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The Observing Area Build


Alan White
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My h'pennys worth-

My fixed pier has proved a boon to my imaging in the few weeks it has been operational. Quicker set up etc.

If I just want to do visual, the scope goes on a manual Alt/ Az tripod wherever I can get a view of my target.

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Thanks so far all for the input.

No one picked up on the sliding roof and walls comment though?

Something that crossed my mind is build a sliding roof observatory, but have the scope on tripod inside so I can set the dob up on the spot as needed, no pier here then....... your thoughts please

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3 hours ago, Alan White said:

Thanks so far all for the input.

No one picked up on the sliding roof and walls comment though?

Something that crossed my mind is build a sliding roof observatory, but have the scope on tripod inside so I can set the dob up on the spot as needed, no pier here then....... your thoughts please

I see this as a stepwise approach.

I used a permanent pier + mount for years (only needed to install OTA) and this improved convenience and amount of observing.

After that I had an obsy in which everything is at the ready . Even more convenient and thus used even more.

I still set up scopes outside the obsy from time to time 

So if you can install a sliding roof obsy, that would be the best solution. Then you can move your Dob around the garden as you wish..

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What Jeremy said. :thumbsup:

Thanks to my observatory and permanent set-up I now use my telescopes more in any week than I did in any year in the half century before that.
The cost per hour drops like a stone when you are actually using the kit instead of only thinking about it.
Investment in better kit finally begins to make real sense. No more back injuries or hurdles to a quick peek.
Sitting in comfort at a monitor means your patience for cloud to clear literally goes through the roof.
You can browse the forum, planetariums and sales websites in between processing your images.
The observatory can even become your workshop for instrument maintenance, adjustment and modding.
If the scope isn't being manhandled it stays in collimation. Condensation from dragging it all back indoors is at an end.
You can sneak back indoors at 3am without sounding like a gang of bricklayers practising nocturnal, formation wheelbarrowing.  :biggrin:

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5 hours ago, Rusted said:

You can sneak back indoors at 3am without sounding like a gang of bricklayers practising nocturnal, formation wheelbarrowing. 

But why? 
I quite like formation whellbarrowing during the night 😉

Thanks for your thoughts again Rusted,.
The real problem of the next step to an observatory, rather than the pad is getting the green light.
 

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Have you considered the "Stonehenge" option? Multiple piers laid out in the format of a time gone by? 😉 You could also go all arty and paint them different colours..... two very helpful suggestions I am sure 🤣

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Firstly I am pleased to report that I live, and have not been bashed over the head.

The 'little' issue of remember than pier has been discussed,
it was an immediate I thought you made a mistake getting rid of it,
which let's face it, was a good initial reaction.
So I may be going down a pier route, but taller and go non dob at home.
The reason being I just find the smaller scope and local conditions to me work better more often.

On a observatory front, it was a lets see and we know what that meant from our Mum don't we!
But pier first and then a wouldnt it be nice conversation again sometime later.

So the Observing Pad is never done, and my call to loose the new pier shown to be flawed.
But as I have said before this observing area is a journey, just like life with ups, downs and twists and turns.

So new steel one, cast on a concrete one or a Todmorden?
All I do know is it must be a top of peir at 1.3m + for the refractor/s I will use.

 

Edited by Alan White
typos of course
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Where "environmental sensitivity issues" abound I'd go for something which might easily be mistaken for Edwardian garden chic.
Cast iron, tapered and preferably pillar-shaped with full entasis. Good luck with that! :wink2:

What about a concrete filled garden lamppost with a buried pole hidden inside for unquestionable stability? You want cheap?

CGC Black Vintage Traditional Lantern Post Light Adjustable Height Clear Glass Outdoor Garden Path Drive Porch Terrace Patio Driveway Walkway Hotel : Amazon.co.uk: Lighting

Alternatively, old fashioned drawing boards and dentists chairs sometimes had a broad cast iron foot and a nicely tapered column.
I have one myself. Holding up my weather vane and anemometer on a wind surfing mast. Very tasteful it is too. But, you can't have mine. :biggrin:

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3 hours ago, Alan White said:

Firstly I am pleased to report that I live, and have not been bashed over the head.

The 'little' issue of remember than pier has been discussed,
it was an immediate I thought you made a mistake getting rid of it,
which let's face it, was a good initial reaction.
So I may be going down a pier route, but taller and go non dob at home.
The reason being I just find the smaller scope and local conditions to me work better more often.

On a observatory front, it was a lets see and we know what that meant from our Mum don't we!
But pier first and then a wouldnt it be nice conversation again sometime later.

So the Observing Pad is never done, and my call to loose the new pier shown to be flawed.
But as I have said before this observing area is a journey, just like life with ups, downs and twists and turns.

So new steel one, cast on a concrete one or a Todmorden?
All I do know is it must be a top of peir at 1.3m + for the refractor/s I will use.

 

I think your last pier looked visually appealing. I don’t think I’d get a Todmorden pier past local management.

On the other hand, if you do make an ugly pier, then the idea of an obsy to cover it up might go down well 🤔

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33 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I think your last pier looked visually appealing. I don’t think I’d get a Todmorden pier past local management.

On the other hand, if you do make an ugly pier, then the idea of an obsy to cover it up might go down well 🤔

Thanks Jeremy, I like the cunning plan about an ugly pier..... hmmmm.
 

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So after lunch ponder while I set up my afternoons meetings.....

How tall can you build a Todmorden pier?
and remain solid with a refractor on it for visual use?

@Peter Drew?? Can you assist me with this please?
 

Edited by Alan White
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OK, how about a turn of events I did not forsee,
the camper van has a starting issue, we are due away in a weeks time 🤪
So any changes are parked like the van is presently until I know what money is still available.
 

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4 hours ago, Alan White said:

OK, how about a turn of events I did not forsee,
the camper van has a starting issue, we are due away in a weeks time 🤪
So any changes are parked like the van is presently until I know what money is still available.
 

Sorry to hear that Alan, but you'll get there in the end.

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On 18/07/2021 at 12:43, JeremyS said:

I see this as a stepwise approach.

I used a permanent pier + mount for years (only needed to install OTA) and this improved convenience and amount of observing.

After that I had an obsy in which everything is at the ready . Even more convenient and thus used even more.

I still set up scopes outside the obsy from time to time 

So if you can install a sliding roof obsy, that would be the best solution. Then you can move your Dob around the garden as you wish..

Agree completely with this Al, except that I will never get an observatory.  It is true that I need the tall and fixed  pier for my long focus refractors, but I would have gone for a semi permanent set up regardless. 

My tripod and my Dob go wherever I want them.

You have a large garden Al, so do yourself a favour and put a sliding roof obsy around that slab .....:smiley:

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  • 7 months later...
Posted (edited)

Well time for an update, set thinking by @Mike Q and his open observing area thread.

Life has a funny way of repeating itself, last year as about to go for Pier 2, the Camper went wrong just before our Camper Holiday and wiped available fund, Van got fixed and we had a great Holiday, but no Pier.

But in 2022 after the storms raged, the house needs reroofing this year rather than in about 5 years time.

I am now working on improvements to the project all the same, so started by returning the ‘Khazi’ to its original form and improving it as well.

So shelves in better, varnished etc, power supply in for dew heaters etc. and floor painted, just to finish it, now for some minor tweaks, but now have places to put eyepieces etc safely when in use out of the damp.

Happy so far with this and cost at under £25 so far, which is good.

Future plan, I still think a taller pier is the answer under a cover, should have left it as it was before, bad call perhaps or needed learning, perhaps both.

As much as I want to the sliding roof is off the table as the roofing on the house was not expected for a few years yet, but the recent storms accelerated things.

So here we go the ‘Khazi’ in its finest form 😁

E11D1928-C2DB-4F46-AEF3-D4AD4FDC131E.thumb.jpeg.1957d381d504731faefa85ef67c11a1e.jpeg
 

627CF725-14E5-4646-9DF2-B2B240D654BA.thumb.jpeg.9b2df8b7cae3f5857beef98f2ce36833.jpeg
Please note the Red lighting is at full brightness, not normally run like this, it’s at Small Glow Worm in use!

Pier 2 will happen, I think a ready and waiting mount is what I need to get out observing when the weather presents itself, so it’s still my plan, just need to fund the thing, which keeps being challenged.

Edited by Alan White
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9 hours ago, Alan White said:

Well time for an update, set thinking by @Mike Q and his open observing area thread.

Life has a funny way of repeating itself, last year as about to go for Pier 2, the Camper went wrong just before our Camper Holiday and wiped available fund, Van got fixed and we had a great Holiday, but no Pier.

But in 2022 after the storms raged, the house needs reroofing this year rather than in about 5 years time.

I am now working on improvements to the project all the same, so started by returning the ‘Khazi’ to its original form and improving it as well.

So shelves in better, varnished etc, power supply in for dew heaters etc. and floor painted, just to finish it, now for some minor tweaks, but now have places to put eyepieces etc safely when in use out of the damp.

Happy so far with this and cost at under £25 so far, which is good.

Future plan, I still think a taller pier is the answer under a cover, should have left it as it was before, bad call perhaps or needed learning, perhaps both.

As much as I want to the sliding roof is off the table as the roofing on the house was not expected for a few years yet, but the recent storms accelerated things.

So here we go the ‘Khazi’ in its finest form 😁

E11D1928-C2DB-4F46-AEF3-D4AD4FDC131E.thumb.jpeg.1957d381d504731faefa85ef67c11a1e.jpeg
 

627CF725-14E5-4646-9DF2-B2B240D654BA.thumb.jpeg.9b2df8b7cae3f5857beef98f2ce36833.jpeg
Please note the Red lighting is at full brightness, not normally run like this, it’s at Small Glow Worm in use!

Pier 2 will happen, I think a ready and waiting mount is what I need to get out observing when the weather presents itself, so it’s still my plan, just need to fund the thing, which keeps being challenged.

Sorry....didn't mean to make you do that lol

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@Alan White, finally sat down and read your whole thread.  What you have done makes my little project look small and insignificant.  Well done.  We are on a weather hold here.  Mother Nature dumped a couple inches of snow on us.

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16 hours ago, Mike Q said:

Sorry....didn't mean to make you do that lol

Don't worry Mike, it was actually a much needed gentle nudge, so in fact Thank You 👍

16 hours ago, Mike Q said:

@Alan White, finally sat down and read your whole thread.  What you have done makes my little project look small and insignificant.  Well done.  We are on a weather hold here.  Mother Nature dumped a couple inches of snow on us.

Glad you did read it, I did the same myself and reminded myself how much has changed.
As to your project being small, nope, it will not remain so.
Also remember any project is, small chunks stitched together that always grow.

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@Alan Whitethe one big take away from your story for me, was let's just slow this down a little and think some of this out just a little bit more. You are right there is no doubt my observation area could grow to accommodate another large scope, but that will be down the road a spell. Fortunately for me I already know what the wife wants and we'll compared to my 10 inch dob that is small.  When the 16 inch dob shows up....now that may require some modifications.

Edited by Mike Q
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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

The next installment of the ongoing saga.....

I have managed to source another pier at 1200mm tall this time, so suitable for refractor use and a larger one in years to come.
This is on its way so that will be the next posting, but to finalise where I am.

I have made a pinboard for maps etc in the rear of the observing cupboard, red of course to not spoil night vision 😉

7286FC53-E1F5-4054-B56E-B40956B16A11.thumb.jpeg.9827b84a64fed0b57c2cac0c03816f31.jpeg

I have also produced a first version name plate, for the cupboard and made the name official 'The Khazi' is now adopted hence forth.

11B32363-9FBF-4C6F-823A-DE7AEEE75029.thumb.jpeg.05ce405a47a60fb6d40de4409edaa8a4.jpeg

Edited by Alan White
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Posted (edited)

Well the pier arrived at the start of the week, all on a pallet and in one bit and undamaged, which is good.

A987DD60-D00B-4245-ABE7-75046830FC29.thumb.jpeg.dc8a4470d9ea0b6f6751b8675d9b1d53.jpeg

Life of course got in the way all week,  but managed to mark up the concrete base where the old pier sat and cut out a duct route to run power from The Khazi to the pier, now cemented and drying awaiting the big drill and bolting.

60443E2C-9C44-460E-87B9-C1AC0BE2243D.thumb.jpeg.29488936b9dd64c986fce3cc5b1bd7f6.jpeg

Small progress but very satisfying.

050A845C-D552-4400-9EDF-B591768F3857.thumb.jpeg.3ab9467b044ecf00bb70c3965d6ceae8.jpeg

D5335A12-9471-40C0-98BC-DE6BE25B41E8.thumb.jpeg.e2dc4ccfedf1ac19617690c1ba9a2c62.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Alan White
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Posted (edited)

Well got a spare moment, which is rare as hens teeth at the minute, so got the pier fixed down,
chemical fixed fixings m16 and a lot of various mastics to help level out my slightly wonky concrete lump.

6394DC26-683E-482B-85BA-D2AAE71FA4B1.thumb.jpeg.e5f6e266a876bb065f060acb344558d3.jpeg

All I can say is what a solid job it makes, very pleased and managed to just miss the showers.
On a side note showers make me nervous, as we have half our roof under a temporary cover as its being lifted and re-laid.

Managed to get a cable for 12v pulled through and 3 additional draw wires for future use, better safe than sorry.

DFF96C88-C684-4EB3-B108-05C52C117691.thumb.jpeg.2e6cb26669166d3c04409050a7c90d57.jpeg

B257F256-8F79-4C77-A2FB-48574529EADF.thumb.jpeg.25fd3a01b141d8e722c52df29b3ab559.jpeg

Edited by Alan White
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