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My personal Sky Crane


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Over the edge!

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First test rollout!

It's been there before during the welding but not in one assembled piece and now the iOptron is in place. It sits on a cutoff verion of its original pier, but the little grub screws that used to hold it together have been replaced by 8 M10 bolts. Belts and braces!

I haven't jacked it up yet out there as the little piece of wooden decking - a whole 80*80cm - need some holes cut out and cement support blocks made to take the load of the three jack bolts.

The black thing down the bottom is the 'Crawler' that takes the Crane over the high threshold. Inside the flat the two become on unit that I can move about for parking it somewhere.

So far so good!

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Awesome looking bit of kit- must have freaked out a few police helicopters though 😳😂

It looked like this for a while too, when I moved to a different flat with no need for the overhang bit, so I chopped it off.  

I am stuck with the limits of my balcony measuring a bit under 3*3" so waiting for the AP1600 mount I quickly realized that it wouldn't even fit out there without any OTA hitting the wall or doors...

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This was something I predicted, but it's still annoying. The Crane went through the floor. Luckily it was always designed to do just that, since I identified the floor as a potential hazard. So the Crane came to a rest on the support legs and could be jacked up by the actuators to salvage it.

I need to reinforce the floor now by some temporary means. A thin sheet of something, maybe even plywood oiled dark.

It is annoying, but it's still going strong all in all. The iOptron mount that sits on it for the time being plays up occationally in a random fashion, but the button PA works better than expected, and it is rock solid on the balcony. The iOptron is - apart from the floor giving in - by far the weakest link in my setup, also leaving the actual seeing and vis behind as a necessary evil.

The saying is Mount, Camera, Telescope, and I'm losing the plot on Mount... I may be asking too much from it, and will sell it soon, but it needs a v3 of some sort...

On that same night my AP photos hard drive died. Pretty much all work gone. I'm not crying tears over this as to be honest it was all rather mediocre but I had hopes to add data to some of the targets...

Ah, well! What can possibly go wrong now???

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Here is the whole build:

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That has to be the coolest build I've seen on here

Kind comment, but this thing is born out of desperation of not having a better place to observe and image from. There are some really nice builds out there that I'd much rather have...

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  • 4 months later...

I've been working on the Crane to get it ready for the AP1600. It's not too much to do really, since I designed it with this mount in mind. It's just a matter of bolting on the flat surface adapter. The mount then slots straight in, and a few cables later I should be up and running. (I onle need the actual mount...)

On the photos above of the iOptron assembly you'll see the mount sat on a cut off pier section to reach the right height for the scope, allowing it to slew without catching. The AP1600 is so big that it will sit straight on the plate - no pier extender needed to reach the same height :p

Will my construction hold the weight? I think so, but why not put it to the test! :grin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes Olly, this is a belt and braces approach to my rather rare problem. It's a solid piece of kit, and I've tried to cover any weaknesses. It's built with failure of any part in mind. Every single weld can be cut simultanously - gravity will hold it together. All wheels can snap - no problems. And now with steel reinforced flooring there will be no more colateral damage :grin: !

Just to tie the thread up, here's the 'final' product, with the long awaited AP1600GTO sitting comfortably atop :hello2: :

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Oh my! I am lost for words at the thought of this kit being wheeled out over a Lyon balcony.

But perhaps that is because my own experience of Lyon balconies is limited to one on the side of a block of apartments next door to St Just church on Rue des Farges, where there was an alarming crack between the concrete floor of the balcony and the wall of the main building. Our hosts assured us it was safe but we made sure there were never more than two of us out there at the same time. Having looked at google maps, it appears that the balconies have now been removed!

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Haha, I know what you mean, but I've made sure to send 5 friends out there on a few occations :grin: and they're still my friends! (They paid the price for being smokers...)They'd be about 400 kgs together. This is a mere 215 at the moment... And I can set it up with one hand!

/Jesper

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  • 4 weeks later...

I put some slabs on the balcony, and made the wooden 'decking' floating. The wood had some sway to it so this made for a good improvement in how solid the thing sits out there.

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It's going through a few alignment and guiding tests here as the sun sets. I'm racking up quite a few SW counter weights!! :grin:

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Looking forward to galaxy season!

/Jesper

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  • 6 years later...
3 minutes ago, Juicy6 said:

Anyopne knows if this fantastic project succeeded? Maybe the OP himself is still around...

Christer, Sweden

Perhaps if we tag @Jessunthen he may reply 🤞🤞

I'm just hoping that the balcony was as strong as he hoped!! 😱😱

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1 minute ago, Juicy6 said:

Anyopne knows if this fantastic project succeeded? Maybe the OP himself is still around...

Christer, Sweden

Not sure if Jesper is still around he left for a while and returned again recently, it was all working fine but he moved on to multi scope setups and also moved home I believe.

Dave

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Thank you Philip R. Kind of you.

I'm not back in action per se. I have yet to take my first image with the 16200... and I've had it for some years now...

The walk of shame in GOT springs to mind....

/Jessun

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33 minutes ago, Jessun said:

I'm not back in action per se. I have yet to take my first image with the 16200... and I've had it for some years now...

Good to see you're still lurking Jesper, still got my elevating pier using Gimson ram as per your recommendation :thumbsup:

Dave

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14 minutes ago, Jessun said:

Awesome Dave!

The Gimsom rams are all I have left from the Sky Crane as it was 'decommissioned' this year.

Any pics?

/Jesper

I've still got your email somewhere, I'll send you a link to a video of it going up and down.

Dave

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1 hour ago, Jessun said:

It looked like this for a while too, when I moved to a different flat with no need for the overhang bit, so I chopped it off.

 

Rig.jpg

Awesome looking bit of kit- must have freaked out a few police helicopters though 😳😂

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