View Full Version here: : Home for the 22 inch
08-09-2009, 02:43 PM
The image attached shows the first foray into the construction of a dome observatory for my 22" equatorial Newtonian. The slab is 5.3m in diameter and the concrete will arrive in the next week or two. The dome will be constructed form 25mm square tubing rolled to 5.1m diameter and assembled by welding. Overall height will be 4.1m and the timeline from slab pour to first light is two months....:rofl::screwy::lol:
08-09-2009, 03:03 PM
Looks great, with maybe a somewhat ambitious timeline!
I hope you have a chainsaw for a couple of those gums......
Who likes trees, but not near a scope.
08-09-2009, 03:06 PM
Awesome ! Is this just outside Newcastle?
Nice to see it going in a proper home Richard.
09-09-2009, 07:38 AM
by the looks of that view I take it you have moved Richard? Congratulations and what a fantastic project
10-09-2009, 01:27 PM
Yes, Houghy, I have moved up to Clarence Town where the skyglow of the Mayfield CoalLoader is a mere memory!
The rolled bars have turned up yesterday and they will form the skeleton of the frame. The rolling was deadly accurate - thanks to the crew at Metal Shop Technics in Kurri Kurri.
Theo, I am looking forward to the the true potential of the "big 22" being explored up here in the dark!
Next steps are pour the slab and start welding the jigsaw ...eerrr.. I mean well-organised superstructure... together!:thumbsup:
11-09-2009, 05:30 PM
Great project! Keep the photos coming. Is naming the observatory in the timeline?!?
11-09-2009, 09:40 PM
I pray it's just the most AWESOME venture for you Richard! You are going to LOVE it!!
12-09-2009, 07:34 PM
Thanks, Mike and Baz. Yes, naming the observatory is on the agenda at some stage - "The Money Pit/Dome" and "Richard's Folly" are front runners at the moment.
15-09-2009, 07:54 AM
Great project, Richard. Keep the updates comeing in when you can. I love watching these observatory project evolve.
22-10-2009, 05:11 PM
.....when one is waiting .......for the right weather.....and the right concrete mix.... then one must make one's observatory mound.....into a zen garden.....all 5 tonnes of it......
26-10-2009, 03:12 PM
After some delay, the slab was poured on Saturday. 5.3m diameter reinforced slab with reinforced apron to prevent the whole thing sliding down the hill. 5 tonnes of earthwork plus 2.5 tonnes of 'crete should do the job.
The easy parts done..
Now comes the hard work..
27-10-2009, 10:58 AM
I dunno about "easy" part Theo! On Saturday afternoon I couldn't move without something aching!
07-11-2009, 08:26 PM
Today we welded the base of the observatory together. The biggest challenge was making the base ring as circular as possible. It took a couple of hours to get it right. Then the level of the top ring was a challenge! The base cylinder will be covered with corrugated iron and the dome will be covered in .4mm flat gal. :hi:
07-11-2009, 08:30 PM
I remember all the fun I had building my 3.5m dome in the Cederbrg. Enjoy the project!
07-11-2009, 10:07 PM
Im missing something, I dont understand, wheres the pier?. Are you useing a tripod?. Or are you bolting a pier to the slab?, if so, isolation?.
No Pier Fred.
The 22" is mounted on a HUGE modified English Fork mount.
Its semi-portable, as it has wheels to move it around, but the whole mount and scope weigh in at around 300-400kg.
Gday Richard, Thats looking like a very desent sized observatory. Are you going to put an astrodome on that slab?
08-11-2009, 09:37 PM
Yes, indeed Fred! 400kg of fork mount means that she sits VERY still and solid once down. And besides, piers are for itty bitty scopes! Today the dome started to take shape - the rain delayed play for quite a while though.
08-11-2009, 09:40 PM
OK Theo, Richard, makes sense. Nice work BTW.
Well that,s answered my question.:):rolleyes::lol:
08-11-2009, 09:54 PM
Just to give everyone an idea of the mount. Here's a pic of the scope in the suburbs last year. Much better skies to look forward to now!
08-11-2009, 10:13 PM
Looking great! I take it the OTA can rotate to assist in chasing the eyepiece around?
11-11-2009, 01:36 PM
thats massive :) have fun completing your ob :)
13-11-2009, 01:13 PM
Yes the top half of the tube assembly rotates but at the cost of collimation. I tend to bend my neck a bit rather than rotate the scope. Most of the time I have the G Star Ex camera attached so I observe from the screen. Of the G Star Ex on this scope, I've said before that while the pics aren't pretty, they sure are capable of showing really, really faint objects even in a single 2.56 sec. frame. Great stuff for comets and supernova hunting which is what I intend to do once set up. The camera has proved itself to be excellent for this purpose in the light pollution of the suburbs and I am hoping for an extra magnituide - or even two! now I'm in a pretty dark site. :thumbsup:
13-11-2009, 01:15 PM
Corrugated wall has been attached to the lower frame. The bottom section is now very solid.
13-11-2009, 02:05 PM
shes coming together beautifully i cant wait to see her finished , you got a name for it yet?
16-11-2009, 05:18 PM
I posted a while back some cynical names like "Richard's Folly". I have started naming the telescopes I have and in fact my call sign, BKM2304 is the name of a very nice 10" Meade ACF I had a while ago. To decipher - B = Comet Bennet the first comet I ever saw in 1971, K = comet Kahoutek the comet I looked for but couldn't find in 1973, and M for Murakami a colleague in Japan who discovered visually comet Snyder - Murakami in 2002. The 2304 is the postcode of Mayfield an inner suburb of Newcastle where I lived.
I promise I won't be so obtuse this time and I'll let you know! But the naming will involve a nice drop of champagne!
16-12-2009, 03:29 PM
The gores (the orange slice segments you need to cut to cover a dome) are going up with a little persuasion. The dome is rotating finally after MUCH consternation and fiddling. The rollers which were hardened rubber just couldn't take the load so we have finally lobbed on sliding the whole thing on a metal to metal sled. Miraculously, it slides really smoothly (!), although a more accurate system is needed if ever I want to automate it.
The pics show the gores up so far and the galvanised sheets on the ground are awaiting placement after tracing and cutting of each gore (each segment is unique!).
The scope is going in on Sunday.
Looking good, however i would make a recomendation that you use some sort of foam or cloth attached to the metal walls to prevent noise, and you will get heaps of it !!.:mad2:
You must REALLY be hanging out..
Sorry mate, just rubbing it in a little, cause it must be killing you to be so close to finishing..:P:lol:
17-12-2009, 11:04 AM
You're right about the hanging out bit. And she is a bit noisy when you rotate her. We are finishing off the roof and on Sunday the scope goes in and it's alignment time!
I can't wait to get a look at the sky up here
13-05-2010, 10:52 AM
I have finally finished the dome. I had to wend my way through a wedding (mine), honeymoon (mine also), weather (God's) and work (they're the bankrollers).
I have used foam sheeting to cover the gap between the dome and the base. Rather than have an "Overhang" style of covering I have chosen to do the opposite, namely to run foam from the base to the INSIDE of the rotating dome such that the water and wind and dust are deflected downwards to the base of the structure. It works very well indeed. The dome rotates on 8 hard rollers from the boating store - they are used on trailers, and after some teething and running in issues, I can, most of the time, rotate the quarter tonne dome easily and almost silently- WD40 is wonderful stuff!
The scope is aligned well and can slew from park (about 10 deg above the northern horizon) to, Rigel Kentaurus with an accuracy of about 10 minutes of arc plus or minus. It is more accurate abviously for shorter slews.
I will be fitting an SBIG STL-11000M-C2 Self-Guiding camera soon and will be getting stuck into some long exposures.
Looks good. I see you picked silver as the color for the scope and mount..
I would also be using it visually too. I remember some great views thru it..
03-07-2010, 06:29 AM
Wow, a great result Richard!
I live in Newie, you said you lived in Mayfield, where have you and the scope moved too?
03-07-2010, 07:02 PM
With such awesomeness the pressure will be on to produce some top notch photography :D
Well done. :thumbsup:
05-07-2010, 10:28 PM
Great job. Congrats on a nice observatory!
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