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Observatory Build Progress


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Progress has been slow due to the weather and the timber yard not having any of the correct timber in stock. The joiner hs managed to get a small quantity of 'Weatherboard' and hs now started on one of the sides.



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Finally, some progress:D As you can see the bulk is now complete. The warm room roof is on (not yet felted) and the walls and floor is in. One little problem is the hole cut in the floor for the pier tube to pass through touches the tube at parts so needs to be expanded slightly - how to do it though?

Very pleased with the progress and the size etc all looks fine.

I just need to figure out what hight to have the scopes - any hints/tips? I am thinking of waiting till it's clear (Sometime early 2011 at this rate!) and then pointing at the lowest star with a length of wood, then marking on the pier where the wood touches it?






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My Pier is a little different to yours (metal bolted onto concrete) but to get the height I set up the tripod and scope inside the obs and adjusted the legs till I had a minimum view and measured the height from top of tripod/bottom of mount to the floor. But remember the park position - if you use weights down/scope at polaris the scope will be at its highest - watch the roof!!! Use EQMOD and you can park anywhere.

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Thanks Martin, using the tripod was my other idea - think it is probably the best one!

I use EQMod, so do intent to use a custom park position, I assume you can still save your alignment data etc with the custom park?

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I set up my tripod/mount and scope in the position of where my pier was to be,to work out my best field of view for my obs before starting my build.

Same as Martin,work out max height in park, so as not to collide with the roof on opening.

Also if you are using a pier adaptor,you will need to measure that aswell.Then subtract it from your floor to mount measurement,to get your pier height.


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I assume you can still save your alignment data etc with the custom park?

Yes it does - as long as it knows where its parked It makes no difference where it is.

From EQMOD - "

Parking the Mount

Before powering down the mount, it is desirable to return the mount to a known position (a park


If you have set some mount RA limits, parking the mount properly before power down is

essential in order to record the limits for the next power up. It will also be important for

restoration of stored alignment data.

You have basically 2 options for parking:

the home position

a customized position very useful for installations where a roof of an observatory would

not clear the telescope upon close-up. A common customized park position is with the

balance/counter-weight bar horizontal and the telescope itself horizontal.


You should park only if the alignment is complete. Do not park an unaligned scope or you will

be unparking using invalid data creating an invalid alignment table"

Edited by martin_h
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Craig , you encountering the same problem I had. I did it as discussed above, set the scope on the tripod, altered the legs to suit, ensuring from Park that I could slew the scope around the central axis without CW rod , or scope end , hitting the walls or the roof. Taking into account the height of the Pier Top as well. Its not as high ( final inclusive height ) as you would imagine.

Its still nerve racking after you have checked it a millions time , just before you go to cut the tube mind you !

Clear Skies


Edited by Herakles
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So, I was out tonight with the tripod and I am still not sure! I think I have decided, it's about 2 inches higher than the tripod fully extended. I am wondering though, if I should lower the height, although that would lower what I could see it would meant the scope would be lower than the height of the obs walls - I reckon that would allow me to avoid any wind, is that something I should take into account?




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not sure but I would rather make it a bit too short than too tall. You can always put something between peer and mount to raise the height. But cutting down the pier once filled with concrete is going to be a nightmare.

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You need to consider what you want to see to the South. N, E & W don't really matter. You need to take things like neighbours lights and other light pollution into account. It may well be better to lose a few degrees of "low view" to improve what you CAN see elsewhere!

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The bright star you can see in one of the piccies is Jupiter around 8pm tonight. I just dont know whether to lower the height to protect the scopes more from pollution and wind or raise to see more sky...... I think ATM I am hedging towards having it high to see more sky but that may change by tomorrow morning!

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Well, the joiner walked off the project yesterday so I am left with a 90% complete observatory! Not sure what went wrong as all I did as point out that the roof could not be moved easily and the reason fir this was that the casters were not square in the runner he made but were square to the angled roof. This resulted in the roof not actually running on the caster wheel but on the bolt holding the wheel to the caster.

Anyway, it's mostly done and I don't see a major problem with me and a mate sorting the caster issue ourselves. The only other thing not completes theinternal sliding door - again I don't think this will be a problem for me to do myself.

I just cannot believe a 'tradesman' would have casters running at a 20 degree angle with it plainly obvious that it's not running smooth and when somebody point it out the say they have had enough, pack up tools and leave! I was not angry or confrontational I just pointed out that was why the roof was not running smoothly!

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