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Bukko last won the day on May 10

Bukko had the most liked content!

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About Bukko

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    Star Forming

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    SW France
  1. Sounds like multitasking to me!! Good luck with the weather and hopefully it holds out long enough to align everything Gordon
  2. As usual on a project, not much happens at the start, while we think about what to do and organise all the stuff... Then the bits arrive and little happens for a while, then things happen quickly and progress looks amazing... Then the big stuff is up and the fiddly, technical bits have to be done... The last couple of days I have poured the extra height for the pier base and connected some of the electrics. The warm room now powers both domes and I am close to completing the second dome controls. Stuck on the first dome as I can't really progress until the concrete hardens enough to drill it out for the new pier studs. I knocked off the shuttering and the base does look pretty good. I am missing the big vibrator the builder used to get the air out of the concrete, but did my best. The second dome only needs the motors to be installed and connect the ethernet cables (still need to terminate the cables...) and the PC, install software and test. But having neglected the garden (2 acres in total) I need to catch up a bit there too so I am guessing another week. We have 2 weeks of clouds and rain forecast, so no hurry. I am a believer in the theory of new stuff = clouds so I am bracing myself for a terrible summer in SW France and everyone can blame me... Gordon.
  3. Good luck, Alan, would be interested in how well it works, my NEQ6 is a few years old and knowing the AZ EQ6 is capable of managing a long FL scope might be helpful... Gordon.
  4. Hi Alan, The OO is around 14kg, plus the camera assembly, so possibly another kg or two... It seems to work OK, but the FL is only 1200mm. When I first got the NEQ6, it held a 10" Meade and also did OK with 2 counterweights. I have seen pictures on SGL of another member REALLY loading the NEQ6 but had it balanced well. I don't think the payload is the issue more the FL and balance. The AZ EQ6 is belt driven, I don't know how much better than my NEQ6 it would be (also belt driven now...) De-mounting the 12" is not that difficult, so it would be a relatively simple trial, apart from the need to purchase a Losmandy rail to suit... Thanks for the interest in the build, planning my dream observatory was about the only thing that kept me sane during my last few years of paid work and it just gathered momentum until I carried it through... If I stepped back now, I don't think I would have started it, the costs are higher than anticipated and the spare cash to pay for it less than planned due to extra UK tax and NI on foreign income... (Don't ask!!!) And the bricks were ideal, I didn't want concrete as they hold more heat and at 50cm by 30cm by 20cm, it does not take so many of these to build the base. HTH and thanks again for the interest. Gordon.
  5. If it floods, I am in trouble - the PC and UPS is going under the floor there... G.
  6. Never thought about it like that... With ITER so far behind schedule, I guess there is room for an alternative Tokamak design!! The layout evolved a bit during construction, the flooring was not rigid enough on the four original supports. It was OK for one person to stand on a quadrant, but the bend was too much if two people were standing close together. So another four bricks were added to the outer edges to add strength. Welcome, I guess, to the world of re-engineering !! Gordon
  7. I have at least 500kg of spare concrete mix, so the easiest thing was to increase the concrete base height. I also had some spare melamine shelfing left over, so cut one up and made some shuttering. It's about 20" square and 10" deep. I dropped off the scope, the mount and broke the pier off the grouting to the base. Fitting the shuttering I mixed up around 100kg of concrete and filled it. Tamped down and levelled off, I will give it a few days to harden then take the shuttering off. When done, the scope will be around 30cm from the dome and around 15cm from the shutter motor at its closest. And the scope will not snag against the dome controls when slewing to the zenith. So I guess I have a week before the ocncrete hardens, so I can switch attention to the other dome and finish the controls there while I wait... Gordon.
  8. Thanks Davey, For now, I will stick to the steel piers I have, but it does sound like an interesting option, if Mrs Bukko will let me spend any more of the childrens' inheritance!! Gordon.
  9. Hi Adam, I don't have a pier extension, the plan is to either weld another bit of pipe in, or add height to the concrete pad below... Or do nothing. I got frustrated with LP and where I lived in the UK was getting so crowded. House building was making this worse so we retired to SW France. Lovely dark skies and very friendly people everywhere. I really do recommend the move. Gordon
  10. The weather improved a bit this afternoon, so, purely for research purposes, I mounted the VX12 on the mount to see what clearence I have on the dome. And to help with the balance, I had to also mount the cameras... Anyway, when balanced, I have over 30cm between the top of the scope and the nearest part of the dome (the shutter motor) Increasing the height of the pier another 20cm is not too difficult... It would also allow me to improve the seperation betweel the scope and the controller mounted on the pier. Also, I do have a WO 110mm frac which I would like to be able to use, so more height would be helpful. Now, I understand that there is also a benefit in having lots of space around the scope for air movement, so keeping the height the same is also useful. (Should have got the 4m versions... haha) So, a question for the collective on SGL, would you increase the pier height, or leave it how it is? Obligatory picture attached... Gordon.
  11. Recently, Accuweather has been less that accurate predicting conditions here, but this time, they said rain on Friday for a few days and we have rain!! So, as my next step was working on the power distribution, I have decided to wait for aa while until we get dry weather. I know I have the dome built now, but I really want the daylight from having the shutter open and so get rain indoors. Anyway, I took the opportunity to tidy up the warm room a bit, it had become a tools and equipment store recently. I thought it would take longer, but it probably was not as bad as I thought. Anyway, here is a shot showing the desk. On the left is the dome control pc, two monitors allows me to manage each dome separately so less chance to mix them up... On the shelf above is my 4g router; one benefit of living in the middle of nowhere is dark skies, a drawback is a fixed line hardly gets 1Mb/s... So I have a 4g internet link. It's not too bad, despite the distance to a mast, I get around 10Mb/s and 40GB/month for only 10 Euros!! The big monitor is for image processing. Underneath is the PC's and I also fitted a UPS as the power is not 100% reliable. The steps are for accessing the domes. Still a bit more tidying up to do, but good enough for now... Gordon.
  12. Bukko

    DIY Pier

    Looks really tidy... Any plans for the hollow spaces in the blocks? EP holders or something? Gordon
  13. Bukko

    DIY Pier

    Unless contained, pebbles have a habit of spreading far and wide... Unless they are pretty big, of course... I am looking forward to seeing how you connect the NEQ6 to the pier. Gordon.
  14. Impressed with the flooring James. In fact, impressed with the whole build. Epic project to take on and build from scratch. Did you manage to fit the last couple of pieces? I used similar on my old Skyshed, it really helped and is much kinder to an EP if you drop it. If you are still struggling to cut to shape the last few pieces, do you have any offcuts you can use as a template? Good luck, Gordon
  15. Been another busy day, I am in catch-up mode on the garden, I am sure "we" left it too long to start cutting. The result is I can's get the mower over the whole ground, but need to bring out the strimmer. But I got one of those 4:1 petrol jobs... It is OK for each of the functions, but not really good enough to do the large amount of ground needing done. So yesterday, I got a new Stihl strimmer, shocking price, but like everything when I started using it, the difference was obvious. A couple of hours today was as productive as a whole day with the 4:1... Anyway, progress on the Obby... I concentrated on one dome today and managed to fit the big brackets I built yesterday and fitted the stationary dome controller. Plan is to use the other side to hold the little power supplies for the mount and camera. It is surprisingly big and part of the inverter and connectors ended up below the floor level. It is also much higher up the pier than I wanted, but it seems to be clear of the mount. I htink I need to fit the scope and check to make sure I can get enough rotation. If I need to drop it lower, hopefully there will be enough clearence with the dome roof to increase the pier height, if required... "The best laid plans of mice and men..." Gordon.
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