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Kids playground to Observatory

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#26 BlakeMC

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:09 AM

Lighting:
 
There are two lighting systems in the observatory, white and red.  Both are based on LED strip lights from HITLIGHTS which are available on Amazon.  These lights come in a roll which you can cut to length as long as you cut them in the right places.  Once cut you can use connectors to hook them up.
 

Lights: https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Connectors: https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dimmer: https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I mounted the strips in aluminum angle trim pieces.  Two white strips are mounted high and point up towards the roof.

 

White LED lights on
White LED light detail

 

This gives adequate light when you need to do some work in the observatory.

 

The red strips are mounted lower to the floor and point down.  There are four of these strips, one on each wall.

 

Red LED lights on high
Red LED lights on low

 

The red lights are on a dimmer, so they can be adjusted or turned off.  The appropriate dimmer switch is linked above.

 

Lights are controlled from switches on the same panel as the fuse box.

 

Main light switch

 

The three switch panel is a standard 12 volt RV switch panel.  I removed the dimmer from the case it comes in and mounted it directly to the panel.  The lights and the dimmer all come with male/female plugs, but I ended up cutting those off and connecting the wires directly and then sealing them with heat shrink tubing.  This gives you a nice neat finish.


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#27 BlakeMC

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:19 PM

Woot!

 

A new EdgeHD 8 has arrived and taken is rightful place in the observatory.

 

Celestron EdgeHD 8

 

 


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#28 Jerry615

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 10:28 AM

Nice project Blake,enjoy it wih your family and send pitures of  upgrades.  clear skies  jerry615


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#29 astrohamp

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:05 PM

A fantastic project well executed and fun to read.  Well done!

 

Consider adding one or more counter weights to your mount to reduce moment arm loading.

 

I use two 100 solar panels in series feeding an MPPT charger for my 100Ah AGM field battery.  Several years use with recent deployment about 4 months continuous.  You will need a bigger battery.  And since stationary, wet cells rather then AGM are less expensive so check out Trojan to get your search started.


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#30 BlakeMC

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

A fantastic project well executed and fun to read.  Well done!

 

Consider adding one or more counter weights to your mount to reduce moment arm loading.

 

I use two 100 solar panels in series feeding an MPPT charger for my 100Ah AGM field battery.  Several years use with recent deployment about 4 months continuous.  You will need a bigger battery.  And since stationary, wet cells rather then AGM are less expensive so check out Trojan to get your search started.

Thanks!

 

I did end up adding a second counter weight for that scope.  Now, however, I have replaced that scope with an Astrotech AT80EDT used mostly for imaging.  I still have the Edge which I would like to image with someday, but I would need a better mount and some other upgrades.

 

I also upgraded the battery, however, I did go ahead and I ran an AC line out to the observatory.  The computers are now on AC, but the lights and mount are currently still on the solar/battery system, which continues to work without issue.  I just didn't have the battery power to run everything on a long winter's imaging night.



#31 Raginar

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 11:29 AM

I’d automate the roof. You’ll want to do it eventually. It’s a lot easier when you’re building it.


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