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Obsy build in norfolk


Guest sharpie78
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Guest sharpie78

I thought I'd just do a brief post on my obsy build. I did it totally on my own which I'm quite proud of although it meant it took nearly 6 months. anyway......


 


firstly.....I was getting fed up of setting up and taking my gear in cos I'm mainly interested in imaging. I don't like the idea of leaving my gear outside solely protected by a tarpauline and making it easy for someone to steal. As those of you who have turned to the dark side will know.....it's a bit of a chore setting up, making sure cables don't snag etc and then aligning, focusing, framing etc etc. I wanted to be able to just go out when the sky was clear and be imaging quickly without all the setup time. Clear nights are not too numerous and with a permanantly mounted setup I could take advantage of brief breaks in the clouds as well as totally clear nights. I debated just having a pier but thought why not build an observatory.....extra security. I moved out to the country in february, a nice dark site, small village, no street lights, 9 miles out of norwich so very little light pollution. Perfect situation for an obsy. Happy Days :D


 


the plan.......


build an observatory big enough to house a larger telescope if I ever go down that route.


have a warm room (I hate being cold).


do it on a decent budget as I'm a single dad of 3 young daughters.


 


I ended up going with a rectangular building 4.2m x 2.4m (primarily because timber comes readily available in these lengths.......less cutting)


The Obs itself is 2.4m x 2.4m and the warm room is 1.8m x 2.4m.


This gives me plenty of space and the warm room doubles up as a little workshop to tinker and do mods in.


 


Anyway....enough of the planning.....here's a link to the pictures I've uploaded so far. They're just the basic structure cos I'm trying to recover the pictures of the next steps which I deleted. :facepalm:


 


http://s833.photobucket.com/user/sharpie1178/slideshow/Observatory%20Build


 


Obsy is on the right of the building. I decided to have the main entrance at the warm room end. The door into the obsy opens into the warm room to avoid knocking into the scope when entering the obsy end.


 


 


 


 


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Guest sharpie78

Next steps......


I found some polystyrene sheets and a little bit of loft insulation for free on gumtree so picked those up. I then realised I had to take all of the clading off so I could install a breather membrane underneath it, so off it came. I wrapped the entire structure in the breather membrane, put batons over that and reinstalled the cladding. I then put in the insulation, installed a vapour barrier over that and lined the whole of the inside with 4mm plywood. I painted it all black with matt paint.


 


Next was the floor......I got some damp proof membrane and installed it underneath the floor joists....why I didn't do that when I first laid the base I have no idea, it would have been a lot easier to do !! I had bought and old large shed off gumtree (prior to staring the build) to use for timber (keeping the budget down) and it had chipboard loft boards for its floor so I used these and now had myself a structually completed Obsy. :D :D


 


Forward planning is key to a successful build and I did not do enough. Hopefully these posts will point out some floors in my process and help others doing their own builds to avoid my mess ups.......


 


....the mess ups......


 


I didn't run the conduit under the floor for electrics and communications cables before I put the floor down :facepalm2:


I didn't dig the hole for the pillar deep enough :facepalm2:


The roof worked but was too shallow a pitch :facepalm2:


 


Up came the floor and the conduit and cables etc were installed. I decide to run it all in conduit to avoid any vermin from the fields behind my house chewing on it.


 


The hole for the pillar was made deeper. It ended up being 600mm x 600mm and 1000mm deep.


 


I wasn't happy with the run off of the rain from the roof so I decided to increase the pitch of the roof. This was relatively straight forward but was annoying labour intensive on my own.


 


Arrrggghhh. I know....why don't I do everything twice !! lol. cladding on, cladding off, cladding back on again. Roof on, roof off, roof back on again. Floor down, floor up, floor back down again..........Planning ! Planning ! Planning ! :screwloose:


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A bit of trial and error then. I think we've all done that in our astro diy projects. I certainly have, despite lots of planning. I just planned it wrong in the first place and ended up doing it again :) But it all came right in the end, and it seems like you are now well satisfied with the results of your labour.

Well done!

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Guest sharpie78

Now we're getting somewhere........


 


I've got a structually completed Obsy.....properly this time !!


 


What's next.....A door. Again I got this free, from freecycle this time. Solid wood and in pretty good condition. Fitted it with almost no planing down to size and fitted one of those push button locks.....no messing about with keys and gives me security and peace of mind. The door between the warm room and Obsy was a spare from my house.


 


Time for some electrical work.....fitted 4 x double sockets (3 x in warm room, 1 x in Obsy) and ran a switched fused spur for the mount and all the other equipment. The spur will eventually connect to a power supply that kicks out 12V and will run all my gear. This gives me the ability to isolate all my astro gear with just one swtich and leaves the rest of the sockets live.


I fitted a light which my mate had spare. It's an emergency light with 50 L.E.D's in it which kicks out just the right amount of light but doesn't draw much current. Not too bright, Not too dim.


I fitted the consumer unit in the obsy and ran some armoured cable and cat5 cable back to the house.


I wanted the abililty to control everything from the house on the clear nights we get when my kids are asleep.


They're all under 7 years old so I can't sit out in the Obsy all night while they're asleep.....well....I could.....but I like to be there when my littlest one has nightmares which she's going through a phase of.

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Guest sharpie78

The Pier.......


 


I ummed and arrr'ed over this for ages.....height ? round or square ? diameter ? all concrete or concrete base and metal pier ?


 


I decided on an all concrete design with a square pier at 200mm x 200mm and around 1200mm tall.


 


I put up the shuttering and got a mate to bring his mixer round. Concrete was poured a week or so ago and the shuttering is now off.


 


I couldn't afford a proper pier adapter so I made my own with a pair of brake discs from a vauxhall corsa and some 20mm nuts and bolts. I was dubious of this method when researching it but it works !! REALLY WELL !!


 


First light was this weekend and so far everything is going well and worked flawlessly. As you can tell I'm chuffed to bits and I apologise for going on and on and on but like I mentioned earlier....hopefully anyone else doing their own build will take note of my mistakes and my successes. Thankyou for reading all this (if you managed to get this far, without getting bored) :D :D

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Guest sharpie78

one thing I forgot to mention......when you make the rails for your sliding roof.......put some drainage holes in the channel for the wheels. I didn't and got some water ingress when it rained hard. It was a simple fix that had't occured to me, so thanks to Harry "fondofchips" for his advice. I drilled some holes in the rails 300mm away from the obsy and now the excess water just drains out of these holes and doesn't creep inside. :)


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Guest sharpie78

Thanks Pete. It's been a laborious task but well worth it. I just wish I hadn't deleted all the other photos of it all being built. Ah well, if that's all I've got to complain about....I'm doing pretty well in life B)


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That was a good read Jack, got there in the end though! Well done, what was the total cost out of interest??


I have RORO small shed on rails and my warm room is in my shed next door to it, this time of year it's well worth being warm to enjoy your hobby!


Well done that man!


 


Cheers


Ron


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Guest sharpie78

Thanks Ron. I wrote at the top it'd be a brief post...........kinda turned into an essay :read:


I haven't added up all the receipts yet but I reckon I did it for under £700.  Probably the most expensive thing was the shiplap cladding. I managed to up-cycle a lot of things from freecycle and gumtree and having the majority of the structural timber from a 2nd hand shed definately helped.


I echo your comment on keeping warm. I am not one for sitting out in the cold, not without 2 layers of thermals, extra jumpers, extra socks and a big coat on anyway. problem is I look like the michelin man with that lot on and can't move about  much. lol


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excellent job Jack,


i went through a lot of the same work processes as you, it`s very difficult trying to think of every little thing that needs to be done when you have never built an obsy before, there`s loads to plan.


i bought a second hand old obsy for the wood but it sat in garden for two years under cover before i finally got round to erecting it to my speck, took me ages to complete and trying to cut down 10 foot of 2" timber for rails and framing with a hand saw was a killer, i gave in and managed to borrow a circular saw which helped a lot.


if your interested in passing an hour here`s my build thread,


http://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/topic/2539-robs-obsy-build/


Edited by red dwalf
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Guest sharpie78

Thanks Rob. I wish I'd had a circular saw. The only power tool I ended up using was my bosch drill which I used mainly as a screwdriver. Stupid thing died on me though......battery fault......and a replacement is £60. Needless to say, I haven't bought one yet (astro gear and christmas come first). On the plus side....my forearms got a work out from using a normal screwdriver.


I'll have a read through your build thread tomorrow after the school run....just closed down the Obsy and now off to bed. :lazy2:


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Guest sharpie78

Thanks Phil, I've already got plans for changing the roof. At the moment the whole things rolls off lengthways. I'm in negotiations with the housing association to take on the piece of land behind my house and if they say yes, I'm gonna split the roof. Warm room roof will be permanant and insulated. Obsy roof will then roll off sideways. I think I must like making work for myself. :screwloose:


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Guest sharpie78

Had a read through your obsy build thread today Rob. Nice, tidy obs mate. I like the pier table too. I've been thinking about where to site my psu's and focus controller etc without them looking ugly just stuck in a plastic enclosure and bolted to the pier....think i'll make a pier table and mount the enclosure underneath it. Handy observing table and won't be able to see a nasty plastic box with loads of wires running out of it.


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that pier table is very useful Jack, i used to have the usb powered hub on it and the dew controller, but it`s so useful just to put things on when your messing around in the dark without losing them, and it does not get in the way at all.


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Guest sharpie78

project for the weekend I think. I've got some shuttering ply left over I could use. Just gotta decide what colour to paint the pillar and table now.


I had a quick look on your astro website and found your tutorial for M42.....handy as I did 10 minutes of 30 second subs the other night that I want to combine with a longer sub I took a while ago that has the centre of the nebula too bright. The longer sub has got some really nice detail in it. Cheers for that :)


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