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Castle of Clouds observatory

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#1 VilleM

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 04:58 PM

Hello. Here is my observatory build, I have been working on it since 2019 and it's getting close to full automation in the coming years if all goes well. smirk.gif

The observatory houses two telescopes, a 100mm f/5.5 refractor on Losmandy G11 mount and 150mm f/4 reflector on EQ6 mount that belongs to another astronomer who I have been building this thing with. The observatory is located in eastern Finland in a bortle class 3 site with very little light pollution. Right next to us is Taurus Hill Observatory complex. Because of harsh winters with lots of snow the electronics are heated and backup power is available from UPS for a short amount of time. Also the tracks that the roof moves on are heated to prevent ice accumulating on them.

 

The roof moves with a garage door motor, the chain that goes though it is spring loaded to give the motor a soft start when pulling the roof. Also the limit switches are spring loaded to prevent the roof from smashing into them with too much force. The roof is automated with Banana Pi -single board computer with custom code that enables access via ethernet from both telescope control compucters. Also flat panels and surveilance camera IR lights are automated via this interface. We also use WiFi smart plugs to hard boot PC's in case of any software problems and we can also toggle work lights on from our smartphones if something needs to be done on-site.
We also have a weather station and all sky camera based on ZWO ASI174MC -camera. It has automated meteor detection which so far has worked great.

Some images taken from here can be seen at: www.evenfall.space/gallery

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#2 MisterDan

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 05:25 PM

Your skill and growth (less than 10 years?!) is remarkable, and your passion is obvious in your work.

 

Thank you for sharing these images and the many other images and information at evenfall.space.

 

Best wishes and kindest regards.

Dan



#3 Older Padawan

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 05:44 PM

Very impressive work. I am envious now bow.gif



#4 VilleM

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 06:14 PM

Your skill and growth (less than 10 years?!) is remarkable, and your passion is obvious in your work.

 

Thank you for sharing these images and the many other images and information at evenfall.space.

 

Best wishes and kindest regards.

Dan

Thank you for your kind comment Dan.

I started as a pure visual observer in 2012 and drifted slightly towards astrophotography in 2015. For long time I just took photos of milkyway landscapes and did some casual DSLR imaging with Astrotrac. I built my first observatory in 2017 to my parents summer cottage where I still do some visual observing sometimes with an 8" reflector. There isn't any electricity there so once I got more into imaging I teamed up with another hobbyist and we met first time face to face when the construction of this observatory began in 2019! Now we are good friends and keep in touch weekly - mostly to rant about the weather.. lol.gif


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#5 Astrola72

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Posted 18 August 2021 - 08:44 PM

"Castle of Clouds"! I love it. Wish I'd thought of that one. Beautiful work, on the observatory and in your images.

 

Joe



#6 VilleM

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 01:17 PM

Thank you Joe!

I forgot to add the website of the all sky camera here. The live image can be seen at: https://www.kassiopeia.net/pilvilinna/


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