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Desirable Spacing of Observing Pads @ Observatory

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9 replies to this topic

#1 kfiscus

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:17 AM

I couldn't decide whether to put this question here or on the observatory forum.  I decided to come here for the higher number of viewers and opinions.  This concerns people outside of the observatory structure.

 

I am helping a nearby public observatory rebrand themselves not only as a place for locals to stargaze but as a destination for traveling scope owners.  We are looking at adding a few cement pads with 120-volt outdoor outlets to accommodate visitors' scopes.  How far apart would be ideal (and within reason)?  There will probably be 4 pads in a straight line.



#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:46 AM

This link goes to a page describing the Broemmelsiek Park Astronomy Site in a far west suburb of St. Louis. Maybe looking at the photos will help with your decision. Spacing is at least 20 feet from one pad to another. http://www.asemonlin...-astronomy-site

 

There are nine concrete pads at Broemmelsiek Park with electric service. There is no charge for admission or use of the facility. During the Summer, on Friday and Saturday nights, all the pads get occupied, with overflow observing at telescopes set up in the grass between pads. During the winter, it is not so crowded. lol.gif  It would be a real trek, a seven hour drive, for a person in your part of Minnesota to visit and see the layout firsthand. But it might be a useful trip.



#3 scadvice

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 01:03 AM

16 ft minumum center to center. But like ShaulaB said if you got the room go 20 ft. We found that the power outlets can be a trip hazard so you need to decide how to address that. 


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#4 Chucke

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 02:07 PM

OCA in CA originally put in 10' square pads 4-5' apart for their private pads.  It worked well in the heydays of SCs.  With the longer scopes now popular 12' square works better.  In their public viewing area they just put in a long concrete strip with power outlets spaced along it.


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#5 cuzimthedad

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 03:15 PM

In their public viewing area they just put in a long concrete strip with power outlets spaced along it.

I second this idea. The strip makes for a cleaner looking site too.



#6 CharlesW

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 03:26 PM

GMARS has about 40 pads right now that are spaced ~15’ apart. You can get a top down view if you Google Map GMARS in Landers, Ca. There are quite a few more pads now than are pictured. There is a social component to having pads that is going to get lost if they are too far apart. 



#7 kfiscus

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 09:12 PM

Thank you for the replies- keep them coming.  Regarding the trip hazard mentioned by scadvice, we were planning on having them mounted to short 4x4 treated wood posts sticking up about 30".  Thoughts?

Edited by kfiscus, 26 May 2019 - 07:04 AM.


#8 scadvice

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:10 AM

Thank you for the replies- keep them coming.  Regarding the trip hazard mentioned by scadvice. we were planning on having them mounted to short 4x4 treated wood posts sticking up about 30".  Thoughts?

I like the 4 x4 Idea.... maybe adding these or something similar that's waterproof?

 

 

https://www.mouser.c...LXR9126SxD110V/



#9 clearwaterdave

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 01:31 AM

For the power posts you could try glo in the dark tape.,I have some that is "Duct Tape" brand and it glows good.,The have small 3/4" wide rolls.,I have it on everything.,lol.,



#10 kfiscus

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

Update:  In a compromise with the guys who are responsible for mowing, we're going to do a single long strip of concrete that will be about 60 feet long featuring outlet posts inset into the concrete to eliminate the need for trimming around the posts.  The posts will be far enough apart to allow the large mowers to go between the posts.  The width of this strip is TBD.

 

BTW, thank you to Chucke for suggesting the single strip idea.


Edited by kfiscus, 01 June 2019 - 12:54 AM.



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