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I am putting this in Astro Lounge as opposed to DIY Observatories because, well, I probably won't be doing it (all) myself.......
I stuck my neck out at my societies AGM and raised the prospect of having our own observatory. Arguments against were expense, lots of folk have their own dome, location and security.
Arguments for included outreach, lots of folk want but can't have their own observatory, skills progression.
I was tasked with a feasabilty/ cost study before we decide whether to approach organisations for either funding assistance or permission to site an obsy on their ground.
To kick start the costing side of the study, I need to asses what is required (outside of a plot of land for the obsy).
My first thoughts are:-
Shell. I am thinking sustainable so a substantial wooden structure including a dome and warm room. 'Flatpack' with DIY assembly would reduce financial impact. Perhaps increase the warm room size into something large enough to become our meeting hall?
Power. Mains would be best but, would a solar panel/ battery combo suffice?
Pier. This would be one of the DIY part of the project and I am thinking a reinforced concrete pier with mount fixings to suit the desired mount though a steel pier is a possibility.
Water/ Drainage. As a society obsy, with outreach use a goal, somewhere to produce refreshing beverages (and to download the later result) may be desired. Mains and sewer or mains water and septic tank?
What have I missed?
It's about time that I got together a thread describing my rebuild of my old Orion Optics SPX350. I'd bought this a *long* time ago with a mind to doing it up to use for AP, but then house move, life, etc meant it sat around doing not a lot for a long time. When I came to use it, I got some good results, esp on planetary work, but also found that under the weight of the heavier SBIG CCD, the thin tube didn't hold collimation particularly well. Here it was:
So, eventually, I decided to have a rebuild. I plumped for a truss tube over a remount inside a carbon tube. Not sure whether carbon tube would have been cheaper now though to be honest!
As the scope is mounted on an EQ mount (my Losmandy Titan), it needed to have a central brace, and so I shamelessly borrowed many ideas from Rolf Olsen's excellent scopes (see: https://www.rolfolsenastrophotography.com).
It started with the three rings - these were routed out of 21mm Baltic Birch Ply (sourced free from a mate who works in wood sales...). Internal diameter is 390mm.
Onto these were mounted a new Orion 9 point primary cell (to replace the naff original 3-point cell) - shown here without any connecting hardware!):
and with a bit of 1.5" aluminium tube, some drilling and making of small recesses using a spade bit, a secondary cage was constructed -- again without the final countersunk parts and connecting hardware:
To be continued!!
My better half and I are taking the tin snail to a campsite near Argeles Gazoste in the Pyrenees in June. I note that there is a mountain top obsy; Pic du Midi in that region. The website is in French and I wondered if it is possible to do a 'enthusiastic amateur' type visit. I wonder if anybody has visited and can give me an idea of what is on offer? Many thanks.
By Some Dude With A Mak- Cass
I am building a newtonian reflector telescope, and I could use some help. This is my first DIY telescope, so I am pretty unprepared and don't know where to buy some stuff, namely optics. I am planning on going for a 8" aperture, but I can't find a website that sells mirrors. What website or sites has good quality mirrors but isn't to expensive, and what mirror coating is best? All help is appreciated, thank you in advance!
I have several parts, motors, and an arduino based AstroEQ controller that I don't use and maybe they could be useful to someone else. Btw I currently live in Turkey and I will ship everything with registered post from here. It should take approximately 2-3 weeks to reach to UK or other parts of Europe. I can accept payments from Paypal and also UK bank transfer.
First, I have the arduino based controller. I have put it in a plastic project box. Pretty much everything is connected by jumper cables and the stepper drivers are on a breadbox. So it would be possible to change the casing or the individual parts rather easily. The DRV8825 stepper drivers are fast decay modded so they won't jump steps with lower voltage motors. I have installed the latest firmware that Tom has put on the website. If you want I can also adjust the voltage on the drivers before shipping depending on your setup. I'm asking £20 for it and £7 for shipping.
Next I have two nema17 0.9 degree 6V 0.8A steppers. I have attached RJ11 female jacks for connectivity. £15 each and £7 for shipping. Both of them are sold.
I also have a Nema14 1.8 degree 4.6V 0.8A stepper. Again I have put a RJ11 female jack. Price £10 and £5 for shipping.
I've two handmade motor brackets for EQ5 (or equivalent) mounts. One for Nema 14 motors and the other for nema17. I have used the nema17 for RA and Nema14 for DEC. I'm asking £7 each and £5 for shipping.
I have GT2 pulleys and belts. Two 40teeth and two 16teeth. 40s are bored to 6mm and 16s are 5mm, so they will fit the EQ5 worm and the stepper motor shafts. That would make a gear ratio of 2.5. I've included two GT2 140mm belts, which worked with my setup by adjusting the space a bit. I'm not willing to split this as the shipping cost would be more than the parts. As a whole I'm asking for £15 and £5 for shipping. Sold
Finally, I two 2 meter cables with RJ11 jacks. From my experience when the standard thin phone cables are too long sometimes the motors don't function properly. Hence, I've used ticker cables with these connectors. £10 for total of two cables. £5 for shipping.
If I ship multiple items together it will be cheaper. I'm also open to offers. And please ask me if you need more info.