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Yawning Angel

50/50 Roll off build

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As posted late last night, I was able to use the observatory for the first time last night.

With a setup that Heath Robinson would have been proud of, I threw everything back on the mount after it's holiday in storage. It's amazing what your forget in a short time but once I remembered that there was a USB hub under the OTA it started to make sense. The Polemaster gave me a nice quick setup although the StarSense took a second try at aligning - but that's hardly it's fault, it was still set to summer time!

Handset goto M81 had it pretty much bang on and off we went to SGpro for some subs. Time being what it was, I only ended up with about 40 min of data before I had to park the mount and roll away the sky for another night

It's a mess of stuff in the obs: laptop on a camping table, half the gear still running off the powertank, but it works!

8 months since the thread and work started feels like a long time and there is still plenty to do:

Insulate warm room roof
Fit guttering
Sheath the walls
Internal window and door
Wiring
Network (but the Wifi reaches)
Lighting
Door step
Floor covering
Desk, shelving etc

Although it's very 'not finished', I can now "Witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"

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Wonderful! It must feel great to be out under the stars again. 

BUT - don't fall into the trap of not finishing the to-do list! Easy thing to let happen now you're operational. 

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A few more increments closer - this weekend has seen the scope room viewing window have its dry fit, and a sigh of relief that I did measure correctly months ago, so it does fit! 

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Also finished off insulating the warm room, bar some taped joints (I ran out). That’s been quite a therapeutic evening job. The final touch is some foam filler around the cable entries and underfloor conduit - that’s drying / expanding as I type

The last bit this weekend was to get a sheet of ply onto a wall! No photo, but it felt goooood 😀

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Here's the ply starting to go up, with the added 'bonus' of my excessively cluttered workmate, sporting the single most useful item ever - "Wonder Wipes"

For an idea of the size, that sheet is 2250 x 1220. 

IMG_1615.thumb.JPG.0abeece77fab26658bb8066529f3a5ed.JPG

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Dodging the showers today, I managed to get more of the warm room panelled.

Putting 2m x 1m 9mm ply on a ceiling solo was challenging! I got a couple of cheap plasterboard props to help out - which turned out to be a fantastic way to spend £20!

Juggling the board in place I first propped it on a ladder, ducked under it and lifted it on my head - 6’4” me sometimes comes in handy. 

Once it was up there, the props could jack it tight against a couple of joists. That was when I remembered I’d not marked the joist positions in the face 😔

Some careful measuring later and it was simple enough to screw it securely. 

The rest of the boards went in easily enough, and my 5yr old boys enjoyed helping Daddy ‘do screwing’. I call it a win that nobody died 👍🏻

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😀

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Looks great and super progress. 

Love that window. It's huge!

I did the same as you with initially not marking joist positions. A mistake I only made once 😫.

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I keep reminding myself that I must mark the positions of the timbers before I start boarding out the walls and ceiling.  I think I might actually do a drawing with all the positions marked in case I need to refer to it in the future.

James

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I took photos to remind me of the layout, but the accurate positions are indicated by the rows of screws. I made the decision early on to not fill any of the screw holes - a design feature 😂 But more importantly will allow me to take the build apart in the future if needs be. I also drew lines on the boards to mark the stud/ joist midlines, which are just about visible through the paint. 

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Posted (edited)

Light test - fitted with masking tape😧Red to white, min and max

 

 

Edited by Yawning Angel
Attachment converted to YouTube link
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Posted (edited)

Disco observatory

 

 

Edited by Yawning Angel
Attachment converted to YouTube link
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Useful to see what those look like.  I've not come to any decisions about lighting for mine yet.

James

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I’m going to run these in aluminium profile around the scope room, at about dado height. The controller supports Wi-fi and Amazon Alexa so voice activation rather than a remote I can lose 👍🏻

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Brilliant (forgive the pun!).

This is the sort of the thing I'm going to use in my scope room. How have you connected them up Alex?

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To test, it’s on an extension lead 😀

The idea is to sent the power from a socket in the warm side, into the scope rooms dividing wall cavity.

The led string then runs most of the perimeter, as I got a 10m length, in recessed aluminium profile with a frosted cover

I'm intending to sheet the scope side, so the profile should sit along the top of the lower panel 1.22m off the floor - which reminds me, I must order more plywood!

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8 hours ago, Yawning Angel said:

I’m going to run these in aluminium profile around the scope room, at about dado height. 

I used small plastic trunking for my RGBW LED strips in the observatory (and only wired up the red and the white!)

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Posted (edited)

The jigsaw has seen a bit of action this weekend, cutting the floor fillets for round the cable ducts and pier, plus the wall ply cut out for the window 

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Manage to install the majority of the aluminium profile in the scope room too, which looks very tidy! Small clips to screw on and it snaps into place. Just remember - cut aluminium is sharp!

The small sheets above the aluminium are temporary, to hold the spacing for the corner mitre

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Edited by Yawning Angel

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I've started the laborious task of painting all the exposed wood, before final fit of the LED lights and putting the foam floor tiles down. Leftover dark gray cuprinol on the underside on the rolling roof and on the floors, and a silver birch colour on the wall panels. The floor tiles are red, so anything dropped might show up, but thats unlikely to be a forever floor. 

I took the opportunity to have the AVX mount serviced whilst I crack on - the resulting clear skys the night it went would make you cry!

With construction work coming to conclusion, thoughts have turned to fitting out. I have the dado trunking waiting to go it, wire to run to the scope and my control box to commission. The control box is a lockable electrical cab - It'll contain a small form factor PC, USB hub, 12V hub, dew controller, 240V and network sockets, all attached to a mounted pin-board. Services in the bottom, scope supply out the top. The whole kit should be hung on a frame beside, but not attached to, the pier

With this in mind and some trepidation I cut the cigarette lighter plugs off my power leads and replaced them with banana plugs - almost sacrilege to the wonderfully well made Lynx Astro cables, but this fella will run it all Hobbyking-Powerstrip from a 12V PSU tucked up safe in the warm room

The list seems to be getting longer now, but the items are smaller at least. I sort of liked the old one:

Build Observatory
Mount Scope
Enjoy

Rather than:

Paint everything
Install floor covering
Fit internal door
Varnish step
Install trunking
Wire Sockets
Wire lighting
Commission network
Source desk
Shelving

Still, progress is progress, and I can work quietly in the evenings and the power tools are needed less

 

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Last night I painted the scope room floor - 2 coats with a couple of hours drying in between, so I had time to do something else...

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Sesto Senso!

I'd treated myself about a month back, but never got round to installing or testing it, so while I has a little down time, out came the allen keys. What a lovely bit of engineering - it drives the stock ED80's focuser with no problems. Very smooth and my calipers suggest it is very accurate too.

More painting tonight...

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The aluminium channel for the lighting looks very neat, I have to say.

James

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I managed to steal a few hours this weekend, so the scope room is fully lined now!

2 coats of Cuprinol on it all, then the aluminium channel went in for the LEDs. This meant that the LEDs had to go in, because it’d be a shame not to! There is some cable routing still to do, including drilling my lovely new wall, and the diffuser cover needs installing but:

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Lights in the scope room: ✅ 

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Looks excellent.  It will be interesting to see how the diffuser cover softens the lighting.

The recessed channel really appeals to me, but I'm still dithering over my lighting.  The LED strip looks very good, but when it comes down to it what I really want is basically two switches -- one for "bright white" (for working on kit) and one for "just enough red" (observing/imaging time).  Whilst my observatory might be big enough to host a disco and I even have some speakers already set aside to install, I have no plans to go strutting my funky stuff in a frilly shirt and high waister flares at 2am on a clear night (nor at any other time in fact).  Neighbours might think I'm as mad as a box of frogs, but Night Fever isn't going to be on the playlist, not even on a Saturday.

Does what I'm after actually seem feasible with your setup, or is it a case of having to live with a more complex system than you need and ignoring a load of it?

James

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Posted (edited)

That photo was on the brightest setting, so the phone could pick up a reasonable image. Temporarily I'm using a controller with an IR remote, but it'll be swapped to a wifi one when the comms goes in

I, too, have no intention of using the disco setting, the strobe or any of the other silliness 😀. Red for observing / monitoring the mount and white for working. I'd imagine some creative types could make up a 3 way switch to provide the connections correctly. 4 wires, Common and  RGB. 24V for the longer runs (12V for up to 5m) - I'll be using 'Routines' with Amazon Alexa or the app on my phone, as I'm an IT bod, rather than a soldering iron & electronics guru. I'm sure @Gina would have something wired up and printed off over a tea break 😁

If you're planning a speaker install, then maybe a smart system would fit quite well?

For ref:

Recessed aluminium profile

WiFi LED controller

10m RGB LED strip

Edited by Yawning Angel
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Thanks for the links, Alex.  I reckon it might be worth getting the LED strip and having a play.  On the other hand, given that the controller is only £10 perhaps I should just bite the bullet and do some software tinkering.  Does the controller connect to a wifi router, or is there some other "wifi" type protocol in use here?  If it connects to a router perhaps I can configure up a laptop as a hotspot and sniff the protocol on the way through so I can do my own thing with it (assuming someone smart hasn't already done that) if I decide against using a simple switch.

What's the recess depth on this profile (including the clips)?  Either I'm being dumb or it's not at all obvious from the web page.

James

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