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JamesF

JamesF's observatory build

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44 minutes ago, iapa said:

Based on @Yawning Angel‘s comment, I’ll measure tonight to check diameter

Just checked, and it is 8mm diameter.

still yours if it will fit

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1 hour ago, iapa said:

Based on @Yawning Angel‘s comment, I’ll measure tonight to check diameter

Yes, sounds like a sensible plan.

James

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16 minutes ago, iapa said:

Just checked, and it is 8mm diameter.

still yours if it will fit

The holes are all 10mm, so it won't work unless I fit a reducer as well and it's all just getting a bit silly then.  So thanks again for your offer, but I'll just have to find another solution.  I reckon if I try a few bolts I should be able to find one that fits better than the threaded rod I currently have.

James

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I used a long M10 hex grub screw sleeved with a stud connector:

B0152187-2612-45C2-B9A0-B8D6AE5E2801.thumb.jpeg.c89dece831cfbc38e43baa879ace092a.jpeg

But it sounds like the AVX has more space inside for this to fit

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That looks very neat indeed.  I guess the stud connector could even have flats filed/machined on it if required.  This is the one with 13mm OD?

James

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Thanks, it turned out okay. Yes, it’s the 13mm OD connector - I was planning on putting flats on it, but it is rock solid for the range of motion needed

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What length grub screw did you use?

James

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It’s 50mm long, pointed. The hole in my adapter is blind, and around 20mm deep. With the 30mm stud connector on, the hex head is just below the rim

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Thanks, Alex.  Given the apparent lack of removable HEQ5-compatible alt-az pins, I think it's a neat solution.

James

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The weather today was actually better than forecast (I even had a slight "glow" from the Sun earlier) so I was able to get outside and make a small amount of progress.

However, much of the morning and early afternoon was spent waving the petrol hedge-trimmer of doom at a heavily-overgrown pyracanthus hedge, creating three trailer loads of viciously spiky green waste.  Wrong time of year for it really, but needs must when the devil drives.  By the time I'd finished my arms were so tired that I had to put down a drink in a hurry because I realised I barely had control of my fingers and it was about to slip through them.

Once I'd recovered I opened the roof of the observatory up and discovered a few of the foam tiles had expanded in the sunshine and were bulging upwards slightly so I may well have to do something about that, but I'm going to leave it until I've found out how bad it gets over the summer.  I don't mind trimming them so they stay flat, but I'd prefer to do it just the once :)  My daughter saw it for the first time when she returned from swimming today and commented on how comfortable the tiles were to walk on and I can't disagree.

I've cut ply to line the flap, but it still needs a little trimming to fit properly.  Without the ply the flap passes neatly under the roof gable once the roof is closed, but adding the ply has caused it to snag ever so slightly.  I guess that means the flap itself is quite a snug fit and there should be little chance of rain getting in between the two.  Hopefully just planing a slight chamfer on the edge should be sufficient to sort that tomorrow.

I also tried out the pull strap for the flap.  Because of the height of the walls (1.5m, which is probably about shoulder height for me), it's still a bit awkward to control the flap when it is near horizontal, but it will do for now.  Some sort of counterweight system would probably help, but that's for another time.

I know there's more garden-tidying on the agenda for tomorrow, and also re-hanging curtains for the window in the stair-well in the granny annexe (Why?!  A telescope is required to even see the only house facing us from that direction) which involves some use of circus acrobatic skills, but hopefully I can find time to finish off the flap and perhaps fit shelving in the warm room cupboard as that would allow me to move more kit during the week.  I still need to finish off the carpeting too, but that can probably be done during the week if necessary.  Damn!  Why are weekends so short?!

James

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37 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Once I'd recovered I opened the roof of the observatory up and discovered a few of the foam tiles had expanded in the sunshine and were bulging upwards slightly so I may well have to do something about that, but I'm going to leave it until I've found out how bad it gets over the summer.  I don't mind trimming them so they stay flat, but I'd prefer to do it just the once :)  My daughter saw it for the first time when she returned from swimming today and commented on how comfortable the tiles were to walk on and I can't disagree.

 

James

If it is just air bubbles, Would it be worth just cutting a slit to let expanded air out? Or, if multiple bulges, shove a needle in the middle of each one?

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Well, the foam tiles are absolutely full of air bubbles, so letting the air out of them all might be quite time-consuming :)

James

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Wasn’t sure from description if it was the tiles themselves, or trapped air underneath

 

 

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Definitely air in the tiles themselves, I think.  They lay quite flat on the floor normally.

James

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My tiles expanded hugely when I was doing some solar earlier this week. It was like walking around on a bouncy castle. 

I need to measure the expansion and decide how much to trim. 

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I found it needed about half an inch round the edge of my 8ft square scope room.

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As expected, most of yesterday was spent tidying the garden.  The builder should at least now have a clear run at creating the new entrance for the barn conversion.  And I have another pile of wood to chop up for the woodburner this winter.

I did however manage to finish off the end flap so it fits properly, though it still lacks bolts to hold it closed.  I think that should be fairly straightforward however, so I'll try to get that done this week.  I also fitted shelves in the warm room cupboard, which means more things can be moved from the house.  There's also a vague suggestion of some clear sky this week, in which case I'll have a first pass at polar aligning the mounts.

James

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On 18/05/2019 at 23:46, JamesF said:

I also tried out the pull strap for the flap.  Because of the height of the walls (1.5m, which is probably about shoulder height for me), it's still a bit awkward to control the flap when it is near horizontal, but it will do for now.  Some sort of counterweight system would probably help, but that's for another time.

James,

Just a thought as I know you have purchased the drag strap (ooh er missus!) for the end flap but, how about a fashioning a socket in the top middle of the flap which you can shove the end of a broom handle of other appropriate legth of material when closing so that you just lean on and lever the flap into a managable position?

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3 hours ago, JamesF said:

As expected, most of yesterday was spent tidying the garden.  The builder should at least now have a clear run at creating the new entrance for the barn conversion.  And I have another pile of wood to chop up for the woodburner this winter.

I did however manage to finish off the end flap so it fits properly, though it still lacks bolts to hold it closed.  I think that should be fairly straightforward however, so I'll try to get that done this week.  I also fitted shelves in the warm room cupboard, which means more things can be moved from the house.  There's also a vague suggestion of some clear sky this week, in which case I'll have a first pass at polar aligning the mounts.

James

Sounds like multitasking to me!!

Good luck with the weather and hopefully it holds out long enough to align everything

Gordon

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5 hours ago, Swoop1 said:

James,

Just a thought as I know you have purchased the drag strap (ooh er missus!) for the end flap but, how about a fashioning a socket in the top middle of the flap which you can shove the end of a broom handle of other appropriate legth of material when closing so that you just lean on and lever the flap into a managable position?

That sounds like a fine plan.  I shall give it some thought.  I've probably got something lying about (don't I always :D that will do the job.

James

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I have found my handset and have one mount powered up at the moment.  Took me a while to remember how to turn the LED on for the polar scope :)

Turns out the end flap is not actually an end flap as I planned, but in fact a cat preening platform.  Perhaps I can train them to close it up as well.

James

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Oh, excellent!  I am now in the observatory and my laptop can (just) pick up wifi from the router in my office window.  Most pleased :)

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Well, that was fun :D

I hopefully have reasonable polar alignment on two mounts now.  I need to roll the roof back further for the last, but since I only have a temporary arrangement for supporting the roof rails I chickened out.  Should be good enough for a bit of solar and lunar, anyhow.  Not that there seems to be much doing on the solar front for the time being, but even getting a few crisp images of the disc would be a good place to start getting back into things.

James

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19 hours ago, JamesF said:

That sounds like a fine plan.  I shall give it some thought.  I've probably got something lying about (don't I always :D that will do the job.

James

I imagine you'll find something suitable in your pile of old broom handles waiting to be re-purposed in the back of your workshop ;) 

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20 hours ago, JamesF said:

Oh, excellent!  I am now in the observatory and my laptop can (just) pick up wifi from the router in my office window.  Most pleased :)

I invested in a couple of mesh WiFi devices - but my pier is only 14m from the house. 

 

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