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Everything posted by MultumInParvo

  1. Hey Dave - What's that blue stuff at the top of your picture? I need to sort out my roof automation but each time work allows it's either still raining or there is black where the blue should be...
  2. I have mine connected to an IKEA Tradfri plug so I can turn it on and off remotely via Google Assistant, but any wifi plug would do the same job, I just had these bits hanging around. It turns the whole rig on and off (cameras, mount, roof automation, two SBCs,, dew heaters, etc) so saving a fair bit of electricity (and a little of the planet's resources) over time I would assume. I have run a cable up to the obsy as wifi has a limited bandwith, dependent on what you buy, and is affected by simple things like leaves on trees. Will the mini PC just be controlling things and then do your processing on a local machine in the house, or does the mini PC have enough grunt to do all the heavy lifting? I have a Raspberry Pi to control things and an Odroid N2 for the processing, but then my aim was to be able to remote in from distant lands as I work away a lot, rather than just from my house. Ian
  3. Good that you picked up C24 graded timber, much stronger and less chance of it being/going wonky, although Wickes have sold me all sorts of curly wood over the years, they are happy to take it back if it is shoddy. I bought some end grain treatment at Toolstation for a few quid.
  4. Slowly but surely, things are moving forwards. The ED80 is atop the mount, focusser added, everything is hooked up and now testing from the warmth of my study over VNC where I can remotely turn the power on and off thanks to Ikea's Tradfri remote-controlled plug and google Assistant. I have taken the lead of @Magnus_e and @Gonzo and am running a RPi 3B+ which will control the numerous gizmos and an Odroid N2 which will do the imaging and processing, and these are running Ubuntu MATE 18.04 with various Astro software on them, but mainly Kstars/EKOS. This was all facilitated by Rob Lancaster's brilliant AstroPi3 scripts that did all of the clever work of taking two straight-from-the-box Single Board Computers and left me with two working Astro desktops: https://github.com/rlancaste/AstroPi3 Once I am satisfied all is working as it should I'll drill some holes in the cases so I can tidy up the cables. Left to do: Open up the SBCs for remote access and secure it properly Make a couple of boxes up for the usb hub and 12v power distribution Make a dew controller gizmo that can be controlled via INDI to save running the Hitec one that would just come on when I power up Install insulation Finish automating the roof and make remotely controllable via INDI Automate the easterly-flap-down-bit, although "automate" might be a bit grand-sounding for a couple of pulleys and some string that drops the flap down when the roof opens Find a better name for the easterly-flap-down-bit Clad the Obsy with featheredge boards or suffer the continued wrath of my better half Take some photos of things in the sky Learn how to capture and process properly, possibly with the aid of @ollypenrice who I contacted today
  5. Was just posting Alan, you are clearly telepathic! Work has been ongoing, but I have been posted first to Northampton and now to Edinburgh, so progress has been slow. I do now have a building and a sliding roof, although manually operated at the present. I have the materials to insulate the inside and clad the outside, but all in good time. The mount is on the pier and the power case is stood against the pier, and once I have completed the commissioning of the two SBCs that will control the automation and the imaging this weekend I shall attach that to the other side of the pier. My thinking is to keep noisy power and data separated where possible. Here are some pics of progress:
  6. I spent some usef time with good old-fashioned best guess followed by trial and error, and it would seem I have an Odroid N2 and a Raspi 3b+ now with Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and the latest Raspbian on them. I ran the scripts helpfully compiled by I spent some usef time with good old-fashioned best guess followed by trial and error, and it would seem I have an Odroid N2 and a Raspi 3b+ now with Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and the latest Raspbian on them. I ran the scripts helpfully compiled by Rob Lancaster (https://github.com/rlancaste/AstroPi3) but ran out of time to test them before I had to come to Edinburgh, and, fundamentally, hadn't got to the point of opening them up so I can remote in from here, which is the end game. Whilst KStars and other elements all hide within Ubuntu and Raspbian, this makes the whole process of exposing and configuring them not just easy, but almost pleasurable. I spen a good couple of hours trying to install RealVNC on the Odroid after the out of the box VNC server kept quitting thinking it was under attack, with precious little success, now knowing more about Linux C Library dependencies than anyone should need... There is stuff in the scripts that sets up just about everything you need, all the way down to creating a red theme you can turn on and off with icons. And @CedricTheBrave, there is a lovely panel that sits to the right of the desktop that tells me all about my software versions and what each core is up to. I'll test them both this weekend and report back.
  7. Thanks Cedric, that helps. Funny that there seem to me multiple ways to skin a cat in Linux...
  8. One for both @Gonzo and you @Magnus_e: Getting down to commissioning the two devices for control imaging as per your build Magnus, and wondered if you both have favoured distros? Is there any software beyond the distros that you find essential or useful? I have an odroid N2 for imaging and it comes with Ubuntu MATE on its 16Gb eMMC card, the other is as Raspi 3b+ that has nothing on it at the moment. As an aside, despite having worked in technology for 34 years, I have never really come into contact with Linux and I find I can't even tell how to get the version number out of ithe Ubuntu MATE interface. I am now hanging my head in shame at being (temporarily) beaten and going off to google for an idots guide to Linux... I may try to put together another thread that details this side as I found the forum to mostly contain really specific questions rather than a more basic thread on how to set up a cheap and low power rig, something that could perhaps offset some of the cost of this hobby...
  9. Actually, I seem to remember that someone I had been following for his automated obsy build uses KStars, will take a look
  10. This is a very interesting thread, virtually the same question as the OP, but from reading some comparisons of software, some is a little tougher on the brain to get into. For background, I work away from home a lot and am constructing a remote obsy that is going to be very automated - better to dial in and look at things from a hotel room than stare at Netflix... I have a Raspi for automation of the roof and anything else and a slightly more powerful linux mini box that could be dealing with capturing, but I have desktops and a server sitting idle that could run more powerful packages, so I have lots of options. I have been around software for a very long time for work, so sitting down to a powerful but raw UI with complexity between packages that I am constatly trying to wrangle would lead to it feeling like an extension of work... I think what I need is some pointers on the simplest chain for a beginner that would allow me to learn and grow rather than drown this AP babe-in-arms until I gave up. My feeling is that this makes AstroArt or MaximDL the way to go (learn it once, full integration from scope to processed image) but it might be APT, Nebulosity and Startools. The cost isnt the issue here, but I will always try to get the best bang for the buck. Ian
  11. 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...
  12. 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
  13. 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:
  14. @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-
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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...
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. Absolutely Alan, she's at the heart of the rig...
  23. And we've never been seen in the same place at the same time... Have you started a build yet or just gathering info?
  24. 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
  25. 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
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