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Bukko

Yet another building project

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The good thing is I already have the ADM rail for it, to try it would not take so long.

Alan

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48 minutes ago, alan potts said:

The good thing is I already have the ADM rail for it, to try it would not take so long.

Alan

Good luck, Alan,

would be interested in how well it works, my NEQ6 is a few years old and knowing the AZ EQ6 is capable of managing a long FL scope might be helpful...

Gordon.

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3 hours ago, Bukko said:

Good luck, Alan,

would be interested in how well it works, my NEQ6 is a few years old and knowing the AZ EQ6 is capable of managing a long FL scope might be helpful...

Gordon.

Well when I get round to doing it I will let you know. Weather is poor lately though last night was clear but with close to a full moon, didn't bother in the end. I think the AZ EQ has a higher weight rating than the EQ6 but I could be wrong, I feel if I were to fit it up it may be with the .63 reducer which make the length a bit more manageable for someone without any experience at this longer length.

Alan

 

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As usual on a project, not much happens at the start, while we think about what to do and organise all the stuff...

Then the bits arrive and little happens for a while, then things happen quickly and progress looks amazing...

Then the big stuff is up and the fiddly, technical bits have to be done...

The last couple of days I have poured the extra height for the pier base and connected some of the electrics. The warm room now powers both domes and I am close to completing the second dome controls. Stuck on the first dome as I can't really progress until the concrete hardens enough to drill it out for the new pier studs. I knocked off the shuttering and the base does look pretty good. I am missing the big vibrator the builder used to get the air out of the concrete, but did my best.

The second dome only needs the motors to be installed and connect the ethernet cables (still need to terminate the cables...) and the PC, install software and test.

But having neglected the garden (2 acres in total) I need to catch up a bit there too so I am guessing another week. We have 2 weeks of clouds and rain forecast, so no hurry. I am a believer in the theory of new stuff = clouds so I am bracing myself for a terrible summer in SW France and everyone can blame me...

Gordon.

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I have given the new concrete base enough time to harden and want to make some progress...

Been busy with other stuff around the house, the pool is now around 22 degrees and warming up, so maintenance required to prepare it for use. The winter cover replaced with the summer solar cover to try and catch some extra heat. Hoping the next couple of weeks sunshine will get it somewhere close to usable.

So, the new base was drilled and four M16 studs cemented in place. After time to set, the pier was re-fitted and grouted down. I will need to give the grout a couple of days to harden, then clean everything up before replacing the floor and fitting the scope. Hopefully in another week, will be able to test everything.

Happy days...

Anyway, latest picture attached.

Gordon

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Who says Sunday is a day of rest??

Been a good day to make progress with the dome; got the NEQ6 back on the pier, set up the OO VX12 and collimated it with the Hotech. Installed al lthe camera stuff and cabled it up. Then balanced the mount and ran it to make sure the cables didn't snag anywhere in the rotation of both axis.

Happy days.

I read the post some time ago on dealing with moisture in the observatory. My first thought was airflow, but there was a strong camp for using a dehumidifier. I see both sides and although I preferred ventilation, understand this will not help if the outside air is humid. So I installed both. The fan is really cheap and cheap to run with around 10 air changes per hour, which should be enough. To make things simple to manage, I installed a switch on the outside to change from fan to de-humidifier.  I will need to try the two methods out and work out which works best under what conditions.

Getting there...

Gordon.

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So... Movie time!!

Spent some time the last couple of days to get things working; the mount is still on the handset so more to do there, the Uninterruptable Power Supply works fine too. Plan is to run the PC, mount and camera through it with the rest directly from the mains.

The dome motors would probably drain the UPS in no time, so not included.

The dome still only runs from the controller, not yet connected to the PC, but it has a remote!!

Hope you like the little video of the dome working.

Gordon.

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3 minutes ago, Bukko said:

So... Movie time!!

Excellent movie, Gordon.

I noticed the anemometer fairly spinning!

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5 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Excellent movie, Gordon.

I noticed the anemometer fairly spinning!

Thanks, glad you liked it...

I see so many postings on SGL talking about a new EP arrives and they get clouds for a week... Extrapolating the theory, I think I have just condemmed SW France to a summer of rain and clouds.

The closer the build has got to testing, the worse the weather has got - today is is cloudy, with some rain and a whole lot of wind.

The anemometer has temperature and humidity sensors too, both inside the warm room and outside. I am hoping the humidity sensor will help me decide when I need the dehumidifier and/or the scope heater tapes...

Hopefully, soon one dome done with one to go...

Gordon.

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Yeh weather is great. I am twenty minutes the other side of Agen from you and wondering if we will get any opportunities soon.

What was that about people buying equipment and ruining the weather? Look at what you have accomplished, probably fog now for the next six months.

Seen as you are contractually obligated to start an astronomy club or your planning permission inspection after four years could be a problem, can I join.

Are we doing outreach?

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8 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

Yeh weather is great. I am twenty minutes the other side of Agen from you and wondering if we will get any opportunities soon.

What was that about people buying equipment and ruining the weather? Look at what you have accomplished, probably fog now for the next six months.

Seen as you are contractually obligated to start an astronomy club or your planning permission inspection after four years could be a problem, can I join.

Are we doing outreach?

Hi Marvin,

Off to Agen tomorrow morning for a look around... First time there as we have been busy since we got here.

In a way, a few months of fog now is OK, providing it clears up for the winter.... Hoping...

I did talk to the Mayor about the club and she says she was actually joking. I have designed everything to host one, so will probably do it anyway. Some of the neighbours around me stop off and take a look, many are also interested in seeing what's out there. I just need to seriously improve my French first. I can get by talking to the girl in the bread shop, but technical is a problem. I liken my language skills to the Policeman in Allo Allo - if you remember that. As for outreach, I have not really thought about it. There is a big club near Marmande so mine would mostly consist of visitors coming round and drinking wine, I think (as the weather is going to be really bad for a long time...)

And if you are planning to visit, you would be welcome. It's a 15 minute drive off the A62 from Damazan...

Gordon

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That’s a very kind offer. I would love to come and have a look at your set up and have a ‘natter’ about star gazing.

I have only been doing this a couple of years, 130 newt on an NEQ5 go to, but our skies!!!! Would be nice to meet up as I know no other astronomers here (French or English or other).

Don’t worry about the language, a little bit of effort, a little bit of help and many misunderstandings you will be doing just fine, it will come. I do remember allo allo ‘clop’ 

The outreach comment was a little joke, baby steps. Get your site up and running fully and tested and then it might be for you. Speaking as a landscape gardener with said business here since 2005 I am very impressed with what you have done.

Enjoy Agen, it is a good town. The usual provincial town centre with a couple of zone industrials with lots of shops.

I am near a little village called Bourg de Visa just in Tarn et Garonne, on the tri border of Lot and Lot et Garonne. I think there is a way on here to contact directly so I will try that for a meet.

Marv

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After a week of other things - the terrace sits on top of the garage and pool room and it leaks.. We have had a lot of rain recently and I could not ignore it much longer, so had to detour to make it watertight.

A bigger job than I thought; the terrace was laid flat.. and level so water did not run off and over the years led to water ingress. So it's not just lifting th eold tiles and lay new, I need to put a bit of a slope on it

Anyway, I have now taken a break from that and back to the domes.

As I am almost finished with the first dome, I took the time to tidy up the warm room so it does not look like a building site storeshed.

Also, the cabling in the dome is finished, the PC and UPS safely installed under the flooring and all the cables made off. Tested back to the warm room and also back into the house, I am able to use the Remote Desktop application in windows to control the system. Problem I have is my internet is through a 4G link, so we cannot get a static IP address, so real remote connectivity is more difficult. I can use Teamviewer, but would rather not for security reasons.

In the dome, it is also tidy now with nothing more to do to the installation. There is loads of room to move around, 4 people is easy, only the rotation motor and the dehumidifier to trip over.

All the PSU's are also secured on the pier.

I can't find my old Shoestring box for EQMOD, so ordered a new USB version from FLO, so I have a little while to wait before I can work on the control software. In the meantime, it will be back working on the terrace for me.

Hope you like the latest pix.

Gordon.

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Seems to be coming together very quickly now :)

James

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4 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Seems to be coming together very quickly now :)

James

 Thanks James.

Seems is the key word; I have a lot of work to do around the house, not just the terrace. I do plan to get the scope PA'd and run some subs off to make sure everything works then I can bolt the flooring down.

Then start on the second dome once the terrace is done....

Gordon.

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1 hour ago, Bukko said:

After a week of other things - the terrace sits on top of the garage and pool room and it leaks..

I'd just like to point out the irony of having a leak into a pool room, btw :D

James

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7 hours ago, JamesF said:

I'd just like to point out the irony of having a leak into a pool room, btw :D

James

I know!! the standing joke is we now have two pools.

It all sounds very grand, but in reality the pool room is just the back of the garage that's sectioned off and has the pool equipment there.. The pumps and filters and stuff.

A bunch of stuff that requires maintenance of course.

Gordon.

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Posted (edited)

Nice work Gordon !

Hope the weather turns for the better soon, we suffer the same bad weather here in Belgium too these past few weeks, i've literally haven't done any AP for weeks now 😢

Edited by Miguel1983
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Been a while since I posted an update...

The terrace job was not as simple as I thought; there was multiple thin layers of stuff over a mortar type of layer, sitting on top of the garage and pool room ceiling. When I was grinding the layers to try and increase the slope, the mortar layer started to break up.

Digging a litle further with an SDS chisel, the mortar layer started to lift in chunks. It seems to stick in some places, but lift pretty easily in others, so I think the whole lot needs to come up and I start again from the concrete roof layer....

I think the domes are really on the back-burner for a while now...

Any builders out there wanting a "free" holiday in sunny France???

Usual picture attached.

Gordon.

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On 08/05/2019 at 22:17, Bukko said:

Haha no, not in France. I was working in Singapore and my hosts invited me out for a meal and they served a special beer they make, which uses seaweed.. The taste is pretty much the same as regular beer, but its green. I think the place is called Red Balloon and there are a couple of them on the island.

Gordon

 

That answers my burning question that I have had for months Gordon.
Green Beer, who would have thought!

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2 minutes ago, Alan White said:

That answers my burning question that I have had for months Gordon.
Green Beer, who would have thought!

It's actually not bad; tastes like beer, looks nothing like beer !!

And makes for an interesting conversation picture...

Gordon.

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23 minutes ago, Bukko said:

It's actually not bad; tastes like beer, looks nothing like beer !!

And makes for an interesting conversation picture...

Gordon.

Reminds me of the time I had Wasabi beer in Japan...

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I have now got past the Green Beer Gordon and read this entire thread.

Wow, that is quite some project.
A far cry from your SkyPod and quite a serious improvement.....understatement of the day.

Best I start my retirement plan soon then as I turn 53 in September, food for thought indeed.

Good luck with all those building jobs and keep on updating the thread when back on the domes etc.


 

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2 hours ago, Roy Challen said:

Reminds me of the time I had Wasabi beer in Japan...

Sounds terrible.

The green stuff was fine and makes me look windswept and interesting !!

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2 hours ago, Alan White said:

I have now got past the Green Beer Gordon and read this entire thread.

Wow, that is quite some project.
A far cry from your SkyPod and quite a serious improvement.....understatement of the day.

Best I start my retirement plan soon then as I turn 53 in September, food for thought indeed.

Good luck with all those building jobs and keep on updating the thread when back on the domes etc.


 

The skypod did OK with its limitations. A very reasonably priced dome, compared to alternatives available.

I was struggling with it, as my scope was bolted down and so it was difficult to find a single ideal point to secure the pier and so with the planned move when I retired, it had to go. The Scopedomes are in a completely different league for design and build quality.

I am STILL working on the terrace - almost done, the sub-structure is repaired and now watertight and I am 75% finished laying new tiles. Then need to grout them and then get back to the obby... The weather here is glorious, but too hot to lay concrete, screed and adhesive. A lot of this needs to be done in the evenings...

I need to go back to work... for a rest !!!

Gordon.

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