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Everything posted by MultumInParvo

  1. Lots of prep work now done, inclcuding making the door swing inwards, which took a surprising amount of time and effort, but finally levelled the last of the concrete at 9:15 tonight... And not too far off the bubble: I had quite forgotten how bloody hard it is as a solo job even with a mixer, and with 48 bags of ballast and cement in there I'm pretty sure I'm going to ache tomorrow...
  2. Hi Graham, I went with the FH Brundle track and, suprisingly, they were cheaper than anyone, ebay included, and they had all the other bits I needed such as 3m of 12mm threaded rod, again cheaper than elsewhere. Thanks for the pic, I guess I need to get myself some aluminium plate, missed that off my shopping list. The bit I am most interested in is the automation of the system. I am indeed using the one from ebay, and plan to control it with relays and limit switches. Any photo's or diagrams you have of what you have put in, including the position sensors for Ascom would be really helpful. I have a Raspi 3b+ on its way to me, and I am trying to find out about what relay devices are best as the ones I see vary wildly in price from a fiver up to £50, so any feedback here would be happily received. This is the one that seems adequate to my mind: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-way-8-Channel-DC-12V-Relay-control-board-relays-Module-For-AVR-ARM-Development/152240067348?hash=item2372371314:g:1l8AAOSwxblbPch- Is there anything I need to consider about the types of switches and sensors? I know from other hobbies that microswitches and their actuator leaves can deform over time, so I'm a fan of non-contact methods like magentic contacts used in alarm systems, but not sure whether they are suitable here. All the best, Ian
  3. On the wall/peir height question, I have =been doing some thinking and measuring. The first challenge is that I need to position the rear roof track at about 2.2m to clear the workshop door: And I wonder if having the walls lower than anticipated would cause wight issues for the automated ROR design I intend to follow: If I were to position the walls as per my calcs (ground not levelled so only roughly done), based on a tripod height of about 1280mm, and a demand of at least down to 20 degrees above the horizon I could have 1800mm walls: But the eastern wall would need to flap down to 1500mm, but I could do that as part of the automated opening I think: Not worried about the wes round to north as it would need a height of 2m+ to boscure the view: That leaves me with a flat roof and 800mm of wall at the front and 600 to 800 at the sides to replicate the fall of the workshop roof, so hopefully not massively different in weight than just the flat roof in the thread. I think a 1300mm pier of 150mm diameter, reinforced with an internal steel lintel (https://www.wickes.co.uk/IG-Ltd-Internal-Lintel---1200mm/p/220067 x 2, joined to create a single central piece of steel total length of 2.2m), with the option of a couple of 2m lengths of 20mm angle iron sounds ok, but interested in any issues others can think of. Now back to emptying the swimming pool that the rain has created so I can get back to trying to dig out 200mm of compacted clay:
  4. @Magnus_e - you mentioned some usb relays in your list of parts for "Observatory Technical", anything special about these or are they just this type of thing? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-way-8-Channel-DC-12V-Relay-control-board-relays-Module-For-AVR-ARM-Development/152240067348?hash=item2372371314:g:1l8AAOSwxblbPch-
  5. Tyvek is here, enough to cover my whole workshop before I put up the featheredge on the remaining threee sides... Celotex is to be collected tonight. Now it's stopped raining I'll do my sighting @JamesF @LongJohn54 - Great minds are clearly thinking alike, either that or we both scoured the same forum and stood on the shoulders of giants, but I'm sticking with the former. I plan to keep anything mains related out of the obsy as it attaches to the workshop, and the door into it will be from in there, so now I just need to plan for a pipe to bring USB and 12v back to the workshop where I have power and cat5e gigabit connection.
  6. Any suggestions on the type of barrier? Lots of different ones like Tyvek, foil, and others like DPM, of which I have a fairly big sheet that would cover the obsy walls. It has a few nail holes in it as it was used in an emergency covering job last year when I was extending my workshop, but assuming that this is belt and braces behind the OSB, so may be ok? I think that insulating the roof is a good idea, may get some 50mm celotex, I need some for cutting sheet materials on anyway, last one was so well used with all the 8x4 sheets I have ripped in the last 6 years that it barely serves it's purpose now.
  7. One question I have is about vapour barriers and insulation - what are the pros and cons? I don't see condensation in my workshop and the obsy will have a similar construction - concrete/paving slab floor, timber frame, feather edge clad OSB walls and roof, with roof topped with Onduline. There is plenty of ventilation in the workshop, so this may be a factor, and I was assuming I would adequately ventilate the obsy so that it was at roughly the same temp as outside. Love some input on this before I put the OSB up this weekend...
  8. Good luck with the planning, it was a critical element for me, and took time to muill over the best way forward. I have had nothing but good advice and helpful comments from the members, and I'd highly recommend posting a new thread to garner opinions and encouragement for your build. I'll keep posting links to the threads that have inspired my decisions so hopefully this will assist in your planning in some small way. All the best, Ian
  9. Thanks for that James. Being so green, it's hard to know what's useful or not without input from the experienced. My thought of not showing the lower 20-30 degrees above the horizon was down to some input I got last year, and also thinking that having protection from wind would be a good thing, but I knew there had to be a good reason why I didn't see this kind of build... I'll do as you suggest and set up the tripod and mount with some timber for sighting, and build a basic framework and post some pics. Ian
  10. Hi James. My back thanks you for that in advance... Yes, if you were looking as per my first photo, it will slide off to the right, and will be at a height such that it falls back onto he existing roof behind with a decent overlap to help avoid rain or snow driven by the north wind. I think I picked up from your build (or could have been @Astrokev) that I need to deal with the possibility of water leaking in around the rails, not sure if I will have the same issue as I am using some spare Onduline I have laying around rather than EDPM, but was going to ask you about that.
  11. End of day 1, hole is now 700x700 and 450 deep, thinking I need to get down another 250, but wonder if this is sufficient still, but I'd rather it be overkill than keel over so will see how my back feels in the morning... First bit of good luck. I found two brake discs locally that fit beatifully in my 150mm tube for only £9.50 (search for "Brembo 08-4962-10" as they fit all sorts of vehicles), bit of surface rust but will come up nicely when painted: Thanks to @mhard26339 and his thread for this idea - New observatory in Norfolk An early start tomorrow preparing these and some more items like the shuttering for the hole, and if the rain clears up early I'll continue with the digging, but for now, I've Adze enough: Sorry, couldn't resist that one
  12. Absolutely Alan, she's at the heart of the rig...
  13. And we've never been seen in the same place at the same time... Have you started a build yet or just gathering info?
  14. Hi Simon, Welcome to SGL! I'm in Kent too, near Ashford, so as I'm East of the Medway, I'm a Man of Kent... Clear skies, Ian
  15. After much reading and questioning of others, and work and health interrupting things, I am starting work on my home obsy. The basic requirement is to have a remotely operable DSO imaging rig that I can learn with, due to the fact that I work away from home so much. I have an NEQ6, an Evostar 80 ED DS pro with an Atik16HR with a starlight express filter wheel, an ST80 with an atik16ic as a guide scope This led me to consider many threads, for automation noteably those by @Gonzo (Remote unmanned pico observatory) and @Magnus_e (starting summers observatory project, but also standing on the shoulders of most of the build threads. Even with all of the work others have done, I still have more questions than answers, but then it's been that way for almost 49 years... A couple of pictures to start with: A decent view from 060 to 270, but interrupted by some trees that are not in my control, but my understanding being that I need not worry too much about stuff below 030 I thought to make the walls vs. pier height obscure the lower area to sheild me from light pollution from a local large-ish town in the east-southeast. I have this 3m long 150mm drainage pipe laying around, and 2.1m of workshop wall to work with, but depending on what sage words come in about obscuring the horizon vs. having the telescope parked at a point just below the wall height will tell me how tall the peir should be, but I'm guessing it's the latter and so that would make the pier 1.7m from current ground level. I plan on this being a 2m square box, only accesible from within the workshop, with a pent roof just above the level of the current roof so I don't need to worry about further guttering, with rails allowing it to slide towards where I am standing, over the top of the existing doors. My assumption is that 2m is sufficient for any refractor that I might be able to afford, and if I can ever afford anything bigger than an Esprit 150, then I can afford to pay someone to make me a bigger obsy! I have track and wheels coming from FH Brundle, and various bits to automate the opening and closing and hope to hear back about two brake discs on sale locally for £9.50, so for now I am going to start digging a hole for the pier and gathering posts, OSB and other timber in readiness. All input is welcome, and in fact my favourite "Clerk of Works" has already been advising me to sing whilst I build: All the best, Ian
  16. Just ordered up the bits, but unfortunetely cant see the images, could you repost? Also, your track and wheels seem a lot simpler/cheaper than most I have seen on here which use the FH Brundle stuff meant for sliding gates, where did you pick these up? As it is a track they sit in rather than on, do you get issues with leaves or other stuff getting in them? How are these after a year or so in place and would you do anything differently on the build? All the best, Ian
  17. After quite a lay-off due to work and health conspiring against me, I'm back on with the build... Taking into account your responses, I have selected a spot right in front of my workshop, even though this has one tree that is due south from me that is not in my control. I'm aware I might be overthinking this, but have taken three panoramas and added some info on tree heights and compass points to get your input before I break ground for the pier: Position A - easiest location I assume the trees at 20-ish degrees above the horizon aren't critical, but as I change position, just by a few metres the tree at 180 blocked much more sky. Position B - right in front of one set of doors, but I can use others: Wider field of view Position C - right at the end of the workshop: Widest field of view, but if I make the enclosure the 2m square i'd like, I'll encroach on the area at the side, which might be unpopular. I do think this is the right place, but my compromise might be that I have a width of between 1.2m and 1.6m to play with without seeking marital planning permission, which we all know is hard to get and costs a lot... Thinking ahead, if I wanted to put a larger scope in a 1.6m area, does anyone have experience of what the largest could be? Could I assume if I won the lottery and bought an Esprit 150 I could fit it in? My thought for now is i will only be using a refractor as I am away so often that this must be by nature a remote obsy, so regular attendance other than at weekends is pretty much out for any tweaking or adjusting. As to height, I'm thinking of the walls being 2.4m high as with the workshop, which with a 1.6m/1.8m-ish pier should help shield me from some light pollution from the southeast, i.e. I will calculate the height to exclude the 1st 20-ish degrees from my horizon. Perhaps I am missing a point here, as most pictures I see have the OTA in home position just below the top of the walls, but this shielding of the first 20 degrees above the horizon seems sensible to me. All final thoughts appreciated here, and then I'll start a build thread.. Cheers, Ian
  18. Hi Magnus, thanks for the input, and now, after a few months working away from home, I'm finally ready to get to work. This is the real reason I need a remote obsy - I sit in hotel rooms in evenings for months on end in really boring places when I could be logged in and imaging - so the more I think about the build, the more I realise Ineed to consider sensors and automation. One thing I saw from your parts list is that you have both an Odroid and a Rasp Pi, is this a case of one for Imaging and one for Controlling? I had planned to build this sky quality monitor to assist with things like the automation of a roll-off roof, based around an Arduino Mega, which looks like I might be able to perform other automation tasks with it: https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinomysqmskyqualitymeter/files/mySQMPRO/ But if you have other suggestions or things you have picked up on the way for sensors and automation to enhance the obsy, I'd love to hear about them and include in the design as appropriate. @Gonzo - Would love your input here too. Best regards, Ian
  19. I have been planning to follow @Gonzo with his remote obsy and time has just come free to start work, and now finding your build and such a comprehensive list has made me a really happy man! You two seem to have struck on a good formula so I'm going to copy it, after all imitation is the greatest form of flattery! I'm lucky in that my "remote" is just 100m up my garden, next to my workshop which already has power and cat5e running to it. I will try to distil what I have found both here and in @Gonzo's build and when I post my build perhaps I can advice on anything you have learned that I have missed. One question for now, whilst I have been in IT for too many years to admit to on here, I last did anything Unix related over 20 years ago, and have never been much of a coder, more databases and SQL, so am a bit daunted by the Linux/Indi elements, so do you have any guidance on getting started? Best regards, Ian
  20. @Owmuchonomy - good points, noted. On point 2, I think I have seen people putting a polystyrene isolation band between the mount concrete and the rest of the slab, is this what you mean, or should I be looking at proper DPC type measures? I did this when laying the base for my workshop and have not had any damp issues. I think my difficulty is in knowing what a "good southern aspect" is, as my daft analyst brain shouts "its 091 to 269, horizon to zenith", which I know is tosh but inexperience is stopping me from knowing what level of limitations I accept versus changing the site to somewhere less convenient or less secure. This is a proper First World problem this one, I have too much bloody choice to make a decision! I seem to think I read that the first 20 degrees from the horizon are not much cop, so perhaps that can be one parameter to rule out locations, and I am guessing that another one could be "you need an arc of sky of at least X degrees to have enough exposure/capture time to image most DSOs". Any input on this would be good and then I'll walk about and try to divine what I can see. Would pictures from selected points help in advising me?
  21. @laser_jock99 - My chosen vantage point should give me this, although some will be obscured. Will make some observations on field of view and angles above the horizon and report back to see if anyone has any thoughts @pmlogg - I do try to think things through in advance, but ignorance and over-enthusiasm sometimes get the better of me... The book is ordered. The second image is of the area that has easy (ish) access to power and network connectivity, with power and hardline network connections at my garage and workshop, the two most sensible places for siting things, I'm hoping I'll be ok. I have noted the point about forward thinking and the pier height, now I just need to imagine how bad my aperture fever will get once astronomy has well and truly got under my skin. @tobblerone - It's pretty dark here, not an official Dark Skies dark, but I can clearly see the Milky Way with the naked eye, so I'm hopeful. Swedish summer has other good things though, the crayfish and vodka don't just consume themselves!
  22. Hi All, I am new to astronomy but have been reading here and elsewhere for a few months and have got some great input that has led to some solid purchases so far (SW ED80, Atik mono CCD, ST80/Atik guider on an NEQ6), and hope I can get some good pointers to set me on the path planning and then building my observatory. I need to have a permanent place to site this as my work often restricts my available time so want to do what I can to maximise time observing. For now I am getting familiar with everything and observing visually (jaw agape and/or giggling as all newbies do, surely), but time will come when I would like to be able to image from the warm, or even further away as I am regularly based elsewhere, so want to start thinking about this well in advance. I have quite a bit of land around me so have many options to site the observatory, but many trees surrounding many of these areas, and whilst I have scoured this DIY Observatory thread, but still have some basic questions that perhaps could become a Stickie for new folks like me, but I'd be just as happy if someone said "buy this book" or "call this person": What are the basic considerations for the observatory beyond a watertight structure, a stable base for the pier, power and network/internet access? Given I'd be killed if I put the observatory in the middle of our field (not to mention it might attract unwanted attention) if I had to choose bits of sky with unobstructed views, which would these be? i.e. unobstructed view of Polaris for alignment plus clear skies from 090 to 180 degrees from at least 20 degrees above the horizon and get what you can with the rest? I have tried to get perspective on what I can see by using Sky Safari, but being so new I don't know what I'll be missing by making the site choices as the year rolls by It seems to me that imaging observatories can be small, but given I might want something like a 200mm (or larger!) Newt in there, is there a way of estimating the optimal size of "cold" room? One for the Architects perhaps - I see pictures of observatories on platforms attached to buildings, large balconies if you like, how would I give my telescope the necessary stability? i.e. if the platform overhung the edge of the brick side wall, should I bolt the pier to the wall and have it rise through the platform? I have quite a few pictures I have taken of my site that I can share to help me see i9f I am thinking on the right lines, but I do think I have found an optimal location that shouldn't ruffle too many feathers. Ironically, it's adding a retractable roof dormer on the back of my Garage (just to the NE of the house), over the top of our chicken coop, which I made out of a shed that would have been great for an observatory! Pictures from google maps so oriented North, first is the whole site, second is the area with easy access to power and network, note all the trees and tall bushes everywhere: Thanks in advance for your input, Ian
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