Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Hals

Casita Observatory build

Recommended Posts

It's going to be nothing fancy but I'll finally have an observatory. It will be a lift off roof initially but I will convert it to a roll off next spring when the weather turns. Started on the pier, I've gone for a Todmorden pier on cost grounds. Purchased the blocks, dug out the base and concreted in. Built the pier, fixed with bolts and adhesive. It's as solid as a rock. Next step is to fit the pier adapter, brake disc type for my HEQ5, after I've drilled out bolt holes in it. The paving slab is only there because I was using it to stand on as the garden was soaked after a lot of rain. Pier faces North with the picture facing South. I have good views all around apart from some trees in the South which can't be helped.

Cheers, Pete.

IMG_20201030_131816240_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201030_132232583_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20201030_143749177.jpg

IMG_20201030_143800996_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201030_150048519.jpg

IMG_20201030_150031738.jpg

Edited by Hals
typo
  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one, would love to be on this journey with you and see how you progress through it. Good lucky mate.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good start. I hope to start building one next spring/summer. Our old 8x10 foot shed needs replacing. When we do that next year I'm going to modify the old one, reducing it in size to use the wood for repairs. I'm hoping to incorporate a warm room, but it depends on how much of the shed needs repairing/replacing.

Good luck with your build. Look forward to following your progress - diy observatory porn!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the brake disc pier adapter drilled out to attach to the top of the mount, aligned North and fitted. I've direct mounted it because the top of the pier is bang on level. I've fitted an M8 bolt as an azimuth pin and tested it with the mount head - works as advertised! No pics yet because just as I finished the heavens opened. I've covered the adapter over to prevent any rusting prior to priming and painting because it's mild steel. 

As it stands now, at least I won't have to faff with a tripod and the next clear night I can get the mount polar aligned so I'll leave it attached from then on.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/10/2020 at 20:44, Hals said:

It's going to be nothing fancy but I'll finally have an observatory. It will be a lift off roof initially but I will convert it to a roll off next spring when the weather turns. Started on the pier, I've gone for a Todmorden pier on cost grounds. Purchased the blocks, dug out the base and concreted in. Built the pier, fixed with bolts and adhesive. It's as solid as a rock. Next step is to fit the pier adapter, brake disc type for my HEQ5, after I've drilled out bolt holes in it. The paving slab is only there because I was using it to stand on as the garden was soaked after a lot of rain. Pier faces North with the picture facing South. I have good views all around apart from some trees in the South which can't be helped.

Cheers, Pete.

IMG_20201030_131816240_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201030_132232583_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20201030_143749177.jpg

IMG_20201030_143800996_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201030_150048519.jpg

IMG_20201030_150031738.jpg

Great start, as someone that lives in a first floor flat with no garden as such, I'll follow your build with great enthusiasm, I'll never be able to have an obsy so enjoy watching people build theirs, clear skies 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, is that just a layer of shingle on top of concrete a,round your bottom block?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Swoop1 said:

Pete, is that just a layer of shingle on top of concrete a,round your bottom block?

It's a layer of gravel on top of some rocky clay, tamped down, with the bottom block set in and levelled then concreted in, and some more gravel over the top of the concrete.

Edited by Hals

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Hals said:

It's a layer of gravel on top of some rocky clay, tamped down, with the bottom block set in and levelled then concreted in, and some more gravel over the top of the concrete.

Right. Looks a tidy way to finish off the base.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Swoop1 said:

Right. Looks a tidy way to finish off the base.

It will of course be hidden by the observatory floor in due course, I only put the gravel on to hid the concrete and mud !

Speaking of which I roughly marked out the base before the inevitable rain. The obsy isn't going to be large, 7ft x 7ft, a compromise that I had to make. It will be a converted shed, yes I know the general consensus is it's easier to scratch build but with my building being on par with a drunken chimpanzee it has to look reasonably tidy. So the shed\summerhouse obsy it will be.

The impending lockdown will likely have an effect too, with regards to building materials, plus work considerations etc but I'll do my best.

 

Edited by Hals
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mount fitted to pier and polar aligned. Four corners for the base marked out, they don't look level in the picture but they are. Still got a fair bit of groundwork before building the base but coming on slowly. IMG_20201104_142650921.thumb.jpg.fc176dc2e2af80e5e30e0a4f658731a6.jpg

IMG_20201104_142813813_HDR.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some progress. Base built, timber on concrete blocks. Weed membrane put down and covered with gravel. PVC pipe for the electrics running underneath. Floor built. All timber beams and the underside of the flooring have had three coats of preservative. Checked and all very sturdy, nice and level. Pier is completely isolated from the floor structure. At least I can image as is until I build the rest. I've decided to go for a roll off shallow apex roof from the outset now. The Obsy is 7ft x 7ft, large enough for my imaging needs with a 71mm widefield refractor and a 150 PDS. Since it'll be a converted shed/summerhouse I think I'm going to call it the Casita Observatory 😀

IMG_20201111_125128448.jpg

IMG_20201111_144908718_HDR.jpg

Edited by Hals
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's looking fantastic so far hals, your making short work of the build, I bet its so much easier when clear skies to mount the scope straight to the pier and get observing and imaging with no faffing about. Clear skies and look forward to seeing the build progress. 📷🌌🔭

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed.  Looking very promising.  I've been very happy with my Todmorden piers, btw.  You shouldn't have any problems there.

James

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more done. Built up the basic structure, just need to start strengthening it. Still pondering the rolling roof positioning. I have 75mm castors which have a total height of 100mm so I think I'll set the roll off support beams about 70mm lower than the shed sides to still allow a gap but not such a big one. If I sit the roll off beams at the top of the walls it will sit a bit too high for my liking. Still tons to do but progressing nicely 👍

IMG_20201112_152556298_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201112_152630721_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201112_152719115_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201112_122744952_HDR.jpg

Edited by Hals
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice looking building... where did you buy it? It's an ideal size for something I have in mind...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Beulah said:

Nice looking building... where did you buy it? It's an ideal size for something I have in mind...

 

Got it from Robert Dyas Ltd. Search for Shire sheds/ summerhouses. Lots of designs, some pretty reasonable.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more today. Strengthened the structure it's really solid now. Started on the roof construction too. Coming along nicely. Fresh timber has had two coats of yacht varnish to help with the rain I'll get before I get the roof done. 

IMG_20201113_151950286.jpg

IMG_20201113_152019053.jpg

IMG_20201113_151855734.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking brilliant. However I think some diagonals in the walls would help to prevent long term racking? I had to use some steel cable and turnbuckles to correct one of my sheds that decided to wander off.......

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great!  From what I've read, more people are using concrete block piers instead of pouring concrete.  Certainly easier than mixing by hand or having concrete delivered IMO.  Curious how the long-term stability turns out.  OTOH, if it gets out of plumb or whatever, it should be relatively easy to reseat or replace.  Good luck!

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good! Out of interest how much of the sky can you see with that, do the walls hinder in that regard at certain angles?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/11/2020 at 09:26, Len1257 said:

Looking brilliant. However I think some diagonals in the walls would help to prevent long term racking? I had to use some steel cable and turnbuckles to correct one of my sheds that decided to wander off.......

Yes I'll probably do that in due course 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, smashing said:

Looking good! Out of interest how much of the sky can you see with that, do the walls hinder in that regard at certain angles?

I should be able to see down to approx -20 Dec on the Southern view. Obsy is primarily for imaging so most of the time the scope will be at high elevation. I get a decent view all around. Next door's security light is more of a concern but the walls will mask that and I intend to fit blackout blinds on the windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.