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DaveS's Obsy Build. First thoughts.


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I find pruning a foot off the bottom works best  

Bit late to this party! Early on the question of drop-down flaps for roll offs came up. No need to be fearful of these, they are ridiculously easy to make and automate. I've done three, all on this pr

Or, Destroy it Yourself  Dave

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I can certainly send you some "wormy" wood in the post :)  Pretty much everything we took out of the barn roof when it was replaced was heavily worm-eaten.

James

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14 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Tempting, isn't it?  "Oh, I was just walking past with my chainsaw and I slipped.  Before I knew it, the pole had fallen down" :D

James

Is the pole actually on your land, that is unusual.

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Just now, Adam J said:

Is the pole actually on your land, that is unusual.

We have one, and even get paid rent for it :)  Seems quite unusual in a less rural location though, as you say.  Must be a complete pain in the backside for maintenance and so on.

James

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I keep getting letters from solicitors muttering about "Easement" (Thought that was something to do with senokot?). I mentioned it to my neighbour who said that she got them too, but nothing much happened.

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Three or four years back Western Power decided they needed to run a third phase out along the route that our power lines take, presumably to increase capacity, but that meant replacing all the poles because they weren't rated for carrying three conductors.  Doing that sort of job if the pole is in someone's back garden must be an absolute nightmare.  Ours is close to both the drive and the road and the lorry carrying the new poles had a built-in crane that lifted the pole into position straight off the trailer.  Handling that sort of stuff when access is restricted has to be a pig of a job.

James

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A couple of panoramas from the platform.

Firstly north east through to just west of south

PANO_20190506_105132.thumb.jpg.bbbf865c948f9fdf87e2763542fee310.jpg

And just east of south through to north west

PANO_20190506_105207.thumb.jpg.e2a1338b054afb79158c695d6b221cd5.jpg

South is roughly over next door's conservatory

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That doesn't look too bad.  If you build the observatory the other side of your greenhouse the pole shouldn't be quite so irksome either.  Just need to persuade the Ent to the south to stroll off somewhere then :)

James

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Yes, it's a lot better than I first thought when I was looking round. The obsy will be going on a 0.5m high platform just the other side of the greenhouse, and I'm afraid the big tree will be for the chop, assuming I can get it past the planning people. However, I'm not a total thug so will be planning to put two or three semi-dwarf fruit trees there (Following your suggestion in my "Move to Dorset" thread), probably plum and gage, with a step-over Egremont Russet in front, and a tayberry or two behind. That whole section of the garden will be mainly fruit / veg with a bit of ornamental here and there. There's already a new rhubarb crown in a spare bit of ground at the front.

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The Ent will be getting a short-back-and-sides, but no point in really severe pruning, as there's another tree behind it which my neighbour uses to screen out the transformer behind that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress on the small platform.

IMG_20190603_175550.thumb.jpg.cb0df1ecd85e20a1c033163d14ba5de9.jpg

Roughly polar aligned, hopefully if it's clear tonight I may be able to run the alignment routine in Autoslew

I'm planning a tip up lid to cover the shelf, and a more compact computer setup.

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Dave, quick question, won't the power lines/telephone cables cause diffraction spikes on your images, the reason I asked is that I had a single twig sticking up 4 foot a couple of years ago and until I had finished imaging I didn't realise the damage it had done to my image

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Possibly. I have another site in preparation. I hope most of the lines are thick enough not to be too much of a problem. I may have to be choosy about my targets.

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  • 1 month later...

Just to update, I've not yet seen diffraction from the cables.

Just been constructing an enclosure and installing a dedicated computer.

IMG_20190708_201641.thumb.jpg.22ebce1d8d86bb4afb97f11a7adf09db.jpg

Wide angle photo, and a closer view

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Right hand monitor has Cartes du Ceil and Maxim capture window, left hand has Autoslew and Maxim camera control. What can't be seen are the LED strings just behind the flap. Still a bit of work to be done, cables to be secured and the wood given a couple of coats of varnish.

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First coat of Ronseal External Varnish given, lots of runs. For sure it's not exactly a Chippendale cabinet lol With a bit of luck I can give a second coat this evening.

One minor hitch, that I should have foreseen, the USB cable from the Trius just fouls the cabinet at one particular orientation. Two options, buy (More expenses, argh, lol) a USB cable with right-angle plug, or move the whole 130mm scope forward a bit and rebalance by moving the 80mm back to compensate, or possibly both.  The LED strings (Two of them, 500mm long) are a bit bright, even on Minimum setting. I may take one out.

Also considering whether I can build an imaging box (Not a full obsy) over the base with the 'scope in "Park 1" position, West side pointing to the zenith.

Even as it is, I found closing down to be SO much faster, about 5 mins and most of that was warming up the camera before shutting down the computer.

Oh dear, this looks like it's turning into a Gina Special, lol.

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Didn't get the second coat on last evening, but did just before lunch today after coming back from the dentist. Ordered a right angle USB and a few other bits from that long river place (At this rate they won't need a sat-nav to find me lol).

After a good look at the platform decided that it was too small and in the wrong (But only possible) orientation for an overall enclosure, but never mind, it was never intended for an obsy / imaging box so no loss.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the cables secured, now working out the best way to run the ethernet cable. This might involve drilling a 16mm hole through the stone wall of the new part of the house, 300-400mm thick. Not something to be done casually.

I've got planning consent and a date to prune the tree to my south, though the man from the council said taking it out altogether would be better, but it's not mine unfortunately, else it would be out.

We also talked about the palm tree, and after giving it some thought decided to let it be and work around it, at least for the time being as it's too venerable, and valuable to cut down.

Now waiting for UPS to deliver my Trius back from SX, as they couldn't find anything wrong with it, might be the LT USB port.

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Bit late to this party! Early on the question of drop-down flaps for roll offs came up. No need to be fearful of these, they are ridiculously easy to make and automate. I've done three, all on this principle:

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We did no sketches or calculations for these mechanisms but just 'grew' them as we went. The last piece you fit is the roof's horizontal arm ending in the little wheel. Put the flap vertical with the roof rolled shut and then screw on the wheeled arm so it's pressing against the angled arm on the flap. It will then always close the flap just nicely. The little counterweight on the angled flap arm (see first image) simply ensures that the flap starts to open when the roof rolls back. (Otherwise it may stay upright and bang down later.) Because we have image-possible horizons all our roll offs have rolling upper sides as well as roof.

Olly

 

Edited by ollypenrice
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Thanks Olly, very clear photos.

Thinking if my planned obsy needs a drop-down flap, as the only logical way for the roof to move is due south, unless I want to plonk it right in the middle of the grass (Won't call it a lawn). ATM, planning on using the roof rails to double as a pergola, so will want about 2 metres or so height above the ground. Allowing for the 500mm height of the platform, that gives 1.5m high walls, and another 500mm for the roof. I'm thinking 500mm on the east side, sloping down to 400mm on the west for rain to run off.

Door will be to the north, so that end will have to be 2.0m high, and fixed to accommodate a 1.8m door.

But all this planning is a bit premature, I'm likely to get the platform built then "wing" the design around the telescope (Covered by a telegizmos cover during the build.) 

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Got the Trius back yesterday, so put it back on the 'scope. Did have to move the 130 apo forward in its rings to clear the box so rebalanced by moving the 80mm f/4.4 back and bolting some big washers onto it. RA balance looks to be spot on now, but the dec is still a bit out. No USB problems yet, so it might have been the old LT. Now waiting for the next clear night to test everything.

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@DaveS Enjoying following your thread very much.

May I ask what is the white and black box on your work surface?
and
How has your Observing Office worked so far in regards weather proofing or has it not been tested out yet?

Thanks, Alan

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Hi Alan

The box is a 400 W power supply running power to the mount, camera, and dew heaters. It came with the mount. I heard the fan running on and off last night due to the air temperature.

While not as convenient as a full on obsy I can still be up and running in 5 - 10 mins, and close down in a similar time. Given the space I had available I think it's a good compromise.

Oh, and we had a few downpours recently, but the inside stayed dry. I may add some more weather proofing.

Edited by DaveS
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