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About fifeskies

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    Fife , Scotland
  1. The box by Michael with its fused outputs is exactly the way to go. Indicators to monitor each output is a very useful addition as he has done. (I assume LED) I am making a box to use with my pier mount and will use LED to monitor each output , however LED at the usual current are very bright (nominal 20mA) It is worth using a far higher in line resistor to lower the LED current , trial and error will let you find what suits you , but I find even a few mA current is enough to make the LED show when looked at directly allowing you to confirm the fuse has not blown but will not cast a bright coloured glow around where you don't want it.
  2. Found you can get spiral ducting in diameters up to 500mm from a well known auction site , delivered.
  3. These look to be ideal , and with diameters ranging up to a full metre are exactly what I need. (Not that I need a metre diameter) I am probably going to use a stepped column starting at 450 at base then narrower as it rises
  4. I am moulding a smaller diameter part at the top to avoid scope collisions , its a high pier
  5. Yes I had considered ducting , might be looking for a wider diameter though, but that is available too as ducting I think , just need to look around a bit more for the larger diameter.
  6. yes I had thought a trip to the local carpet saleroom might be a good idea might not be as good quality as a sonotube , or be waterproof , but a coat of varnish on the inside could cure that.
  7. Hi, I'm planning the construction of a concrete pier in my garden here in the UK using a filled tube , cardboard or plastic drain pipe I've read various accounts of others who have done similar using cardboard but the majority of these have been US-based, where the Sonotube features quite a lot . Is there an equivalent product available in the UK? I can only find small diameter (postal type) tubes Been searching around (google etc) but there doesn't seem to be a UK equivalent Thanks.
  8. A quick look on the spec sheet for these gives some more information about them 1 amp type take 8 seconds to trip at 5 x overload , so much slower response than using classic fuses They also don't break the supply as mentioned above , only limit the overload amount. Could be useful for motor protection as they will limit any stall current they are also very temperature sensitive , maybe not so good for out in the cold (where their trip time gets delayed as they don't heat up so fast and trip to limit the current) the full spec sheets shows their response to ambient temperature
  9. wired inside the box is a tad inconvenient compared to a panel fuseholder on the outside where a few seconds lets you change a fuse obviously don't change the fuse till you know why it blew in the first place you can select the fuse delay response characteristics to suit your needs for most fuse types from slow blow where motor starts take a big surge current to delicate electronics that want fast response to protect delicate semiconductor components the kind you would use for a mount motor drive is not the same as one you would use for an astrocamera fuse selection can get complicated but ANY fuse is going to be better than no protection , just try to match the type to what it is protecting.
  10. The steampunk panel will get a lot more comments then a mere functional solution
  11. It is worth remembering that a fuse is rated at a current it will blow only very slowly over a period of time as the fuse element heats up. So a 3 amp mains fuse will happily pass 3 amp for some time before giving up the ghost If you know the fusing factor of the fuse this tells you the current needed to instantly blow the fuse , typically 1.5 or 2 times the rated current can be passed for a few seconds , for a 3 amp fuse than can mean 6 amps or almost 1.5kw into a fault for a few seconds It typically takes more than 2x the rated current to give a fast break response. You really need to fuse on the low voltage side to protect your equipment. There are fast acting fuses in 20mm and 1 1/4 inch size that are a far better way to protect equipment than the slow responding mains fuses. A small distribution box with some of these fuses on the low voltage outputs will not be that difficult to make and could save a lot of damage Fast acting antisurge fuses may cost a little more but its a wise investment. This kind of panel holder work well , just mount into an abs project box https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcingmap-Electrical-Panel-Mounted-Holder/dp/B007Q82F98 or you could always go a bit more creative with your fuse box
  12. This needs to be compulsary reading for everyone contemplating a build. So many of the items on that list are likely to occur no matter how well you plan
  13. The quality of the roof runner system will be a major factor in the success of your ROR. I can 100% recommend the products from FH Brundle. I used the 300kg wheels and my ROR glides easily with a finger push. https://www.fhbrundle.co.uk/groups/13SWR300__300_kgs_Weight
  14. l have an area of raised deck in my garden that has good sky views. I plan to install an Altair Astro metal pier on the deck for convenient use. (the pier will be permanent and have a cover over it, perhaps even evolving to a full mini observatory with a roll off enclosure) I will not be mounting direct to the deck as there will be vibrations as I (and others) move around. As I can get under the deck I will cut a hole in the deck for the pier and create an mounting pillar under the deck so the pier is isolated from vibrations. The ground below is solid (bedrock) so I am wondering how wide the pillar should be. The pier is 300 wide so I need at least that diameter for the fixing bolts. The pillar will be around 2.1 metres high and probably a concrete mix into a mould ,I will drill long rawlbolt anchors into the bedrock to secure the column at the base and will use rebar in the actual column to reinforce it. I don't want to build anything too huge as I expect a solid column will be largely vibration free , but it is a high column so it needs to be wide enough not to suffer vibrations. I was thinking I could use some kind of large diameter drain pipe (agricultural type) as a mould. Has anyone done anything similar , or has ideas as to how big the pillar needs to be. I have a photo from elsewhere showing the pier used by another astronomer on a deck. I hope to do as tidy a job , but need a high column under the deck to the ground far below. I am thinking of some of the kind of pipe shown below for a mould , If I can source an offcut from local agricultural suppliers. It is available in many sizes up to 600mm diameter, though I was thinking something around 300 or 400mm may do. Either that or make a plywood mould for the pour and have it flared wider at the base. The column wont be on view , hidden below the deck , so it doesn't need to be terribly aesthetic , merely functional
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