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JamesF's observatory build


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I've been promising myself that I'd build an observatory for years, but life has just got in the way a bit and I never managed to get started.  Given recent events with my brother however (see posts e

By chance I just caught child number one in his wellies as he came in from feeding the chickens.  Overruling his protestations that he wasn't strong enough to help I press-ganged him into assisting me

Not much chance of getting outside and doing anything useful this morning, but I did manage a brief foray to take some photos.  The state of the prevailing weather is evident from the second photo aga

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Yep, I don't particularly enjoy cutting and fitting large sheets of 18mm. Too much like hard work, but I'm glad I used this and not 12mm, which I was originally going to use. 

Interesting to hear of your leak James. It hasn't rained heavily here since I did my fix, so I haven't tested it out fully as yet. It's difficult to see why it wouldn't work though.

The inside of your observatory looks huge! Hope it's dry for you tomorrow. :)

 

Edited by Astrokev
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I had a swift trip into Taunton first thing (or as near as it gets for me) this morning to pick up a few more fittings and some more tube.  That meant I could finish off all the work under the floor of the main observatory, after which I cut the final sheet of ply for that side and dropped it into place.  It was a very snug fit, so I'm not planning on lifting it again :)   Having the light to work by was a real boon, so I'll be leaving that in place for the time being.

I had a swimming club committee meeting late this afternoon so that was pretty much all there was time for.

The next steps are probably to finish off the ducting under the warm room and insulate the floor.  A friend who is a builder suggested putting some ply under the insulation to discourage rodents from nibbling at it.  Not much seems to deter some rodents, but I have some 9mm ply offcuts that are sitting around doing nothing so I'll probably cut those down to size and drop them in.  I can probably do the measuring and cutting during the evenings this week and leave a pile of bits to be fitted as soon as I have time.

But for the moment, this is how it looks now.  I just placed a second block on top of a couple of the piers.  I'll probably have another 225mm or so on top of that before the adaptor plates for the mounts, which I think will mean the adaptors are a little over 800mm above the floor.

obsy-build-60-1.jpg

obsy-build-61.jpg

James

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I went a different route to deter rodents. I put wire mesh around the perimeter between the foundation blocks. In my tool shed I had mice knaw through the floorboards, so 9mm ply may not be foolproof (or should that be mouseproof). Mind you, no guarantee that wire mesh will work either!

EDIT - @Davey-Tjust beat me to it!

Edited by Astrokev
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I did think about mesh, but decided it probably wasn't practical in this particular situation.  In a number of places I've done it before they've just burrowed under it :(  There are probably more tasty things for them to eat anyhow.  I'm not too worried about it really, but since I have the ply lying about doing nothing I might as well put it in.

James

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I think the photos make it look bigger than it is, to be honest.  I didn't have to reduce the length of the ply sheets, but I did need to take about 100mm each off the edges of the first and last sheets, which makes the main telescope area just over 3.4m x 2.4m.  To the eaves of the roof it's about 2.1m from the floor, and about 2.7m to the ridge.

The eaves height was important, as I have an Evostar 102 that I intend to use for a PST stage 2 mod and I really wanted the roof to be able to clear that without needing to park it first, mostly because should I go down the route of automating the roof, it will be reassuring that I don't need to worry about where the telescopes are pointing if the roof needs to be closed in a hurry.

There is however a certain harmony in having an observatory big enough to be seen from space :D

James

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51 minutes ago, Yawning Angel said:

Awesome progress James!

Mesh was today's job for me too, I used this stuff between my concrete corners. Ground clearance is such that 300mm did for the widest part and 200 mm for the rest.

That looks good stuff. Beginning to wish I'd known about that before I did mine. I guess I can always replace mine if it proves ineffective. 

Edited by Astrokev
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Rats don't like steel wool but unfortunately not suitable for outdoors as it rusts.  Kept the beggars out of my kitchen successfully though - at least so far.  Reinforced concrete is no barrier I found!!

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13 hours ago, JamesF said:

I think you're being quite unfair really.  There's no way it covers more than a quarter of Somerset :D

Well I am about the same distance from Taunton (East) as you and I can see it from my back garden. :) 

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