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gnomus

Home Observatory UK

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Looking good :)

I'm thinking full automation may be beyond me too and I may satisfy myself with remote control.  I think that will be difficult enough.

Edited by Gina

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Just now, Gina said:

Looking good :)

I'm thinking full automation may be beyond me too and I may satisfy myself with remote control.  I think that will be difficult enough.

If full automation is beyond you, Gina, then I may as well give up on that aspiration right now!!!!

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Oh I don't know...  I'm finding the more complicated projects are beginning to get beyond me - I'm not as young as I was and beginning to feel it I'm afraid :(  Anyway, many people are creating things that are well beyond me :icon_biggrin:

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1 hour ago, gnomus said:

Congrats Steve.

Thanks man.  I need this obsy fitted.  A serious Astro person needs an obsy for sure.  To keep setting up from scratch every time is just not sustainable and is not fun.  Like building a football pitch every time you wanted to play football - just removes the fun!

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Steve, I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the roof automation. I have a roll-off-roof obsy with standard roller wheels (no automation), and in most conditions the roof opens & closes just fine. However, when there's a sharp frost, the internal bearings on the wheels freeze and also the wheels (10 of them) weld to the aluminium runners due to ice. Nothing worse then after an all-night imaging session walking down to the obsy early morning to close the roof, only to find that it won't budge an inch! Do you have this same issue with an automated roof closure? 

Martin

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13 minutes ago, Martin-Devon said:

Steve, I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the roof automation. I have a roll-off-roof obsy with standard roller wheels (no automation), and in most conditions the roof opens & closes just fine. However, when there's a sharp frost, the internal bearings on the wheels freeze and also the wheels (10 of them) weld to the aluminium runners due to ice. Nothing worse then after an all-night imaging session walking down to the obsy early morning to close the roof, only to find that it won't budge an inch! Do you have this same issue with an automated roof closure? 

Martin

Can't say Martin.  I've only had the automation a few weeks.  I have had no problems with sticking roofs with or without automation.  However, I don't think I've been out in prolonged sub-zero temperatures yet.  I presume that it could also stick in the closed position from what you describe, although perhaps it needs to have morning dew forming on the wheels and rails for everything to ice up.  Incidentally, that's a lot of wheels - that means you have 10 potential 'binding points' (or 20 arguably - 1 wheel bearing and 1 wheel-to-rail point for each wheel).  I wonder if that could be exacerbating your occasional problem.

The motor certainly seems quite powerful and probably 'pushes' more forcibly than I can.  It sounds like it might be prudent to have a can or two of de-icer to hand when such conditions are predicted.   

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I decided a small number of large wheels were better that lots of smaller ones.  My roof uses just 4 120mm rolling gate wheels in stainless steel with round groove, running on heavy duty steel track.  With the bicycle chain motor drive disconnected, I can move it with my little finger.  In fact without motor drive it blows shut if there's much wind unless I wedge it open.  My roof is quite a lot lighter than yours though Martin.

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Yes my obsy roof is very heavy, it took 4 men to lift and get it into position - the obsy itself is 10x10 feet and uses heavy-duty timbers all-round. The wheels are 6" each in diameter and for the weight they have to bear & shift I think that's about right.  When a frost is predicted, what I've been doing now is to open the roof to prepare for the imaging session & then just wrap each of the wheels up with a cheap kitchen cloth. That way nothing freezes inside the wheel itself, and the contact with the runner also doesn't freeze. In the earlier days I did try the can of de-icer method, but I had to get up on step-ladders to do it properly, it's messy, and never penetrated into the actual wheel mechanism (which also froze solid) very well. 

Martin 

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Mine is being installed as I speak (type).  So far looking brilliant!  I will post a new thread on it when it's done.  Like Steve (gnomus) says, this is a really robust structure.  It is nothing like a converted shed at all, it is a proper building.

Even though I am quite a good DIY'er, I simply do not have the time as a single dad to build an obs myself from scratch and I doubt I could have built it much cheaper myself even had I attempted to.

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Glad to hear it Steve.  Looking forward to some photos.

Steve

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The winter has been very wet and my garden very muddy.  I was dragging mud all over the floor of the nice 'jigsaw' foam tiles that I put down in the observatory.  Getting back to the house in the pitch dark was also a bit troublesome - with mud all over the carpet.  I put a doormat down outside the observatory but within a few weeks it was semi-submerged.  So, I've had some drainage put in and laid down a few slabs to mitigate against the worst of the mud.   

I had painted the inside of the observatory a 'bathroom' blue colour.  I felt this was a bit too reflective, so decided to change it for a matt black.  I now ask myself how much more black my walls could be - and the answer keeps coming back, "None more black".

 

HO_Fin2.thumb.jpg.242f021540e55b2cf3af3c

HO_Fin1.thumb.jpg.02f16f4e4ed65621f626b9

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Would like to see the inside "blackness" Steve?

Mine is all finished and I am delighted with it.  Will start a new thread when i've taken some photos.

Yay, I'm now a "proper" astronomer now I have an observatory   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ::):):):):) 

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1 hour ago, kirkster501 said:

Would like to see the inside "blackness" Steve?

....

Your wish is my command Steve:

black.jpg.b133644ea7c9be33119fa975e9fa04

Seriously though, if you want to come up and have a look round you'd be most welcome.

I'm pleased to hear that you have your shed now.  There may be quite a bit of work ahead to get it all up and running smoothly.

Steve

 

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14 hours ago, kirkster501 said:

Would like to see the inside "blackness" Steve?

Mine is all finished and I am delighted with it.  Will start a new thread when i've taken some photos.

Yay, I'm now a "proper" astronomer now I have an observatory   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ::):):):):) 

Great news Steve. Can't wait to see the thread and some astro images when you have completed your setup.

I start mine when I retire towards the end of the year.

Steve

 

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