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