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The Observing Area Build


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As an update and to add caution to those setting up fixed observing locations.

I have now lived with the pad for a year and the pier for a couple of months and
felt an update on how it's going should be posted.

The pad with fixed pier has been a boon psychologically and got me observing more,
But it has also shown a flaw in my plan.

Being a fixed pier:

You cannot dodge the trees in your way as I did with a tripod
You cannot move to get a look at planets etc. 
The Dobson will not now fit on the pad area without light intrusion!
And I have kept the Dobson for use at home as well as away as its great on DSO.

So more challenges produced by my changes than I expected, I clearly did not think it all through.
I at the time was focused on a fixed pier and new mount (no new mount for now) and got task focused from a bigger picture.
The Dobson was slated to go, this was to finance the mount, but its too big a cost in loss of 10" aperture and ease of use to do this.

At present the options are:

Do nothing put up, shut up...... but not the best of ideas.
Remove the Pier after all this work and use a Tripod...... Mrs W will kill me!
Suggest an extension to the observing pad....... Mrs W will kill me!
Grow a big pair and suggest the above changes.

I think the fourth is the one to go for, so wish me luck.
If no more posts pop up from me on SGL, I may be under the Patio!! 😉

Any thoughts folks?

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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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No compost required here thanks 🤣

As myself and the Mrs do honest, we have already chatted and I am here to tell the tale.

Jury is out on just a plain pierless pad or pad extension.... watch this space.

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Nice Alan, honest is good. It worked for me, the missus agreed to us paying a bit extra when I gently suggested an observing area & path to it was added to the cost of a new patio. 😁

Almost finished...

1910622047_IMG_20200711_1748588182.thumb.jpg.85864970744db09ac8a66489b4645b02.jpg

The huge back fence blocks out the LED street lamp at the rear and a tarpaulin light shield is hoisted up the partition fence to block an unpredictable PIR security LED light. 

Very modest, but nonetheless a step up from muddy grass. 👍

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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5 hours ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Nice Alan, honest is good. It worked for me, the missus agreed to us paying a bit extra when I gently suggested an observing area & path to it was added to the cost of a new patio. 😁

Almost finished...

1910622047_IMG_20200711_1748588182.thumb.jpg.85864970744db09ac8a66489b4645b02.jpgThe huge back fence blocks out the LED street lamp at the rear and a tarpaulin light shield is hoisted up the partition fence to block an unpredictable PIR security LED light. 

Very modest, but nonetheless a step up from muddy grass. 👍

Very nice indeed and modest is good as is simple.
That should work well for you, enjoy using it.

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18 hours ago, Alan White said:

As an update and to add caution to those setting up fixed observing locations.

I have now lived with the pad for a year and the pier for a couple of months and
felt an update on how it's going should be posted.

The pad with fixed pier has been a boon psychologically and got me observing more,
But it has also shown a flaw in my plan.

Being a fixed pier:

You cannot dodge the trees in your way as I did with a tripod
You cannot move to get a look at planets etc. 
The Dobson will not now fit on the pad area without light intrusion!
And I have kept the Dobson for use at home as well as away as its great on DSO.

So more challenges produced by my changes than I expected, I clearly did not think it all through.
I at the time was focused on a fixed pier and new mount (no new mount for now) and got task focused from a bigger picture.
The Dobson was slated to go, this was to finance the mount, but its too big a cost in loss of 10" aperture and ease of use to do this.

At present the options are:

Do nothing put up, shut up...... but not the best of ideas.
Remove the Pier after all this work and use a Tripod...... Mrs W will kill me!
Suggest an extension to the observing pad....... Mrs W will kill me!
Grow a big pair and suggest the above changes.

I think the fourth is the one to go for, so wish me luck.
If no more posts pop up from me on SGL, I may be under the Patio!! 😉

Any thoughts folks?

Alan, I'm just wondering if you can have your cake and eat eat. You can use the pad and pier as your permanent base: permanently set up with all the stuff you need on hand in the khasi. Then a second rig you can move about, dodging obstacles etc. You can currently do that with your Dob or course, but if you sell that, then with another telescope sometime in the future (or your vixen on a portable tripod + mount).

This is more or less what i do: I have an observatory, which doesn't have brilliant horizons, and another scope to move around.

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3 hours ago, JeremyS said:

This is more or less what i do: I have an observatory, which doesn't have brilliant horizons, and another scope to move around.

Pardon, "another scope", plus the othe six or so! Regards Andrew 

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7 hours ago, JeremyS said:

Alan, I'm just wondering if you can have your cake and eat eat. You can use the pad and pier as your permanent base: permanently set up with all the stuff you need on hand in the khasi. Then a second rig you can move about, dodging obstacles etc. You can currently do that with your Dob or course, but if you sell that, then with another telescope sometime in the future (or your vixen on a portable tripod + mount).

This is more or less what i do: I have an observatory, which doesn't have brilliant horizons, and another scope to move around.

Firstly I do like cake and eating it twice as often sounds very good indeed Jeremy 🍰 🧁 🍰 mmmmm.

But,

The issue sadly is the pier has prime spot, anywhere else is even more a compromise because of the extensive light intrusion and tree height.
Sadly hung by my own best spot for the pier, is the expression hung by your own petard?
The spot was finely honed over a few years and it truly was and is X marks the spot.
I can extend the area fence, but it will the catch trees and other obstructions.

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1 hour ago, Alan White said:

Firstly I do like cake and eating it twice as often sounds very good indeed Jeremy 🍰 🧁 🍰 mmmmm.

But,

The issue sadly is the pier has prime spot, anywhere else is even more a compromise because of the extensive light intrusion and tree height.
Sadly hung by my own best spot for the pier, is the expression hung by your own petard?
The spot was finely honed over a few years and it truly was and is X marks the spot.
I can extend the area fence, but it will the catch trees and other obstructions.

What a pity Alan. Hopefully you will find a work around.

Yes, sounds like you were hoist by your own petard - one of my favourite expressions. Mainly because I often am myself 🙂

 

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On 14/07/2020 at 19:49, JeremyS said:

What a pity Alan. Hopefully you will find a work around.

Yes, sounds like you were hoist by your own petard - one of my favourite expressions. Mainly because I often am myself 🙂

 

Indeed a great pity Jeremy, and one I did not foresee as I got so task and refractor focused,
sadly a case of not seeing the woods for the trees. (Now that is my favourite saying as well as 'It's what it is')

I didn't realise that the Petard saying was from Hamlet, or even Shakespeare, but then I was not a good literature scholar.

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After four Universities, I still thought Hamlet was a cigar, and Shakespeare a pub a mile or two down the road from me. :icon_scratch:

Would it be possible to move the pier a foot closer to the fence and add a half pillar so you can still get the same horizon? And would doing so free up enough space for the Dob? 

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

After four Universities, I still thought Hamlet was a cigar, and Shakespeare a pub a mile or two down the road from me. :icon_scratch:

Would it be possible to move the pier a foot closer to the fence and add a half pillar so you can still get the same horizon? And would doing so free up enough space for the Dob? 

Good to see education working so well for us both Mike 😂

On the move of pier, only if I dig up the foundation sadly.

I have to say whatever possessed me to wish to lose the Dob! The views with the bigger aperture on DSO were great and cannot be provided by the 4” however hard I try. These scopes compliment one-another not compete.

Such a shame it’s taken this journey, but sometimes you cannot reach a destination without an arduous journey.

Oddly it’s even taught me about my eyesight, eyepieces other than TeleVue and how much I truly dislike undercuts.

 

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I had to read that twice Alan, as the only thing I remembered the first time was "undercuts"! :cussing:

Education for me was a wonderful misadventure. What I thought I wanted I really didn't want, and where I believed I would be happiest i wasnt. And what I initially loved I soon hated, while what I hated at the start I began to love. At the end of it all, all I can say is "it taught me a lesson"! 

I agree about the deep sky views. Could you perhaps mount your reflector on your pier mount instead of the Dobson mount when you want to observe deep sky? I'm sure you've already thought of that though!

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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@mikeDnight that was where this all started, and the bigger mount needed was what set the whole sell up off,

so simple answer no.

The Dobson mount in my view is great through its crudeness and simplicity.

As to undercuts, well Mr Nagler junior was not interested in customer feedback just extolled the virtues of undercuts and plain told me I was wrong......nice one Mr N, you lost a customer going forwards and bar one eyepiece the name TeleVue no longer features with me and that might be gone soon as well.

As to the Observing Area, in itself its a peach and works well, what I got wrong was thinking of one scope type only, not two and put the pier in, I now realise a 150  - 250 mm refractor is way beyond me and a Newtonian works for me and my budget. Hard won lesson.

I wonder if I can get someone to swap my under 3 month old Pulsar Pier for a Berlebach Tripod?

 

 

 

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I don't get why you don't remain both mobile and fixed simultaneously.
With our 20' hedges and 60' trees I was pushing massive steel piers on wheels around the garden.
Still not remotely as efficient as a permanent pier set-up which is always aligned.
For the 10" you can easily rig a trolley to drag it around effortlessly.
Just choose your wheels/tires to match the terrain. Solid tires with flat treads on lawns.
Not pneumatic. Which rock far too easily on the air cushion.
Or have you already sold the 10"? Did I miss that?

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2 hours ago, Rusted said:

I don't get why you don't remain both mobile and fixed simultaneously.
With our 20' hedges and 60' trees I was pushing massive steel piers on wheels around the garden.
Still not remotely as efficient as a permanent pier set-up which is always aligned.
For the 10" you can easily rig a trolley to drag it around effortlessly.
Just choose your wheels/tires to match the terrain. Solid tires with flat treads on lawns.
Not pneumatic. Which rock far too easily on the air cushion.
Or have you already sold the 10"? Did I miss that?

Rusted, no not missed the Dobson staying, was nearly sold to help fund a mount for the pier.

Dobson is an oouk 10 and it and the mount light enough to not need a trolley to move it, one of the reasons I bought it in the first place to be honest.

Move around is not possible in the garden as a whole as the pad and patio only flat bits, the front garden is sometimes used for rising planets, but badly light polluted at times, try 16 spots on one driveway for starters!

The pad is about 2.5 m x 2.5m and the pier sits dead in middle, makes using the dob near on impossible without falling off the pad or hitting the pier.

The pad is the spot for most observing and fenced and hedged to block light pollution from multiple spot lights each side of me, that’s an old story and the pad the solution to home observing.

The point of my updating the build is to show others points to consider fully.

 

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A few more paving slabs to make more room?

I'll see your 16 spots and raise you "Close Encounters Landing Strip."  :alien:

The young are terrified of the dark! :icon_rolleyes:

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27 minutes ago, Rusted said:

A few more paving slabs to make more room?

I'll see your 16 spots and raise you "Close Encounters Landing Strip."  :alien:

The young are terrified of the dark! :icon_rolleyes:

Sadly the pad made bigger, moves closer to obstructions and reduces visible sky.

As to young, nope both sides moved to my lovely dark location to start ready for retiring and hate the dark, clearly to afford such houses one wonders what they did to earn the money and need high fences, high security and about a billion spot lights each.

Funny enough we refer to the 16 on the drive as The Runway.

Edited by Alan White
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58 minutes ago, Rusted said:

It's odd that none of these 'townies' has noticed that most cars are fitted with headlamps. :wacko:    :wacko:

Or that they have eyes that adapt quickly to the dark either.

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OK, the next instalment.
After much thought and pain the decision is........
The pier ties me down too much and as visual only and manual mounts etc.
I wish to move as well as use the x marks the spot where a pier presently resides.

So a virtually brand new (well < 3 months) old pier will be needing a new home.
Does the 2/3 price apply here?

Mrs W is now resolved to the change of plan and the enormity of my folly.
I am sure I will be reminded of this going forwards 😆

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@Alan White so if I understand correctly the pier will go leaving a pad. The Dobsonian will fit the pad. So far so good. How about reengineering the pier to stand on the pad. The AP design is simple and strong and I am sure there are others.

Regards Andrew 

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15 minutes ago, andrew s said:

@Alan White so if I understand correctly the pier will go leaving a pad. The Dobsonian will fit the pad. So far so good. How about reengineering the pier to stand on the pad. The AP design is simple and strong and I am sure there are others.

Regards Andrew 

The Pad will return to its original form plus the Khazi, so more versatile.
A tripod will do the job I need for the Vixen with my alt az going forwards,
as it did before, but perhaps a more solid tripod.
 

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