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

Dark Arts Observatory

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
191 replies to this topic

#51 Skip

Skip

    Starlifter Driver

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,954
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 10 June 2013 - 12:06 PM

All decks are required to have inspections according to NY state building codes. They inspected the depth of the holes before the concrete was poured, then the framing, and a final inspection when it's complete.

Just seems nuts to me! The thing is out in the middle of a field and not anywhere near an occupied structure!


Hi Dan,

You would understand if the deck was attached to a house. The state would have a legitimate need to ensure that a domicile which may be sold to someone else meets code. But, as you say, a deck out in the middle of a field???? Where is the state's legitimate interest in that? Talk about government overreach! Oops! Gotta be careful here that I don't get on a soapbox and violate the TOS!

Deck looks good and the observatory is going to be great! Good work, Dan!

#52 munchmeister

munchmeister

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 333
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2012

Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:11 PM

Lots of rain over the last week put the brakes on construction. I was able to get some work in yesterday and finished up the framing. I added the last joist and headers around the pier. Also put blocking in between the joists to stiffen the floor.

Finally, added the stair stringers. Took a LONG time to measure and cut them all. Now I have to get an appointment for the inspector to check it out before adding the decking. That should be pretty straightforward and take less than a day. Then It's just a matter of waiting for the Pod to arrive.

Posted Image

-Dan


As a former framer, I just love a nice photo of a good sub floor with joists on 16". To me it is a thing of beauty and this looks super. The Trek decking is a nice touch, hope you'll keep us updated on how this works out in NY winters. Color me green ! :bounce:

#53 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:46 PM

Thanks, Doug!

The joists are actually 12" OC. Composite decking boards aren't as stiff as wood and they can feel a little spongey at 16" OC. Years ago, when Trex was the only brand around, they specified that it had to be laid down on 12" OC joists. Now it appears to be rated for 16", but I still think it feels a lot better on 12" centers. I probably could have gotten away with 2x6 joists at this spacing, but I decided to stick with 2x8's for the same reason - I wanted a good solid feel to the floor.

-Dan

#54 audioaficionado

audioaficionado

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,654
  • Joined: 24 May 2012

Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:54 PM

What kind of lumber are the joists made of?

How weather resistant does it have to be?

#55 AstroTatDad

AstroTatDad

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,034
  • Joined: 22 Apr 2013

Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:29 PM

looking good Dan. :)

#56 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:41 PM

What kind of lumber are the joists made of? How weather resistant does it have to be?


All the lumber is pressure treated, although surprisingly it doesn't look like it! This stuff was green when I bought it, but after a few rains it it looks like regular lumber now!

I'm guessing that, when they outlawed the green chromated copper arsenate solution for pressure treating, the new stuff is not green. They probably added green dye or something as a marketing ploy so that it appears pressure treated in the store. It seems like the green color washes off pretty easily.

-Dan

#57 audioaficionado

audioaficionado

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,654
  • Joined: 24 May 2012

Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:11 PM

As long as they don't poison the soil or rot it's all good.

#58 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

Installed the last boards on the deck and put some trim boards around the sides. Also added the handrail for the stairs because the code requires it.

Posted Image

Here's my pier plate. I designed this to use with my iEQ45, and had a local machine shop fabricate it. It's aluminum plate, with stainless bolts and pins. To save a little money on anodizing I painted it black myself.

Note that it's sitting on my 16 year old deck up at the house, which has a floor made from the original Trex brand material. No wood-grain look in those days. This stuff has really held up well, and no maintenance!

Posted Image

-Dan

#59 munchmeister

munchmeister

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 333
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2012

Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:39 PM

Beautiful !!!

Man I wish I had gone with Trex when I built my deck on the house. Maintenance is a PAIN.

#60 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

OK, I couldn't wait. :grin: Had to get the mount and a scope out there just to see what it looks like. This is my smallest scope, the EON 72mm refractor.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Now it's just a matter of waiting. I Have to get the final inspection for the deck, and wait for the Pod to arrive.

-Dan

#61 AstroTatDad

AstroTatDad

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,034
  • Joined: 22 Apr 2013

Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

Cool Dan, you had to tease yourself huh!? ;)

#62 ben2112

ben2112

    Cloud Magnet

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,456
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2012

Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:15 PM

Dan - Does the pier seem more solid since it has setup some?

#63 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Yes it does. I can still feel a wee bit of vibration if I whack it, but it takes some serious whacking and I have to really pay attention to detect the vibration.

-Dan

#64 Qwickdraw

Qwickdraw

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,947
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2012

Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:20 AM

You know how funny that scope looks on the mount right?

#65 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:54 AM

:lol:

Yes indeed! BUT ... I will be using that scope on this mount from time to time. Although it will likely be along side another scope on a side-by-side setup.

Since I don't have the observatory yet, I had to carry everything out and back just to take these photos. I went with my smallest scope so I could get everything in one trip. You'll also notice there are no counterweights, no power, etc. Although I may not have needed counterweights with that scope! :grin:

-Dan

#66 tim57064

tim57064

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,709
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2012

Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:29 AM

Dan I do not recall, are you planning on a 12 volt system to power everything with a solar panel for recharging or will you be running 110 volt underground to the observatory? Guess I am to lazy to go back and read the entire post again.

#67 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:33 AM

I'm planning on 12V solar to start with. It's a pretty good distance from the nearest power so I don't plan on running AC any time soon, but I may change my mind down the road.

The idea is to run everything off of 12V and then if I decide to go with AC later on, I'll just get a hefty, well-regulated 12V power supply.

-Dan

#68 scopefreak

scopefreak

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 806
  • Joined: 14 Apr 2004

Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:41 PM

Hi Dan, that's really going to be a nice setup. I wish I had those horizons where my OBS is located!! :bawling:

I really like the pier top where your mount attaches. You said you had that custom made? If you don't mind my asking, about how much did it cost you? I have an EQG on a Kens pier and with the C11, I am getting some vibration when slewing the scope, and it is also not very tight from the bolt having to be left a little loose when I originally put it together several years ago(due to having to adjust in AZ for PA). :p

Is that the iOptron mount? What is its load capacity?

You are doing a great job in building your "Dark Arts Observatory". Can't wait to see the finished product!!

#69 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:05 PM

Hi Kevin:

The pier plate cost me a little under $300 to have made. I was also looking at Dan's Pier Plates online:
http://www.pierplates.com
They make a pretty nice plate and it costs about the same as what I paid. I think mine's a bit heavier material, plus I used solid rectangular plates to connect the top and bottom parts, instead of bolts. I think mine might be a touch more solid, but I think Dan's Pier Plates would work just as well. Plus no messing around with designing your own, doing mechanical drawings, etc.

I did end up getting the 3/4" stainless steel J-bolt kit from Dan's Pier Plates. Those are the bolts sticking out of the top of the concrete. You'd think that concrete anchor bolts are pretty boring, basic pieces of gear. But I have to say I was rather surprised when I got them. They're very heavy duty and look like pieces of precision machining. Very impressive!

For the mount, I've got the iOptron iEQ45 with a 45 pound capacity. Of course, for mounts in this class the rating is for visual, not AP. Its a good idea to only load it up to 1/2 to 2/3 of the rated capacity for imaging. I'm going to try to keep it under a 30 pound load.

-Dan

#70 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:09 PM

In case anyone's interested, I've attached the drawings I provided to the machine shop for the iEQ45 pier plate.

-Dan

Attached Files



#71 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14,691
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:27 PM

The deck passed final inspection today! Woohoo! :yay:

To celebrate, Maureen & I just spent the last hour down at the observatory deck. Took a bottle of wine and the Megrez 90mm scope on the DSV-1 alt/az mount. Spent time sipping wine, gazing at the sky, and checking out the moon through the scope. Beautiful night, good company, good wine, and good views of the sky. Doesn't get much better than that! :cool:

-Dan

#72 corpusse

corpusse

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 810
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2010

Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

Sounds like a fun night. I thought you were going to say you smashed the bottle against the pier :) That would have been fun to clean up.

#73 ben2112

ben2112

    Cloud Magnet

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,456
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2012

Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:56 AM

SWEET!! Glad it passed inspection. :woot: And glad you had a good night with the better half enjoying your new deck and viewing the heavens. Can't wait to see the pod sitting there. :grin:

#74 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 111,826
  • Joined: 14 May 2005

Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:42 AM

Dan, congratulations! Yep, it sure doesn't get any better than that! :bow:

#75 scopefreak

scopefreak

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 806
  • Joined: 14 Apr 2004

Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:52 AM

Dan, thanks for the link. I'll check it out once I get back to my PC. I do most of my posting on my iPad 4 as its more mobile then my laptop. Go figure that one, right?

Anyway, I've managed to use the C11 on the Atlas at pretty high power with no vibration. Up to 315X using a moto focus on both the main focus and the EVH precision focuser. I estimate my load at about 32 pounds. Do you think this is too much for decent AP?

Glad to hear about the inspection going in your favour! Also your night sounds similar to mine as yesterday my wife of 25 years and I spent a quiet evening watching thunderstorms roll thru the area! The lightning was so bright at times you could almost read the paper!

How long till that pod gets there?


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