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old_eyes

7Wells Observatory Build

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15 minutes ago, JamesF said:

It's looking very promising.

James

Thank you. I hope I can turn the promise into performance. I am not a natural completer-finisher, so this is all difficult stuff!

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Roof frame delivered. Now in the process of cleaning and protecting it.

You can see the wheels and the gate opener rack that will be used to open and close.

1486118174_191005Frame.jpg.0c019e57c826a716c475caec7f46c456.jpg

A slightly odd view as it is standing on end while I spray it with cold galvanising spray as recommended by the man who made the frame.

627325108_191005GalvaBright.jpg.eb2440a402f843aabd92bea889d27143.jpg

Now I have run out of spray and the builders merchant who stock it don't open again until Monday. Curses!

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A good days work yesterday on a blustery but dry day.

Finished protecting the roof frame and got it up on the rails. It moves! It lives! It breathes!

2127407264_191008FrameClosed.jpg.040327688097201cee3a3b589ea410fe.jpg

1562158110_191008FrameOpen.jpg.faebcdd9f32ff43c327cc03844c70c4a.jpg

And started work on cladding the rolling roof.

1113925912_191008PartialRoof.jpg.af283fdf9aadc53abeb77f460489038e.jpg

I hope to finish off the cladding in the next couple of days and permanently fix down the rails.

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Roof completely clad and flashings added

169819807_191010Roofcomplete.jpg.b4ec2e5c364c4424cef060b5ca2ba1db.jpg

Protective plastic is still on the flashings as it was about to chuick it down with rain 😧. Not sure I can be bothered to remove it 😄.

Next step the South flap, at which point it should be weatherproof enough to lay the floor in the scope room and start installing equipment 🥳.

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A nice sunny and dry day today.

Significant progress. South flap completed and scope room floor finished.

The south flap is a simple hinged wooden frame covered with some opal multiwall polycarbonate left over from a conservatory project.

1399617837_191021SouthFlapClosed.jpg.f2224d823f3366f5d4ca9980cdbd9da0.jpg

Flap is operated by lever arms to allow for future automation. The flap is limited when down using chains to the obsy frame.

1541801054_191021SouthFlapLimit.jpg.a41bf587d744cbc288674683345c68ea.jpg

And when up and closed rests against a wooden block with a hole frilled through to a second block to lock it in position. It won't hold against a grizzly bear or a tornado, but both are thankfully rare in these parts. It should be secure against typical stormy weather.

2110859068_191021Stop.jpg.9f82d5463a2b132a34638a105e38369c.jpg

Scope room floor complete. Simple OSB flooring sheets ready for some kind of resilient covering that will let an wyepiece bounce.

2001615981_191021ScopeRoomFloor.jpg.7ff6d02ce3e5c02bbed68797c4f7c016.jpg

Scope room with roof and flap closed viewed from warm room door looks like this. The opal polycarbonate lets plenty of light in so that I can see what I am doing.

1905394327_191021ScopeRoomClosed.jpg.1a4af3e988c70e3a913fb9c86231044b.jpg

From the outside - open

1229379741_191021RoofOpen.jpg.add71ec2ed086df2cc4cedc62a3bd6c3.jpg

Closed

1060937489_191021RoofClosed.jpg.74248cf0ea179be1344f8bed5ea4d5e4.jpg

I think I am now OK to start installing equipment. Lots of little bits and pieces to finish off, but this should be enough to get started. Roof and flap automation can wait, as can most of the decorating.

A happy man! 🥳

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Are you sure you're in the UK ? it been tipping down all day here 

Dave :clouds2:

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1 minute ago, Davey-T said:

Are you sure you're in the UK ? it been tipping down all day here 

Dave :clouds2:

For once, those of us to the North have been blessed with a fine Autumn day and nary a drop of rain. Weather is heading in from the North West, so you may enjoy the gap like we did before normal service is resumed.

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Two days of solid downpour gave me a chance to check out the weatherproofing on the scope room.

I want to make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the scope room to avoid condensation, so I am reluctant to seal up every crack.

So far the news is positive.  A little bit of weeping from roof seams that I think I can fix with some judiciously applied silicone, and a little leaking in by the roof rails where I have some missing boards (more ventilation) that can be easily fixed. The real test is when we get high winds and rain as that could blow in through the various gaps.

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Where I had a problem with mine when it rained really heavily, and I know I'm not the only one, was that rain could collect between the wall of the warm room and the inside of the roof rail and either blew along it or became sufficiently deep that it just washed along it, and then ran down the inside of the wall in the scope room.  Oddly it only ever happened on one side and it may be entirely down to the combination of very heavy rain and specific direction of the wind.

Should you find that happens in your case, I did a few things that appear to have fixed it.  I removed the rail and squirted silicone sealant into the gap under the V at the point where the roll-off roof ended so that if water got underneath the external section of the rail it couldn't run any further.  The rolling section of my roof extends below the rail, so rainwater just can't get at the rail anywhere else.  When I replaced the rail I squidged a bit of sealant into the slots for the retaining screws so no water could get under the rail through those.  And finally I made a small "dam" between the rail and the warm room roof out of layers of EPDM stuck in place with sealant, though actually it's probably possible to do that just with sealant.  Between the three changes it looks like the problem is entirely solved.

Edited by JamesF
grammar
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During a brief respite in the rain this afternoon I went out to my observatory to check a couple of things one of which was any wet getting in and there wasn't any in spite of all this horizontal heavy rain lately and that my ROR rolls off to the west where the rain/wind was coming from.

 

Edited by Gina
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47 minutes ago, Gina said:

During a brief respite in the rain this afternoon I went out to my observatory to check a couple of things one of which was any wet getting in and there wasn't any in spite of all this horizontal heavy rain lately and that my ROR rolls off to the west where the rain/wind was coming from.

 

Fingers crossed I will get to that happy state!

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1 hour ago, JamesF said:

Where I had a problem with mine when it rained really heavily, and I know I'm not the only one, was that rain could collect between the wall of the warm room and the inside of the roof rail and either blew along it or became sufficiently deep that it just washed along it, and then ran down the inside of the wall in the scope room.  Oddly it only ever happened on one side and it may be entirely down to the combination of very heavy rain and specific direction of the wind.

Should you find that happens in your case, I did a few things that appear to have fixed it.  I removed the rail and squirted silicone sealant into the gap under the V at the point where the roll-off roof ended so that if water got underneath the external section of the rail it couldn't run any further.  The rolling section of my roof extends below the rail, so rainwater just can't get at the rail anywhere else.  When I replaced the rail I squidged a bit of sealant into the slots for the retaining screws so no water could get under the rail through those.  And finally I made a small "dam" between the rail and the warm room roof out of layers of EPDM stuck in place with sealant, though actually it's probably possible to do that just with sealant.  Between the three changes it looks like the problem is entirely solved.

I also need to fill the holes in the F H Brundle track, and protect the edge of the wooden track supports where ther join the framework.

i guess it is a process of trial and error until you find a configuration that works for your obsy/weather.

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12 hours ago, old_eyes said:

Two days of solid downpour gave me a chance to check out the weatherproofing on the scope room.

I want to make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the scope room to avoid condensation, so I am reluctant to seal up every crack.

So far the news is positive.  A little bit of weeping from roof seams that I think I can fix with some judiciously applied silicone, and a little leaking in by the roof rails where I have some missing boards (more ventilation) that can be easily fixed. The real test is when we get high winds and rain as that could blow in through the various gaps.

Also been some nasty rain in Mid Wales last 24 hours. Observatory is fine - house is leaking though!

Roads badly flooded- had an epic 8 hour 'road trip' to Shrewsbury and back yesterday. Clocked up 210 miles to find a way round it all......

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1 hour ago, laser_jock99 said:

Also been some nasty rain in Mid Wales last 24 hours. Observatory is fine - house is leaking though!

Roads badly flooded- had an epic 8 hour 'road trip' to Shrewsbury and back yesterday. Clocked up 210 miles to find a way round it all......

Having visited you I can well imagine it. Stay safe!

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Spent the last few days setting up my new rig on the pier and testing all the connections.

817148030_191103LHS.jpg.6bdc8b8ffdb0bb99fe12771625aaa7a9.jpg

This is effectively a brand new rig. The only things that have survived from the last version are the Equinox 80ED and the QHY 168C camera.

I have taken advantage of the CEM 60 wiring options to have everything on the moving platform of the mount connected through the power connectors and USB hub on the saddle.

There is a small aluminium plate bolted to the top of the tube rings with the dew heater control, 12V distribution box and powered USB hub velcroed to it (I am a great believer in velcro for giving a strong hold, but allowing you to reposition things if you have got it wrong 🤔).

From this side you can see the dew heater control and the socket side of the USB hub (the only reason I actually needed a USB hub at the telescope was because the guide camera I have is USB powered (Doh!)).

345674155_191103RHS.jpg.7ebbcf11800f95fd8c6318faf5388e92.jpg

From the other side you can see the Powerpole 12V distribution box velcroed to the USB hub. Also the PrimaLuce Sesto Senso focuser that I have not yet used in anger.

The whole thing is controlled locally with a Minix computer velcroed (again) to the pier head. I have a separate SSD drive for storage as the microSD card slot does not seem to want to work.

2000833037_191103Minixatmount.jpg.fcfd4704c97ae42a459e9cbf7c1a497b.jpg

Cables will be further tidied as I have not yet got all the lengths right.

I control this from the warm room using Teamviewer from a standard Windows desktop. Both computers are part of my home LAN using powerline connection and can be accessed and controlled from house if necessary.

All the power and data connections work. The mount moves, the focuser moves, and the cameras take pictures. Each device's native drive programme connects and operates. I plan to try using N.I.N.A. to operate the whole ensemble, and it connects to and operates the various elements.

That is about as much as I can test until it stops [removed word] down with rain and I get a view of some stars to do alignment and focusing.

As I said it is almost a completely new rig and so I am sure there will be many gremlins to hunt down before it is reliable, but progress of a sort!

In the meantime I will carry on fettling and titivating the observatory building. Lots left to do.

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Not clear why the forum software removes technical terms for the intensity of rainfall 🤔

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Ah :)  "persisting down" :)

James

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42 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Ah :)  "persisting down" :)

James

Must be 😉

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The forum software seems to have some weird ideas of the meaning of some words.  One reason may be that it's US based and they often have different meanings for words from what we have in the UK.  I'm afraid I get annoyed sometimes when I have the most appropriate word but the software rejects it!

Edited by Gina

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