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the yesyes observatory - the build


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yes yes YES! It has finally happened! Some of you may have wondered what ever happened to my observatory. The thread had gone quiet before any reports of first light. The weather has been awful. Hardl

Yes. Imagine the disappointment.. photons have travelled thousands or even millions of years only to realise they arrived a bit early before my obsy is finished...

Thanks for the nice words. ;-) I'm also particularly pleased that my wife finds the obsy nice looking and has given her final approval. (I should probably get this in writing ) I guess she expected s

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Fantastic, inspiring build Chris.  Many congratulations and thanks for sharing the incredible journey!

May I ask why so many ethernet ports?  Are you out to prove the Internet of Things or something ;)

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Fantastic, inspiring build Chris.  Many congratulations and thanks for sharing the incredible journey!

May I ask why so many ethernet ports?  Are you out to prove the Internet of Things or something ;)

Thanks! I meant to update the thread for a while now. I have yet to have first light unfortunately. Been using the scope room as tool storage for other jobs around the garden. That's all done now and I've started clearing it all out yesterday in preparation for the new astronomy season now that the nights finally come earlier again. ;)

I did use the warm room as workshop / man cave for my electronics tinkering almost every day now though. So I *am* using the obsy.. ;)

Regarding the Ethernet ports....

I'm an IT guy. I had an occasion here to easily run a lot of network cable with relatively little effort. So I did. Better too much during the building phase than having to retrofit later. That was my thinking. Also, the network cables can be used for other things if need be. I can, for example, easily patch through from the pier to my electronics bench without going through the Ethernet switch and have an instant 8 wire connection for whatever tinkering I'm going to do at that time... ;)

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Chris, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your great build. I've had to read the 36 pages in stages and got slightly nervous at the point where the planning officer got involved. Glad that it all worked out.

Cheers,

Martin

(currently clearing the way for my own build, which could take a long time  :grin: )

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Good luck with your build, Martin. Make sure you post lots of progress photos on here... ;-)

I have now finally cleared out the scope room as much as I can. There are still 2 8x4 sheets of 6mm ply in the way that I have nowhere else to store them. It's a bit of a shame but I will probably have to cut them up and use them as fire wood.

I have now also mounted the telescope on the mount and ran the cables up from the power/data box to the mount and focuser. I'm hoping to align everything the next clear-ish night.

I've also fixed a problem I had with the roll-off roof. I couldn't open it all the way. I finally figured out what was blocking it. The frame of the roof was touching the joist (more exactly the rubber on top of it) where the inverted angel rails lie on. I've had to raise the track by a few millimetres to fix this. I haven't been able to determine WHY it did that. Everything is level. But it works now, so I'm fine with that.

Here are a few photos. On the first one you can see some scratch marks on the rubber next to the track. A bit further back it had actually ripped the rubber from trying to push the roof back. I have sealed that now.

post-2143-0-71894200-1410191033_thumb.jppost-2143-0-20022600-1410191038_thumb.jppost-2143-0-27708100-1410191043_thumb.jp

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Yes, I was wondering what to do. The paint obviously hasn't done the trick. What would you use? Something a little sticky?

This is actually one of the few things that, in hindsight, I wish I had done differently. I shouldn't have used mild steel for the track but aluminium angle or something like that.

The other thing is that I should have spend more time aligning the track and wheels perfectly BEFORE covering and cladding the roof. Since it's a captive mechanism I can't lift it any more and there are a few places I can't reach any more now.

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Greetings

There is a product we use at work that will suit the job of protecting the rails, Galvafroid it's a zinc rich spray  that stops rust from forming it's a little expensive but well worth it. Another option is look for a local hot dip galvanizing firmdit them once and never worry again.

http://www.tools-paint.com/galvafroid-zinc-rich-cold-galvanising-coating-400ml-2224-p.asp?gclid=CL2h8bOy0sACFazItAodYlkA2g this product is brush on but well worth a look.

Andy

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Thanks. I'm guessing this Galvafroid shouldn't be used on top of that paint?

I'm afraid taking the track out is not an option because of the way the roof is built. Otherwise I would already have replaced it with aluminium. So it will have to be something that I can do in-place.

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Hi,

I used this cold galv spray on some fixings for garden furniture about 3 years ago now.

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Painting+Decorating/Spray+Paints/Cold+Galvanising+Spray+400ml/d150/sd2737/p60070

It gets left out all year and the original fixings had all rusted up far too quickly. None of the fixings I have treated have discoloured never mind showing any signs of rust so I can vouch for its protective qualities. I couldn't say how durable the coating is and you might find that the wheels knock any coating off all too easily.

Years ago car shops sold a product called 'cure rust', 'stop rust' or something similar. It is supposed to stabilise the rust so the metal can be retreated. You might like to Google 'cure rust' there are several products these days.

I am tempted to think that a stainless steel rail is the only solution really. Aluminium wouldn't be strong enough and it oxidises as well, turning white eventually, unless it is anodised. Would it not be possible to unscrew one rail at a time, jack up the roof and slide the old rail out and the new one in?

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greetings

looking at the roof pics cant you fix a temporary batten along side rail while you treat the metal?

Andy

Hi Andy, I'm not quite sure what you mean by that... You mean to protect the roof/joist/rubber while treating the metal?

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Would it not be possible to unscrew one rail at a time, jack up the roof and slide the old rail out and the new one in?

Sliding the rails out to the side towards and over one of the neighbour's garden is the only way I could possibly do it. Not very easy with a 5 metre length...

I think I'll just grease the rails for now and deal with the issue if and when it turns into a real problem.

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well, that didn't go too well...

I managed to setup EQmod and was able to control the mount. Connection to the camera and motor focuser also works fine.

Then I tried to focus the camera to start software assisted polar alignment. I could not get it to focus as I don't have enough outward travel on the focuser. Strange for a newtonian... Also odd because I had already taken images with this scope and camera. I can't remember exactly but I must have used 1.25" back then, for which I have an extension tube. I've now set up everything with 2". I have a 2" 80mm extension tube but that is too long. So I ordered a 40mm 2" extension tube.

Come to think of it now, I have also for the first time included my MPCC (coma corrector) in the optical train. Does that change the focus by any chance?

And of course at around 10pm the clouds rolled in anyway, despite the "all clear" forecast above...

So some progress but not as much as I had hoped. And no first light yet. Or does an out-of-focus image count?? ;-)

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Oh, and I also learnt a lesson about USB. When you plug in a USB1.1 device into a USB hub, that whole hub slows down to USB1.1 speeds. It took forever for the images to get downloaded from the camera. I'm so glad I installed 2 USB hubs with separate feeds into my power and data box on the pier. Plugged the camera into the 2nd hub and got the download speeds I was used to.

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