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This may take a while (obsy build thread)


Teslar
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As some may know I work away from home so weekends are precious and I have to ration home life and hobbies. We also moved house last year to there has been lots of jobs to be done before I could even think of starting an obsy build. My original idea was to build a wooden dome obsy based on S @ N plans published on a disc in 2009 and I spent a while costing it and contemplating the difficulties like laminating the dome and fabricating all the former pieces. What finally did for this idea wasn't just the time it would take but also the fortunate event (for me) of a fibreglass dome coming up on ABS some of you may have spotted it but it wasn't up for long as the seller none other than our own Marcus had tipped me off that he was listing it for sale. So after a wild weather drive 600 miles round trip south in a hire van accompanied by a friend and fellow astronomer Jeff the obsy is now sitting in the courtyard of our house

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That was about six weeks ago but a torn muscle and high winds have prevented further progress until today :D

Armed with a spade, saw, sledge hammer and pick axe I set about removing an old fence post and clearing the area where the obsy would finally be located

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The pick axe and spade came into play to dig out various shrubs and hedge growth so I could properly size the room I had and only remove the minimum of hedge. Some of the hedge was replanted and new shrubs will be added once the build is complete (I have to make sure that Laura is kept onside)

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The eagle eyed of you will have spotted the black cable in the bottom right of the last photo. This was a bit of forward planning after a quick word in the builders ear last year :)

The plan is to build some decking in there to mount the obsy and allow just enough space to to get all the way around. This is so we can enjoy the view from the decking on the other side of the obsy. But that's all for another day. I drive a desk at work and all this has been a bit tiring for one day

Oh! Just incase your wondering the obsy is 3M diameter and yes it actually fits on that patch of ground I think the photo makes it look a lot smaller than it is :)

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Yep very lucky that way. Sea horizon to the East and single story buildings quite far away to the south west is slightly more challenged with single story roof 10meters away (my own) and North to some low hills on the horizon :) don't tell Laura that I spotted this potential the first day we visited the plot :D

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Guest fondofchips

In my experience 'may take a while' becomes: -


Took longer than I thought


Cost more


Just another mod, won't take long to do


This wiring can be added to or improved - LED lighting/12V monitor control box has been redone 3 times already.


When is next payday.


Really feels good the first time you use it though.


Have fun.


Cheers,


Harry.


Edited by fondofchips
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Looks great so far. Looking forward to watching this develop. And like other, i am very envious of your views, both for their own intrinsic value but also in terms of astronomy.

Jd

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Some small progress was made at the weekend but most of the time was spent measuring, planning, worrying and after a trip to Bill & Quake I ordered up the materials for the decking

The site was cleared a little more and the ring of the obsy rotator was tried for size

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The planning stage was worrying but helped by online tools

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And committing to paper before placing in the ring which confirmed my measurements. (Hopefully)

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8 decking posts 2.4M will make 8 long posts and 4 short ones

55 decking planks

7 joists 3.8M

Joint hangers and Truss hangers

Postcrete

And a kind chap who will put in the concrete and rebar for the mount 1M cube of concrete on order. I've never made up a bill of materials like this before I just hope I've ordered it correctly

I drew up the plans in a bit more detail tonight as I have a joiner friend who is going to do the hard stuff (he has the tools) while I do the labouring. He asked me for a drawing so hopefully this will do. But I've told him we might need to adjust things

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Some concessions were made here. Laura wants to to look exactly like a sun deck if the obsy is ever moved or sold so though currently access around the dome will be tight I'm hoping I don't need to access it much. The other request is that there had to be room at the front for a small table and two chairs for a sun downer g&t in the summer :)

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Maybe you could write a book about it. When I last moved house, I wasn't interested in astronomy and find that I have to cart my telescope around different vantage points in our close to see certain objects. Fortunately, our neighbours didn't mind me plonking a Skymax 127 on an EQ3 on their lawn at 3AM to see M6 and M7.


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Not having built one, I'm perhaps not the best to comment, but I'll throw this in.


 


If you have a design where there is an open void under the decking, make sure it's sealed or backfilled in some way. It looks like you would be classed as "rural" but one of the biggest reasons for increases in urban rat populations is decking (according to our council rat lady). Decking with mains electrical cables under could be even more at risk, even if it is SWA cable.


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Not having built one, I'm perhaps not the best to comment, but I'll throw this in.

 

If you have a design where there is an open void under the decking, make sure it's sealed or backfilled in some way. It looks like you would be classed as "rural" but one of the biggest reasons for increases in urban rat populations is decking (according to our council rat lady). Decking with mains electrical cables under could be even more at risk, even if it is SWA cable.

I will 2nd what Alan says.

 

And putting food out for the birds - even on a bird table - Watched one climb up onto mine o/s my kitchen - didn't do it again as it got a .22 as a present (hate rats!) - no longer put food  on a bird table.

 

The local council dump at night looks like rows of cats eyes on a road.

 

Very destructive things rats and mice aint much better - they love gnawing thru cables

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I'm putting Terram down to stop weeds and was going to gravel over it. The local farm cats are quite good at killing rats but I'll watch the situation closely. The electric cable has been there for a year uncovered and so far shows no sign of being nibbled but there is no power to it at present. I'll put in some fine wire netting as well just to keep out the bigger stuff. Mice seem to get though any gap though so if anyone can recommend other prevention measures I'd be interested

Edited by Teslar
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Well I took today as a "holiday" and with the help of two guys we dug our the area needed and shifted about two tons of earth which was used to level the site

This was my start

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And this was the result after two guys plus me for 5 hours today

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Builders!!!! Grrr some if the boulders and rubble we came across were unbelievable

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This one took a bit of digging out from clay soil :(

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The decking material has also arrived so things are looking good for a start on construction soon

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And Postcrete to secure it tightly to the ground

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The good news is that with this extra help called in the progress has been much more than I could possibly have managed on my own. It would have taken me weeks to do this myself. I tired but happy :happydance:

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Looking good Tom, that's a lot of earth and rocks to shift!! I suppose the next job is the pier base? Hope you get the weather to crack on!! Well done earnt a 'wee dram' (or 2 ) I think!!


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Got a little bit done late Sunday. Levelled the site and marked it out to check everything will fit as planned

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Got a guy coming with a machine to tamp it down. Then some small stone and whin dust before I start on the decking next weekend hopefully :)

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Woo hoo. Finally feel I'm getting somewhere now the ground works are nearly done. Framing and joists positioned and partially fixed. Took a long weekend to try and get things moving

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And the cement mixer was delivered so hopefully at some point this weekend the pier base will go in. Just need the ballast delivered on time :)

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Now just got time to clear up a bit before laura arrived home :D

Edited by Teslar
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You've have been busy!! Looking good Tom!


I've just laid 10m of armoured cable in the garden, it's tough stuff to work with, I don't envy you that job!!  :)


 


Cheers


Ron


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Hired in a chippy to help me. Though I have to say it's been a while since he was a chippy and it showed. Glad I had the measuring tape and plans all worked out or god knows what it would have looked like. :)

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