Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_solar_25_winners.thumb.jpg.fe4e711c64054f3c9486c752d0bcd6f2.jpg

mhard26339

New Observatory in Norfolk UK

Recommended Posts

Spraying gets in all the bits a brush won't.....not much in the price once you factor in a throw away brush.....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good, the Altair Astro adaptors are a bit on the expensive side, I have the EQ5 version & there is too much metal missing in the middle. 

My solution was to get another adaptor made with a 10mm hole in the middle.  Just a big washer really.

Good luck with your build and I hope you are soon in good health.

Hi,

The diameter of the cutaway on the underside is 60mm and with the general bulk of the rest of the adaptor I do not consider that too much material has been removed. As I said my main complaint was the lack of information (and capability) about securely attaching the mount to the adaptor, at £80 for small block of aluminium I must admit that I expected more!! given that I had to buy washers etc to fit it to my satisfaction the better option would have been to design my own and have it made up, probably would have been cheaper.

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All, Well I am in the second cycle of my Chemo and apart from loosing my hair all is going well with no side effects; the cycle is one week tired, one week not to bad and one week normal so the build is going ahead in the good weeks. However, big changes, I have decided not to build a roll-off a-la malc-c, sorry malc but compromises on size had to made with her who must be obeyed. Because i will need long term monitoring after the chemo 4 to 6 month spells in Spain are out with more time in UK so the vegetable plot (my obsey site) is to resurrected, or at least half of it. Coupled with a Pulsar 2.2M popping up on E-Bay last week a deal was struck, dome auction won and pickup next week.

I think that for me this will be a good option, up and running quicker, albeit more money,  dare I say  less work, but also capability to fully automate so that I can also access from Spain. The groundwork has already started and picis will follow when a bit more progress. Perhaps not as interesting but more practical for me in my circumstances.

regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,
 
Well work has finally begun in earnest with the arrival of 2 large bpost-29087-0-29162000-1398090789_thumb.jags of ballast and 12 bags of cement for the pier and base for the dome. I managed to pick up a Bell 150 cement mixer on E-Bay for £85 (a bit beaten up but works!!) so all ahead full. Shown is the pier box, I ended up with 75Cm square by 65CM deep, it should have gone 10cm deeper but when the builder built the house he obviously dumped all of his excess cement just where I wanted my pier. Instead of hiring a jack hammer to break it up we cut 10cm off the box and poured on top of his concrete. The bottom pier head plate was attached to make sure that we set it in to as close to North as possible. The box was allowed to cure for 3 days and then coated with 25mm foam and the rest of the pad poured.

Regards

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 3 days to allow the slab to cure the dome construction has begun with the first shot showing the side walls assempled and sitting on the plinth, the next shot shows the actual dome being assembled on the lawn with the opening mechanism clearly visible; its easier to set up at low level. The next shot shows the dome in all of its glory after about 4 hours work by my son and I (taking it carefully). For the eagle eyed, the door is not set squarely on the plinth to allow space to get behind one of the accesory bays fitted at the rear.

post-29087-0-46641300-1398091592_thumb.j

post-29087-0-65747500-1398091702_thumb.j

post-29087-0-81498500-1398091840_thumb.j

Got the hang of adding picis now, not in the middle of text!!!

Mike

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally, last thing before I go off for another bout of Chemo is the pier head set up and leveled (this was done using an app on my Iphone - adjustment is so easy compared with a tripod/spitit level and spot on for level in all planes)

post-29087-0-20132200-1398092236_thumb.j

post-29087-0-30392300-1398092279_thumb.j

post-29087-0-75750000-1398092308_thumb.j

Thats all for the time-being, next time it will be sorting out the electrics and setting up the austomation of the dome tracking although if a clear night comes along guess we may be tempted to polar align, stat align and get some shots. I have managed to take some good shots of the stars but not necessarily the ones that I intended, with this set-up I hope things will change  :smiley:

regards

Mike

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic effort Mike, I love your pier design - it's not only functional but looks really good the way you have finished it.  Just out interest how far are you planning to take the automation ?  Good luck with everything Mike.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thanks for your comment and good wishes, must have a project to keep PMA.

The intention for the automation is effectively all the way, The dome is being built with the full package from Pulsar Observatories, the rotating drive system, shutter drive system and the Shelyak controller. Initially we will set up from within the dome to check out the syatems, then move to full control from the study and then sort out cloud sensing for control from further afield via the Internet.

Before my illness we spent periods of time in Spain, when I am well the intention is to partly go back to that lifestyle although for hospital monitoring the trips to UK will be much more frequent at least for the first 2 years, so more time in UK. I used to transport the scope with me twice a year but it will now be permanently in UK. My son is also very keen and living in London so we will, hopefully both be able to access the scope from wherever we are. That is the plan!!!!!

Regards

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to outline your automation plans.  You have me hooked now!  My observatory is most likely 1 to 2 years away so I'm still very much in the planning phase (hopefully automated as well).  I'm looking through the forum trawling for ideas seeing what creative stuff other folk have been up to - I'll be stealing some ideas from you if that's ok. 

You're absolutely right with regard to PMA, stay committed and focused on this.  Thanks again for the inspiration.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Saac,

The pier build was much easier than I expected; obviously care must be taken in the drilling and the extravagance of the adaptor pad to mount the NEQ6, I believe worked very weel, practically and visually. When drilling the holes a good drill is necessary, burnt out of drill on the pilot holes (10mm then 12mm) but the 3x18mm holes for the adjusters was just too much. My thanks to Ray (tinker 1947 ) who lives just up the road for use of his workshop!!

I would recommend anyone to go this route, for just a little bit of research and investigation and planning you can save a lot of money for a solid pier, as I said the only extravagance was the Pier Adaptor from Altair Alto which at £80 is still excessive BUT well made although attachment to the NEQ was very vague and you are left largely to your own devices, in my case ebay for specific size washers.

regards Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, I have just had?? to sell my Nikon 600mm F4 lens to help fund the project, sad day but it didn't get used enough!!

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, I have just had?? to sell my Nikon 600mm F4 lens to help fund the project, sad day but it didn't get used enough!!

Regards

Mike

I know how you feel Mike.  At the moment I'm resisting the urge to sell my beloved 1967 MGB to fund my own obsy project.  What to do, what to do.?  I guess it comes to what will bring you greater enjoyment.  Don't make it any easier though!

http://1drv.ms/1g0YJhO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right Saac, I guess it comes down to use and enjoyment; as soon as it had gone though I wanted to take it out after some birdie pictures, have to make do with sitting in the Obsy and looking out of the vent waitng for clear skies. One word of advice, everything costs more than you think and you need more bits and bobs, £10 here, £20 there, it all adds up. Over the past couple of weeks I have spent over £100 at Screwfix mainly on electrical fittings, wire etc to finsih it off!!!!

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have met this " Bits and Bobs" Guy he ain't as cheap as he would make out, nice to see its nearer to completion.....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings

Bits n Bobs is a close friend of mine ! he's got expensive tastes, every little thing he needs he seems to want yesterday and he's moved into my obsy too even though it's not even finished. I feel that he is like the tooth fairy's alter ego... because every night my head rests on the pillow more bits n bobs come to mind and instead of finding a shiny coin under my pillow in the morning I discover a leak in my wallet!

Andy ( currently lodging "Bit's n Bob's" in the shed )

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

managed to find your build thread at last Mike, love the pier, looks great and well finished, i bought the heq5 pier adapter from altair and although expensive it work great, then i bought a neq6 and had to buy another altair adapter to fit that, cheesed me off but i do like them and the fit lovely.

dome looks great also, l toyed with the idea of a dome but as i`m a tight so and so with three teenagers bleeding me dry i went down the roll off roof method, but i must say that i like the warm room, makes stargazing so much more enjoyable,

keep up the good work,

all the best,

Rob

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

managed to find your build thread at last Mike, love the pier, looks great and well finished, i bought the heq5 pier adapter from altair and although expensive it work great, then i bought a neq6 and had to buy another altair adapter to fit that, cheesed me off but i do like them and the fit lovely.

dome looks great also, l toyed with the idea of a dome but as i`m a tight so and so with three teenagers bleeding me dry i went down the roll off roof method, but i must say that i like the warm room, makes stargazing so much more enjoyable,

keep up the good work,

all the best,

Rob

Hi Rob, 

Done the teenage bit, got the tee-shirt and thanks for your comments. Yes, I had a roll off roof obsy with warm room all planned down to the cutting list etc a la Malc-c, I had even started collecting "bits and bobs", if anybody wants 12 screwfix 50mm rubber wheels I have some spare, but looking at the periods that I am likely to feel well enough to do work on it in the next 9 to 12 months, in reality it would not have been operational for many months with much frustration impatient little devil that I am. As soon as I made the decision to go for the dome within 8 weeks, including 2 bouts of chemo, it is just about there, no warm room unfortunately but a scope permanently mounted and working soon to be operated remotely from my study. Today I will be doing the electrics and small jobs inside (sitting down); when to body says enough I stop, its so debilitating but still moving forward!!

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings

Bits n Bobs is a close friend of mine ! he's got expensive tastes, every little thing he needs he seems to want yesterday and he's moved into my obsy too even though it's not even finished. I feel that he is like the tooth fairy's alter ego... because every night my head rests on the pillow more bits n bobs come to mind and instead of finding a shiny coin under my pillow in the morning I discover a leak in my wallet!

Andy ( currently lodging "Bit's n Bob's" in the shed )

Totally agree Andy, greedy little beggar

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

I'm following intently to see how you progress your automation; my conservatory (study) is about 10m from my planned obsy site so I'm hoping to follow a similar automation route.  Your absolutely right about stopping when your body tells you but I guess you well understand that.  The progress you have made already and the pace is amazing - you've inspired me to get my act together.  I now have permission from the boss to spend some money on a suitable shed/summerhouse for conversion. My wee car is being sold but like you found, once the decision has been made, you just have to commit.  I'm looking to start work in the summer holidays (school) and while I'm happy with the physical side of the build  the automation side is well outside my comfort zone.  I'll be following your footsteps if that's ok.  I bet you can't wait to get using your obsy in earnest.  

Jim 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim,

When I operated from the middle of the garden with a tripod I needed 15M to get to my study; I bought 3x5M "specialist" USB cables from an astral supplier (at inflated rates), all went well excepting that they would keep coming unplugged. I then bought a 20M lead from Amazon which worked OK. However with the dome I have gone to a 25M powered lead and burying it in 32mm water pipe and into the study. I connect all of my usb controlled items into a Start Tech Mountable Rugged Industrial 7 Port USB Hub, from Amazon, not cheap but it is powered and has worked flawlessly (I tried another hub from the same supplier as the leads but that was so flimsy the lead pulled out, also pricy) and my telescope operates flawlessly (providing I have the correct COM Ports selected and the right boxex ticked) at 25M including mount, camera, focusser, dome control, cloud sensor, all through one USB lead to the computer. Simples?????????

I believe, based on expensive experience, that if you expect to leave kit outside and work perfectly when you want it to you have to buy the right kit in the first place, not necessarily "Astro" designated but often industrial grade which interms of price is just about equal.

Regards

Mike,

I'm following intently to see how you progress your automation; my conservatory (study) is about 10m from my planned obsy site so I'm hoping to follow a similar automation route.  Your absolutely right about stopping when your body tells you but I guess you well understand that.  The progress you have made already and the pace is amazing - you've inspired me to get my act together.  I now have permission from the boss to spend some money on a suitable shed/summerhouse for conversion. My wee car is being sold but like you found, once the decision has been made, you just have to commit.  I'm looking to start work in the summer holidays (school) and while I'm happy with the physical side of the build  the automation side is well outside my comfort zone.  I'll be following your footsteps if that's ok.  I bet you can't wait to get using your obsy in earnest.  

Jim 

Hi Jim,

When I operated from the middle of the garden with a tripod I needed between 10 to 15M to get to my study; I bought 3x5M "specialist" USB cables from an astral supplier (at inflated rates), all went well excepting that they would keep coming unplugged. I then bought a 20M one piece lead from Amazon which worked well. However with the dome I have gone to a 25M powered lead and burying it in 32mm water pipe and into the study. I connect all of my usb controlled items into a Start Tech Mountable Rugged Industrial 7 Port USB Hub, from Amazon, not cheap but it is powered and has worked flawlessly (I tried another hub from the same supplier as the leads but that was so flimsy the lead pulled out, also pricy). My telescope operates flawlessly (providing I have the correct COM Ports selected and the right boxes ticked) at 25M including mount, camera, focusser, dome control, cloud sensor, all through one USB lead to the computer. Simples?????????

I believe, based on expensive experience, that if you expect to leave kit outside and work perfectly when you want it to you have to buy the right kit in the first place, not necessarily "Astro" designated but often industrial grade which interms of price is just about equal.

Regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.