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Cosmic Acres!

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#51 vsteblina

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:58 AM

Side note: With Southern California's huge population base and lots of relatively dark Mojave Desert, with so many clear, relatively warm nights per year, I always wonder why no-one has yet attempted to start a formal astronomy community in California? Perhaps someday...


For retired folks moving TO California is a no go. So it would have to be cheap enough for people to maintain a residence outside of California. An RV park design coupled with homes might work, but can you get the price low enough given all of California's permitting requirements.

I would look in the coast range west of Redding. Some real dark skies there and pretty empty country,

AND just north of San Luis Obispo. Weather is better in winter and I suspect so would have some buffers from development with the Forest Service and military lands in the area.

Plus either location would probably get lots of use from California residents.

Having been back to the southwest deserts for the first time in 30 years....the skies are heading south at a rapid pace.

California might be better in the long run.

#52 roscoe  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:16 PM

Either that's a really burly mount, or that's a very well-detailed vintage VW truck model.......

Do keep in mind, though, that if there's a Desperate nearby, there's also a 'local' lumber yard....who not only sells building materials at prices sometimes lower than HD, they're often higher quality, and they'll deliver, for a nominal fee or usually free if you're getting a larger order..... save that vintage vee-wee for nobler purposes than hauling sakrete......
R

#53 tim53

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:45 PM

It's a burly mount! Cave 12.5" f/7 on the 2 1/2" shaft "Observatory" mount. Thankfully, with big casters! At least at home where I can roll it in and out of my garage.

There's a great lumber yard with all kinds of interesting stock in Pasadena - Ganahl. I could make a really nice 2x8 T&G floor if I wanted to. Of course, I'd have to haul everything the 2.25 hour drive to Josh. Well, probably 3 1/2 hours in the VW. I used to drive my 67 bus out there, and that's about how long it took, especially climbing the grades toward Morongo and Yucca Valleys (3rd gear at 35mph).

-Tim.

#54 tim53

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 07:13 PM

So I went out and had to measure the Cave. If I put the pier right in the middle of a 10x12 foot rolloff, it'll have about 5 or 6 inches of clearance IF that 10 feet is the inside dimension, not the footprint!

While I was at it, I got some turtle wax out and cleaned up the tube. It might not look different from when I got it, but it's cleaner. There are still a number of scratches in the gel coat in several places, but not enough to make me want to refinish it. Next time I work on this thing, I'll have to take that focuser off and repaint it (priming it this time!), and a bunch of other minor things. Overall, it's in pretty good shape considering it spent some time outdoors at the previous owner's house.

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#55 tim53

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 07:14 PM

Too

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#56 Mirzam

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 07:57 PM

Hi Tim!

For now, why not go with a basic storage shed, which will be useful now and in the future when you have a residence at your dark site--just store the scope in the shed and roll it outside when you want to observe.

The permanent observatory should not be regarded as a low-buck, quick and simple build. You will end up doing it all over again.

JimC

#57 tim53

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 08:08 PM

Hi Jim:

Good idea, actually. I started out thinking of doing that, but then I would say "but if I make the roof roll off, I won't have to build another shed for the telescope after the cabin/garage/whatever is done! "

For the near term, I could just haul my scope out with me and store it in the shed while we run around at the Park or the store or something.

Hm...

-Tim

#58 audioaficionado

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:11 PM

You could just do a roll off shed to store the Cave in the parked position on the pier.

#59 Calypte

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:34 PM

I have a Cave 12.5-inch f/5 that stays disassembled in the garage most of the time. There's no room for it in the observatory.

#60 tim53

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:56 PM

Rodney wants a ROR! :grin:

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#61 roscoe  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:57 AM

Good idea, actually. I started out thinking of doing that, but then I would say "but if I make the roof roll off, I won't have to build another shed for the telescope after the cabin/garage/whatever is done! "


Yep, as an old boss used to say: "there's nothing as permanent as a temporary solution"
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#62 tim53

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:16 PM

bumping for ideas, since it'll be cooling off out there soon and I'd like to get started.

I'm thinking along the lines of an observatory with a 'warm room' big enough to have a bathroom, kitchenette, and someplace to crash during the day. I sent the BYO folks an email just now asking about custom prices.

Since I don't have anything on the site yet, I'm worried about securing things while I'm not there during the week when I need to work. So, if I can afford to have it built for me, that might be the way to go.

I'll build a cabin and a workshop a few years from now. If the observatory's already there, I'll be able to secure things better when I'm not able to be around.

-Tim.

#63 stmguy

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:41 AM

I'd be tempted to go 12 x 12 with that big scope, I went 10x10 and it is just about right with my LXD55 10 inch F4 scope. You will kick yourself forever if it is too small, think about room for step stool etc not just the scope.


Norm

#64 Raginar

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:24 AM

Go big if you need it. It complicates only automation.

#65 Starman27

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:05 PM

+1 Build for the future.

#66 Nave

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:16 PM

Just noticed your updated sig file with the link here - congrats! That is a fantastic location - anywhere within a 1/4 mile radius of there is just out of this world. Right on the boundary of the park = wow.

The parcel I lived on 15 years ago for 6 months in Landers comes on the market in September and if I can hoodwink the missus, we will be distant "neighbors" of sorts.

Congratulations again - great, great site.

#67 tim53

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:21 PM

The GMARS folks are in Landers. I just spoke with the contractor who builds their RORs. He was doing some concrete sidewalks and curbs for a historic apartment building in Eagle Rock this week, just a few miles from our house.

I'm hoping that I can buy plans from BYO and have him put in the pad, pier footing, septic, water and power and build the basic structure and rolloff, and my wife and I will finish off the interior over time, once it's secure and I have a place to store tools and building supplies - and telescopes!

I decided to build something big enough to house the 12.5" Cave (even if I don't put that particular scope in there, a whole lot of other scopes I could imagine would fit if that one will!) and have a small living area on the north half. And since anything bigger than 120sq ft needs a permit (or anything with power and plumbing) I might as well build something bigger, so long as I can afford it.

-Tim.

#68 tim53

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:07 PM

It's finally starting to cool down out there, so tomorrow my wife and I are planning on meeting the contractor to talk about what to build, so we can get him started pulling permits and stuff.

Spoke with Scott Horstman last night about some of the larger custom jobs he's done, to get an idea of prices. One floor plan I kind of like, I scaled and pasted onto an aerial view of the pad, to see how it fits. I wanted to leave room for a garage/workshop on the east side of the pad, and a small house on the southwest side of the pad in the few years ahead. Wonder where the septic will fit?

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#69 roscoe  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:29 PM

Tim,

What about building something 2-story, perhaps even with a dome on the roof? Your living space could be downstairs, with the scope room above? For not a lot more money than your one-story structure, you could have twice as much space..... Kitchen, living, bath downstairs, bedroom half the upstairs, scope room the other half......
Russ

#70 tim53

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:57 AM

Well, the previous owner was going to build this there:

School House

But she ran out of money. I'm not into modern, except for some very cool "modern" home near us that we were docents in on a house tour several years ago (glass walls, built in the 50s, I think).

But a 2-storey would block the view for observers on the ground, unless they were south of it. ...and I don't think it'd be in my budget.

-Tim.

#71 Mirzam

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:01 AM

Hi Tim,

The floor plan you show looks alot like the observatory that BYO built for a neighbor of mine in WV. The observing room is 24' square with another 16' or so of warm room/living sleeping area. My neighbor uses the obs with a 25" obsession.

One nice thing is the patio (extended concrete pad), which is covered when the roof is open. Nice for BarBQing.

All I have handy at the moment is a construction picture. Other pictures can be arranged.

JimC

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#72 tim53

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 09:27 AM

Hi Jim:

That's the size of it. I was thinking of dividing the space in half, though, and making the observatory 20x24. I could probably fit at least 2 piers in there, maybe 3.

Still not sure I can afford that size building, though, unless I do a lot of the work myself. We'll see. Meeting with the contractor in a few hours, if I can get myself up and awake (only 2 sips of coffee down so far).

-Tim.

#73 roscoe  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:07 AM

Jus' sayin......aside from the height blocking part of the view issue, the cost difference between one-story and 1-1/2 or two - with the inside of the roof as the ceiling, is not all that much, especially because you could then shrink the overall footprint some and still get the same - or more - square footage inside. (and if you did 1-1/2, you could have oh-so-desirable 5' walls in the obs, and it'd only be 5' taller than a one-story.......... and you would have a cool peaked ceiling in the upstairs room.....

and, like I said above, there's nothing as permanent as a temporary solution, and you might as well (if you can sort-of afford it) build your cabin now, it'll be way lots cheaper than a whole separate structure (and another sewerage system, yes??) later.... Build a couple of nice brick or stone piers to the second floor maybe, or just hide concrete ones in the walls in the closet-zone or something......
Might be the best $20K you ever spent......
jus' sayin......
Russ

#74 Mirzam

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:12 AM

I think a little more inside space along the lines you are thinking would be helpful. My friends observatory has everything needed for a living space (kitchen, bath, bedroom, utility room), plus space for a control station. It is all a bit tight though. In contrast there is some wasted space in the telescope area. Maybe he will go bigger than 25" sometime in the future and put that space to use.

One thing to consider is that the roof peak may obscure Polaris and quite a bit of the northern sky assuming the obs is oriented NS. A solution would be to have the roof roll off a bit further than the minimum amount necessary.

BYO has a brilliant system for motorizing the roof using a motor+gear and long rack. There are no pulleys or cables involved.

JimC

#75 tim53

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:36 AM

Got back home late last night after a good conversation with the contractor about what he can do and when, followed by an invite to the Sky's the Limit's fundraiser in 29 Palms.

First thing we found when we got there is that the scale bar was WAY off on my graphic above. I haven't reopened the file since I got up this morning, yet, but it's so far off that the graphic is worthless as I've got it drawn! I localize the rovers on Mars after every drive, so I "live" image scale daily, and this is embarrassing! At least I haven't spent money on the observatory yet!

Looks like we might be able to build something like the BYO 24x48 above using their plans and maybe roof hardware around the top end of our hoped-for budget limit, though. We all did pretty much conclude that we should build as much of what we want long-term now, rather than doing things piecemeal - temporary solutions and all being what they tend to be. So, let me get back to that plot!

-Tim.


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