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Open air observatory


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I am looking for ideas for open air observatories.  I am going to be building a wall to block some light from down the road and then I will pour a small concrete base for my dob to sit on.  Around the dob base will probably be pea gravel with some pavers to walk on.  So if you have something remotely close to that, I would like to see it please.

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20 hours ago, Alan White said:

Here is a link to my area and the various changes;
I hope it is of some help.
 

Now that is really cool.  I am still in the process of figuring out exactly what I am going to do as far as the actual observing area.  Some of it will be concrete, some of it will be pea gravel and pavers and sand to lock it all together.  I have to build the wall first and then place the observing area.  I have to get the wall high enough to block the lights but not block my aiming point for zeroing my finder scope.  I hope to have this done by summer.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Alan White said:

Here is a link to my area and the various changes;
I hope it is of some help.
 

 

 

I’d missed this thread Alan, fantastic open air observatory. 👍

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5 hours ago, Mike Q said:

 

Good luck with your build Mike,
please post here on the buidl for others to see your solution.

Your scope type will define the wall or fence height, my fence is a bit too tall for my Dobson mounted scope,
but absolutely perfect for the Refractor on an alt az mount and tripod seated.

But it does now block the many lights from next door.

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16 hours ago, Alan White said:

Good luck with your build Mike,
please post here on the buidl for others to see your solution.

Your scope type will define the wall or fence height, my fence is a bit too tall for my Dobson mounted scope,
but absolutely perfect for the Refractor on an alt az mount and tripod seated.

But it does now block the many lights from next door.

Actually it since it was almost 70 degrees yesterday the first dirt was removed.  I will get it all leveled up later this week and maybe even get the gravel and concrete it.  You are spot on about the wall.  That will get built after the observation area is in and I will know exactly where it will go and how tall it will be.

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23 minutes ago, Alan White said:

@Mike Q nice to see a start, digging is good for the inner you.

I just wish I had a spade.  Of all the things not to have around here.  I used to have one....no idea where it got off too.  It's going to have to dry up some before I can continue.  It is now raining and we have taken near to 1.5 inches of rain overnight.  Once the concrete hardens I will start removing the remaining 100 square feet of dirt for the gravel.   I will borrow my cousins bobcat to do that because removing 100 square feet of dirt by hand is just not fun at all.  

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12 minutes ago, Mike Q said:

I just wish I had a spade.  Of all the things not to have around here.  I used to have one....no idea where it got off too.  It's going to have to dry up some before I can continue.  It is now raining and we have taken near to 1.5 inches of rain overnight.  Once the concrete hardens I will start removing the remaining 100 square feet of dirt for the gravel.   I will borrow my cousins bobcat to do that because removing 100 square feet of dirt by hand is just not fun at all.  

I'm not sure about the thermal effects of the gravel. Concrete is known to be bad as it releases heat absorbed during the day (I can testify to seeing this with my own Dob at someone else's site). Grass is good. I suspect gravel will be in the middle but possibly too much like concrete?

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1 hour ago, AstroKeith said:

I'm not sure about the thermal effects of the gravel. Concrete is known to be bad as it releases heat absorbed during the day (I can testify to seeing this with my own Dob at someone else's site). Grass is good. I suspect gravel will be in the middle but possibly too much like concrete?

I have spent the last couple of months looking at variations of what I am starting to do.  All of them have concrete....lots of concrete.  None of them seem to be complaining about heat issues.  Fortunately for me I am only using a little as compared to them so it should be a non-issue.  I am using gravel to help promote drainage.  This is due to the nature of my soil.  I do have a plan "B" if I do get too much heat.  As my gravel will be a inch or two lower then the base for the telescope.  It would be no biggie at all to spread mulch over the gravel and reset the pavers.  

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10 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Of course you need one, but a Bobcat is a fun thing to use as well.
Enjoy the boys toy, I know I did when we moved tonnes of topsoil about some years ago.
 

I will use it when I put the pea gravel in as well.  No sense in breaking my back LOL

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@Alan White.  Well due to a 40 degree temp plunge work has stopped and it looks like snow tomorrow and Saturday.  I guess I can gather up the gravel and concrete and be ready for warmer days.

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Just an update for those who might be following this.  Nothing has happened since I put the gravel in.  Mother Nature dropped a couple inches of snow on us over the weekend.  That now has melted off.  Unfortunately I have a lot to do around the house and this weekend is pretty much booked solid.  So if I get anything done this week....it will be pure luck.

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Finally I had a little luck.  Concrete is poured.  Nobody laugh masonry is definitely NOT my top skill set.  This will take a few days to set up and I will give it a finish layer to make it smooth.  Pay no mind to the excess....it will go away after everything hardens up.    @cajen2....check out that new spade.  Bet I can break this one too lol

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11 hours ago, cajen2 said:

Looks fine to me, Mike, though I've never made concrete in my life, so what do I know? 😄

I have to admit I don't have the most experience with concrete either.  I am happy that it is fairly level.  Next up I get to break in the new spade.  I might get some dirt moved tonight after work.

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A little more progress made.  I was able to remove a couple of rows is sod and I scored break points into the rest of it.  This will help me get clean splits when I get the rest of it with the bobcat.  The concrete set up very nicely and I am just a little high in the middle but am pretty much level.  Not bad for a guy who is not a mason.  This is probably all I will get done until next week.  Unfortunately I do have to deal with real life once in a while.

 

 

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Going to go just a bit off topic here ...but it's my thread so I am allowed.  This morning at 0322 my granddaughter arrived into the world.  Her name is Penelope Anne Quaintance.  

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