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Blog Comments posted by Gina

  1. A decent lunar image.

    On 15/04/2014 at 23:18, Gina said:

    A lovely clear night with very nearly full moon.  Got problems with the EQ8 mount though :(  Gross slewing errors - won't go away and then back to same place.  Set up on the moon for rough focus and mount position then tried to find M51.  Used CdC to slew to it but it wasn't in the FOV so I checked slewing back to the moon and it was miles off! :(  Several degrees in fact - I could see by eye that the scope wasn't pointing at the moon.  Have to see if I can do anything with it in the daytime tomorrow.  Meanwhile here's one of the images I took of the moon - for what it's worth.  0.1s exposure with 5nm Ha filter.


    The MN190 scope and EQ8 mount.

    On 16/04/2014 at 20:49, Gina said:

    I does seem that there's a frirmware upgrade that would help - it reduces the maximum speed of slewing a bit and reduces the acceleration and deceleration on starting and stopping.  This should help prevent clutch slippage and stop the grating noise I'm getting with max speed slewing at one point.

    I spent most of the afternoon playing around with the mount and I believe I've got it sorted out :D  I think the reason for not returning to the same position was slipping clutches.  I took everything off the mount including the weight and tried it out with no load.  It seemed to slew in all directions fine.  Checking the clutches I found that even with the levers all the way over to the hold position I could still move the mount by hand.  So I undid the screws that hold the levers onto the shafts and reset the positions so that the clutches only just slipped with the levers in the off position.  Now when tightened all the way up it's a lot harder to move the mount though I think this could be better.  This is an aspect of the EQ8 that I don't much like.  The levers are awkward to get at and hard to turn with fingers - they could do with being longer.

    I then remounted the MN190 and adjusted the balance.  Had to rearrange the filter wheel and guide camera as it was catching on the mount.  When I was setting up the mount I only had the MN190 on it for a short time and was having problems.  I used the Esprit 80ED for setting up PA and not really quite finished when the weather turned bad.  Anyway, I have checked slewing the scope into various positions and tied the cables out of the way of moving parts.  There is some grating noise when slewing at full speed in one direction near the Home position but otherwise the noise is normal.

    There is some wispy cloud about but I'm going out shortly to see if I can manage some imaging tonight.



  2. Found some pics in another thread.

    On 10/01/2014 at 12:58, Gina said:

    Here are some pics that show the foundations.  The last one shows a possible access point.


    Just taken some photos by putting my camera under the floor using the gap shown above.  This is the best one.


    I'm going to try to get the pump in through here to the lowest place just in front of the pier and run the outlet out the other side and up over the bank and into the field.

    As can be seen water does drain away and most of the time there is no problem - normal rain water just drains away through the ground.  It's when we have torrential downpours that the foundations flood and we seem to be getting more and more of these.

  3. Ah!!  One clear photo amongst dozens!!

    On 12/11/2011 at 20:55, Gina said:

    Fine weather today with a light breeze and very mild. Several hours of sunshine :D However, with yesterday's heavy ran and a heavy dew everything not covered up was dripping with water. Also yesterday's rain had formed large puddles in the tarp and these took quite a lot of lifting and pouring away. The weight of water holding the tarp down under the floor made it difficult to pull clear. I think it would have withstood a gale without being fastened down!

    So some time was taken up getting the tarp off the building. Yet more time was taken up folding it up for stowing away! That was today's activity on the obsy build. Other time was needed to go out and get goat feed. So no actual build progress today.

    Just webcam images today of removing tarp and folding it up. The first pic shows a large puddle at the front of the tarp as seen from the webcam.

















  4. On 03/10/2011 at 21:18, Gina said:

    Thanks Glen :(

    Just realised... I do have some pics of the work today - the webcam saved image files :) So here's part of one saved at 17:30.


    OH NO!!!  Looks like I started hosting my individual webcam images on photobucket!!! :eek:

    On 22/10/2011 at 20:22, Gina said:

    I've ordered the shiplap - at last. Just sufficient funds now. 40 lengths of 4.8m by 136mm coverage per board. Cost just over £360 inc VAT.

    Another fine but cold day with a chilling breeze. No major milestones passed today on the actual build - just a number of small, tidying up jobs.

    1. Trimmed the excess rubber membrane from the warm room roof.

    2. Lifted end floorboard from warm room floor and trimmed it to width.

    3. Applied wood preserver to freshly exposed wood on edge of floorboard.

    4. Applied wood preserver to various other pieces.

    5. Several little jobs.

    Didn't take any DSLR photos so I've cropped some of the webcam saved images and uploaded those.






  5. Grumble, grumble, grumble.  Now I know where most of my decent build photos have gone.  Just have to use a few webcam shots I guess, and apologise for the poor quality.

    On 28/09/2011 at 21:33, Gina said:

    Good weather today - fine and sunny with a light breeze - enabled me to make some more progress. As usual, not quite as much as I had hoped but it's coming along quite nicely.

    With a very heavy dew this morning, I left the tarp on until it had dried off. Meanwhile, inside the "tent", I screwed some frameworks together ready to be erected later.

    So here is a list of progress today :-

    1. Finished screwing the warm room south wall frame together - well the bottom part - still have the window frame to do. The side pieces also provide extra support to the top rail which supports the roof.

    2. Main structure of the warm room west (end) wall frame prepared and screwed together.

    3. Most of the warm roof roof frame cut to size and screwed in place.

    4. One 8x4 OSB sheet placed in position to check supporting framework.

    5. Various odds and ends including bottom of middle wall, and drilling and bolting sections together with 10mm coach bolts, nuts and washers.




    Finally, a section taken from the webcam which provides a different angle of view, difficult to take from ground level.



    I had to buy a large tarpaulin!

    On 19/09/2011 at 18:50, Gina said:

    Today's progress!! :)



    On 21/09/2011 at 19:37, Gina said:

    Thought it was going to stay fine... NOT!! :rolleyes:

    So I've had to put the tarp back on for overnight. It's properly on now and roped down but here I am starting to haul it over the top at 7pm this evening :glasses2:


    On 22/09/2011 at 20:15, Gina said:

    Very nice :glasses2:

    Missed out on the morning for continuing the build but at least I bought some things towards it :rolleyes:

    Today's activities towards the build :-

    1. Further adjustments to the pier hole in the floorboards.

    2. Dividing wall frame (currently held in place with clamps).

    3. Some wood cut for the warm room south wall.

    No DSLR photos ATM - I'll take some tomorrow - but here's a section of the webcam image.



  7. Good job I didn't host the webcam pics that way!

    On 19/09/2011 at 08:56, Gina said:

    Right... Now posting build updates in this thread :)

    Well, it started off fine this morning but we've had a heavy shower and the forecast is for more of them :)

    I have managed to cut some more floorboards and put them on the joists temporarily. Here is part of the webcam image.


  8. This is when the observatory was almost finished apart from the internal fittings.  I know I had some good photos of building all the framework.  I'll search the SGL archives again!!  This is the end of this build thread.

    On 16/11/2011 at 09:25, Gina said:

    Nearly got to the stage of doing the outer door on my obsy build and considering how to hang it.

    Two possibilities :-

    1. Hung on the RHS (see pic attached) and opening outwards. This would mean a slightly lower doorway (about 5'7") to clear the guttering.

    2. Hung on LHS and opening inwards. Doorway headroom now limited by guttering at about an inch or so higher (about 5'8").

    I think the advantages of the door opening outwards outweigh the additional headroom through the doorway but your opinions are welcome.


  9. On 15/09/2011 at 16:03, yesyes said:

    Looks like one of your goats has decided that the joists should not run parallel.. :(

    They are sooo cute...


    Thought I had DSLR photos of the build but can't find them ATM.  These are webcam pictures.  I had a live webcam running as I was building the observatory for members her to watch on my website.

    On 26/09/2011 at 14:28, yesyes said:

    Looks like one of your goats is fed up with the lush grass and prefers foil now... :p


    On 01/10/2011 at 12:53, pritc said:


    Get your goat to hold the screws for you.......





  10. There seem to be some photos missing and some that were hosted on PhotoBucket have been blurred and a horrible PhotoBucket emblem added totally ruining the image.

    On 13/09/2011 at 11:34, Gina said:

    OK, will do. The webcam is live though.

    The view that the design often has to change as the build progresses has been borne out with the joists. The timber I've just bought is a bit more flexible than the second hand stuff of the same dimensions that I used for testing. So I've moved one of the joists that was over the pier base block to clear the block and inserted an extra joist from near to the block to the end of the warm room, with a cross piece (noggin) at the block end. This in turn reduces the separation under the warm room and outside of the block in the main standing area of the obsy.

    Also, the floorboards that were supposed to be 25mm (1") thick, aren't. I guess 25mm was the sawn size and the planed size is a bit less. Floorboards are PTG - planed, tongued and grooved. So closer joists are wanted to get the same flexure. Timber sizes tend to be approximate anyway - I allowed for this by increasing the number of lengths I ordered above the calculated minimum. Better one too many than one too few.



  11. This shows the very first images I took with my first telescope on the new pier.  This also shows the magnification the telescope gives compared with an ordinary camera as shown in the previous quote.  Could be worth including.

    On 23/07/2011 at 15:24, Gina said:

    Taken a couple of terrestrial images with scope and DSLR. Tried to do some solar but the clouds keep getting in the way. The sunny spells are too brief ;)

    Must say the scope and camera feel very much more stable on the pier :BangHead: I can focus without moving the image. And these images were taken without camera remote release.

    Images attached :-

    1. Unmodified image of tree.

    2. Image enhanced in GIMP.

    3. Image of comms tower on far hill.

    4. As above but enhanced.





  12. On 23/07/2011 at 13:45, Gina said:

    Put my little scope on the mount and tried various alignments. At the same time measured up the wall height to give clearance of view. Placed a short piece of floor board on the joists to get the floor height (roughly because the floor board I used was thinner than the ones I'm getting). BTW, I jumped up and down on that board and it only moved a little :BangHead:

    Some photos :-

    1. Scope aimed at distant test tree and almost exactly horizontal. The southern horizon is a few degrees above this.

    2. Scope turned over and again aimed at the tree.

    3. Scope aimed towards polar axis.

    4. Photo showing the tree taken at 70mm focal length with DSLR. (Pointed to by arrow.)





  13. On 21/07/2011 at 19:16, Gina said:

    Photos of today's progress. floor beams in place with DPC between them and the concrete :-

    1 & 2. Viewed from different angles.

    3. Took cover off pier and mount.

    4. Showing wall ties to be used to secure beams to the concrete blocks - to stop the shed blowing away in a gale (These are on both sides of each beam and at both ends).





  14. Pier with mount fitted.  ATM I'm just collecting photos to see which I want to include - it can't be all of these.

    On 18/07/2011 at 19:51, Gina said:

    It stopped raining for a while this evening so feeling "stir crazy" I went out to the site and tried to level the remains of the soil heap outside the "shed" area but even with the rain we've had, it was still very hard and I made little impression.

    However, having levelled off the underfloor area (thereby reducing the tripping hazard) I thought I'd try the mount on the adapter. So having uncovered the pier I lugged the mount outdoors and up onto the pier adapter. Once I'd undone the azimuth screws it sat down on the adapter with a nice close fit but still easily adjustable. But as soon as I'd taken a couple of photos, down came the rain again! So back on went the cover. But this time over the mount as well.

    Here are the photos I took of the mount. Only had time for the two.



  15. On 15/07/2011 at 07:26, Gina said:

    I've removed the pots - did it yesterday evening. No problem :) Must say, the pier looks a lot better without them. There are no voids and the concrete surface is absolutely smooth - moulded by the smooth plastic :)

    Photos attached (it wasn't as dark as it looks - the automatic flash kicked in) :-

    1. Smaller pot removed.

    2. Larger pot and most of the duct tape removed.

    3. North side view with discarded pieces of plastic pot.




  16. A bit of humour.

    On 12/07/2011 at 16:36, nightvision said:

    That looks great, coming on nicely, it certainly must be tempting to try it out especially if you get a clear night, you could easily piggy-back your DSLR for some wide-field shots. :D You would find it a refreshing change from all that slog you are putting in!



  17. I wont be covering the block and pier build in any detail and might not include it at all.

    On 03/07/2011 at 12:49, Gina said:

    Photos of the pier and base hole concreting :-

    1. Equipment set up for pier base hole filling.

    2. Pier base hole about half full (15" deep).

    3. & 4. About 4" to go.

    5. Pier base filled and levelled off ready to take top shuttering.

    6. Base top shuttering screwed on and plant pots filled with concrete.

    7. & 8. Pier filled with concrete.









  18. On 24/06/2011 at 19:37, Gina said:

    The rain's come in now so that's it for today. 3rd beam cut to length, soil removed to accommodate it and it's more or less in position. Needs level and height checking - to do tomorrow.

    Now at last beginning to look as if something's happening :hello2:

    Here's a cropped webcam image - too wet to use DSLR!




  19. On 24/06/2011 at 19:37, Gina said:

    The rain's come in now so that's it for today. 3rd beam cut to length, soil removed to accommodate it and it's more or less in position. Needs level and height checking - to do tomorrow.

    Now at last beginning to look as if something's happening :hello2:

    Here's a cropped webcam image - too wet to use DSLR!


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