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Put Up/Take Down - Observatory 51

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#51 PirateMike

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 03:16 PM

Yippie. We managed to get the floor poured today.

 

Early this morning it looked like we wouldn't be able to do it as it was raining hard but it stopped at about 7am. Raul and I started right in and got it done just in time before it started raining again. Luckily Raul decided that we had to cover it with plastic, so we quickly devised a "tent" structure just before it started raining again.

 

Here is an image of it once the bad weather cleared up a little later in the day.

 

 

Poured small.jpg

 

 

Tomorrow I will remove the wood sides and see what she looks like in all her glory!  lol.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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Edited by PirateMike, 30 May 2019 - 07:42 PM.

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#52 PirateMike

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:34 PM

Here are some other photos of the pour taken by my brother. He couldn't stick around because he had to go to the doctors with and ear infection.

 

pour2small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.



#53 PirateMike

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:37 PM

Here is Raul and myself getting the rocks and sand for a batch of cement. We needed 4-1/2 mixes to fill the base.

 

I'm the handsome one in the white shirt.  tongue2.gif

 

 

pour3small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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Edited by PirateMike, 31 May 2019 - 12:06 PM.

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#54 Tom K

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

Whoa - that is a lot of concrete to mix by hand - a tip of the cap to you, sir!


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#55 PirateMike

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 05:05 AM

Whoa - that is a lot of concrete to mix by hand - a tip of the cap to you, sir!

Hey Tom,

 

Thanks for the tip of the cap. waytogo.gif

 

I wasn't so bad, Raul is a good worker, and as for me, an abundant amount of acetaminophen was the magic energy source.

 

Anyways, splitting the work between the two of us and working as a team certainly helped to keep things moving forward. From the time Raul arrived at my house until we were done and he left took all of 4 hours. I think the actual mixing and pouring took about 2 hours.

 

Hopefully everything will turn out as expected.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


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#56 SteveGR

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:50 AM

Hey Tom,

 

Thanks for the tip of the cap. waytogo.gif

 

I wasn't so bad, Raul is a good worker, and as for me, an abundant amount of acetaminophen was the magic energy source.

 

Anyways, splitting the work between the two of us and working as a team certainly helped to keep things moving forward. From the time Raul arrived at my house until we were done and he left took all of 4 hours. I think the actual mixing and pouring took about 2 hours.

 

Hopefully everything will turn out as expected.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.

Do you have to do a wet cure?


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#57 PirateMike

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:03 AM

Do you have to do a wet cure?

I'm not sure if I have to, Raul says no, but I'm keeping it moist for a few days at least.

 

I kept it nice and wet all day yesterday and trying to do the same today but it is bright and sunny, go figure!

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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#58 PirateMike

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:51 PM

So today I kept the pad wet all day as best I could. I also removed the wooden frame and cleaned up the edges a little.

 

 

clean1small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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#59 PirateMike

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:54 PM

Here is what the sides look like. I will "wash" them with a thin mixture of cement and sand to give them a little coating just to spruce them up a little.

 

 

clean2small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 31 May 2019 - 10:32 PM.

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#60 PirateMike

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:02 PM

I measured the diagonals to see how square the pad is and I am only off by 1", they measure 118" for one diagonal and 119" for the other. For a perfect square with 84" sides, the diagonal measurements should be 118.79".

 

All the sides measure 84" (+/- 1/16") wide and the distances from side to side measured the same 84" (+/- 1/16").

 

All in all, I think the pads dimensions worked out just about perfect.

 

 

 

Another photo of the sides, I like looking at my work, you maybe not so much!  smile.gif

 

 

Clean3small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 31 May 2019 - 10:37 PM.

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#61 Tom K

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 09:26 AM

I like looking at the work Miguel, but I have a question.   I was trying to figure out why you are using the concrete blocks along the perimeter at all.   Why not just use wood forms and pour the slab on grade?   Now that the blocks are monolithic with the slab you poured - and covered on top in concrete, what is their function?  Your rebar looks to be #4s at about 12" OC, so that should be plenty good for this sort of slab poured against wood forms.

 

Don't get me wrong - I think it is awesome, I am just curious.   I am also living vicariously through all of the observatory builds I see here on CN in anticipation of, someday, being able to live somewhere that will allow me to do the same!

 

Tom


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#62 PirateMike

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 05:37 PM

Hey Tom,

 

I'm not sure that the answer to your question will end up being fully logical, I can only say that this is how I wanted to do it, but I'll give it a try.

 

Why not just use wood forms and pour the slab on grade?

 

I could have done that but I was concerned with the pad coming out as perfectly square and straight sided as possible. The side walls will overlap the base by 1" to prevent water from seeping in when it rains. Also, if the base sides were a little bowed the straight square aluminum tubing would not fit as nicely as I would like. When putting in the blocks I dug a little trench for the minimal footing, clamped the blocks between two steel rectangular tubes and suspended them above the trench and then easily slid them into the correct position, I then filled the space between the blocks and the ground with cement. This helped make sure that the sides were perfectly straight and level. Look close at the photo in post #40, you will see the block are suspended.

 

The rebar used is #3.

 

Also, it rains like crazy here in the tropics and I wanted the pad surface to be at a height safely above ground in case of flooding.

 

Wood is very expensive here, cement blocks are less than 2 for $1 plus 11.5% sales tax! I bought 20 blocks for $12, four 2x8's would have cost me over $100! That's a lot of money for termite food. tongue2.gif

 

I hope this helps explain my construction methods, and thanks for asking. waytogo.gif

 

 

Let me know if I can help with any other questions. I would be very happy to try to explain my doings. smile.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 01 June 2019 - 07:05 PM.

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#63 PirateMike

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

Well now that the pad if done, at least for now, I will start building the 3 side walls and the doorway wall.

 

Please give me a few days to get things together and to clean out my garage to make room of this "wall project"!

 

 

Peace,

Miguel   8-)

 

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#64 SteveGR

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:50 AM

Well now that the pad if done, at least for now, I will start building the 3 side walls and the doorway wall.

 

Please give me a few days to get things together and to clean out my garage to make room of this "wall project"!

 

 

Peace,

Miguel   8-)

 

.

Do you have a completion date goal?  I'm not sure how hot it gets where you are, will it reach a point where it's hard to work outside?


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#65 555aaa

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 12:03 PM

Looking real good, Miguel. I'm excited to see how the rest of the build goes.
Best of luck,
Bruce.
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#66 PirateMike

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 02:58 PM

Do you have a completion date goal?  I'm not sure how hot it gets where you are, will it reach a point where it's hard to work outside?

Hey Steve,

 

I don't have a completion data, my Project Management days are over. But getting the wall done should only take a week or so (probably less) and I will be building them in my garage. The roof is still being developed in my mind, but I can build that in the garage too.

 

It doesn't really get all that hot here (96*f max with a nice sea breeze) as I live only about a mile from the ocean, but the sun is very strong and I do tend to "fizzle" when working in direct sun during the mid day hours. My preferred location is in the shade!

 

 

Anyways, the PVC board will be delivered tomorrow and the aluminum square tubing will be picked up on Thursday. I'll start the walls on Friday. Well that's the plan for now. smile.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 04 June 2019 - 03:26 PM.


#67 PirateMike

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 03:04 PM

Looking real good, Miguel. I'm excited to see how the rest of the build goes.
Best of luck,
Bruce.

Hello Bruce,

 

Thanks for the positive comment and also for following along. It has been a bit of a "slow go" so far but things should pick up from here. Aluminum tube and PVC board is lighter than bags of cement and cement blocks!  lol.gif

 

 

I should start on building the walls this Friday

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.



#68 SteveGR

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 03:33 PM

Hey Steve,

 

I don't have a completion data, my Project Management days are over. But getting the wall done should only take a week or so (probably less) and I will be building them in my garage. The roof is still being developed in my mind, but I can build that in the garage too.

 

It doesn't really get all that hot here (96*f max with a nice sea breeze) as I live only about a mile from the ocean, but the sun is very strong and I do tend to "fizzle" when working in direct sun during the mid day hours. My preferred location is in the shade!

 

 

Anyways, the PVC board will be delivered tomorrow and the aluminum square tubing will be picked up on Thursday. I'll start the walls on Friday. Well that's the plan for now. smile.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.

Are you going with the smooth panels, or a faux wood look that was mentioned earlier in the thread?


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#69 PirateMike

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:15 PM

Are you going with the smooth panels, or a faux wood look that was mentioned earlier in the thread?

I'll have to use the plain panels. frown.gif  But I will spruce them up a little bit. Home Depot didn't have any PVC panels, smooth or otherwise.

 

 

Miguel   8-)



#70 SteveGR

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:36 AM

If you'll excuse the side question, I'm curious how many clear nights do you average in a year?  We only get seventy-odd here.



#71 PirateMike

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 02:16 AM

Hey Steve,

 

I never bothered to count them or look up the information on the web but we do have quite a few. I would guess that we have at least half of the nights clear enough to do AP, especially after midnight when the heat from the island falls close to the temperature of the ocean (I assume). The sky can quickly change, and often does, from cloudy to clear around midnight, but other parts of the island can be quite different.

 

Being an island, the weather patterns are very different here than they are in the middle of a large land mass like North America. The lower level winds come from the east, over the ocean. The sun is the energy source that heats the land and causes rising air that disrupts the otherwise smooth flowing air. This can cause thunder storms and a lot of rain in the afternoon, but they are mostly gone by 5pm or earlier. Some days (like today at 2pm) the skies are completely clear of clouds but there is a little haze. In the winter we have even better skies.

 

No astro-photography during a hurricane. mad.gif

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


Edited by PirateMike, 11 June 2019 - 01:07 PM.


#72 SteveGR

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 12:49 PM

Hey Steve,

 

I never bothered to count them or look up the information on the web but we do have quite a few. I would guess that we have at least half of the nights clear enough to do AP, especially after midnight when the heat from the island falls close to the temperature of the ocean (I assume). The sky can change drastically after midnight.

 

Being an island, the weather patterns are very different here than they are in the middle of a large land mass like North America.

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.

Tell me about it. smile.gif  I'm in Michigan in the middle of the Great Lakes.  Weather is notoriously hard to predict here and is often very, very weird. cloudy.gif

 

Once you are up and running, what will be your primary imaging scope?  The Takahashi FC-100DF?


Edited by SteveGR, 11 June 2019 - 12:52 PM.


#73 PirateMike

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 05:32 PM

Tell me about it. smile.gif  I'm in Michigan in the middle of the Great Lakes.  Weather is notoriously hard to predict here and is often very, very weird. cloudy.gif

 

Once you are up and running, what will be your primary imaging scope?  The Takahashi FC-100DF?

Oh, you're close to the lakes, that makes a difference in the weather.

 

I'll be using all my scopes depending on the target and the composition that I'm after. I have a camera and filters dedicated to each scope so it should be no problem switching from one to the other. I won't need to take the assemblies apart. My RC is just siting on the mount right now but she still needs to be tested out, that will be later on in the year.

 

I did do a little work yesterday and today on my observatory but it has been slower than I thought. I think maybe I am paying too much attention to the details. Photos to come soon.

 

Here is a photo I took from my backyard today at about 6:15pm. It looks like a great night for astronomy.

 

 

 

sky small.jpg

 

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.


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#74 PirateMike

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:40 PM

Hello Again,

 

You may be surprised to know that I have been working on the first wall of Observatory 51, even though I haven't posted anything about it up to this point.

 

On Monday I started capping one end of the square tubing, leaving the other end open for cutting to length later.

 

Whenputting the caps on I seal them from the inside using an ample amount of silicone sealant. Hopefully this will keep the ants out!  laugh.gif

 

 

Here are some 2x2's capped and curing for the night.

 

 

photo11small.jpg

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.

 

 

 



#75 PirateMike

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 11:03 PM

The next day I started cutting the 0.5" thick PVC sheets for one wall. It will take two sheets for each wall which will measure 74"h x 81.25"w. The walls will hang over the cement floor by 2" to keep the rain out, I also made the width 0.25" wider than the base in order to have some clearance... just in case, plus one inch more to accommodate the width of the panels on either side.

 

The corners will be a separate 2" x 2" tube where the two side walls will connect. The two corner tubes plus the 81.25" side wall when attached equals 85.25".

 

Those are the details for the outside measurements, you'll see how it all goes together in a future post!

 

 

photo13small.jpg

 

 

 

Miguel   8-)

 

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