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Astrokev's ROR - The Build


Astrokev
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Chaos always expands to fill the space available. I have decades of absolute proof.
My wife insists that an aircraft hanger would never be enough to test my limits. 
Perhaps two, if I showed unusual levels of discipline?

I visit a farmer now and then to buy gravel and sand.
His vast sheds and barns are so cluttered that I might finally have found a match. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Short update -

I've started work to improve the cabling, to allow me to put my laptop in the warm room, instead of the scope room where it's vulnerable to condensation (and I'm vulnerable to the cold!).

With difficulty, I've re-routed the power cable from the warm room through the narrower conduit running up the outside of the pier, now wishing I'd used a wider pipe, but at least it's done. I've also run a new 5m active USB 3 cable from the warm room through the conduit running up the inside of the pier. I've got a powered StarTech hub which I'll fit to the outside of the pier. At the moment this seems to work fine without powering it up, but when I get more kit that needs to use the hub I'll probably get a Pegasus power box, or similar, to make sure I'm not relying on the laptop bus power alone.

The main problem with having the laptop in the warm room is that it makes focussing a future astro-cam nigh on impossible, as I won't be able to see the screen from the scope. So, just picked a free second-hand monitor which I'll put in the scope room and run from the laptop as a second screen. Hopefully this'll work fine. I don't really want to go down the route of an electric focusser due to cost, but this is another option to consider.

So, just a couple of pics to give an idea of what it currently looks like -

 

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One step closer...

Bought an HDMI to VGA adapter and long monitor power cable today. Set up the laptop and second monitor in the comfort of the lounge just to make sure all connections, adapters, and the monitor worked as expected. All good :) so as soon as storm Dennis blows through I'll install the pier monitor and cabling in the observatory, providing it hasn't been blown into the next county.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update of where I'm up to with my wiring layout to enable me to image from inside the warm-room.

USB hub is installed on the pier and seems to be working OK without being supplied with it's own power at the moment. I will route power to the hub once I've bought a power distribution box at the pier.

Second monitor is installed next to the pier and works great. This is on my projector trolley so I can move it to suit the scope position. This will only be used to adjust focussing as and when needed. The cabling runs through a port I've put in the warm room wall.

I've also installed a better power supply on my new warm room shelf. Unfortunately, the orange power cable isn't quite long enough to reach it (!) until I put a power distribution box on the pier, which will allow me to pull more cable into the warm room. So for the moment I'm still powering the mount from my old adapter.

Very happy with the way it's now shaping up. Having a shelf above my desk has given me loads more space. Can't wait to use it....if the clouds ever part again.

A few pics below...

 

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1 hour ago, stash_old said:

its a bit too tidy for me LOL - hope you enjoy.

Yeah, I get that!

I’ve been promising myself an obsy for decades, so it’s a bit of fun really, and I accept a bit indulgent.

But don’t worry, I’ve roughed it in the past. My first proper scope was back in the 80’s - a home made 10” Newtonian. I used to lug it up and down the stairs every time I wanted to observe. I didn’t have a mount for years, and used to put the tube on the grass and rest the “top end” on a black & decker workmate, turning the handles of the workmate “jaws” to give me a bit of altitude adjustment. Did some of my best planetary sketches using that rig! I think I’ve earned a bit more comfort now I’m getting a bit older!

Edited by Astrokev
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20 hours ago, Astrokev said:

Yeah, I get that!

I’ve been promising myself an obsy for decades, so it’s a bit of fun really, and I accept a bit indulgent.

But don’t worry, I’ve roughed it in the past. My first proper scope was back in the 80’s - a home made 10” Newtonian. I used to lug it up and down the stairs every time I wanted to observe. I didn’t have a mount for years, and used to put the tube on the grass and rest the “top end” on a black & decker workmate, turning the handles of the workmate “jaws” to give me a bit of altitude adjustment. Did some of my best planetary sketches using that rig! I think I’ve earned a bit more comfort now I’m getting a bit older!

Beautiful observatory, inside and out!
Maybe block the foundation openings with bricks, or cladding to keep the rodents from making a home underneath. I realize you have chicken wire on the inside, but if England is anything like where I live, you might be amazed at what mischief raccoons, opossums and mice can get up to and what they can manage to chew through.

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46 minutes ago, RAR_MI_USA said:

Beautiful observatory, inside and out!
Maybe block the foundation openings with bricks, or cladding to keep the rodents from making a home underneath. I realize you have chicken wire on the inside, but if England is anything like where I live, you might be amazed at what mischief raccoons, opossums and mice can get up to and what they can manage to chew through.

Thanks for the kind words. 

Fortunately we don’t get raccoons and opossums in England! But mice and rats can be a problem. I’ve already realised that mice can get through the wire mesh so I must do something I think. Will give this some more thought. I left the gaps to provide some ventilation so need to consider this. 

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7 hours ago, Gina said:

Mine is wide open below floor level but I haven't had any problem with anything but water.

I have a meter of gravel, self-hand-laid, under mine. It wouldn't dare wash away.
All the water is from above. As we have just enjoyed the "wettest ever" February on record in 150 years.
It's called "water testing to destruction," I think. ;)

PS: If a Twirly is too early... then what's a too tidy? A Twidy?

I'll get my coat. :grin:

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On 24/02/2020 at 15:49, Astrokev said:

Thanks for the kind words. 

Fortunately we don’t get raccoons and opossums in England! But mice and rats can be a problem. I’ve already realised that mice can get through the wire mesh so I must do something I think. Will give this some more thought. I left the gaps to provide some ventilation so need to consider this. 

I wasn't aware that you don't have the same critters as we do here. They are so prolific I assumed they were everywhere. I built a garden house a few years back and had the same openings under it as you do, and about a year ago, an old,  huge female raccoon got herself underneath it good, where she couldn't get out. Nothing I could do would make her leave, even the dogs didn't phase her. She died under there a few days later and oh my god, the smell! I had to spend an hour or more digging her out. She was bloated to twice her normal size and inflated so that her body was caught between two floor runners and would not budge. I had to dig a hole a foot and a half deep just to get the body to pull free. What a nasty job. I was later told that coons, when they are ready to die, find a place to hide to do it. Needless to say, I immediately afterwards filled in the access around the foundation with blocks.
BTW: My area and my yard are not prone to flooding or a high water table, so I don't experience wet rot or the ground sinking and don't have the need for ventilation. Also, my entire neighborhood+ region was once a gravel pit around 1900. If you dig down 2-3 feet below the topsoil, you always begin to hit large gravel and clay.
It is the blue colored building out back in the attached picture.

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Edited by RAR_MI_USA
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