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smudgeball

Little Observatory Build

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smudgeball    192

Hi

I'm not a great one for diary builds with updates every day but I'll be completing my observatory at the end of the month and wanted to share with you.

I'm going for a 7' x 5' roll top roof observatory. I've found a shed builder to fabricate this for me, although I am doing the ground works / pier myself.

It'll house my neq6 pro on a steel pier with my WO 102 GT.

Some images to follow of the build so far once I have organised them.

Neil

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smudgeball    192

My pier is a converted skywatcher pier with a base and some stabilising fins welded on by a local blacksmith.

So this....

skywatcher_pillar_mount_white.jpg.6e28c896b048654e8f13b82d7b129c9d.jpg

Became this

20170518_163151_a.thumb.jpg.49d03428458e2bd85b91cf5a7d702e53.jpg

It was then a case of digging out for a concrete foundation block.

20170618_144126.thumb.jpg.acd3708d5e75d5de5fa27e8236f2676b.jpg

Some mdf sheet I had lying around, painted to prevent moisture escaping too quickly from concrete.

Concrete poured and formwork removed.

20170716_104419.thumb.jpg.3aa9c3c39f5b8d148cecb4a5db4e5172.jpg

 

So that was the start of my adventure.

 

I'll update with more once I've uploaded the rest of my images.

 

Neil

Edited by smudgeball
Text description on iimages
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DAVE AMENDALL    105

Good thinking Neil , My first Obsey was on similar lines to your plan. I got too ambitious and motorised the roll off roof with some bike chain cog wheels and a 24 volt lawn mower battery. it worked well as regards opening and closing but what a noise it made at 2am. What steel pier are you using for the NeQ6 Mine was 8" diameter steel sewer pipe with a flange on the top. Look forward to seeing your progress...............Dave

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smudgeball    192

Concrete base was marked using a compass for North and drilled with four 14mm holes.

20170718_115356.thumb.jpg.18b42284be9eb21af26113face2baec0.jpg

 

Four 12mm bolts were secured using an epoxy resin anchor kit (that stuff goes off so quickly !!)

The base was then secured to the foundation.

(one of the bolts had set slightly squint....you'll see the "micro adjuster" in the photo :-) )

20170718_113455.thumb.jpg.c5a8d738de04187839d077b4834e1ecb.jpg

Secured the mount and did a polar alignment that evening.

Took minutes !! Was almost there without adjustment....very pleased.

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smudgeball    192

Added a 7' x 5' peg base ready for the shed floor and remainder of the obsy.

20170813_150936.thumb.jpg.1a0f0c63be4d4e9d518f425bddf4657f.jpg

The ground at the bottom of my garden slopes away.

I got my treated timber from a local timber yard but didn't realise how big the supplied pegs were.

More like half fence posts and my back knew all about it by the time I'd hammered them in !

But suffice to say it's going nowhere.

Added some 25mm ducting to run some cabling and added some extra timber across the outside of the pier base.

With the floor being cut out to accomodate the pier there will be a lot of flex in the floor so wanted to strengthen this area.

20170917_165949.thumb.jpg.19668106130d3f9acbc6bbd3f2df4363.jpg

That's me until the remainder of the obsy is picked up on the 30th at which time I'll update further.

Neil

Edited by smudgeball
change date in description
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Craney    392

That's a nice piece of concreting.   I am at the "thinking of digging the hole" stage.  I am trying to assess both the volume of the block, and the ideal height of the pier top.   

I would like to operate a wide-field refractor and a large reflector from the EQ6 ( not simultaneously).  The two options give me about 50cm difference in pier-top height.....  think I might need one of those extension- doofers.

I will watch this thread with fascination.

 

sean.

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smudgeball    192

Cheers

I can't promise the fascination !

I know I might upset people with the following, but my concrete pour was based on one simple measurement.

"more stable than an neq6pro on a tripod on my soggy lawn"

This passes that criteria. At the moment the block is perfectly level, as is the mount itself (although that's not necessary for polar alignment)

I poured around a third of a tonne of concrete using ready mix bags from b&q and homebase (the later being required due to my initial calculations )

A mixer in my opinion is a must and was fortunate enough to work alongside someone who leant me his dads one.

I've lost some pier height with this design but wanted to keep the foundation low.

If I ever move it will be a case of permanently fixing the roof in place, unbolting and removing the pier and boarding over the floor to leave a second shed in the garden.

My target area of sky is limited due to surrounding houses, I'll see how I get on as far as pier height goes.

 

Neil

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Alan White    870

Love the 'Micro Adjusting Tool', I always refer to them as Percussion Fine Adjustment myself. 

Your build is sounding realistic and achievable, a very good thing indeed.
I look forward to seeing what your shed builder produces as its of interest to me and perhaps many more on here.


 

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Shibby    427

Looking good - all very neat so far! How long has it taken you to get to this stage? Took me a long time!

18 hours ago, Alan White said:

Love the 'Micro Adjusting Tool', I always refer to them as Percussion Fine Adjustment myself. 

:-D Mine is called 'The Persuader'

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smudgeball    192
6 hours ago, Shibby said:

Looking good - all very neat so far! How long has it taken you to get to this stage? Took me a long time!

Thinking and planning....about ten years ??

But seriously, I poured the concrete  in mid June and layed the base mid July.

I plan to be built end of this month and then start wiring up / kitting out early October.

The last part won't take that long as I have all the cabling (and plenty of extra cabling as you do ! )

After that it'll be some shelves and a chair squeezed in for a bit of comfort.

 

Neil

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odiferous02    2
On 18/09/2017 at 13:25, smudgeball said:

Hi

I'm not a great one for diary builds with updates every day but I'll be completing my observatory at the end of the month and wanted to share with you.

I'm going for a 7' x 5' roll top roof observatory. I've found a shed builder to fabricate this for me, although I am doing the ground works / pier myself.

It'll house my neq6 pro on a steel pier with my WO 102 GT.

Some images to follow of the build so far once I have organised them.

Neil

Thats pretty interesting Neil, are you just using a normal shed with a custom roof or are they making it 100% from scratch?

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smudgeball    192

100% from scratch.

They've done two before but different sizes.

So I'm a little bit blind until I see the finished article.

There will be a bit of tweaking I'm sure, but doing it all myself was not an option and I'm fortunate to have a budget sufficient to cover it.

I know that others build themselves but each to their own.

I'm pleased that I turned half a dozen pieces of treated timber into a shed base !

 

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Shibby    427
On 19/09/2017 at 18:26, smudgeball said:

Thinking and planning....about ten years ??

But seriously, I poured the concrete  in mid June and layed the base mid July

Not bad - started mine in Feb and doubt I'll be done any time soon!

Just thought I'd check - and I'm sure you've made sure it's not - but that left-hand bearer isn't touching the concrete is it?

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smudgeball    192
1 hour ago, Shibby said:

that left-hand bearer isn't touching the concrete is it?

No it's not touching, but thankyou for the input. I do wonder what vibration you'd get if it was? It took two of us to lift the pier into position.

So that plus the 1/3 tonne of concrete? Good luck if it does vibrate.

 

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Shibby    427
13 minutes ago, smudgeball said:

I do wonder what vibration you'd get if it was? It took two of us to lift the pier into position.

It does make you wonder; I've never tried looking through a telescope while walking around an attached concrete block so who knows! The advice is always to isolate, so I expect somebody once has experienced this.

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smudgeball    192

How sad is this, I just went outside to double check !

About an inch and a half clearance on both sides.

(oh and I've just got my Sub Dwarf ranking :icon_biggrin: )

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RayD    1,221
36 minutes ago, smudgeball said:

I do wonder what vibration you'd get if it was?

I'd say almost guaranteed you'd get some if you're next to the mount.  Best to have it clear as you can at least walk around (not jump) whilst imaging being fairly sure you are ok.

Nice little build, enjoying watching.

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smudgeball    192

I do plan to cover the hole with what I can only describe as plywood "pizza slices" to fill in the gaps up to the side of the pier (missing the stabilising fins)

Don't know if I'll use some foam strips for the edges?

All to look forward to.

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MarsG76    1,444

That is a very neat and precise start to a obsy build... Can't wait to see it finished and in action.

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smudgeball    192

And I'm done (for now)

Observatory collected from shed builder.

It's now installed (how the two of us got the roof on was a feet of engineering never to be repeated !!!)

1.thumb.jpg.e1cb78f940050cc5e3c6d9567f988623.jpg

 

I was chuffed that the cut out hole fitted perfectly over the pier, I emailed dimensions but you never know until it's on site. (saved a lot of time)

 

p1.thumb.jpg.f6de8817038140b7e9a64a635b5a383d.jpg

My lawn looks like a scene out of a WW1 film !

But I don't care, it'll recover as (hopefully) will my aches n pains ?

 

Neil

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smudgeball    192

Hi all

Bit of an update

Finished the electrics / cabling to pier and treated the inside with a rather fetching shade of Autumn Brown !

20171007_113251a.thumb.jpg.cc449bc50a77c2e753573c14e7a126e0.jpg

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smudgeball    192

And last one for today with balance and cable check.

22256757_10214674112791433_5864135884172142818_o.thumb.jpg.fd483f7127e9753eba0adca048c0754a.jpg

I did have a "moment" with the clearance at the back of the camera, but it clears with 10cm to spare.

Cables move freely without snagging, but I may tidy up a bit.

Tomorrow will be securing the supports outside for the roof to roll off.

But pleased with the progress

 

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smudgeball    192

Supports outside secured

22228434_10214681431694401_8059106478751759245_n.thumb.jpg.c439119a8d88e0666e3e1b685ad21139.jpg

I can now sort out the mudbath at the door and give the garden a well deserved tidy up.

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