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Observatory ideas


dawson
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My set up time is not getting shorter, and the weather is not getting more easily predictable, so i think it's time to bite the bullet and have some kind of observatory in the back garden.

I've started a thread on SGL about this to see what comments / suggestions they offer, but i would also value any comments from EMS too:

http://stargazerslounge.com/index.php?/topic/212094-Thinking-stage%2E%2E%2E%2E

Hopefully i can have a look at Harry's observatory in the near future as i really do like the design and construction of it from the pictures. A member of the nottingham astronomical society who lives in my area also has a roll off roof obsy, so i am hopeful i can go and see his too.

Rob, i might need yet another visit to see yours and to ask more questions.

Thanks for any comments.

Jd

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about time James L.O.L.


i think i`ve offered my assistance in planing and d.i.y. with the construction of it, and your more than welcome to pop round any time and have another look over my build, there is alot of thinking to do as to get everything correct but it`s well worth the effort in the end, my roof will soon be re built as you know it was the original design from the guy i bought it off, wheels for the new roof arrived last week after almost 2 months from ordering ! so it should roll off alot easier than it does at present.


i`m off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week at the moment if any of these dates any good to you.


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if you want permanent power to the obsy James then i`s get a length of 2.5 mm armoured cable, this should be more than enough to run a radial circuit from either a socket in the house or garage to the obsy, i take it that you will be using the warm room a a control room with computers and so on in there so no need for pipes to be buried, you`ll never cut through armoured cable with a fork or spade so totally safe. 


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Thanks rob. Next week is much better for me. I'll private message you and find out your availability then. I'm just re-reading the chapter in that book on electricity in the observatory... It sounds complicated and expensive. One issue i'll have is that i can't screw things to my pier, as it goes up and down; this is something else i need to investigate!

Thanks again.

Jd

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Hi James, your welcome to have a gleg at my roll off observatory for ideas if you wish.

Theres a yahoo group on amateur observatories which is great for ideas, I shall try and dig out the address but googling it should find it

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Thanks phil, yes i'd like to have a look at yours if that is ok. I am still very much looking for ideas of how best to do it and how to avoid any major pitfalls others have encountered. The main time pressure is just these pipes, and should i get them burried under the new fence in two weeks or not, and if they need to be dedicated cable ducting pipes and how many and how deep. I suspect if they need to be 600mm deep then i'll have to pay the fence blokes more to dig a trench that deep for the 4m or so; and if two ducts, one for electricity and one for communications, how far apart should they be to limit interference....

Or do i just have less permanent electrics to the observatory like rob?

I'll send you a PM and see when you are free for me to have a look.

Thank you.

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My obs has been up for 8 years now and im in the process of updating it and repairing some of the recent leak damage but its presentable now so your welcome to have a look.

Mine has been 12v solar/battery powered all that time and have never really felt I needed mains down there but I reckon as part of the updates mains is going to go in this year.

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My pier needs 110v, and has a 240 to 110v transformer, so having at least one socket in there is essential. Everything needs electricity, and they all want different voltages, so i just thought having mains in there from the start would help; in addition if they are digging another trench straight past it i might as well use the opportunity.

Jd

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My reason for 12v dc was due to the unreliability of the mains out here in the sticks, I didnt want to be part way through a 4 hour imaging run only to have everything die on me because a farmer has run into the overhead line, (it happened) so I went 12v leisure battery with solar trickle charge but I have a temporay lead which I run down there from the pond pump mains :-) when needed. This I will make permanent this year.

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My toaster has tripped my fuse box twice, but no other power cuts that i can remember in three years. In an ideal world 12v sounds ideal, safer and less hassle to set up, i'd worry about the battery not being charged and i'd probably run a semi-permenant extension cord in from the house anyway which would totally defeat the safety idea of burying cable. I'm really interested to see your set up next week.

Jd

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I shall dig out some pics of its 1st and second incarnations, its really changed over the years. The mk1 roof was a flip top, mk2 (present) is a far safer roll off. I think Ive got animations somewhere of both mks, thatl be good for a laugh.

The flip top actually worked quite well, except in high winds.

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I can only find the animation for my Mk 2 roof design but have managed to find some stills of the Mk1


 


 


OK heres how I built it 8 years ago. There were restrictions on space for a roll off roof rails so I devised this novel hinged design. Each half of the roof was hinged and counterweighted. It looks odd but I must say it had a lot of advantages over a full roof off design, you could open only one side if you wanted givening great wind and dew protection. Eventually I had enough of this, shifted the wifes greenhouse to the other side of the garden and converted it to roll off.


 


Observatory with Mk1 flip top roof


 


Closed


Mk1-closed.jpg


 


 


Open


mk1-open.jpg


 


 


As mentioned I put up with this for 3 years and then converted to roll off, heres the animation, hope it works. I had the C11 in there at the time so that's the big canon pointing heavenwards at the end 


 


obsanismall.gif


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


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Lovely. Again, as with the other thread, your horizon looks way better than mine, so i'm jealous of that.

That is one of my reservations, but i just can't see me moving in the next 5 years and a permanent obsy set up will make it all just much more enjoyable for me. If i do move, and left just the shed, i'd still hopefully have had some good times in there and could take the pier and the experience, and it may have cost me £500/year, but hey....!

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The southern horizon has almost gone now the trees have grown up in the field at the back. I stand no chance with Saturn this year from the observatory as it will just be grazing the tops of the trees when at its highest. Mind I would sooner have the trees to the alternative

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I've seen two lovely obsys today and got lots of ideas. It's made me even more determined to get one. I just need to clarify in my mind what size obsy and what size warm room, and who is going to make it :)

Jd

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