, Jon Marinello, KentTolley and 1 other like this

#420 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:18 AM

For some reason, this image came in a lot smaller than the first two.  Probably Craig's settings on his phone.

 

Note that the roof is flat, but tilted gently to the north.  The east, south, and west sides have parapets to mimic the house design.  The north doesn't, because it isn't visible from the house or from the approach to the property, and so rain can drain off to the north rather than pooling.

 

Craig said he picked up some flat roof sheeting yesterday, and will be installing that probably today.  I'm planning to go out this weekend (without my van, probably) to see the progress and maybe work on either the house, or start figuring out my pier.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Roofopen_2020-06-03.jpg

  • R Botero, Jon Marinello, gundark and 1 other like this

#421 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:31 PM

Just got to 'mic acres for the weekend.  Needed to pay another installment on the construction, so since Craig is here working, I gave him a check rather than mail it.  Seeing the work up close is impressive.  The roof base structure is 5 2x4's stacked, glued and screwed.  Craig is installing the insulation now.  AC unit is in, as is all the romex.  outlets and lights aren't rigged up yet.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Observatory_2020-06-05.jpg

  • Calypte, Scott Mitchell, dmdouglass and 3 others like this

#422 macdonjh

macdonjh

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,445
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2006

Posted Yesterday, 06:57 AM

Electrical isn't hard work, but it is tedious: all that cutting and stripping.  I'm glad I have plenty of outlets, though, and separate 12VDC circuits at my pier and around the walls for LED lighting.

 

It's good your gantry beams are big and built-up.  I used simple 4x4, which are plenty strong for the load.  However, they warped after about three years in the Texas sun.  To make them flat again I had to install center columns.  It wasn't that big a deal, but if I'd used larger beams, or built some up alternating the grain, it wouldn't have been a problem.



#423 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted Yesterday, 10:34 AM

Woke up about 4:30am this morning and took this shot of the full moon behind clouds with my iphone:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon_clouds_2020-06-05.jpg

  • Jon Marinello and gundark like this

#424 tim53

tim53

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,836
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted Yesterday, 05:15 PM

20 meters up, looking east

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Obs_house_2020-06-06_small.jpg

  • Scott Mitchell, dmdouglass, Jon Marinello and 2 others like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics