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The Observing Area Build


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27 minutes ago, Alan White said:

And my back knows all about it

Linament and hot water bottle followed by a massage. Back problems are a killer.

Well done on getting this far, give the concrete good time to set and dry. 

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DHL have been, parcels from @FLO, amazed it has arrived on a Bank Holiday.
The Pier and a Box of the bits.
Unwrapping to follow, but not today as I am being good and not Astro-ing today...well appart from SGL and parcels of course! 

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

I don't believe you can resist unwrapping  it before the day is out! I also have to say "That's the nicest concrete square I've seen in a long time"! :happy11:

Resisted so far, but mainly due to having to light a smoky fire in my lounge, on a hot day to convince the Bees trying to move in to move on.
They normally reside in another unused and closed off pot, this year they are socially distancing from the previous hive....grrrrr.
It's rather hot at home would you believe.

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18 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Resisted so far, but mainly due to having to light a smoky fire in my lounge, on a hot day to convince the Bees trying to move in to move on.
They normally reside in another unused and closed off pot, this year they are socially distancing from the previous hive....grrrrr.
It's rather hot at home would you believe.

First you build a two walled shed with no roof, then you dig a deep hole through concrete only to fill it in again with concrete. And now youre lighting the fire on one of the hottest days weve had recently. Now your neighbours will really know you've lost the plot! :laugh2: You have to hand it to SGL - I could pay good money and not get entertainment like this!  Cant wait to see things progress though. It's looking great so far!

Edited by mikeDnight
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36 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

Now your neighbours will really know you've lost the plot! :laugh2: You have to hand it to SGL - I could pay good money and not get entertainment like this!  

The neighbours are the cause of the build Mike, they are the ones with 20+ spotlights that set me off building....
Always happy to entertain SGL though.
I have to say the Lounge is now abandoned due to the temperature 🤒 but not that temperature.
 

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@mikeDnight So I could not resist, had to sneak out to garage and unwrap the pier,  oh was my reaction.
Sadly somehow it’s chipped in a few places and scratched through to metal.
it was as the picture shows wrapped well in foam and bits, so I can only conclude that the paint is very soft or very hard? 

The pier itself is well constructed and very solid, but the paint is a matter of concern as it will live outside.
I have since sent mail to FLO about this, I am sure they will be as helpful and obliging as ever.

Perhaps some touch up paint from the manufacturer?

 

Edited by Alan White
updated.
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On 07/05/2020 at 13:35, Alan White said:

I was so wrong, that layer is not solid at all!!

I have taken time off work to complete the Khazi and foundations for the pier, Khazi all now done bar one or two small bits.
BUT....
The hole when I jumped into it was far from solid, no water has leaked in, it's been fully covered.
The Clay has turned liquid and upon investigation to a further 300mm depth is even more liquid, it literally flows as you dig at it.
I have never seen soil or whatever behave this way.

So a big problem?  I just don't know but assume that it truly is.
I have put a call out to my brothers mate who works in civils, but he is not available at present.

Does anyone on here have 'real' experience of civils or similar that can advise me on the pier.

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I have tried to tread the base down, its liquid in reality and been open for more than an hour or two.

The liquid clay / soil was running out of my hand as I photographed it.

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I have to say my bigger concern is the house 7m from this location, what is it sitting on, its old Victorian build,
so the explanation of the many cracks the house has may lie in the ground conditions under it.

All very worrying on all fronts.

May be you have dug into the house soak away.

Our garden used to be like that although our soil was thick yellow clay.

Dig a hole and in in a few minutes we had a pond.
This stopped happening after a new estate was built near us and they drained the land.

If your on clay you do have put up with cracks and in some cases subsidence, a few houses
here have been under pinned or had walls rebuilt, our houses put up just after WW2.

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On 07/05/2020 at 19:22, Alan White said:

In my excitement about solving the ground issue,
I missed posting a picture of the shelving in place.

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Did you transport the earth from your house for the electrics?

Be very careful if you have and your supply is TN-C-S.
If the supply neutral gets broken that metal consumer unit will become live and anything else
connected that is metal will become live as well, this may include your pier.

If the supply is TN-S you are good to go, if it's TT you will need earth rods anyway same as the house.

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Mike thanks for the inputs.

The house is on TN-S and the Consumer Unit matches (well similar MK unit) the one on the Garage put in by my sparks in 2018.
The supply to the garden was run to an RCD socket in 2010 by the same sparks.
All I have done is change an existing RCD socket at the concrete base to a Consumer unit so I could protect the socket and light circuits,
the socket was used for a pool pump and hot tub pump in the past.


As to the soakaway, no those are run the other side and end of the plot, which as I am on a slope, slopes in the other direction.
This side of the garden is the driest.
I have been assured by others that I have hit one of the local 'Hoggin' layers and I have nothing to worry about.
Clearly time will tell.
 

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13 hours ago, Alan White said:

@mikeDnight So I could not resist, had to sneak out to garage and unwrap the pier,

oh was my reaction, it’s chipped in a few places but the top is really scratched, it was as the picture shows wrapped well in foam and bits, so I can only conclude that the paint is very soft? 

The pier itself is well constructed and very solid, but the paint is a matter of concern as it will live outside.

 

That is not good Alan.  I would have expected it to be  powder coated, so,  hard and durable !

Edited by Saganite
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So here are the pictures, I think my addled brain made it bigger than it is last night,
but still not what I would expect from powder coating within a layer of foam wrapping.IMG_1555.thumb.JPG.20b53db34d00292a457f53cb2648b4ca.JPG

I think the blurred marks, sorry camera will not focus on the upright fins, all at same height
are from the carrier rolling a heavy lump about.
The top plat was under layers of foam wrapping, so could not have been marked in transit,
so was this how it was supplied?
For the money a little disappointing, but I always over expect perhaps,
but it will touch in OK, just need a suitable paint.

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56 minutes ago, Alan White said:

For the money a little disappointing, but I always over expect perhaps,
but it will touch in OK, just need a suitable paint.

I know how you feel Alan, you expect a better finish from something brand new.

The iOptron pier extension that I got for the AZ Pro was all chipped when I received it and unboxed it.

It was a lot more expensive than the Skywatcher offerings, but the Skywatcher ones had a better finish in my opinion.

The iOptron one had the chips covered over with black marker pen of all things.

On a more positive note, the observing area build is looking good.  Just need to be patient to let the concrete cure now.

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Going by the scratches on the pier top and looking at the threaded holes, I would say that has been used before.

Have a word and see if they will knock a bit off to cover the cost of touching up the paint.

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40 minutes ago, AdeKing said:

IOn a more positive note, the observing area build is looking good. 

Just need to be patient to let the concrete cure now.

Thank you on top one, yes, very pleased how it is turning out.

Patient, yes I will be, I have only taken 6 years since the pad became vacant to actually start things off in 2018 and bringing it on at 2020.
Sadly further patience is needed going forward -due to no Lottery win so far and I still have a desire for a tracking mount and the AZ100 too.
And that is before more EP and scopes get my interest......ooops said that bit out loud....shhhhhhh.
It never ends does it.

 

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On 09/05/2020 at 13:37, MarkAR said:

Going by the scratches on the pier top and looking at the threaded holes, I would say that has been used before.

Have a word and see if they will knock a bit off to cover the cost of touching up the paint.

It is thought that a mix up may have happened.
FLO and myself have agreed an accommodation that we are all happy with, I knew they would.
So pier resolved, just need to work out how to fit it now.

 

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Well the light is fitted in the Khazi.
A nice eyelid bulkhead lamp so the light only shine into and not directly out.
Also fitted a natty LED RGB bulb, that has a remote and a memory so when power is put back on the last colour and brightness is used again.
I await darkness to fall to see how dim the dimmest setting is.

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Also I drilled the bolt holes for the pier and had a trial fit.
The ground has not suddenly sunken to the right, dodgy camera operation!!
Just edited this in, its North pin is pointing Magnetic North.

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And then the big drill with mys trusty SDS and a lot of vacuum and brush and vacuum and brush to clean the holes after.
Then the oh my, how does this gunk work few minutes and then the big and brave chemical into the holes and hope moment.
It clearly sets fast, the test bit on my shirt (that was deliberate of course), has set like the proverbial on a blanket.

So here it is, sits quite level too, must be the floating off of the cement I did.

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And just to show how level, well a picture of a level of course!

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So I await the cure of chemical fixings and then will bolt down and fit the alt az mount.
It will have my Sabre for now for the summer.
Now need to sell off some kit and work out how to safely sell the dob in the present times,
which may be a no for the foreseeable.

Anyway a decent update, very happy for now and relieved it's nearly done 😁

Edited by Alan White
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