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Cosmic Acres!

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#101 roscoe

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:18 PM

Tim, I just re-read the last couple of pages, and realized I never sent you my obs/cabin idea, I'll try to find the sketch and re-scan it for you..... As far as power goes, you could put a pole of some sort at the edge of your property with a meter and a weatherproof breaker panel on it, then run whatever's sensible from there to your building sites. I'd also vote for underground power, plastic conduit is cheap to run. If you hit ledge, you could just cover the conduit with a few inches of rubble to protect it. Talk to a couple of electricians to see what the local customs/methods are......
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#102 tim53

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:41 AM

Hi roscoe, and happy birthday!

Yeah, the electrician will be there tomorrow with the contractor, so hopefullly we'll come up with a reasonable plan. A pole east of the pad might work. Sky blockage from the mountain to the east is probably taller than a pole wold be anyway. Still, I'm hopeful that there's enough loose soil over the bedrock that they can figure out a way to hide it all.

It's weird. I had a couple hot dogs for dinner last night, and stayed up pretty late, but woke up at 3am anyway. If I wasn't so tired, I'd get a scope out! Haven't seen Mars or Jupiter in MONTHS.

#103 tim57064

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:47 AM

Good morning,I've been following and contributing to this thread and I hope that it is okay if I take the time to say "Happy Birthday roscoe! "

Tim I cannot wait 'till you begin construction on your OBS. I hope that you are able to get started soon and are able to take so many images that we will be spending a lot of time viewing/replying on what you have coming.

#104 audioaficionado

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:50 AM

I read the comet ISON is very close to Mars right now. I'll try and see it next week when I'm up in the mountains under dark skies.

#105 tim53

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:30 PM

So here I am standing on the east side if the pad. This is a 180 deg plus panorama looking west across the pad. I've marked the 24' square floor plan in the dirt with my right converse all star. Don't know if you can see it in this reduced size pan. Found that the setback is 25 feet from the property line, but that's across the street. I've drawn the floor plan so it's more than 25 feet from the road, so as to a kid any problems.

Whadaya think? When I get home, I'll plot the observatory location carefully. I can see small bushes in the aerial image, so I'm going to measure some distances on the ground before heading home.

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#106 tim53

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

So I left the plans with the contractor so he could give me some mre precise estimates of costs. The neighbors have overhead wires from the poles for power, and where we're putting the obs is a lot less than the distance they're running, so we shouldn't have a problem. Hey suggested I put a sign out with the address so the power company will know where we are for when they do come out to book us up. And I have a number to call.

Only thing I don't like much is that the pad on the east is cut into the slope a few feet, so the road on that side is maybe about the height of a short pier. So I probably don't want a fold down south wall.

Tim
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#107 tim53

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Yeah, that sure didn't work!

Here's a bigger version of just the area where the observatory would go:

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#108 tim53

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:57 PM

Notice that the pad is cut into the slope here. The observatory footprint is mapped out fainly in this frame in the middle and just past the rock in the center foreground.

But this won't work. The observatory floor will be about 3 feet below the road, so the GEM will be at about headlight height, though cars would be going left or right, not pointing into the observatory. Worse, someone in a car would be looking over the wall and into the observatory, from just 25 feet away.

So, no go.

-Tim.

#109 Mirzam

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:11 PM

Somehow my computer ate my somewhat longer post. What I wanted to suggest would be to build an elevated observatory with a wood floor (like a deck). Then your piers just need to be a bit higher to reach up through the floor. Wood floors have good thermal properties and are easy to build. Just make sure the piers are well-isolated. You could also make the roof roll-off towards the road to provide some additional light screening.

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#110 tim53

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:20 PM

I'm going to put it back in that northwest alcove where I had it before. I measured angles and the mountains across the valley at about 10 degrees or a bit more high. I'm going to build a single storey cabin eventually. It will have a low angle on the roof, so I shouldn't have trouble seeing the Palm Springs light dome over it. It will also put the observatory about 100 ft from the road and 6' or so above it.

There are also a few almost level spots along the north sice of the lot among the rocks. I might put something small in one of those places at a later date.

Tim

#111 tim53

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:27 PM

ACK!

So I took the day off work and came out here to meet with the contractor at the local building and safety office, show them our plans and order a pre-inspection. She said we can't build a secondary structure before the primary structure, and that any living space needs to be at least 750 square feet. She referred me to the planning department office in Hesperia, about an hour away. I called the guy and he was very helpful. He said that my 12x24 ft observatory space should qualify as living space because it's part of the same structure as the rest of the liveable space. He asked me to email copies of the plans and a plot map, and he'd see if he could get me approval to go forward and order the pre-inspection.

So, I'm sitting in my van hoping that he'll get back to me soon enough that I can call the contractor back and go back to the b&s office before they close and before traffic driving home gets too heavy (which will likely be within the next hour or so).

I'll probably head home in the next half hour if I don't get a reply by then. Then, it'll be at least next Wednesday before we can order a pre-inspection. And the following week is BirdDay, and the contractor won't be in town. So, realistically, likely early December before we can get started.

I suppose, if worse comes to worst and we have to build the cabin first, I can just do that and build a smaller observatory (not requiring a permit) after the cabin is done. But I'm hoping we'll be good to go in short order here.

-Tim.

#112 tim53

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:10 PM

I've been given the go-ahead! ...I think!

I still need some clarification as to how many "primary structures" we can have on a lot. But since my observatory is 2/3rds apartment and 1/3 telescope room (still considered living space, since they're attached and under the same roof), and is over 750 square feet, it qualifies. Next thing we need to do is get the "pre-inspection" of the property done. Hopefully this week. Then, our contractor is out of town for Bird Day week (I'll be working on a gate and arbor at home that week anyway), so we'll likely start first week of Dectober.

-Tim.

#113 tim53

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:11 PM

I took my Tak Epsilon 130 on its EM-1 mount to Cosmic Acres Wednesday night for some astrophotogrpahy. I used the Nikon Coolpix with the fisheye converter lens to take a few all-sky shots during the night, to show where the light domes for Palm Springs and Yucca Valley live to the south and west. In this pic, there's a cloud to the southwest that makes the sky look brighter in that direction than it really is.

Since the Coolpix can't take bulb exposures unless you hold the shutter button the whole time, the stars are squiggles. It can shoot up to 5 minutes that way, but my hand got tired before then so I let go, probably 3 or so minutes in.

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#114 tim53

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:25 PM

Progress at "The Cos" is glacial, I'm afraid.

We've had a pre-inspection, where the inspector says he wants us to install an erosion-control wall on the northwest side of the pad, since there's a stream there that might flood during in heavy rainstorms. It sounds like this might not need to be the size of a retaining wall, which could get really expensive. It might even be possible to bury it under the slope at the edge of the pad, in fact.

The inspector also wants us to move the observatory about 15 feet south, even with the wall.

So, I've asked our contractor if there's any distance we can move the observatory and NOT need the wall. Also, if we have to build the wall, how much do we need to be prepared to spend? If it's only a K or two, that we can probably do. If more, then we probably want to avoid having to build it if we can.

Itchin' to get started before it get's too hot out there!

-Tim.

#115 tim53

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:40 PM

I "blinked" for the past several months and the building codes have changed again. Now, not only do I need to build a house before I can build an observatory, I have to build a garage with the house. So, we're trying to find out if I can build a garage/workshop with living space in a "phase 1" and then the house - and use the workshop for storing building materials and tools while we raise the house. I'll keep the observatory under 120 sq ft and try to get it up at the same time. 

 

Its ota getting time to get started now that fall's approaching. 

 

Tim


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#116 roscoe

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 03:11 PM

Maybe you could put together an 8 x 10 'tool-shed' on skids that happened to have a roof that somehow hinged open (blocking the road/headlights) or something..... and had a hole in the floor with some sort of temporary pier that just reached to floor level.....a hunk of 6x6 buried in the ground a few feet, for instance.....


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#117 hbastro

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 03:15 PM

Hi Tim,

Looks like a great location, I love the desert summer heat and all. I did a lot of imaging over the hill in Desert Center. That entire area is spictacular. Best of luck with your build and the code. Look forward to more from you as things progress... Best regards,

Dave


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#118 hm insulators

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 10:00 AM

I "blinked" for the past several months and the building codes have changed again. Now, not only do I need to build a house before I can build an observatory, I have to build a garage with the house. So, we're trying to find out if I can build a garage/workshop with living space in a "phase 1" and then the house - and use the workshop for storing building materials and tools while we raise the house. I'll keep the observatory under 120 sq ft and try to get it up at the same time. 

 

Its ota getting time to get started now that fall's approaching. 

 

Tim

 

 

Aaah, bureaucracy!  :bangbang:  :bangbang:  :bangbang:  :gaah:


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#119 audioaficionado

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 12:16 PM

No matter how far out in the sticks you move, there's always some bureaucrat in an office far away you have to get permission to do some of the most mundane property development projects.
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#120 tim53

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 07:18 PM

Since I posted last, our architect/draftsman found that we don't have to build a garage with the house.  We were already talking about maybe building the garage/workshop first anyway, so we've asked him to draw up a floor plan where we build the garage/workshop in such a way that it can be used as living space until we get ready to build the cabin.  Then, we'll knock out the wall where the garage door(s) go and convert part of it into a garage.  

 

This way, we can meet the requirement of 750 sq ft minimum for living space by using the garage space for living space temporarily.  

 

So, like I posted elsewhere, has anybody used Sweet Home 3D to draw up design concepts?

 

-Tim.



#121 Balok

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 07:28 AM

Congratulations on achieving your's and your spouse's goals Tim.

 

I'm sure you will construct a wonderful property regardless of pesky zoning laws.

 

-------------------------------------------

 

" Guess you only get one chance in life to play a song that goes like this!" 

 

 

Good Luck

 

Balok



#122 tim53

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 12:57 PM

Thanks!  I'm hoping to actually get started in November.  I'll be on travel next weekend, but I might be able to get out there for some aerial photography with my quad on the weekend after.  Then, it's on to the detailed plans for the garage/workshop/living space.

 

-Tim.



#123 audioaficionado

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 02:11 PM

Please post some pictures of your quad and the aerial shots.



#124 tim53

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:43 AM

I promise!

 

Here's the Iris when I was flying it over my wife's archaeological site in Utah - it's also one of my favorite observing/astrophotography sites, but it's out in open farm land with nobody around to leave my equipment unattended, so I haven't built anything permanent out there.

 

 

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#125 ThomasT

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 10:02 AM

Hi Tim,

 

Your area might be different, but here in Texas when a person buys a piece of real estate they are covered by the “Grandfather clause”. If any restrictions are changed or added after the purchase then those new restrictions do not apply to the original purchase terms. You might check to see if this would apply to your property.

 

Good luck with your project.




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