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Keith Dutton

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  • AIM
    Image the Cosmos

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Astronomy, Photography, Gardening
  • Location
    West Wirral

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  1. Malcolm Well spotted! I looked at other buildings they have made and some of them are built like this. To have the spring bolts on the other side of the hatch door, would I assume, having to make the hatch open inwards, because otherwise releasing the bolts would mean the door dropping down and hiting the shed wall? However there is probably an easier answer I suppose, is to have two locking bolts on the inside as well? There is very little crime here, and maybe I should not have said that! - But it makes sense to make it secure. The building is in my friend Gerrard's garden and he intends to alarm it and connect it to his internet/wireless security as well. We have a rather expensive Double Etalon Ha scope that we intend using this coming few years, and once it is on the mount we dont want to continually remove it from the mount each night. Our aim is to do a month or two Sun observing, (lots of activity starting on Sun at moment - looking forward to that!), then remove it and start our night time deep sky stuff, and then repeating. I will mention to Gareth. Thanks Malcolm. Stuart I have an older Rasberry Pi lying round some where - never used it, or done any coding. I also have never used Linux. Your setup makes good sense. You have got me thinking now! Graham Hi Graham - have you managed to speak to Gareth? I am going to speak to Gareth and ask him if he ever needs any help, and as long as he is within reasonable distance, then I have no problems volunteering some help to him. Its just about managing your own time/constraints etc. as Gerard and I need to get this set up going at least for the winter and hopefully dark skies, well darker anyway! - we live in a bortle class 5, maybe 6 zone? Not the very best atall, so will be experimenting with Narrow Band stuff. (Hubble Pallete Hello!) All the best Graham, Please lets know how you get on? k
  2. That is one fantastic looking set up you have there Stuart! Looks like you have a lot of automation going on there and remote control? What is your opinion on the mount that you have? We were considering upgrading ours? K
  3. It is a 7 x 7 Steve. Hoping see first light in about 6 or 7 weeks when pier is fitted and we decide whether to mount the LX200 (on a mega wedge) or mount the EQ6 onto it. We have a 90mm Ha Scope that we want to use a lot and 6" wide field Achromat. They both have Vixen dovetails that will fit onto the EQ6 fine. We are very reluctant to mount the 12" LX200, not one of the best scopes for imaging on an EQ mount, And f10 anyway? We are thinking whether or not to try and sell the scopes we have and put it towards a good Apo Triplet about 5 or 6", but still keep the Ha Scope. I agree Malcolm - A lot automation is good but the best is not having to drag the whole set up outside each night, spend ages trying to align it, then have 3 hours if lucky, touring the Sky! k
  4. Hi folks - just another update regarding HOUK. Graham and his friend Harry arrived this morning at 9am after a 3 1/2 hour drive. They worked all day without a break in really hot weather and as you can see from the pictures - what a job they have done! Not quite finished yet, as the concrete plinth has to set much harder yet for the pier to be mounted. Also the out-riggers for the sliding roof, the guttering, the electric distribution board and the electric roof mechanism. He will be installing soon. I have to say without any shadow of a doubt - the workmanship, the construction and materials used are of the utmost finest quality. I had an expensive wooden workshop/garden shed installed in my own garden recently, and it does not compare to the craftmanship and materials that Graham has done - period! The entrance door is about 4" thick with hidden hinges, re-enforced wood on the lock side, etc etc etc! With hindsight taken in mind, it was easy to complain etc - but I never judged anyway. I am glad we made the decision to wait longer - and in my mind, one of the best decisions my friend Gerard and I have made. And lastly on this bit of post - what a fine polite and actually, clever man, Graham is - a true Craftsman! Not sure if HOUK or Graham and Co. look at or use this forum but I hope they do? Hope people dont mind me keep posting - I know your observatory(s) will be built! Regards Keith
  5. Graham At this time of speaking - Gareth has just called us out of the blue so to speak ( Saturday morning). He asked if it would be OK to arrive tomorrow, Sunday, to complete the building! And guess what - we said YES! Quite exiting really! Will keep you posted on what happens. They seem to be getting back on track. Also I have noticed that a guy named Chris Woodhouse, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, had one of their buildings installed July 2020. He says it is one of the best investments he has ever made? Chris does many YouTube videos on Astro Imaging, and uses a program called PIXINSIGHT, dedicated to Astronomical image processing, unlike Phototshop for instance. For him to recommend HOUK, to me, this says a lot for HOUK. All the best Keith
  6. Hello Graham/KY Cygni/Malcolm Not sure if this is of any help? We have finished the concrete plinth now as to Gareth's specifications. It is 24" x 24" x 29" deep, that includes the 3" above the flag level. Gareth said he will start the erection again after the concrete has had time to set/age properley after 3 weeks, so hopefully he will arrive to finish it. I am assuming he will be mounting the pier using substantial Rawl Bolts - he has not said otherwise? All the best Keith
  7. Hi Graham and Others Regarding the fact that others may already have a full concrete base for the intended Obsevatory: This may contain some useful information? Gareth asked me to make the plinth 3 inches higher than the flag level. Looking at the floor base he has left in the garden, it would seem that there is a square hole in the middle of the base that just fits over that. Then the wood flooring is laid around it - just a guess really but i think I am correct. I will try and upload some pics for you. My initial thought was that there was no internal wood floor and the scope would just be on the flag stones using the scope tripod. But the descision has been made now, partly for us, that we will use a plinth and pier - much better for Astro Photography anyway and less hassle in the long run? Concrete and mixer hire going cost £150.00 in total and bit muscle aching work!! I guess you could get away with it being flush but you would have a 2ft x 2ft, 3 inch square deep hole below the floor level so maybe a chat with Gareth a good idea. Unless he constructs the building with no wooden floor and the rest of the structure just sits on the flag stones? Regards Keith
  8. You have let my secret out Malcolm! We have 4 scopes: But all on tripods. So hopefully a good move to mount them on a pier/pillar? I have the older type EQ6 PRO but still in great condition. I hope we can start to get longer exposure photograpy especially as it will now be far more stable and accurately polar aligned. Polar aligning each night using the tripod is a pain as you all know, so maybe serendipity has played a part here, making us think to mount the scope permanent? We have a 6" Achromat, Meade 12 SCT, 90MM Ha scope and an Orion UK 12" DOB. We have a big wedge for the SCT so will attempt to mount that sometime in future. But looking forward to some Solar imaging with the Sun starting to become a bit more ative. I will upload a photo of the concrete plinth when done - might be of help to someone?
  9. Best bit of execise I had all year after this lockdown! Not the best thing to do at my age - was aching in places I did not know we had muscles! Got a bit over enthusiastic about it though and dug a little too deep - only realized when my brother said he could hear kangaroos!!
  10. just a quick update on Home Observatories - They are still in business and erecting Observatories - in fact they have recently built one in Anglesey, North Wales this year. Gareth said he was slightly Dyslexic and not the best communicator. I have been talking to Gareth quite a few times now since Nathan no longer works for Home observatories. The shed was due to be erected last Sunday and was all ready to go until Gareth seen that there was no concrete plinth. We had not planned to use a concrete plinth and pier just a Tripod Telescope -but Nathan never communicated this to Gareth However Gareth has designed the floor with a 2ft x 2ft concrete plinth in mind, 26 inches deep and about 3 inches off the ground. We decided to dig the hole and make the plinth, after which Gareth would come back and finish the building so I imagine about 2-3 weeks time. We paid our deposit in August 2020 and did not recieve communication from them for a long time. They have had quite a few personal problems and business problems, as they are a micro business and with Nathan not working with them found it difficult. They have now seemingly got back on track and are doing their best with the backlog. Gareth and his new work mate are genuine people and they could not apologize enough. I suppose that patience is a virtue in this case, but you need a lot of it - after the time scales involved. I am hoping that he may have started work on the next person on the list which presumably is anyone who put their deposit down soon after mid August 2020? I apolgise for the late posts on this - I have been busy renovating my home but will keep doing updates on this post.
  11. Hi Everyone

    just a quick update on Home Observatories  - They are still in business and erecting Observatories - in fact they have recently built one in Anglesey, North Wales this year. Gareth said he was slightly Dyslexic and not the best communicator.

    I have been talking to Gareth quite a few times now since Nathan no longer works for Home observatories.

    The shed was due to be erected last Sunday and was all ready to go until Gareth seen that there was no concrete  plinth.

    We had not planned to use a concrete plinth and pier just a Tripod Telescope -but Nathan never communicated this to Gareth

    However Gareth has designed the floor with  a 2ft x 2ft concrete plinth in mind, 26 inches deep and about 3 inches off the ground.

    We decided to dig the hole and make the plinth, after which Gareth would come back and finish the building so I imagine about 2-3 weeks time.

    We paid our deposit in August 2020 and did not recieve communication from them for a long time.

    They have had quite a few personal problems and business problems, as they are a micro business and with Nathan not working with them found it difficult.

    They have now seemingly got back on track and are doing their best with the backlog.

    Gareth and his new work mate are genuine people and they could not apologize enough.

    I suppose that patience is a virtue in this case, but you need a lot of it  - after the time scales involved. I am hoping that he may have started work on the next person on the list which presumably is anyone who put their deposit down soon after mid August 2020?

    I apolgise for the late posts on this  - I have been busy renovating my home but will keep doing updates on this post.

    Keith

    IMG-7956.thumb.jpg.b180a98074ba8915733afe481997ac65.jpg

     

  12. May I also add to my previous post? They are accepting new orders and quoting minimum 14 weeks delivery. I am not sure whether that is time to listen to Alarm Bells? - Maybe not? Keith
  13. Hi Everyone Regarding Home Observatories. My freind and I have the same problem as we paid a substantial deposit to them August 2020 and had not heard of them since except a phone call from Gareth a week ago, my time of posting is 28 May 2021 by the way. He said he would be installing Saturday 29 May 2021 and would give us a call the day before so let us know time of arrival - this has not happened so far so not looking likely? Nathan no longer works with them as he became ill apparently - along with cutting off part of his finger in an accident, this was from Gareth. They seem a genuine company who have fell on bad times - but the communication from them was zero - I dont think it would take much to let people know they are going to be late on installations? We are hoping they have not gone out of business as we paid by bank transfer and this is not recoverable. I hope they will sort it out ASAP and I personally do not bear them any ill will at this time - its just really frustrating. Keith
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