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The Observing Area Build


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Had some help today so moved things along:

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Molly was of course Supervising rather than assisting!

Moved some more bushes to the area where the fence will not reach, 
run to keep the same look within the garden.
The fence will have the other bushes run behind it as well, disguising the fence from view.

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Now shows the area as it will be, the fence yet to be built.
Best bit Fence builder is arriving tomorrow morning to build it. 😆

Then just power, hedge plants, soil and grass down and be sheltered 
from those pesky lights!!  

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Power up and running to a double waterproof socket. LED dimmable spot at recommended by others temporary fitted to trial and ascertain best location. Inaugural observing with Dob for a short sess

Well the final bolt down and first light, albeit WL and a blank disc in poor seeing 😁 Biggest delay today was finding an M10 nut in my vast collection of M6 and M8 nuts! Clearly the

Well materials ordered, now number 150 in the delivery queue, so Thursday 30th latest. Wood, Ballast, Cement etc. Oh and the duct arrived a week earlier than stated, Mrs W. Has not seen it yet.  🤞

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Hi Alan, really hoping all your expense and hard work will pay off, and with the darker evenings arriving good timing to get that fence in place.

I’m off to one of our dark sites tonight, but observing from my back yard is where it happens most, due to the convenience.

Cheers from Ed.

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The Pad build got a big push today, Sean the fence man turned up.
He worked like a Trojan and ensured I got what I wanted, nice one Sean.

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The area now needs some hedge planting and ground works.

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The hedge is already down one side as was already planted,
shows how it will soften the look.
It has full approval of the Household Management Team 👍

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And most importantly, look how it will block those lights 😀

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Very Happy indeed, progress made and i can see Light at the end of the tunnel.......
well when I say Light, I mean Dark in this case!

 

 

Edited by Alan White
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Well it's now darkish and I could not contain myself anymore.
Improved so much I can now see reflected light from the opposite fence posts!
Sooooo much improved, very happy indeed.


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^ Before NW from corner outside Screen.                 ^ After NW from inside screen.

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^ Before NNE from outside screen.                                ^ After NNE from inside screen.

So much more blocked residual light to catch in my line of sight is now gone, 
I am actually looking forward to observing from home again.

Even had a quick glimpse of Jupiter through the trees facing South, bit of pruning due :D
My good lady knows pruning involves a chainsaw at times.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back from 2 weeks in Devon, well mostly Devon as we had a death in the extended family while away.
I started by mowing around the observing area, which has ended with an expensive crunch from the mower!
Hit a metal spike lurking in weeds, didn't know it was in place, would have missed it if I knew,
mower nil, post 1 engine crankshaft - expensive this astronomy 😭

On a better note, gave me far more time to get the hedge moved and planted around the new fence and the SWA cable moved to the correct position.     So some good comes from an ill wind.

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Now for the electrical work and construction of a work area in the corner.
And to start looking at a pier for next summer's build.
And buy Mrs W lots of flowers, yes lots of flowers and work on the charm for the shed.....

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Power up and running to a double waterproof socket.
LED dimmable spot at recommended by others temporary fitted to trial and ascertain best location.

Inaugural observing with Dob for a short session last night, wonderful stuff.
Looks to have done the business and blocked the obtrusive lights, provided shelter from the breeze and
made my life of home observing a pleasure again.

Now for a observing bench and then a shed / store housing perhaps.

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LED at mid brightness for the picture, it goes dimmer, makes setting up in the now darker location easier.
In dimmest setting I can read star charts etc well.

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In reality it's not this bright, the camera has made it look brighter.

The words above do not describe how this has made me feel,
I cannot find the words at present to express my utter joy at getting my hobby back!!


 

 

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Excellent news, Alan.  I feel much the same way about having the observatory.  Having somewhere that works for you makes the whole hobby so much more pleasurable.

James

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44 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Excellent news, Alan.  I feel much the same way about having the observatory.  Having somewhere that works for you makes the whole hobby so much more pleasurable.

James

It certainly does James.
One day I hope to have a complete observatory, but not at this location.
 

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I have been out using the Observing Area while it has been clear.
Very happy indeed, brought many targets onto the menu, that I just was unable to find due to the light.

One downside to having a hedge in front of the fence line, as it's new and it is very dry,
constant flipping watering twice a day!   
I bet no one else has to water the observatory 😂

I am now so in love with my 10" OOUK Dobsonian, which was an away from home scope only.
So much so it may become 'THE' scope!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well final installment for 2019.
The final gardening has happened, top soil in and levelled for a seed bed,
grass seed sown after a wait and its now germinating and a bed of green.
The single small Crab Apple is in the corner, awaits a small Cherry to join it on the opposite corner.

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As for 2020, well, I have ideas but need funds to do this as well as the Domestic Managers approval.
I will update this thread in 2020 I hope.

Best thing I have done in a long time, very pleased, makes me a happy camper indeed.

Thanks for your kind comments and encouragement over time in this and previous threads. 

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2 hours ago, JamesF said:

Ooooh, crab apples.  It must be about time to pick them.  Crab apple jelly is a lovely thing.

James

Something I look forward too JamesF, but as you can see no apples for a couple of years yet perhaps.

 

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Great thread telling if overcoming lighting adversity 👍

Your thoughts echoed my own re lights. I got so fed up of idiots leaving lights on all night I almost stopped too. Getting my mojo back a bit now with my own build ☺

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31 minutes ago, Moonshane said:

Great thread telling if overcoming lighting adversity 👍

Your thoughts echoed my own re lights. I got so fed up of idiots leaving lights on all night I almost stopped too. Getting my mojo back a bit now with my own build ☺

Shane,
I was not going to let them grind me down or kill my hobby.
Started looking observing away from home more, but it was a chore at times getting out.
The Observing Area has helped make things work better from home,
keeps me under the Star-light and not the Spot-Lights!

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  • 6 months later...

Well as an update, not used as much as I had hoped, but I think many will say that about kit in 2020.
I have used the Observing Pad today for WL Solar and loved it, made me very happy indeed.

While sat at the scope, I thought, no time like the present to sort out for the pier I had as the plan for 2020.
So I have worked out where it needs to sit.
'X' marks the spot.   No treasure here yet, but sometime will do.

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Oh yes, the four dots are all wonky,
I should not have done that with the glasses I had on me!

Concrete base to be cut, when we come out of lockdown and filled with a large quantity of new concrete.
Then a metal or concrete pier?  Or a Todmorden one or ........  You see where I am with this.

Well there you go, an update on the ongoing Observing Pad.
One day an observatory will sit on top perhaps, even if its a push away shed.
 

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So a couple of questions...

What have folks covered or built to cover a garden pier?

Does anyone leave a scope fitted to garden pier?

Thanks, all part of the next stage of evolution for the pad 😀
 

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19 minutes ago, Alan White said:

What have folks covered or built to cover a garden pier?

For many years I used an inverted plastic dust bin over a Vixen GP head on a pier. The lid had a circular hole cut out so the pier could poke through. When not is use, the lid could be attached to the inverted bin. Work a treat. Easy to get on and off.

 

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Well being a visualiser, but liking to see what something really would look like.
Here is a 6" 150mm Diameter Pier, 1.5 M tall.
OK, you got me, it'a a cardboard tube that holds some photography backers, but just right.

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Or do I make it 1.3m tall or less?
This would then use a riser tube so I gain scope flexibility going forwards?

Any thoughts much appreciated, thank you.

 

Edited by Alan White
typos of course
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Unless you have fold-down or roll off sides I would stick with 1.5m high and make it thicker.  I built my pier too low and had to extend it.  Just make sure you can close the roof with scope mounted.

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15 hours ago, Alan White said:

Well being a visualiser, but liking to see what something really would look like.
Here is a 6" 150mm Diameter Pier, 1.5 M tall.
OK, you got me, it'a a cardboard tube that holds some photography backers, but just right.


 

Or do I make it 1.3m tall or less?
This would then use a riser tube so I gain scope flexibility going forwards?

Any thoughts much appreciated, thank you.

 

Great idea. Can't comment on the height but seeing your pic I can't help but think I shouldn't have thrown away the 4m long card insert my new carpet came on in January..... never throw anything away!!!

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3 hours ago, Gina said:

Unless you have fold-down or roll off sides I would stick with 1.5m high and make it thicker.  I built my pier too low and had to extend it.  Just make sure you can close the roof with scope mounted.

Gina, thanks.
No other walls or roof, just the fence line, its an open air area.

When you say thicker, do you think 6" is to thin?
 


 

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