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The geekiest EAA man cave ever!

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11 replies to this topic

#1 descott12

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:46 AM

Hello all,

After suffering on my back patio with an unobstructed view of only about 65 out of 360 degrees, and realizing that I am way to lazy to pack up all my stuff and drive to a dark site, and also realizing that life is way too short to sit stationary in freezing temperatures for hours on end....I decided to take matters into my own hands.

 

I have built a platform with a permanent pier mount on the roof of my garage. There is a tiny (4x6 foot) "command center" above the rafters and a short catwalk to a hatch in the roof that leads to the platform.

The scope is only about 10 feet from my computer so I am able to run direct cables to the scope.

  • I control the Evo 8 with Sky Portal on my iPhone using the Evo's wifi. 
  • I connect to the ASI 294 MC camera with a 25 foot active USB 3 cable - yes it seems to work fine.
  • I control the motofocus with a 20 foot extension audio cable
  • I have AC power accessible on the platform for all the various power supplies (dew heater, scope, camera cooler).

I now have a cozy, carpeted, cubicle with a space heater and a large 1900x1200 screen.  I hope you enjoy the pictures. The pier mounting bracket was made with various nuts and bolts and a 1/4 inch aluminum plate. The 3 bolts you see are positioned to perfectly engage the bolt holes in the base of the scope as if you were using a tripod.

 

The vibrations from the ground are surprisingly minimal. I think the wood construction really helps  dampen vibration well. Definitely a little concerned about heat plumes off the garage roof but that should only be an issue for about 90 degrees due to the way the roof is built and positioned relative to the southern exposure.

 

The next step is to install a dumbwaiter so I can haul cocktails up without having to go down the ladder!  Actually now I have to really learn to use SharpCap to its fullest.

 

Sorry - not sure why the pictures came out sideways....

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by descott12, 06 January 2019 - 11:47 AM.

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#2 GaryShaw

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:37 PM

Looks like Fun. How are you protecting the mount and scope?
Cheers
Gary

#3 descott12

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:52 PM

Hi Gary,

I don't leave it out but I do leave the OTA attached to the base. The three mount bolts come out quickly and I have rigged up a padded milk crate that I put it in and I can lower it down thru the hatch into a storage cubby. It works pretty well but I am still streamlining to make it more efficient. I think I should be able to get my setup time down to about 15 minutes. Once I place it on the pier, put in the bolts, attach a few cables,  I am good to go.  Definitely glad I didn't get anything bigger than an 8" as this wouldn't be so easy.



#4 PowerM3

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:23 AM

Got to say, that's a really neat setup. Most people would not have the "nuts" to attempt something like this. Great job!!



#5 Astrojedi

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 07:28 PM

Nicely done... where there is a will there is a way : )



#6 descott12

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 07:51 PM

Yes, it does take some guts to cut a hole in your roof but it has worked out amazingly well. I can setup and break down in about 10 minutes and it just makes everything so easy.


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#7 Noah4x4

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 04:16 AM

Awesome!

 

I don't have an elevated platform, but have a similar man-cave. My original garage was three cars long, but only one wide, so not very practical.  So I built a stud wall to partition its lower third, added power, heating, insulation and internal plasterboard and converted it into a gym at my wife's behest. That soon became disused as she preferred the public gym where she could also swim and gossip with her pals. Conveniently, it's window and double leaf glazed doors overlook where I erect my scope from which I have 360° views of the sky but with only a few low level obstructions.  I may have the only 'mission control' with ballet studio type wall mirrors and rubber gymnasium flooring, but it's now all mine, a perfect office-like den detached from my house (peaceful). 

 

Fed up with muddy grass, I replaced the area it overlooked with artificial turf. Threaded Cat6a cable through the wall that when not in use is coiled in a water proof box. This connects computer at scope with that indoors. My scopes stay assembled and I simply carry them outside, add Hyperstar and camera, and .I am ready to commence an alignment inside five minutes of unlocking my observatory, now from indoors with a beta-version of CPWI. My scope is stored only slightly above the ambient temperature so takes little cooling. I boost heating in my observatory using powerful Dyson heaters (cosy inside ten minutes), discard outdoor jacket and settle down for the few hours per month that are cloud free. Visual observing is out of the question, but I do EAA on an end to end 4k UHD system. The only barrier to Nirvana is the weather.


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#8 Taylor

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:41 PM

Dave, 

Where did you get those 3 bolts for attaching the Nexstar to the pier top?

 

Hello all,

After suffering on my back patio with an unobstructed view of only about 65 out of 360 degrees, and realizing that I am way to lazy to pack up all my stuff and drive to a dark site, and also realizing that life is way too short to sit stationary in freezing temperatures for hours on end....I decided to take matters into my own hands.

 

I have built a platform with a permanent pier mount on the roof of my garage. There is a tiny (4x6 foot) "command center" above the rafters and a short catwalk to a hatch in the roof that leads to the platform.

The scope is only about 10 feet from my computer so I am able to run direct cables to the scope.

  • I control the Evo 8 with Sky Portal on my iPhone using the Evo's wifi. 
  • I connect to the ASI 294 MC camera with a 25 foot active USB 3 cable - yes it seems to work fine.
  • I control the motofocus with a 20 foot extension audio cable
  • I have AC power accessible on the platform for all the various power supplies (dew heater, scope, camera cooler).

I now have a cozy, carpeted, cubicle with a space heater and a large 1900x1200 screen.  I hope you enjoy the pictures. The pier mounting bracket was made with various nuts and bolts and a 1/4 inch aluminum plate. The 3 bolts you see are positioned to perfectly engage the bolt holes in the base of the scope as if you were using a tripod.

 

The vibrations from the ground are surprisingly minimal. I think the wood construction really helps  dampen vibration well. Definitely a little concerned about heat plumes off the garage roof but that should only be an issue for about 90 degrees due to the way the roof is built and positioned relative to the southern exposure.

 

The next step is to install a dumbwaiter so I can haul cocktails up without having to go down the ladder!  Actually now I have to really learn to use SharpCap to its fullest.

 

Sorry - not sure why the pictures came out sideways....



#9 descott12

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:46 PM

I made them from three parts from Lowes. They actually sell the bolt with the black plastic molded handle for easy gripping. The white part is a plastic spacer and then a washer. I used 5-minute epoxy to hold them together.

 

Just remove one bolt from your pier top and take it to Lowes so you can match the threading. It is a standard threading but I forgot the specifics. Something like 1/4-20, I think.


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#10 lynnelkriver

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 09:09 PM

Nice job!  Scott



#11 Groundhog

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

Wow, that is amazing! Thanks for the photos and details. This is so cool.

#12 descott12

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 06:29 AM

 It is a standard threading but I forgot the specifics. Something like 1/4-20, I think.

CORRECTION: the bolt is 3/8 NOT 1/4 inch in diameter. I can't quite remember the threading. Perhaps 16 threads per inch.




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