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Jkulin

My New Pulsar 2.1m Obsy - Finished :-)

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Posted (edited)

Well After umming and arhhing for more than I should and weighing up the work involved in making a summerhouse obsy, I changed my mind and bought @Steve 1962 Pulsar 2.1m Dome: -

I will have to wait to collect until the lockdown is over and will still need to be careful due to my wife's cancer treatment, but already quite looking forward and now need to plan things.

Naturally when we go to collect it will need dis-assembling and I had rather hoped that I could leave the dome intact to get it into the rear garden, however taking some measurements it would appear not.

On one side of my home there is a passage that is 87cm wide (not neighbour friendly) and on the other side it is 89cm wide, but it would mean taking it over the leanto shed, not too much of a problem but potential to damage the roof and/or the dome, below is an image of the problem: -

image.png.305fddf5fa9c3a66d5370488389c0949.png

There maybe another option to ask my neighbour (friendly side) if we could take the roof through his side and lift a fence panel up ( its our fence anyway), but because of the lockdown I can't fully evaluate that option

So the question, how much of a headache will it be to dismantle the dome, Steve has it setup for automation so I realise that I may have to take careful measurements before hand, naturally I will have to separate the silicone gel sealant and unbolt it, will this be a major issue for those that have done this before?

My son suggested that it might be better to hire a crane to come out and lift the whole lot over the roof, but personally I fear that would be a major expense.

I have a few weeks yet at the earliest before we can collect, so I can organise with my builder to come and put a concrete base down around the pier.

Next question is that I have no plans to change my pier (1.2m high+ Mount) that I had especially made, with my 10" RC on my 120EC it measures 228.6cm high and I believe that the maximum height for the 2.2 Pulsar is 247cm, I do plan in the future to go for a 12" Newtonian F3.8, which I am advised is 36cm wide and 1 metre long, so will that fit or am I better to have a 3 course layer of bricks in a circle made so that I can bolt the dome to that? There would be another advantage in that I can fit joist hangers between layers 2&3 and fit a suspended floor in to allow some air flow through some airbricks and allow my electrics underneath.

The plan is to have this all complete by the end of August subject to the lockdown being lowered.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

BTW @Steve 1962 has been amazingly helpful with this purchase, ta Steve.

Edited by Jkulin

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A serrated knife and lots of heaving will separate the quadrants. 

You can buy silicon sealant remover, but it will still be hard work cleaning the edges. 

You should be able to lift the sections over your neighbour's fence panels with two people either side. 

Seal the bottom edge to the concrete with the very best waterproof external, or aquarium, silicon. 

Michael 

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Thanks Michael

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Good luck with your exciting project John!

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Great project. I also purchased a 2nd hand Pulsar dome. Mine was the mk 1 version. I collected it in one piece on a flat backed truck. There were some strange glances driving through Chester :) 

My dome has completely revolutionised my imaging. It's just my processing skills that let's everything down....

Steve

 

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Hi Steve, Yes I thought about collecting it in one go, but without a crane it would be impossible to get into my back garden.

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That will keep you all excited and plenty to think about John. I am in and out of mine on and off most days, tinkering as the missus says. Also it's a great feeling knowing you haven't got to set up each time . It's no problem if clouds come, just park mount switch off and roll my roof back again. Best thing i ever did was making my obs. Hope everything goes well and good luck with it John.

Bob.

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Thanks Bob, to some extent it has helped having a permanent peer as I can be up and running in 10 minutes, but I really feel it will help with my imaging especially with not having to polar align each session and it will shield the mount from the wind making guiding even better.

Hopefully it will be all in place by late summer.

ATB Bob.

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Well work has started, my builder dug the footing out on Saturday and I have spent most of the afternoon running the cabling through.

He's pouring the concrete in the morning and laying the brickwork on Tuesday, I then just need to visit and collect the Pulsar from Steve in Somerset.

My neighbour (the accommodating one) has agreed that we can bring the dome in from his side and we'll lift a fence panel up and bring it through.

image.png.9189056bf7538b4757452ecca72698d3.pngimage.png.bd856d620253432ce765b9029d1012a5.png

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Hi John, 

Good luck with your build, will you be isolating your surrounding concrete base from the pier base to prevent vibrations when you walk around inside. I used flooring screed expansion foam. Looking forward to reading about further progress.

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Good job John. Capitalise on the good weather 👍🏻 I built my dome yesterday 

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33 minutes ago, Xsubmariner said:

Hi John, 

Good luck with your build, will you be isolating your surrounding concrete base from the pier base to prevent vibrations when you walk around inside. I used flooring screed expansion foam. Looking forward to reading about further progress.

Hi, No, no need as it's less than 1.95m inside, so there is no point as I will control it all from inside my Study, like I do at the moment.

 

29 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Good job John. Capitalise on the good weather 👍🏻 I built my dome yesterday 

Hi Adam, my back was too bad, so my builder is doing it, he's putting the boarding up as I type, then plans the brickwork tomorrow, as I am having a 3 tier brick wall to mount the dome on to give me that little bit extra height. Good luck with yours.

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You will love it John, although I live in a LP location and do much of my imaging at a darker campsite when the weather is good enough, during the winter and lockdown my observatory has been a godsend.  Even at Astro camp I leave the kit erected in a camping observatory.

When I first started imaging I had enough after only a few months of setting up and putting away every time, an observatory will revolutionise your imaging.

Look forward to the progress. 

Carole  

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Thanks Carole, yes the packing up and putting away at the end of the night was horrible and I was always conscious of making too much noise for my neighbours.

I've kept my kit out side for nearly three years now and it has been a godsend, but as our garden is southerly facing the wind really can howl, so hopefully the dome will reduce that.

I'm also looking forward to drift aligning my PA as that will save time and be more accurate.

My wife is already thinking of what "junk" I can move out of the house into there, I've said not much as its a small dome, she wasn't best pleased, mind you I think I have done well to put an observatory smack in the middle of the lawn any way.

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Small update today, concrete is finished and setting, he's laying the bricks tomorrow.

He only shuttered half of the concrete as the garden slopes, so he needed to build it up on one end.

image.png.0565ee468fab90918516ff2e9bcbbea0.png

Chatting to Steve we were trying to work out how to easily break the bottom seal of the silicone, I then remembered that it is the same problem when people fit new windscreens, so onto Fleabay and they sell Cars Windshield Removal Tool Windscreen Window Glass Cutting Wire + Handles K KY

Using them it should release the silicon quite easily with one of us on the inside and the other on the outside.

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When I collected my pulsar dome I used a long serrated, flexible kitchen knife to slice through the silicon, it worked well. Later I removed the old silicon with a can of silicon remover. Take care when reassembling the dome quadrants to ensure the bottom mating surface that runs on the side sections is level. My first attempt at rebuilding the dome had to be disassembled and redone. The second time round I used short pieces of wood to bridge the 4 dome quadrant joints. Clamping the wood to the dome across each joint ensured they remained aligned as the bolts were tightened. Good luck with your build.

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7 hours ago, Xsubmariner said:

When I collected my pulsar dome I used a long serrated, flexible kitchen knife to slice through the silicon, it worked well. Later I removed the old silicon with a can of silicon remover. Take care when reassembling the dome quadrants to ensure the bottom mating surface that runs on the side sections is level. My first attempt at rebuilding the dome had to be disassembled and redone. The second time round I used short pieces of wood to bridge the 4 dome quadrant joints. Clamping the wood to the dome across each joint ensured they remained aligned as the bolts were tightened. Good luck with your build.

Thanks, I will take a long kitchen knife down as well, just in case, maybe a bread knife would help?

I've hired a Luton Van, so I am hoping that we can get the dome out in two pieces and won't have to split the base, but will pay attention to what you have said about the alignment, thanks.

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Builder has now finished the brickwork, all the cables are through ready to connect up to the fusebox, wood for the flooring will be arriving Saturday so I will cut and fit then cover in a tarp until the Dome arrives on the 17th.

image.png.a2184f94461efc0b612e05be1699ff0c.png

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6 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Builder has now finished the brickwork, all the cables are through ready to connect up to the fusebox, wood for the flooring will be arriving Saturday so I will cut and fit then cover in a tarp until the Dome arrives on the 17th.

image.png.a2184f94461efc0b612e05be1699ff0c.png

Exciting times John, hope all goes well with the build.

Bob.

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Looks like a good job John, the brick work looks nice.

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Just now, tooth_dr said:

Looks like a good job John, the brick work looks nice.

Thanks Adam, yep my builder is a quality craftsman.

You might want to think about raising you dome as it will give you that extra clearance which is what I wanted.

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Jkulin said:

You might want to think about raising you dome as it will give you that extra clearance which is what I wanted.

It's currently siliconed and bolted to the concrete :D

The height didnt really matter too much as I am making a new pier to suit.  My current observatory has wall height of 150cm, so I've found the dome, at 172cm quite high.

 

Edited by tooth_dr
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Posted (edited)

So, after finishing the tidying up of the cables at the weekend and being plagued with a wasps nest, I finally got that part sorted yesterday and no harm came to the wasps, I moved them down to the bottom of the garden and only got stung once, thus the purchase of a bee keeping suit and gloves as we do get our fair share of wasps, probably due to the fact that we have sown so many wild flowers around the garden that it is a perfect habitat for them.

Today's work or I should say this afternoon, I painfully (due to my back) made up and fitted the joists, they are a really snug fit, so hopefully if it stays dry tomorrow I can lay the flooring as there is no way of doing it once the dome is in place.

Travelling down to Steve's on the 17th to collect the dome, my son and son-in-law are travelling together as they have to work in the same office (so no compromise of social distancing) in a Luton Van I have hired and I will go down separately in my car, so there is no risk of bringing anything back to my wife, we are still in isolation and have been for 12 weeks, I will bring spare PPE for Steve so that we can both respect our families, but acknowledge that Steve will need to get closer to show me the custom software and installation.

image.png.fb405180dc299f4972dc64d75dfa1863.png

 

Steve mentioned that the Obsy is securely sealed to his concrete with Silicone, so I have bought one of these Car Windscreen Removal Tool Glass Cutting Wire (22M) + Handles as these are designed to break the silicon bond in windscreens so should be able to handle the Obsy silicone.

I have also removed our old Galvanised shed and cut back the Cherry tree to make lifting the fence panel up to get it into the garden from me neighbours garden as that should now allow us to bring the dome in in just two parts and no need to break the panels down (I hope)

Edited by Jkulin
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Nice job, John.  You must be super excited over this.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Ray, I'm a bit apprehensive really as I just hope I have enough clearance for everything to rotate and that there will be enough room to fit a 10/12" Newtonian at a later date, thus the reason for raising the dome higher.

I have built a new computer system that will remain permanently inside the dome (rather than use my laptop), but again am concerned about the clearance for the OTA with gubbins to swing round with enough clearance. I did buy a curved monitor so if needs must the I can mount it on the wall.

Part of me wishes that I had gone for a RoRo Obsy as then I would never have a problem with clearances, but as my garden faces south it does get some savage winds hitting it, so the dome should help improve things.

Edited by Jkulin

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