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About Drbelly

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    Shropshire, UK
  1. Hi everyone, I have been attempting to get more into astrophotography and have taken several unguided images but have been unsuccessful so far in getting guiding going to get longer subs. My setup is a SW 250PDS with the main imaging camera being an SXVR-H18 mono CCD attached via a coma corrector and SX 2 inch filter wheel. I have a lodestar to use as guide camera through an OAG connected to the filter wheel. I have struggled and struggled to get the correct spacing for the lodestar to come to focus with the main camera but recently thought I had it cracked. I have added 20mm worth of c-cs mount adapters to the lodestar and managed to get this focused a couple of weeks ago on a bright 3/4 moon using PHD guiding. Now the moon is out of the way I thought I would be able to have a go getting an actual guide star on the lodestar chip but the last couple of nights when I have fired up PHD, all I am getting is a pure white image. I have tried knocking the gamma slider right down and decreasing the exposure but I can't get an image with PHD. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling and get the same result. I can't figure out where I'm going wrong. I've made sure the OAG turret is far enough down in the OAG for the pick-off prism to receive light etc. but nothing. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. I used this stuff from B&Q http://www.diy.com/n...?skuId=11138400. It's called Jablite. Cuts really well and is a bit thicker than the standard polystyrene stuff. I used it under the warm room floor and like others used some small battons screwed to the main floor joists to support it. It's the same stuff that Malc-c used on his build. I didn't use anything under the scope room floor.
  3. I poured my foundation block first setting the plastic waste pipe into this but had a few lengths of rebar hammered into the ground up into the pipe. I then filled the pipe later when I new what height my pier would need to be. In my case it was quite tricky to know how tall the pier needed to be until I had built the obsy around it. That way I could find the optimal height to see as low down over the walls as possible but still allow the roof to roll shut.
  4. Many thanks. It's taken a fair amount of time and effort to get it this far. Now looking forward to kitting out the inside. Stu, The overall dimensions are roughly 4.8 x 2.4m with the scope and warm rooms divided up into 2.4 x 2.4m each. I chose this size mainly because 2.4m is the usual length of common building materials like CLS and ply sheeting etc.
  5. Thanks Stuart, I think that is what I will go for also. Just need to get round to digging the trench for the feed cable Not sure what happened to the photo in my previous post - think I was reorganising my photobucket library and the link is now broken. As I can't edit the above post, here's the photo again.
  6. I've gone for turnbuckles on mine for the moment - 1 in each corner. They're pretty quick and easy to use.
  7. Hello everyone, Time for a well overdue update to this thread. Despite the lack of updates and the fact I recently hit the big four-0 I have been cracking on with the build. The outer construction is now more or less complete and the obsy is fully clad and woodstained. I built my ROR section on the ground as it was too tricky to build it in-situ due to the size. I went for felt to cover the roof sections in the end although did consider rubber sheeting like Gina's build, but in the end the cost of the felt was around £60 for 2 rolls of Wicks finest 15year felt compared to probably a couple of hundred £ for the sheeting. I was a bit worried about getting the ROR back on top of the obsy as it was very heavy but 4 of us managed it fairly easily in the end. I have 5x50mm rubber wheels on either side of the ROR running in aluminium channel which was screwed down the the top rails of the obsy after making sure the screw holes were counter-sunk. The roof rolls well but takes a bit of effort at first to get it going due to the weight. I was wondering whether to put a bit of grease in the rails to help it roll more smoothly? The next jobs will be to start first-fixing the electrical wiring inside the warm room and obsy and to get the pier finished off by flooding it with concrete and fitting the pier adapters. Oh and there's the small matter of digging a 50m trench for armoured electric cable back to the house!! :eek: I need to decide what lighting to put in the warm room and scope room and how many sockets etc. I'm thinking of having both white and red lights in both rooms and as many electric points as I can fit in. Any suggestions anyone?
  8. Hi Malcolm, I'm trying to see how you went about sealing the gaps between the roofs and walls. It looks like you've used the wide DPC membrane material for this ?? I'm looking at getting my obsy clad tomorrow and will be looking at how to seal it. I don't suppose you have any photos showing the ends of the ROR and seals in more detail so that I can see how you've done it. Sorry if it's any hassle. Cheers
  9. Thanks Malcolm It was your build that inspired me to have a go. Hopefully after all the hard work it will be worth it.
  10. OK time for an update.... Quite pleased with what I managed to ge done today. Most of the framework panels were built and got them painted with some preservative. Not my favourite colour but it was some I had left over from a while ago. Managed to get my eldest daughter roped in to help with the painting as it's not my favourite job! Then it was a just matter of connecting the panels all together using carriage bolts then screwing it all down onto the base. I've decided to have a smal drop down flap on the southern wall to enable me to get further down to the horizon in this direction. Hopefully tommorrow will get the last external panel and dividing panel made and crack on with building the roof
  11. Malcolm, I picked up a set of the 50mm rubber tyred rollers from screwfix yesterday. I'm looking at using 1" x 1/2" x1/8th" ali u-channel for the roof to roll on. Having measured the wheels I have noticed that the distance from the edge of the tyre to the fixed metal circular section on the wheel is just under 1/2". The width of the wheel including this metal bit is around 3/4". I have some concerns that this fixed circular part will catch on the rails although the rails are wider. I remember from your thread that you had some problems with binding on the rails and had to remove 1 of yours - was it because of this issue? If so I may opt for the 75mm tyres from screwfix.
  12. Malcolm, thanks very much for the links. I've read differing opinions regarding rubber vs nylon wheels and wasn't sure which to go for. Some people believe that rubber tyres may eventually deform causing a flat surface on the part of the tyre in contact with the runner when the roof is in the closed position. Have you found any evidence to support this with your rollers?
  13. Managed to get a couple of panels made this afternoon. I've decided to make the walls 1.9m high. Once one of the panels had been made I got the scope back up onto the obsy floor and checked the field of view with the top of the tripod at 135cm instead of 145cm as I've brought the walls down by 10cm. At this height I should be able to see down to roof-top height along the eastern horizon but have decided I will need a drop-down flap on the southern wall to get as low down as posible. The panels need to have some bracing added before they can be screwed down. I need to decide where to have the door before I make up more panels - I'm not sure wether to have it on the gable-end wall or to the right of the long wall nearest the camera on the photo below. This will affect how I position the slope of my warm room roof The forcast is for lots of rain tomorrow so the tarp is back on and secured waiting for the next clear day when I can continue. If I get time I may build some of the panels in my outbuilding where the studwork is being stored so that I can then crack on with the roof. I'm going to start looking at getting the rollers and u-channel sourced and also the roofing materials. I think I have decided on using OSB sheets for the roof covered with the glued-on rubber sheeting that I have seen others use. Any recommendations on where to source these various items would be handy
  14. The long axis of mine runs almost exactly north-south with south being towards the chicken pen on the photos. I managed to get the scope out this morning to take a look and see how high I can take the pier and walls. If I plan to have the side walls along the long axis 2 metres tall I could have the top of the pier including mount plate at 145cm and I would still be able to park the scope sideways horizontally with the top of the OTA being around 185-190cm. This would allow me to open and close the roof without knocking the equipment. I have good views to the east and south so would like to be able to get as low as possible in these directions and so may need to consider a fold down flap on 1 or both of the southern gable and the eastern long axis walls. I'm not sure if having a flap on both south and east walls would be feasable as it may affect the stability of the structure too much. Hmm .... lots to think about and mull over. Whilst I was pondering dark clouds were quickly gathering and rumbles of thunder were sounding. I just managed to get the scope and mount back indoors and the tarp on before the heavens opened and it absolutely chucked it down
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