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Posts posted by Bizibilder

  1. I had a problem when my scope was new in that I thought the spider had become loose - so I tightened the loose screw. I then saw that the screw was OBVIOUSLY a couple of turns loose again! The reason, it turned out, was that the tube is very thin and the spider arm threads were catching on the tube. The nuts on the spider were simply tightening onto the tube wall and were NOT tightening the spider. Once I realised this there have been no further troubles.

    (I hope the above makes sense!) - It may help you as well.

  2. Keithp - the walls of the shed you show are very tall - almost 6' at a guess, also the design you show is really a square shed with a corner cut off - maybe you would be better off with the "full square"? You will certainly have to strengthen it - sheds are held rigid by the floor and the roof - the walls are usually very flimsy.

  3. I have finally started to build the shed part of my observatory. It is half term this week so I should be able to finish most of it. At the moment the pics and description are at http://bizibilder.blogspot.com as I am not sure whether a picture heavy thread is permitted on this site. The Observatory is a 6x6 metal shed modified to have a roll off roof and is based on the Linnhe Observatory of Mark Baines at http://linnhe.co.uk as well as several other ideas from around the web.

    Oh yes... A Skywatcher ST80 has arrived - eventually to be used as a guide scope, piggybacked on the 200P.

  4. I've already got these - they are truly amazing for a freebie! :)

    THe "A" atlas (mag 10) is on A3 paper (43 sheets for the N hemisphere) and the "B" on A4 (about 80 sheets for the N hemisphere). The "C" Atlas - which is very detailed - to mag 13 - I have only printed on A4 as and when required as "finder sheets". Mine are in plastic wallets - it is dead easy to take these out to the Observatory and use them, if they get wet or I scribble too much on them it is of little consequence - I simply reprint that sheet.;)


  5. For what its worth - try Model Engineering Suppliers - they sell all shapes and sizes of fasteners (as well as steel, brass and aluminium sections in manageable sizes, bearings, tools etc) . Try - Reeves 2000, GLR Distributors, Metals on the web, Arc Euro Trade - Usual disclaimer all round! - Just my "other" Hobby.

  6. The stars will always be dots - its just that with a telescope you can see millions more of them! Don't be put off by a less than perfect first view of the heavens - it can take quite a while to learn your way around - that is all part of the fun of Astronomy. Take your time, try and look at only one or two objects in a session rather than examine the whole sky in one go!!

    A good star atlas or software like stellarium will help you on your way. You (or anyone else for that matter) will NOT see "nice coloured galaxies" these ONLY reveal themselves in photographs with exposures of many minutes to several hours!! BUT you will see faint gray/white fuzzy blobs which really ARE the naked eye views of those mysterious Deep Sky Objects.

    You say that you saw some shooting stars - exellent!! There are several observable meteor showers at this time of year - maybe buy "Sky at Night" magazine (Tesco's sell it) to help guide you around the night sky.

    Whatever happens DON'T GIVE UP, take your time and you will be well rewarded. All of us started at some time (some of us many years ago) - Use the forum to ask questions (There is NO SUCH THING as a daft question!!) and enjoy.

    Hope this helps.

  7. In the good old days (1970's) folk used rotating blades (shutters) across the open camera aparture. This had the effect of "chopping" meteor trails into dotted lines - you could estimate speeds from the tracks if you had a couple of cameras operated on a largish baseline - is this sort of thing still done??

  8. Hi nielep and welcome to the club!! I have the same scope and store mine in the garage at the moment - I have a nifty easy to make cupboard for mine to keep the dust and grit off - PM me and I will send details if you like. I'm not near enough to help otherwise (Norfolk) but the 200P is a good 'scope - I can't really fault it so far - you should have many, many hours observing ahead of you!

  9. Your 13" plate is welded to a 7" tube - that leaves an overhang of about two inches to the holes!! It isn't going to flex - if that is what you were worried about. All your equipment's mass will, most likely, be between the holes - even less likely to cause any problems.

    Hope this helps.

  10. You seem worried about using 6mm plate - It is QUITE strong enough for your purpose in the sense that it will not even notice the load of a telescope or two (or six!!) The only reason for using thicker plate is to add mass to the mount, making more inclined to dampen out / lower the resonant frequency of vibrations.

    PS I am following your thread with great interest as I am at about the same stage of construction with my own Obsy.

  11. I finally poured the pier base this afternoon. About 175Kg of concrete mixed by hand :D (Thats 27 stone to older folk!!). Anyway the bolts are in and all is looking well so far. I'm having the rest of the base laid professionally - its well over a ton of concrete.

    I did calculate that the quote I had was LESS than the cost of materials, hiring a mixer and buying a wheelbarrow and mixing tray, shovel etc. I have found that contractors in Norfolk (and I suspect other rural areas) charge FAR less than those that rip you off in the Home Counties - where I used to live :D .

    I just discovered how to add pics!! (by the way the base is 6x6 feet.) Other pics on Bizibilders Blog.



  12. Jonathan

    You should find that the right eyepiece has its own "focus" ie it will turn round. This is to compensate for your (or anyone else's) eyes being different.

    The drill is to close the right eye. Focus using the central focus knob. Then open right close left and refocus ONLY BY USING THE RIGHT EYEPIECE ADJUSTMENT.

    Then using BOTH eyes move the two "tubes" of the binocular closer or further apart until you only see one image. You should NOT see the old "binocular shape" that was used in old black and white movies of the 1940's!!!!!!!!

    Hope this helps.

  13. Thanks to you all for the replies. My main concern was to prevent wobbling at the base of the pier - it seems to me that the washers/ cement slurry method would fit the bill. I have spoken to someone in the trade today - apparently there is no commercial product (apart form self levelling compounds) specifically made for this purpose.

    I'm not too keen on self- levellers as they would not make a "perfect" contact with the steel plate and therefore could lead to slight movement.

    I'm used to working in steel to engineering tolerences not builders ones!! My idea of flat is to better than a "thou" - builders seem happy at better than 1/8 inch!!!

  14. I've been looking around and cannot find an answer to this so:

    I am about to cast a concrete block in the ground with appropriate bolts etc to attach to my steel pier. My question is:

    What do I use to "grout" the top of the concrete so that it is a "perfect fit" for the flat steel plate at the base of the pier. I'm sure there must be a product available but as I'm not in the trade I have no idea what to ask for - is "waterproof grout" the stuff i need?

    Thanks in anticipation.

  15. I have an EQ5, which I assume is similar to the GC5 (I think they are clones). There should be no problem bolting the thing down through the hole in your mount. Loosing the "pillar" shouldn't be too much of a problem but if needed you could drill a suitable hole in the top of the mount and use a makeshift pin from a bolt with its head sawn off. You do not say if you have the required access underneath the mount plate as you WILL need to get a bolt "in from underneath" to hold the mount in place. You may need to make a "strap" to go across underneath your mount hole to hold the thing down (hope that bit makes sense!!) from hard wood or metal.

    Hope this helps

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