Jump to content

NLC-Banner.thumb.jpg.acb5ba835b9e8bf0718b90539633017d.jpg

Open air observatory


Mike Q
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, CCD-Freak said:

I am watching this thread with interest since I am thinking about how to floor my semi permanent SkyBox wind shelters at my dark site.  

The floor mat squares are one of the possible solutions I have been looking at.   I guess you are the "guinea pig" in this experiment. (^8

 

 

SB with pier 2.JPG

Well I am glad to assist.  I really have no idea how the pads will work, but I like the idea of them.  My guess is the weather will kill them by winters end, but who knows.  

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The brutal West Texas sun will be the main thing that might affect how long the pads will last. 

I am also thinking of concrete pavers but I like the idea of a softer surface if I should drop anything. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could always pick the pads up at the end of the session and store them.  Yeah I have heard stories of the sun in Texas.  It's the thing that legends are made of

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Gang I tell you what.  A 10x10 tamper will give you a workout.  First pass is done.  I will feel that tomorrow.

IMG_20220413_174833440.jpg

IMG_20220413_143156.jpg

Edited by Mike Q
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, cajen2 said:

Advancing age, Mike? 😉😛

Comes to us all.....I'd have been knackered after five minutes!

Nice job.

Nope....I refuse to get old.  Not happening lol.  I might do it again tomorrow just for the workout.  

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So yeah that does look pretty decent.  The plan is to let it sit overnight then hit it again tomorrow.  I will try and level it up a bit more.  Then this weekend I will start with the pads.  @CCD-Freak....the part you are interested in will be starting soon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, cajen2 said:

Advancing age, Mike? 😉😛

Comes to us all.....I'd have been knackered after five minutes!

Nice job.

I'm tired just reading this 🤣

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't this why we have children. When they ask you what your doing you tell them its Easter and your waking up the rabbits, they are already late with the Easter eggs! At which point they ask if they can do it. 

Its perfectly legal if their your kids Im sure. 

Edited by StarryEyed
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, StarryEyed said:

Isn't this why we have children. When they ask you what your doing you tell them its Easter and your waking up the rabbits, they are already late with the Easter eggs! At which point they ask if they can do it. 

Its perfectly legal if their your kids Im sure. 

Unfortunately two of my three kids are married and have lives of their own.  The third is quite busy with his own life and has no interest in astronomy and I wouldn't ask him to help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, StarryEyed said:

Isn't this why we have children. When they ask you what your doing you tell them its Easter and your waking up the rabbits, they are already late with the Easter eggs! At which point they ask if they can do it. 

Its perfectly legal if their your kids Im sure. 

Then if they're bored, you can send them up the chimney.....😛

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am opting to exercise a change to the scope base.  I am going to grab three bags of concrete and raise the base 2 inches.  If I do it right I may not have to build a leveling board.  Who am I kidding pouring concrete and getting it level is not something I really know how to do lol 

IMG_20220414_172456066.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2 inches of extra concrete has been poured.  Hopefully I will be closer to level in the one corner that was out a bit.  @CCD-Freak here is an observation just for you.  The pads have been laying in those spots all day.  We have had 40 to 45 mph winds all day.  They have not moved.  

IMG_20220415_180459164.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those pads are heavy enough I don't think you need to worry unless a tornado happens along and then some rubber mat tiles will be the least of your worries. 8^P

I have some walkway pavers much like those which are made out of recycled tires and they have been out in the weather for 5+ years now and don't seem to be any worse for the wear.  The main issue with the pavers is they don't interlock like the ones you have.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 15/04/2022 at 18:52, CCD-Freak said:

Those pads are heavy enough I don't think you need to worry unless a tornado happens along and then some rubber mat tiles will be the least of your worries. 8^P

I have some walkway pavers much like those which are made out of recycled tires and they have been out in the weather for 5+ years now and don't seem to be any worse for the wear.  The main issue with the pavers is they don't interlock like the ones you have.

 

 

 

 

I was noticing the interlocking tabs on these.  I am wondering just how well they will actually hold up.  I wonder that because while I was moving stuff around yesterday a couple of them broke off fairly easily.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went out and inspected the concrete yesterday to see how it turned out.  The bubble stays between the lines on the level front to back, side by side and on the diagonal.  I am happy with that.  I am not happy with the smoothness of the surface but I am tired of playing with concrete so I will take it.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A test run for the mats.  I think a double set will just about cover the entire area.  It's starting to take form.  I do need to raise the scope a little bit more.  So at some point this week I will make a leveling board that will be between 4 and 6 inches tall.   Once all the pads are in place I will pick up some metal staples and secure the pads into place with them.  

IMG_20220417_173620005_HDR.jpg

IMG_20220417_173614103_HDR.jpg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, cajen2 said:

Looks promising, Mike.

We are definitely in the homestretch on this.  This week I will pick up some bricks, 20 to 25 will do it I think.  I will place the bricks along the wood form and glue them into place with construction adhesive.  With any luck at all this will be wrapped up by the weekend.  We may do something as an edging, but am not sure what that would be just yet.

Edited by Mike Q
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So in Ohio today mother nature was off her meds.....again and dumped about an inch of snow on us.  Made this observation tonight.  The paver base and concrete are clear of snow, but the black foam pads still have snow on them.  I would have figured the exact opposite to have been the case.  I think this is a sign that they don't retain heat so well which is a good thing.

IMG_20220418_203558979.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well for the moment we are going to leave it like this.  I may or may not add the last four pieces of padding.  I kind of like it like this.  Of course She Who Must Be Laughed At will have the final say.  Still need to make it down to Lowes or Menards for some bricks and a half sheet of three quarter birch plywood to make the leveling board but that is going to have to wait for a little while.  

IMG_20220420_173137346.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Stephen Waldee said:

I was concerned about this issue when I built my backyard observatory, which we have formally named "Regina's Celestial Looker" (to differentiate it, in light and humourous tone, from some very pretentious sounding monikers that, ahem, others I personally know have named theirs!)

 

I did some comparative tests with my 11" Celestron SCT on its first tripod (the NexStar GOTO mount) and later on a newer, taller Celestron CDEM-DX German equatorial, on the dry ground here in Utah, sans grass--and then later, on the concrete pad for our observatory.  I saw NO trends to differentiate the two environments; i. e., hard packed dirt is either "just as bad as" concrete, or at least "no better than" concrete.  Of course, my C-11 OTA ends up being several feet HIGHER than my Dob; and it's a pretty much common knowlege that grassy ground is better for seeing, than asphalt, concrete, or hard rock--the grassy ground thermally stabilizes much more quickly.  How that factors out in seeing over time, night after night, is VERY hard to scientifically determine: as no two nights EVER seem to be about the same, wrt very high magnification planetary and multiple star-resolution work.  

 

I have also placed my 10" Dob on the area of the concrete pad that is exposed when my observatory building is in situ over the C-11.  Again, my average seeing seems no different than when I move the scope 15 feet or so over to the slightly rocky ground next to the observatory pad.  (Of course, I DO use a fan on the back of the scope--so perhaps that helps break up any steady heat plumes near the primary.)

 

Seeing here in Utah, USA is SO much poorer than in San Jose, CA. where I lived for half a century.  I used to do planetary observing on the concrete driveway at my residence that was not far from the geographical center of San Jose: A GIGANTIC metroplex area of millions! I was able to draw multiple loops and festoons on Jupiter with a lowly, cheap 120 mm f/8 achromatic refractor (I'll see if I can find a sketch and post it below.) But in almost six years of living here in a much smaller community in Utah, I have only had (I believe) TWO NIGHTS with seeing as good as the average experience right at my San Jose home.  I believe that the laminar airflow off the Pacific was not too terribly disrupted by the intervening Santa Cruz mountain range, so it was still pretty decent.  (It was ALWAYS even better at the peak of that mountain range, many miles SW of my house, where -- for example -- I saw each of the collisions of Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in clarity that was not TOO far removed from the Hubble Space Telescope image, using a 7" Astro-Physics Apochromat refractor.  And, blast it!, I've LOST the drawing!)

 

So having had such splendid planetary images right on a concrete driveway, for year after year, I am not TOO worried about a few tens of square feet of a thin concrete platform underneath my current scope.

 

Steve & Regina, Ivins UT
http://celestialregina.x10.mx
or
http://reginacelestial.byethost3.com
 

Below: sketch of Jupiter done on a huge concrete driveway in San Jose, CA. back in 2014 - Article is here:

http://celestialregina.x10.mx/faintfuzzies.blogspot.com/nice_jupiter_from_home.html

 

Also see: http://celestialregina.x10.mx/faintfuzzies.blogspot.com/new-jupiter-collision-viewed-72109.html

Jupiter collision, captured with same scope in 2009 sketch--on the same HUGE concrete expanse. I very much doubt that I could see that sort of thing from my current residence in Ivins, UT--compared to San Jose, CA.

 

Jupiter-120mm-sketch.jpg

Jupiter-sketch-7-28-09.jpg

I suspect we won't have any real issues.  I was over at the Warren Rupp Observatory last year for a public night.  All the personal scopes that were set up, were on concrete.  Now those folks take their astronomy seriously and if it were a real issue they wouldn't be set up on it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had clear skies last night so I drug everything out.  The seeing was not all that and a big bag of chips but it was worth it none the less.  Observations of how the set up worked.  A leveling board is a definite must.  This sits too low for me as it is.  I will make a board that lifts the scope another six inches and that will make life better.  The padding works well.  It's nice and soft all the way around.  The light blocking wall is on hold for a while.  Tomorrow I hit Menards (big box hardware store) for the material to wrap the concrete base and make the leveling board.  

IMG_20220421_195511_01.jpg

IMG_20220421_202216047.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.