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yesyes

the yesyes observatory - the build

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Chris, I take my hat off to you.  This has turned out to be one of, if not the top build in this section.  I'm even having a rethink on upgrading my warm room later when the weather and funds permit.  One thing I would like to do is add a bench above the current storage / seat unit and have the 13.8v from the reg psu distributed along the back, with additional mains sockets and possibly a 5v rail too.  This would be excellent for working on electronic projects etc.

If I did this I would need to upgrade the insulation in walls from 25mm styrene as the original plan of my warm room was for use when observing, and thus I'm fairly well wrapped up (but still run a 2kw fan heater in winter :) )

You'll love your man cave... Last summer I spent a lot of time up in my observatory doing non-astronomy related stuff.. music on, sun shining in through the window, no interruptions (other than wife bringing lunch) - Bliss !!

Not sure on your connections between the house and man cave, but I would suggest  DEC hand set that has intercom.. it's a good way for the wife to let you know when she is turning in for the night, without the need for her to come out in the cold.  That's how I sold the idea to my wife, but I use it to call down and order a snack etc :) :)

Oh and don't forget the obligatory twin monitor setup for the computer - CdC, EQMOD, APT, PHD running on one - Sky go running on the other :)  ---- your wife won't be seeing you for months :D

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Oh and as for rounding the desk, it's simple enough with that iron on edging - but it's worth removing the existing edging all the way along to get a good finish

post-10726-0-40642000-1349189004.jpg

Edited by malc-c

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Thanks Malcom! Though I think I'm still way behind ASIGN_Baz with best build. Although, that's a dome, so doesn't count. :D :D

I already have 2 monitors up in the loft (a 19" and a 17") that will go on the scope desk. I think I'll set that up next weekend. I'll need a few bolts for the pier adapter  before I can use the scope. I ordered them yesterday. It turned out that some of the bolts between the 2 metal sheets need to protrude below the bottom plate which sits flush on the concrete pier. Another one of those things I had not thought about. But some different length bolts should fix that.

For obsy-to-house communication I has Skype in my mind.

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I'm even having a rethink on upgrading my warm room later when the weather and funds permit.  One thing I would like to do is add a bench above the current storage / seat unit and have the 13.8v from the reg psu distributed along the back, with additional mains sockets and possibly a 5v rail too.  This would be excellent for working on electronic projects etc.

For 5V this might be a good alternative if you don't need much ampage.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121261607310?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I'm thinking about replacing 1 or 2 of my double sockets with that.

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I would take great care using a standard 3 pin mains socket to run 5 volts, not that its dangerous, only when gets that way when the 5 volts gets  plugged in a 240 volt by mistake, doesn't have to be you that does it.... find a different type of socket completely..

Found these....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2AMP-1-GANG-ROUND-3-PIN-SOCKET-WHITE-OUTLET-3PIN-FIXING-SCREWS-INCLUDED-/141008763620?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Electrical_Fittings_MJ&hash=item20d4c6fae4

Edited by Tinker1947

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I would take great care using a standard 3 pin mains socket to run 5 volts, not that its dangerous, only when gets that way when the 5 volts gets  plugged in a 240 volt by mistake, doesn't have to be you that does it.... find a different type of socket completely..

Found these....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2AMP-1-GANG-ROUND-3-PIN-SOCKET-WHITE-OUTLET-3PIN-FIXING-SCREWS-INCLUDED-/141008763620?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Electrical_Fittings_MJ&hash=item20d4c6fae4

I wouldn't be using main sockets, i would do one of two things.  Buy a blank faceplate and insert three screw terminals similar to those used on PSUs with wanda plug connections, or get some of these for speakers

122393_CO1.jpg

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I used those 2A mains plugs and sockets in the past for in-cabinet mains distribution when I was an ardent audiophile but they became unavailable - interesting to see them available again.  For 12v and 5v distribution in the warm room and on the pier I use XLR connectors - 3 pin.  They work very well, and I use ex PC PSU for the supplies.  Plenty of current available - 12v @ 15A and 5v @ 30A - and the XLR connectors are rated at 10A.  They are very reliable.  Not sure I like USB next to mains sockets - personally I have enough trouble with USB without risking the interference.

I think for project use, some banana terminal posts on blank plates would be ideal.  I use the PC standard of Black for ground, Red for 5v and Yellow for 12v.  Using the same standard throughout saves a lot of problems :D

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I would take great care using a standard 3 pin mains socket to run 5 volts, not that its dangerous, only when gets that way when the 5 volts gets  plugged in a 240 volt by mistake, doesn't have to be you that does it.... find a different type of socket completely..

Found these....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2AMP-1-GANG-ROUND-3-PIN-SOCKET-WHITE-OUTLET-3PIN-FIXING-SCREWS-INCLUDED-/141008763620?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Electrical_Fittings_MJ&hash=item20d4c6fae4

The 3 pin socket is still for mains voltage. These sockets have a built-in 5V psu for these 2 USB charging ports. No data over these USB ports either, just for power.

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Sorry the way i read it, i thought you meant run 5 volts through the mains socket, if this is not the case but just from the USB sockets then yes that's a good idea..... 

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Ah no, I would never do that. It was just about the additional USB 5V that doesn't take up any additional space.

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Hmmmmm, the budget. I had a rough idea of how much I would spend. It was more like a guess than an estimate. I thought about £1000 - 1500.

I went waaaay over that. Things just kept adding up, especially small things that I had not even thought about before starting the build.

I started an Excel spreadsheet from the beginning and listed everything I bought (so no fiddling with receipts now ;) ). It added up to about £3400. This includes everything you see on my pictures, except for the Ethernet switch and patch cables (this is "gear", not part of the build) the desks (the corner one was free from work and the straight one is my old desk from the house) and carpet flooring (which I also got free from work).

This may sound a lot for an obsy. But in my case the warm room will also be my electronics workshop and general DIY tinkering room, i.e. my man cave. :D

For example I ran a lot more cabling (mains and network) than would be required for just an obsy. This has added quite a bit to the cost and also to building time.

By using the "shed" for more than just the telescope I'll get a lot more use out of it, especially when it's raining! ;)

Your cost of £3.4k doesn't surprise me at all - but if you get a lot of use and enjoyment out of it, which I'm sure you will, then it is money well spent.

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As a price comparison in May 2000 i built a 25' by 16' workshop,  Roughly 18" X 18" concrete footings, used 9" X 9" X 18" Celcon blocks all round, apex roof 3/4" ply, felt, concrete tiles, 3" concrete floor, 36 mains sockets and 10 Fluorescent Tubes, plus a shed load of other stuff benches round 3 walls on engineering brick piers, insulated and wall done with sterling board plus a Machine Mart log burner..that came to £5k, building it now at today's prices i don't think i would.....so your Obby is a bit more expensive than some other, but its a luxury build i suppose you could say, very nicely done....

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Three and a half grand for what you have is very good going, considering all those power and network sockets !

The thing is, to have a builder in to do the same job, to the same specifications, would cost you double that.  Plus you've had all the fun of building it yourself. - It will be three years this April since I started my build, and even today I look at what I achieved and pat myself on the back saying to myself "I did that" and it's one of the best feelings to have.

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Yes, I'm not complaining about the cost. I do know that I did a lot of research finding lowest prices and therefore couldn't have done it (much) cheaper at the same standard. And it's still quite a lot less money than what we just paid to have our 2.5 square metre upstairs bathroom redone. ;)

If I was on my own and had just built it for myself, I would probably not have spent so much but re-use some of the wood I have lying on the loft (old furniture boards for example). But the wife insisted that I rather spend a bit more and "make it nice". She was afraid that, if we ever have/want to sell the house, a shabby shed at the end of the garden would take away from the value of the house. A nice looking outbuilding (albeit with a strange concrete pillar in one of the rooms) would rather add value.

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Three and a half grand for what you have is very good going, considering all those power and network sockets !

The thing is, to have a builder in to do the same job, to the same specifications, would cost you double that.  Plus you've had all the fun of building it yourself. - It will be three years this April since I started my build, and even today I look at what I achieved and pat myself on the back saying to myself "I did that" and it's one of the best feelings to have.

Yes, I totally agree. I've had lots of fun (my wife not so much, she's hardly seen me on weekends for about a year now) and it is exactly the way I wanted it. I really enjoyed the challenge of doing something I had never done before and seeing it turn out so nice is a good feeling.

And yes, I do also stand there saying "I did that", at the moment it's still preceded with "I can't believe" :D

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Looking very good Chris.

If you do move, it would make someone a really nice 'home office', especially with all the services in there.  I did have to think about my own concrete pier if I move, what to do with it?  The obs and decking could easily be taken up and whilst I could dig the pier out with all the reinforcement in the concrete, I doubt I could break up.  My solution would be to dig a long medium depth hole next to the pier and push it over and bury it, that is of course another astronomer doesn't buy the house, not that we have any intention of moving in the next 20 years or so.

In your case, just take up the floor, dig a hole push the pier over and put the floor back, no one will ever know it was there until they remove the shed.

Robin

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I sometimes stand in mine and think "I made that" and find it hard to think that I did it all myself except for some help with the cladding from Chris and Francis.  Yes, it's certainly a good feeling :)

Just wonder when it will be safe to put all my kit back in there!  So far it's stood up well to the 70mph winds - more than I can say about the garage roof :eek:

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Yes, I totally agree. I've had lots of fun (my wife not so much, she's hardly seen me on weekends for about a year now) and it is exactly the way I wanted it. I really enjoyed the challenge of doing something I had never done before and seeing it turn out so nice is a good feeling.

And yes, I do also stand there saying "I did that", at the moment it's still preceded with "I can't believe" :D

Superb build Chris and I'm sure it will be welll used - love mine, so much easier to just go out there when its clear and just get going...

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Small-ish update...

Didn't have much time last weekend (life always gets in the way :D ), only a few hours on Sunday.

The longer shelf was bowing so I put a 3rd rail in the middle. I also added a narrower lower shelf. Not quite sure yet if I'll do the same on the other wall. Thanks to the rail system I'm quite flexible with shelves.

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Then I installed my power and control box onto the pier.

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Changed the bolts on the pier adapter. This is now stable, ready to install the scope.

post-2143-0-70534700-1392668623_thumb.jppost-2143-0-80011100-1392668628_thumb.jp

Safety label on control box added ;)

post-2143-0-87455100-1392668697_thumb.jp

Storage for my electronic components (from Maplin)

post-2143-0-71062100-1392668742_thumb.jppost-2143-0-95229400-1392668747_thumb.jp

Built and started installing the obsy computer

post-2143-0-62889400-1392668813_thumb.jp

And connected up the outdoor 20W LED flood light

post-2143-0-33361300-1392668853_thumb.jppost-2143-0-01487200-1392668863_thumb.jp

post-2143-0-17497000-1392668879_thumb.jppost-2143-0-72729700-1392668886_thumb.jp

and at night...

post-2143-0-36841200-1392668896_thumb.jppost-2143-0-42762800-1392668903_thumb.jp

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Comments : ( :) )

I'm envious... this warm room is turning into a real tekies man cave :)

But... now I'm been pedantic.... given the attention to detail with the cabling, networking, desks etc etc, I sometimes feel that some parts let the build down.  Is the security light an after thought ?  seems strange that after all your effort to put in all those sockets that you then surface mount a thick grey cable for the light...

Personally I don't like pure exposed concrete piers, and with the offset plate on the top it doesn't quite go with the ethos of the rest of the build... The pier needs sleeving in bright stainless steel tube or something equally stunning to be in keeping with the details in the rest of the observatory.

Sorry if my comments upset you... that wasn't my intention...

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Yes, that outside light was not part of the original plan. I wish I had thought of that earlier and ran a cable in the walls. Though there isn't really a way to get all the way to that point inside the walls because it is exactly where the 2 doors and the window meet. It is the way it is now. I'm sure there will be more surface mounted cables in future when I install the weather station, sky camera and probably more. It's "just a shed" after all ;)

I kind of like the look of the pier as it is. If I get fed up with it at some point, I can still come up with some cover/sleeve for it or even just paint it. For now I want to get up and running ASAP. Same for the pier adapter. It's what I had on my timber pier at my previous place and it had been designed to also fit on a concrete pier. It's what I have now and it works. I will replace it with a round adapter at some point. The plates are offset because they are (roughly) pointing north while the pier itself is aligned with the building. I could have aligned the whole pier north instead of just the adapter but that would have looked even worse.

No upsetting done. I know that not everything is perfect in this build. Some compromises had to be made. Some things are a matter of taste and personal preference. I'm rather happy (and dare I say proud) with how it turned out having build this with my own two hands (the only help I got was verbal). Before I started I did not expect I could do it even half as nice as it is now.

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you have done a great job Chris, having built my own obsy from scratch i know that there is a 1001 things that need to be thought about even before the build starts, took me ages and i kept putting it off until i bit the bullet and started work on it, i`m very happy with how my obsy has progressed and you do feel alot of satisfaction and proudness on what you have achieved, only a couple of years ago i didn`t know the front end of a scope to the back L.O.L.

there`s always improvements that can be made and mistakes will be made but if there only little ones you have done well.

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Some plastic conduit will sort the wiring get the wider stuff and then there's room for the weather station ect, Its a real smart build will last a long time....

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