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Everything posted by LuckieEddie

  1. I can print your radius block if you want. I'd suggest using ASA rather than ABS for the UV resistance (ABS can become brittle after a while). Personally I wouldn't typically recommend printed parts for anything load bearing though. If you want to proceed, pm me.
  2. Today the roof was fibreglassed. As I had free choice for the colour, I went for white as I thought that should give me maximum reflection/least solar heating. We're in an urban location so it doesn't need to blend in with anything (although next doors' shed is white plastic as well). Next up is fitting insulation under the roof and an inner skin/ceiling.
  3. It's taken an age but I've finally got the roof structure and skin up. I've felt like Noah over the past few weeks with the amount of rain I've had in the shed observatory. I've also been delayed by a horrible cough that I can't shake (and have passed round the family). Here's the roof from the inside. The big beams making up a hexagon in the foreground are the supports for the "dome". The skin of the roof is OSB that's going to be fibre-glassed.
  4. Late to the game, but here's my attempt on the data using only StarTools.
  5. There will be six lengths of studding equally spaced through the outer holes. The centre and three of the inner set, again equally spaced, will bolt to the mount. The extras allow the whole plate to be indexed round one position (30 degrees) and offset the mount by plus or minus one degree. This will make polar aligning the studding in the concrete less critical. There's method in my madness - allegedly.
  6. I made a pier adapter plate ready for my Losmandy G11 mount. ⌀250mm x 30mm thick, M12 clearance holes (centre & inner ring for mount adapter nuts & bolts, outer ring for pier set studding).
  7. "id love info on a workflow in free software for mosaics" I've had good results with using Hugin for mosiac stitching, for example this is a six panel mosiac... I know the image itself isn't that special but the stitching worked well. Hugin does a lot more than just plain stitching so you need to ignore a lot of it's features - there is a simple wizard mode - but the UI is a bit 'gritty' until you get used to it. It's open source and runs on just about any Os.
  8. You might want to check out out Slant 3D on YouTube. The channel is run by a commercial print farm and has lots of tips on designing 3D printed parts for mass production including aspects like tolerance and fit. The only thing is I find the presenter quite annoying but the info is good (I tend to view him muted with subtitles on).
  9. Looking good Alan, but watch out for your back. None of us are getting younger and the 'battle damage' adds up despite our mental self image often convincing us otherwise. I noticed how much I struggled moving 8x4 sheets of OSB today whereas a few years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about it.
  10. It's a thumbnut. Loads on ebay/Amazon plus any fastener supplier.
  11. The next job was adding structure to the walls that will end up supporting the new lower roof height. I got two-thirds of the way through this, including shrinking the doors before going away for a couple of weeks. Then, peeling back the inner skin on the last wall I discovered that side has suffered some significant rotting to the floor support. This is the most exposed aspect of the current shed and the wood was soft enough to crumble by hand. I've started removing the damaged areas and found a good long term solution - plastic joists. These are 50x50mm and about twice the price of untreated CLS timber but they absolutely will not rot. You can cut, drill and screw into them easily. Although there was no evidence of water getting further than the outer timber run I'm also sealing them down to the concrete base with lots of silicone just to make sure. I'm also having to do all of this from inside the shed as there's insufficient clearance to get down the outside (which is one of the reasons it's plastic clad - no maintenance). The wood delivery for refitting the floor and creating the new roof is due next week...
  12. Whilst not perfect, a dome will give significantly more wind (and local light) protection than, for instance a ROR. However that's only one factor. Thinking about an observatory to last into later years, some other things I'd consider include: Physical accessibility. Most (all?) of the amateur domes I've seen have low height doors. You have to bend over/duck down to enter - is your back going to be happy with that or would it be a bad start to the night? Your future physical strength. With a ROR you don't need to have powered retraction but you might want to consider gearing the mechanism to reduce the effort. it's probably desirable and it's quite easy to fit a motor. With a dome personally I'd say it's essential. Turning a dome by hand must be a right faff, backwards and forwards between the mount and the dome as well as the effort. I know you're a (almost exclusively?) visual observer, are you going to be happy with the more enclosed sky view that a dome will give as opposed to a wide open vista? Especially if you're in a nice location. I think at the moment you're using an AltAz without goto. Staying with that style of mount/observing would make syncing a dome tricky, though not impossible. Comfort. As you'll be less exposed to both wind and sky in a dome you will be warmer.
  13. A slow and fiddly job next. I already had armored mains cable run out to the shed but now I need network. WiFi is just too subject to variation for me to trust it for this application. I've bought an outside rated Cat5e cable, not armored but double walled and UV proof. This had to be buried and run right round the garden so it can come in near to the router. Then I stripped out nearly all of the current electrics in the shed as I won't need the sockets or lights where they are currently. Then I removed some more floorboard, fitted some trunking from the pier location to the side wall under the floor and replaced the floorboard. Finally, for today, I've added some new socket positions, trunking, and a metal network outlet. I won't need many mains sockets as all the astro gear is going to run off of distribution from UPS.
  14. Ouroboros - The Augar was £120 for a weekend hire, delivered & collected. Not cheap but less than a mini-digger, a neater hole, and I could get it up the steps in the garden. Alan - No slab. 14" footing, 12" pier above ground. Will be poured in one go with a rebar cage running right the way through.
  15. As I want this to be a 'done once, done right' job and I like astrophotography I felt that I needed to err on the side of caution and allow for future equipment upgrades. This means maybe over-engineering my pier, rather than accepting what others have tried and found acceptable. I bought myself a copy of the Telescope Piers book by Jim McCathren in order to educate myself as to how to design a pier. It's got some good information including typical design choices, compromises, and achievable performance (deflection under load). On the down side it doesn't necessarily travel well being written for an American audience and full of left-pondian terms, measures and standards. Anyway I got some good pointers and adapted the information to my situation. As I'm going to have a fairly tall pier, I need an equivalently deep hole for the footing. It doesn't need to be wide as the loading on a pier is all about angular deflection, not weight load bearing. I hired myself the largest one-man Augar I could get hold of locally. It took a full day, due to having to keep extracting the loose soil and the fitting on the hired Augar being partly broken, but eventually I bored a hole, 14"(355mm) diameter by about 6ft(1800mm) deep. Unfortunately within an hour of finishing I had a small well as due to all the rain the ground water level is high, but this can be pumped out just before I pour the concrete. The hole is deliberately offset to be in the correct location - it's the preexisting floor joists that don't line up.
  16. The first job was (nearly) emptying the shed. This has been my main workshop and wood store for many years, as well as housing all my astro kit, so this was a major undertaking. Luckily my requirements for major DIY projects at home (this build excepting) are largely done with now. The attention has now shifted to helping my children out with their place, so the least they can do is store all my wood. With that out of the way. a serious purge of accumulated toot, repurposing another shed to be the 'dirty' workshop and moving my kit into the conservatory temporarily I was able to strip out most of the benchwork & racking, and get to the floor. Preparation for my pier came next but this isn't a green field/new build so I had to start by cutting out a section of the floor boards between the joists to expose the existing concrete base. I then lined the sides with some treated CLS timber and set to with my SDS drill and breaker bits to knock a hole through the concrete. Once I'd removed that and the supporting hardcore I was about a foot/300mm below floor level by the time I reached undisturbed soil. I'd kept the removed sections of floorboards so I could screw them together with some more CLS to make a trapdoor to cover the hole until I could get to the next stage.
  17. No, not as compact as that one... The shed/future observatory is 4.5m X 4.5m X 6.35m. It's also tucked up against the boundary so I'm limited to 2.5m in height to meet the requirements for not needing planing permission. I want to keep maximum practical height so that: I get the best sight lines/horizon possible. I don't have to duck down to enter or move about inside. Luckily I'm not that tall. Here's a snap from Google maps showing the plot, the observatory is the red triangle.
  18. After nearly two years of planning, preparation and talking about it, I've finally made a start on my observatory build. 🥳 I thought I'd share the progress here as there are a number of "off the beaten track" features involved. The first issue is location. Our urban back garden is not great for astronomy - we're on a corner plot which is triangular, there's a two-storey block of flats to the South with permanently on security lighting, and there's also a street light outside our front garden. The house is towards the NW side of the plot but the NE - SE is larger obstruction free. We're not likely to be moving anytime soon (if ever) and I can't afford a remote site. All this combines to make only one viable location for my observatory - the extreme corner of our rear garden, where my existing shed is located. Given that I built it to last and it's as sizeable as will fit there, I think it makes sense to convert the existing structure. And the problem? Remember I wrote above that the plot is triangular? Well so is the shed.
  19. I run KStars/Ekos/INDI on a Pi4 8GB built into my mount controller. Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit, software built by Nou's scripts. Also PHD2, FireCapture and occasionally Siril. All accessed via VNC. 32-bit KStars is indeed a dead end. The software now uses some stuff that is only available on 64-bit systems.
  20. 1st IANAL. I'm an however a lover of and contributor to open source software so I'm surprised by that statement. Can you provide any reference for it please? It's proven (and grudgingly admitted, eventually) that ASIAIR is built on INDI and their failure to meet the requirements of the GPL licence is skirting the limits of legality. They are keeping it closed to keep out other manufacturers. I suspect it's only their position as a prominent manufacturer of other astro kit that the open source community wants/needs to keep supporting that is preventing more action regarding this.
  21. I've used a Fuji X-T2 with a Skywatcher N200/1000 newtonian on an EQ-5. I run it at ISO800 using kstars/Ekos/Indi. The only real issue I had was the unusual XTrans CFA requires proper handling. Shoot in raw. I use Siril for stacking. You can see some of my results on my telescopius page - equipment used is listed on each image. The other comments are spot on - I similarly found the 200/1000 was too much payload for the EQ-5 and have now upgraded to a larger mount.
  22. Hi DT, Welcome to SGL. I can't comment on an AVX as I've never used one, so this should only be one input into your decision process, however... I have an old EQ-5 that I converted to an OnStep belt driven system - DIY not an Terrans kit. I rarely use it any more as I've moved onto a Losmandy G11 (also using OnStep). I used it with a SkyWatcher N200/1000 which is definitely too much payload for the EQ-5 but was just about practical - it would be fine for a lighter / shorter FL system such as yours. You can see what I managed imaging wise on my Telescopius account. Most of the images there were taken using the EQ-5 unguided - the equipment details are in the descriptions. I've found OnStep to be great. The system itself, the resources and support around it, and the people behind it. Drivers are mature and full featured. I never auto-guided the EQ-5 but do guide the G11 via Indi / PHD2 and it works fine. A couple of things to be aware of regarding OnStep: The system design and code is Open Source. There are businesses, such as Terrans (and others), that have taken this and made a commercial product around it. This is okay and in keeping with the licenses. However they are not renowned for the best technical support. There are often customers of these commercial kits seeking support on the OnStep forums and the community, quite rightly, is not especially happy to provide free technical support to these companies customers. There are other sources of kits active on the OnStep forums that do feed into the community and provide good support (in particular see https://graydigitalarts.com ). OnStep reached maturity (generally) in the 4.x release series. 4.24s is the current official release. However, for a couple of years it has received only bug fixes as development has switched to OnStepX. The older OnStep codebase reached the point where the author (Howard) felt that it deserved a ground up rewrite to make it more maintainable, extendable and all round better. (A bold step that many software projects could learn from.) OnStepX is still in Beta and not yet officially released, but it's stable enough for most users. It's just that the development of new features is still progressing and so updates are frequent.
  23. I recently got a definitive answer regarding the MLX (which I'm planning to use myself). The standard 'A' package TO-39 varient is sealed to IP65 so it should be fine exposed to general weather. Just make sure you seal the body of the can to your housing and don't jet-wash it.
  24. I tried these a while ago. I found that on my 8" Newtonian they did almost eliminate the diffraction spikes but in doing so spread that extra light evenly around. This meant that the stars went from tight points with sharp spikes to softer and larger without spikes. For me I considered that a failure.
  25. As an alternative you could get a sleeve of brass with an internal bore of 2.6mm and an external diameter of 6mm and bond it onto the 2.5mm shaft with Loctite 638. Then you could just use an easy-to-buy 6mm - 6mm coupler. This would be a one way journey though, you wouldn't be able to remove the sleeve without a blowtorch. I could knock up the sleeve for you for cost+postage. Message me if you want to go that route.
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