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Planning a New back garden Observatory. Will document and solicit advice / feedback in this thread.


Steve Loy
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Hi Steve, Just picked this thread up & welcome to the Observatory clan. You have had lots of positive comments and help on your build, equipment & software, which must be encouraging & overwhelming at the same time. If I may, I will add a couple of subjects to consider:- 

Software: Have a look at Nina  full observatory automation, image capture etc; it's free, getting a lot of rave reviews and if you don't like it. It's cost you nothing.

Networking: Go for high quality CAT cables. preferably CAT6 or even the new CAT7. Future proofing is necessary as data volumes are increasing at an alarming rate.

Security: Get a good alarm system. I also added a couple of sound bombs and strobe lighting. If, in the future, you come across any deaf and blind low-life's...........Thy tried 👹

Insurance: Check your policies, you may not be fully covered. I have a separate cover just for my dome & contents.

 

Looking forward to your progress and keep the photos coming

Steve

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@M40
Following some excellent advice from folks here I went with the mono. I can always add a colour filter wheel in later. 
 

I started with baby steps with SLL. Just imaged the moon for a while to get used to using it. Was fun seeing it on screen though and playing with settings.  
 

That is... until  my power tank died!

Same as you fella! My new ac adaptor for my mount arrived a few days ago.  :)
 

@sloz1664

Thanks for the welcome and the tips. Yep insurance and security was on the list of things to consider. 

Edited by Steve Loy
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8 hours ago, sloz1664 said:

Hi Steve, Just picked this thread up & welcome to the Observatory clan. You have had lots of positive comments and help on your build, equipment & software, which must be encouraging & overwhelming at the same time. If I may, I will add a couple of subjects to consider:- 

Software: Have a look at Nina  full observatory automation, image capture etc; it's free, getting a lot of rave reviews and if you don't like it. It's cost you nothing.

Networking: Go for high quality CAT cables. preferably CAT6 or even the new CAT7. Future proofing is necessary as data volumes are increasing at an alarming rate.

Security: Get a good alarm system. I also added a couple of sound bombs and strobe lighting. If, in the future, you come across any deaf and blind low-life's...........They tried 👹

Insurance: Check your policies, you may not be fully covered. I have a separate cover just for my dome & contents.

 

Looking forward to your progress and keep the photos coming

Steve

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not many updates since the last, it's just been lots of digging and ground work.

 

That changed today as we were finally ready for the Concrete.

 

Now... we wait...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another small update.

Concrete in and curing. Shuttering off. New retaining wall half done.

Next steps will be water-seal the Concrete pad with a treatment (need a decent gap in the bad weather for that though) and then finish of the building work so it's safe to install the obs.

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Kind of. 

Mate was actually laying the bricks as he knows what he’s doing (qualified bricky and spark) Though the mortar mix and jointing was all me  (I just followed him along, Tidying up  so he could focus on the laying. )

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

So.. 

Building work on the walls done, and a call from Steve at Pulsar to say he had a cancelation resulted in my dome being delivered / installed today!

All up and running. Just a minor hitch in the moulding that I noticed after Steve and Gary had left on one of the dome's quadrants has resulted in a bit of a "clunk" when that joint passes a runner wheel.

I Should be able to make it smoother with some Epoxy Putty or the like, so not a big deal I don't think.  

Waiting for my new mount which is on back order anyway.

 

next job... finish the new patio, (needs a bit more back filling and then hard core and flags to go down.

After that, sort the power and data wiring in the new Obs!

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15 hours ago, Steve Loy said:

a call from Steve at Pulsar to say he had a cancelation

Hi Steve,

I think that was me.  Steve offered Tuesday to deliver and install my dome (a green one) but I had to decline.  Glad to hear it meant you got yours earlier than expected.

Mike

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2 hours ago, MikeP said:

Hi Steve,

I think that was me.  Steve offered Tuesday to deliver and install my dome (a green one) but I had to decline.  Glad to hear it meant you got yours earlier than expected.

Mike

Well I guess I owe you a beer or some-such :)

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  • 2 months later...

Right. 

After a bit of a delay to progress due to to some issues with the Dome rotation (Kindly rectified by Steve at Pulsar) I am back onto working on this.

First Job... install a board ready for the power supply and sockets. Sikaflex to secure two wooden batons vertically to the Wall. Then a board Screwed onto the batons (Method was ruthlessly stolen from Benjam's 2019 Dome construction thread... thankyou sir, hope you don't mind)

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Then a visit from my tame Builder / Electrician and we have a fully functioning Battlestation  Powered Observatory, complete with Ethernet Data connection back to the house (Remember the conduits that go under the new patio?)

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Next Job, Install the flooring.

I Cut a Circle of Waterproof Membrane to 2.2m Diameter, then place in obs and Chalk mark to dimensions. Cut everything out. Then lay over a square of Rubber flooring tiles to act as a template.

Cut the rubber flooring out, then Used the membrane as an under layer, followed by the rubber flooring. A little bit of adjusting, and the end result once all done...

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Then I started on a DIY shelf in the storage alcove. 

Same principle... Sikaflex two batons, then attach the customer cut shelf on top. I got as far as the batons, and I'm not too happy with them right now. The sides of the bay aren't quite level, so the batons sit wrong. Going to have to reinforce with brackets before I trust them with weight.

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Thats as far as i am so far.

 

Next jobs...

Reinforce the shelf batons.

Paint the custom Shelf

Install it.

 

After that, we move onto installing all the equipment and software config.

 

lots to do still!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Excellent build and good luck, there are many and easy mistaked to make setting up an observatory, I know, I made them and invented a few extra!  This looks well thought through and the assistance and ideas to be found on here will answer nearly all of your questions. I will follow your progress with interest👍

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Re your battens for the shelf, couldn't you Silkaflex two floor to batten length uprights to the bay walls at each end of the battens?

Once the shelf is fixed to the horizontal battens that should be solid enough?

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