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yesyes

the yesyes observatory - the build

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ah, almost forgot again. Very little progress last weekend due to continuous rain. Can't really see much with the roof closed and no lights working yet. I did connect up some more lights. Electrics are almost done now.

One other question came up though which I could use some advice on. Some time ago I got left over carpet tiles from work. The idea was to use them throughout the obsy. I've got more than enough for the whole obsy but I started wondering whether it is such a good idea to cover the scope room floor with carpet. Would I get problems with moisture? Do your obsy floors get wet from dew?

I used the same kind of tiles as Gina - dead easy to fit.  I would certainly recommend them as the scope room can get dewed up.   The only slight downside is when it gets really cold - the tiles frost up and get a bit slippy.

Edited by r3i

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As someone previously mentioned regulations, have you stuck to "safe zones" with your concealed wiring?

safezones.jpg

To be fair to Chris, he has paid far more attention to building regs etc with his build than any of us with DIY observatories. Look back at several builds like this (mine included) and the installation of electric cables, or the size of door openings, etc probably doesn't meet full building regulations, but we've had things passed by relevant authorities.  I think that these regulations you imply would only be applicable if the building was a dwelling intended for permanent habitation. Whilst it's probably good practice.

I do think it's overboard expecting Chris to build this to full building regulations.  He's done an exceptional job, and gone that extra mile to include consumer units and breakers on the circuits, where most of us simply wire in a ring main and then rely on the breaker in the house to safeguard the electrics.  But what are we talking about, a PC, PSU for the scope, couple of monitors, few red bulbs, and possibly a radio - even if Chris ran a small heater in the warm room we're not talking large KW usage.

For me the only things that let the build down is in area's below

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It's a shame the cables could not be behind the panelling, especially the socket next to the switch unit.  To me  (and I'm not  bashing Chris) this gives the impression of cutting corners or a slap-dash approach.  But the build isn't finished yet so I'll reserve casting aspersions until the ribbon is cut and the observatory is open ;)

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ah, almost forgot again. Very little progress last weekend due to continuous rain. Can't really see much with the roof closed and no lights working yet. I did connect up some more lights. Electrics are almost done now.

One other question came up though which I could use some advice on. Some time ago I got left over carpet tiles from work. The idea was to use them throughout the obsy. I've got more than enough for the whole obsy but I started wondering whether it is such a good idea to cover the scope room floor with carpet. Would I get problems with moisture? Do your obsy floors get wet from dew?

Chris,

Yes you do get dew forming in the observatory in the winter months, especially if it remains shut up for periods in heavy rain as we are currently experiencing.  I have recently had an area where two tiles were damp to the touch, but no signs of actual water ingress.  The strange thing is that the adjacent tiles were bone dry !

I would follow the tried and tested route of installing the interlocking foam tiles in the scope room.  It also saves kit when dropped as they have a soft landing, and in the event of any leaks in the future, the water is easy to mop up as it sits on the tile surface

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Thanks Malcom. As I keep saying to myself: It's only a shed. ;)

Those cables in the corners will be covered. But that's a job for later. I was thinking long and hard how to get the cables round these corners given the design. I could not think of any other way. This is not something I had thought about in the design stage. In hindsight, it would have been better to run the cables around the corners just above the floor (like I have done in the warm room) rather than half way up the wall.

The additional socket next to the CU was a last minute decision long after I had run the cables behind the walls. Though I agree that it would have been more tidy to have the remaining cables enter the fuse box from the back. But then again, when I look at the CU in my house it looks much worse! Cables entering the CU from all directions.

I might still box up those cables under the obsy CU with a bit of ply.

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I've got a pack of the same ones waiting to go down onto my floor, one the pier's fixed and floor re-made around it.

The 'safe landing' feature of these is what sold it to me... having tried concrete, and fortunately, got away with it =:-o

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Thanks for the advice on the flooring. So the general opinion is that carpet tiles are not good for the scope room.

I've decided to leave the scope room as it is for a while (while deciding what to use) and finish the warm room first. This will definitely be done with the carpet tiles I have.

So today I have moved the left-over timber back to the scope room and then connected up all the network cables to the patch panel. I want to have all the electrics done before starting with the carpet.

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the Ethernet switch will be installed in front of the patch panel. That's why these pieces of wood are sticking out.

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Goodness gracious me!!! :eek:   What on earth are all that lot for?  I have no ethernet in my obsy - just wireless LAN from router in living room to laptop in warm room.  USB is minimal too.  Two ports used on the laptop (its full quota) one direct to mount via EQDir and the other to a powered hub on the scope platform. From that short USB leads connect to this and that.

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I installed 14 network sockets (7 double sockets). The black cable at the bottom (port 16) is the feed from the house.

There is 2 double sockets in the corner where my electronics tinkering desk will be, 2 where the scope computer desk will be, 1 at the pier, 1 more in the scope room and 2 yet unconnected network cables go into the grey plastic box where all the remote control electronics will go (the one to the right of the patch panel).

I thought better too many than too few. :D

I don't particularly like wireless LAN. I prefer cabled Gigabit whereever possible. But of course there will also be a WiFi access point in there for things like tablets and my iPod.

I'm an IT guy, that might be another reason... ;)

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Chris, I've seen server rooms with fewer ports :)

So if I follow your logic, you'll patch from port 16 to the switch (which will be installed above the panel) via the uplink port  to connect to the router (or other switch) in the house.  Then you'll patch from the switch (presumably with 0.5m patch leads) to what ever socket you want to use via the corresponding port on the patch panel ?

Would it not of been easier to simply terminate each cable with an RJ45 and plug it directly into the switch ? - this would reduce the need for 16 x patch leads, and less work ?

I'm not knocking the project (far from it as I love what you've done) but I can't see the need for so much network infrastructure in a shed (sorry Observatory :) )  How much computer hardware are you thinking of using ??

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It's going to be a 24port managed switch (which I already have), so all ports will be permanently patched. Yes, port 16 goes into the house where it plugs into another identical switch.

I could have used plugs on the cable ends, but that would have been cutting corners. ;) It's all solid cable (not the stranded type) and it's not a good idea to crimp plugs to that cable type. (It's possible but it will work loose over time)

It's one of these things where you count how many you need and then double it, just like I did with my power sockets. ;)

And the IT guy and the geek in me wanted to do it "properly".

Some of the electronics projects I'm planning to do, and possibly many future projects, will have Ethernet ports (Arduinos, RasperryPis, ...) so I though it would be a good idea to have a few sockets on my electronics desk.

Also, I can use the cables for something other than Ethernet. I could, for example, patch a socket on the pier directly through to another socket on the electronics desk.

This whole building is a bit of a playground for me. So while I had the chance I just ran a lot of cables inside the walls. Much more tidy than running them on top of the wall if I ever needed it later on. I'll probably never use all of them as Ethernet ports. ;)

Actually, I wish I could do the same inside the house. I can't wait till it needs a complete rewire :D

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Thanks for the advice on the flooring. So the general opinion is that carpet tiles are not good for the scope room.

I've decided to leave the scope room as it is for a while (while deciding what to use) and finish the warm room first. This will definitely be done with the carpet tiles I have.

So today I have moved the left-over timber back to the scope room and then connected up all the network cables to the patch panel. I want to have all the electrics done before starting with the carpet.

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Chris,

I'd recommend re-terminating the data to minimise the amount of cable sheath removed. Although the runs are short this degree of untwist will cause cross talk issues and affect operation at gigabit speeds.

Probably ok for 10/10Mbs though.

If you can keep it neat and short it should work fine..

typed on my mobile with Tapatalk

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LOL - your other half will never see you with all those goodies and projects to play with.... I see the logic now in that you are not simply using the network for TCP/IP, but as a means of connections between points etc.

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Chris,

I'd recommend re-terminating the data to minimise the amount of cable sheath removed. Although the runs are short this degree of untwist will cause cross talk issues and affect operation at gigabit speeds.

Probably ok for 10/10Mbs though.

If you can keep it neat and short it should work fine..

typed on my mobile with Tapatalk

These are fine. The wire pairs are still twisted all the way to the terminal. I've terminated hundreds if not thousands of Ethernet ports over the years. In fact, that's probably the only thing I've done before with this build. ;)

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LOL - your other half will never see you with all those goodies and projects to play with.... I see the logic now in that you are not simply using the network for TCP/IP, but as a means of connections between points etc.

She has expressed concerns to that end... :D

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I can totally understand the logic of using a patch panel, especially if you will be tinkering with projects in there. I have a similar set up in my house, which minimizes nasty wifi and I can use some of the cat5e runs for cctv, home automation and sensor measurement stuff so its nice to be able to point to point connect things easily around the place :)

really like the build, can't wait to see it finished!

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Today's progress:

Finished connecting up the electrics. The last remaining lamp on the wall and 2 junction boxes on the warm room ceiling. These will be used to connect some red and white LED boards which still haven arrived yet.

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Then I made some protection for the cables going round the corners in the warm room

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And then I started laying the carpet tiles in the warm room. I ran out of glue spray, so had to stop until more arrives.

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Chris mate, you're doing it all wrong....

Paint the walls, and or ceiling first, then you lay the carpet last... this way you can slap the paint on with out having to cut in etc and remove the risk of getting paint on your nice carpet :)

Edited by malc-c
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I would certainly put something on that ply.  In my own observatory I now have a mould problem on the underside of the roof (ply with no treatment at all) while the walls are clear (ply with a coat of "posh" shed paint).

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I'm thinking I might varnish mine.  I'll wait until summer though (if we get one) so that I can leave it open to get rid of the smell/fumes.

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Mine is still that lovely pale green... but it will get a fresh coat of nice warm buttermilk in the summer.  For me it makes the warm room more like an office / study than the inside of a shed.

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Man there gonna have to change the definition of envy in the dictionary and put a picture of my face next to it

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well, I could paint / treat the ply with that same clear wood preserver that I used for the front cladding...

But I definitely want it to look the way it does now. If only to remind me that there is a wife in the house waiting for my company and this is NOT the house. :D

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