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Everything posted by Gina

  1. I've been surveying the area around the SE corner of the property where I plan to put my obsy. I've done a rough sketch of the area. The boundary is shown in red, some small trees in green and where I've dug the hole for my pier is shown in blue. The hole contains some lumps of rock and concrete plus pieces of iron for reinforcement. I put a mixture of 2.5 bags of cement and 6 little bags of ballast in the bottom. I doesn't look much in the bottom of the hole! The nearest trees are apple and want some pruning, being about 8-10 ft high. From the current pier position they block a significant area of sky from the east around to the north-east. Now if the pier were to be more in the corner of the plot with the obsy and warm room off to the north, the view would only be obstructed from about NE round to nearly N. This would seem to be better. Also the building would look better nearly in the corner rather than further out on the grass. So I have a dilemma. Do I abandon all that work digging a "gert big hole" and start again or stick with where it is. There was not much cost spent on the concrete, fortunately. I might be able to recover some of the ironmongery.
  2. I shall want to remote access from Linux or Mac OS X to Win XP or Linux. So I need cross-platform access.
  3. Switch mode PSUs are used for computers and other electronic equipment and it's the electronics of a mount where things will be most critical so I can see no reason for any problem.
  4. TeamViewer looks good I have worked with computers for years including several on a home LAN but never yet controlled one from another except for transferring files across. But I shall want to do this with my obsy.
  5. Thank you I'm been looking for castors but ones with wheel and bracket seemed very expensive or high delivery cost. I've decided to go for wheels only and support them on 12mm bolts between two lengths of timber. Just over £15 for 8 inc delivery. Here :- 80MM Diameter Nylon Castor Wheel: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & ToolsI've gone for 8 so that I can have the "trolley" overlapping the ends of the runners. I have 3 pices of timber about 14-15ft long and 5-6" x 1.75", two of which I could use for the runners. Here is a diagram showing an elevation view of the west side with the roller/runner detail inset. The top rolled off is shown in red.
  6. That's three so far and I bet there are more members in common
  7. Yes, agreed. Yep, that's me
  8. A consumer unit certainly sounds a good idea, and I intend to fit proper sockets. I think mains lighting is a good idea too - for setting up etc. Yes, I think so too. You've confirmed my thinking.
  9. Thanks on the focus accuracy information, very useful
  10. The machine I'm planning to use is a Pentium 4 HT and I think it's 2.8GHz. It has 8 USB2 connectors so well endowed in that respect. I also have another P4HT I'm not using ATM so I could put two base units out there if one was struggling. Maybe one running Linux and the other Win XP Pro. You're very welcome If my efforts for myself also help others I'm very happy to share the information
  11. Yes, I think I'll use 3x2 studding for the walls, the price is not much higher than 2x1 (ish) - 47x22mm. Has a number of advantages. The roof has a span of nearly 8ft - that wants something that won't sag. I too tend to work in a mixture of imperial and metric as you will have seen Being older, my instinct is imperial but computers are not very well geared up for fractions (eg. One and seven eighths inches is awkward - 47mm is much easier). In the olden days I had a typewriter with all the fractions on, in eighths. OK I could write 1.875".... Been thinking about the space taken up by doors myself. With a large enough obsy area I might not need a warm room and could just have a door on the obsy opening outwards. I have problems too. I use the Linux command line app XCircuit. Apart from having circuit symbols, this easily draws straight lines, rectangles and circles plus Bessier curves (think that's right). Also, dashed or dotted lines. Will fill shapes, a number of different colours, easy copy and paste etc. Oh, and do text. Only disadvantage is that it has some very strange commands, unlike any other program I've seen. I also use the GIMP to crop and scale the image and also to convert from Postscript format to PNG for posting. That's interesting - I was thinking of doing the same. I too run a weather station (well, 2 really, one is a Fine Offset type I bought from Maplin and the other, like yours is 1-wire (one I'm developing myself). So I was very interested to see you also use 1-wire. I have weather sensors very near where the obsy is going too.
  12. Yes I have an old desktop I can use. I have XP Pro and Linux on it. I've been using it for webcams for my weather web site but I'm planning to use another desktop for that. I have a tendency to collect computers. I too was thinking of using a webcam on my finderscope, in fact I have done. Or rather, I made up a finderscope out of a webcam (less lens) and an old 35mm SLR camera lens.
  13. I'm thinking ahead. It's possible I might control things from the house rather than having a computer in the obsy. In which case I might run USB too. OTOH if I have a warm room, a computer could go in there. I can get a the MDPE 25mm pipe cheaper for Wickes than any other alternative I can find.
  14. This seems to be what I'm aiming at ATM. I'm thinking of exterior plywood on studding or 47x22mm battens for roof and walls. This is cheaper and lighter than alternatives it would seem. The roof would be covered with roofing felt for extra protection, the walls painted or varnished. The obsy area just under 8ft (2.4m) square and the warm room a bit smaller. Height 6ft on the east side and 6'6" on the west side. It seems that 6" drop in 8ft is sufficient slope for a pent roof. I think 6mm exterior plywood should be thick enough with reasonable framing. I think we have a couple of 5"x3" beams something like 15ft long, plus a number of other odds and ends but the main bulk I'm planning to buy from Wickes and combine it with the cement and ballast in the bulk delivery. For the services, I'm buying 25m of 25mm MDPE pipe for the conduit to take signal cables and 25m of 2.5sq.mm steel strand armoured cable (I considered 1.5sq.mm cable but the 2.5 is not an enormous amount more and more future-proof). These will be in separate trenches separated by a foot or so to help stop mains borne interference getting picked up by the signal cables.
  15. I'm thinking of using a DC motor and gearbox :- Multi Ratio Motorgearboxes : Motors Gearboxes : Maplin Not quite decided on the computer interface. I have a USB interface board which I may use :- USB Experiment Interface Board : ExperimentProgrammer Kits : Maplin OTOH I might use the 1-wire network that I'm developing with my home grown weather station.
  16. My thoughts are beginning to crystallise now. A pent roof, being much easier to construct than an apex type and I've abandoned the pig arc idea (too heavy and too drippy). The side walls will be 6ft east side and something like 7ft west side and split about 4ft above floor level. The top part of the walls and the roof to roll back. The running rails being about 4ft above floor level (I say floor level because the ground slopes north/south). I might just go for a warm room where the roof section rolls off onto. It would provide extra protection and avoid having running rails sticking out into thin air. It would also provide extra stability for the rails. Thanks to Darren for his ideas :- http://stargazerslounge.com/attachments/diy-observatories/59033d1305640885-anyone-got-nesting-observatory-roof-design-observatory.pdf
  17. Yes, agreed. I may well wnt to spend time in the shed tweaking too. I agree there too. I'm hoping to control my imaging from the bungalow. And I'm pretty good at bumping into things in daylight let alone the dark
  18. Yes, agreed they are heavy. Ah yes, that's true - good point. Oh well, it was a thought. Probably not a very good one. A pent roof is certainly the easiest.
  19. One problem with RO shed and bigger floor is that the RO rails would be good for tripping over in the dark. I'm thinking a RO roof with enough room in the shed would be better. For one thing there can be permanent fittings in the shed including a bench for computer etc.
  20. Yes, though depends on the weight. Yes, one thing I had in mind.Problem with a tall shed (my design is about 7ft) is clearance of view over the top. Though admittedly it's only a small section of sky. This diagram is a rough indication - I have 20 degrees above the horizon blocked by buildings and trees.
  21. Yes, we're pretty exposed here too, particularly to the east where the coldest winds come from. If I were to roll off just the roof there would be less weight to move and the supporting structure could be much lighter. This comes back to my earlier idea of having fixed walls with the top bit hinging down. I just wonder if I could still use the pig arc roof - would 6ft width be enough? I think it probably would be. The advantage of the pig arc roof is that I've got it. Alternatively, I could have fences to the east and west further away to keep the wind off and still use the RO shed idea. The permutations seem endless
  22. The diagram above was a long way out of scale so I've done another a bit nearer scale. The shed as shown is 6ft wide and 8ft long - the other diagram made it look more like 12ft. I measured the corrugation spacing on the pig arcs (3") and the bitumen sheets (3.4") we've got and they don't match. But we have some old tin sheeting with 3" corrugation. Might use that.
  23. Thank you Here's one idea for a RORO shed arrangement using pig arcs for the roof and probably corrugated bitumen for the walls. A solid wooden framework (probably 4x2) can be used to support the roof. The shed would roll on 8x4 beams with 125mm nylon wheels between two pieces of wood. It resembles a railway carriage These are the nylon wheels :- http://www.amazon.co.uk/125MM-Diameter-Nylon-Castor-Wheel/dp/B002SPQADQ/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_4 Or I could go for 200mm rubber tyred wheels at a bit more :- https://www.amazon.co.uk/200mm-Black-Rubber-Plastic-Centre/dp/B002SPKFI2/ref=sr_1_417?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1305726815&sr=1-417 I might add... I'm not doing any more to the pier until I've got the shed sorted out - just in case I want it in a different place.
  24. Do you know, I think Malcolm might just have had the best idea - of designing/building the shed part first and then the pier I think I may have been a bit too anxious to get observing/imaging and having a good solid pier. The trouble is, my ideas of the whole obsy have changed a bit with the enormous amount of thinking and discussion. It would not be out of the question to start again with the pier, I didn't pour much concrete. But we'll see. I'm now pretty definitely going for the roll off roof or roll off shed or something between the two. The most obvious direction to roll off is towards the north. That is best for astronomy. I shall have to either dig out or build up as the ground slopes (up to the north). The idea of a goat shelter got me thinking. We use pig arcs for goat shelters and have a couple on this site. They are 6ft wide and 3ft high semicircular bent corrugated iron in 2ft sections that bolt together to provide as long a shelter as wanted. I'm wondering about using these for my obsy roof but they're a bit heavy. OTOH we have got some recycled big barn roof beams 4m long and 4 x 8 inches in section. Very strong. They could be put at about ground level for roll off shed or possibly on a concrete block wall. After the absolute minimum size of 6x6 ft I went on to think of having it 6ft x 8ft, giving some room at one end for a bench. Seems many people have 6ft wide sheds. Of course, a roll off shed would mean the shed needn't be as big as the obsy floor area. More thinking required
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