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  1. Hi. Finally it's time to start a project i have been planning for a while. My remote Linux - INDI observatory Some info about the project. The observatory is going to be box style. I don't do any visual stuff, so i wont make room for myself. It is going to sit on a south facing second story balcony at my parents place. It's by a fjord near Drammen, Norway, so almost everything southbound is water and zero light pollution. The house itself sits on a spot with mostly green and yellow on the LP map, so beats my apartment where there is dark red LP as far as the eye can see (sadly).. To start things off, I'm building the pillar. As it's on a balcony, there will be no way to dig and cast a base in concrete. However concrete (b30) will be used to make the pillar more substantial. I want it to be very rigid, and I guess by having some weight to it, some flex in the floor will be "pre flexed". Any project starts with a good drawing so here is some cad. The outer tube is a cardboard casting tube. It sits on a wood plate with a total thickness of about 3.6 cm, has four m20 threaded rods that will be casted in with four 50x35 cm steel angels for stability. On top there is three steel plates connecting the base to three m20 bolts with mounts for the celestron avx. I will use the celestron's plate from the tripod (removing the legs) on top to mount the head on. The gap between plate one and two from the top is to be able to adjust and level the mount. I will have to get the three plates and three blocks on the right fabricated, but hopefully at a acceptable prize, hopefully... This weekend was mostly drawing, but did get something started. Let me know what you think about the design. More to come as project progresses...
  2. From the album: Mike's Images

    © Copyright Mike O'Day 2014 - all rights reserved

  3. My project during my summer holidays was to build a an outdoor pillar that would securly hold my mount (less vibration issues than a tripod) and give me permanent reference points to make alignment easier and more accurate (better tracking and hence longer exposures). The project grew (as projects do) to include a 'roll-away' shed so I can cover the sope if I want to leave it out over night or over a along weekend say. And then to include a deck so the shed will roll more easily and I'm not walking and turning the grass into mud when the ground is wet. The initial design ... The small platform on the deck at the base of the pier is the rolling platform I intended to mount the shed on. The pier is shown quite short here although the actual pier is taller so I can better see over the house's roof. The only feasable location in the back yard was by the boundary fence... Ground marked out and hole dug... The intention was for a hole about 450mm square by about 1000mm deep but I hit sandstone at around 650mm. I used a small jack hammer to so go down maybe another 100mm or so and to key in some features to lock the concrete. The shed I planned to use is the 4x6 Factor by Keter (http://www.keter.com/products/factor-46) Here is an image of the base of the shed showing the plan for the cut out. Here is the deck partly completed with the pier poured and pier top plate being cemeted in place... The deck is around 1.5 x 5.5 meters. Four 140mm x 45 mm bearers in pairs running the length of the deck with 90mm x 45 joists every 1.5m or so. Bearers are supported by galvanised steel sirrups (10 in total) fixed in high strengh concrete. The pier is a 12in diameter galvanised steel 'duct tube' filled with high strength concrete with reinforcing bars in the hole and in the tube. The plate is a 12in pier top plate by http://www.pierplates.com Here is the almost completed project. Deck done except the sides. Pier ready to take some weight (8 days after concrete pour). Shed mounted on the rolling platform. Out door power point mounted on deck with underground conduit to take the lead back to a power point. I mounted the cut-out in the shed floor on sections of wood so I could fit it back in the hole to keep out small animals. This is the project all but completed (some finishing off required to the base of the shed and I need to fill the cracks, sand and paint the filler paste I used to top off the concrete in the pillar - it is taking ages to dry). And finally, here is the mandatory 'first light' image from the new observatory... I am pleased with how it has turned out and it is fitting home for my Skywatcher 10in f4 scope and AZ EQ 6 mount. Thank you to everyone on this site who unknowingly have contributed with ideas and lessoned learnt though numerous posts you have made in the past. Cheers Mike
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