View Full Version here: : Tempest Observatory
25-02-2010, 03:44 PM
Well I have finally managed to install my new observatory on my hardwood decking and get all the optics and electrics installed. The name would be obvious to anyone in Brisbane due to the weather we have had here over the last few weeks.
I chose to go with a cement pier reinforced with reo and an outside skin of PVC. The reason for this was that I had previously built such a pier in Victoria and found it to be excellent in performance. I went with power being supplied to the observatory through an extension cord as I was worried by the amount of electrical storms here in Brisbane.
I ordered 2 bays with the observatory and I have yet to kit them out properly but one holds the laptop while the other holds odds and ends as well as some books. The one thing that Im really happy with is the flooring. On top of the hardwood planks I installed a layer of insect screening and over the top of that rubberised matting that has holes in it. The observatory "breathes"well with no moisture build up from all the rain we have been having and all my excess cabling goes under the matting to keep from foot tangles, but is easily accessible. Its also easy to clean or vacuum up any debris I bring in. I have attached a few photos to show its current state but I still have to install the storm cleats and grease the tracks. The solar lighting has bee installed.
25-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Excellent Allan! I like the reverse psychology name! I hope it works.
25-02-2010, 03:52 PM
Looking good, Allan :thumbsup:
25-02-2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the kind comments Al and John. This has been a while in the planning but so glad it's finally done. Now if only the cloud, rain and moon would sod off for one night I'll be in nirvana. Just figuring out how to do the storm cleats and then it will be finished.
25-02-2010, 09:57 PM
Nice looking set up:)
Well done , and may you have many a Happy Night imaging in it:thumbsup:
25-02-2010, 10:03 PM
see you bought a padlock like mine alan ;) looks too neat lol
25-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Woo hoo ... another domed obs!! :thumbsup: Well done Allan and I hope you enjoy your nirvana as much as I've enjoyed mine!!
25-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Ah, you're both just copycats :D
25-02-2010, 10:20 PM
Good onya Alan it looks a real fine job you have done there ,hope the weather fines so you can put it to some good use.
25-02-2010, 10:28 PM
LOL you have one too Marcus;)
26-02-2010, 06:38 AM
Looks awesome, Allan! Gotta be happy with that! Bit too neat inside for my liking, though. Could you cram it full of more leads to trip over, books and paperwork everywhere, maybe some empty Coke or beer cans on the floor? Thanks. :)
26-02-2010, 08:45 AM
Congratulations Allan, looks terrific.
But it's all in vain as the weather is never going to clear in Brisbane.
26-02-2010, 09:04 AM
Fantastic setup Allan. I'm positively green with envy :)
26-02-2010, 10:08 AM
Ron, Troy, David, Marcus, Alan, Peter and Adam.
Thanks for the kind words.
They should not have bothered with putting in water tanks to break the drought - just give us all observatories.
I admit I pinched ideas from David, Marcus and JohnG as I really liked the setups they had done and so blatantly copied what I could. Thought the Croc Lock was ideal but we have 2 dogs that would raise absolute stink if anyone came round. One would lick you to death while the other would take your foot off - and I'm not about to say which is which.
The Tempest Observatory was a 10 year idea that finally crystalised when I decided I was going to retire ths year and could make good use of it after doing some preliminary shots using narrowband filters from the BrisVegas suburbs and convinced myself what could be done and I would get the images I wanted.
Now no excuses for not doing 5 hr exposures on a single object, weather permitting.
The neighbours reactions were great. One said that you realise that now most of them think Im some sort of spy while the others were creeping around for seruptitious glances at this strange thing Id erected in the backyard.
26-02-2010, 01:43 PM
Nice looking setup Allan. I recently visited a friend in Brisbane and he had a 3m dome of the same manufacturer. It looks really nice inside and the slit mechanism is excellent.
Well done Allan. You will enjoy the permanent setup I am sure.
27-02-2010, 01:37 PM
Thanks Paul. I was able to get outside last night chasing sucker holes and trying to see how well I could guide with the hypertuned eq6 and the new setup in the observatory. I managed to get 5x4 min shots of M66 at about 12:00 pm last night. Was very pleased as I used the DSI II and was guiding with PhD at native fl of 2500 with my 10"SCT. Stars were nice and round with an OSC of .35 according to PhD. I thought tihis would be an extreme situation for any errors in the guiding but all was well. The pier is excellent in the observatory as while bumbling around in the dark I tripped over a small stool I used at the computer and fell on the floor but there was no jiggling of the scope/camera.
27-02-2010, 04:56 PM
In relation to David's Dog House Observatory, I managed to get Internet connection etc without all the cabling by setting up a wifi that does the whole house and out to the observatory at the back. Works nice.
01-03-2010, 08:21 AM
Allan, I'm really happy for you and all that, but you've really doomed us weather-wise at the moment. Is there something in the observatory you can unplug or break to give the rest of us a chance for a bit? Thanks. :D
01-03-2010, 09:37 AM
Yeah I use wireless in my obs too... for both my computers (capture and guidance;)). Sounds technical doesn't it?:P
01-03-2010, 12:48 PM
Troy, just for you I'm taking the scope out of the Obs so that the weather can calm down, but the forcast is really, really heavy rain in the next few days so thats a bummer. I had a look at the 4min shots of M66 which was NO award winner except that the galaxy filled almost the full frame and each 4 min shot had perfectly round stars which I was ecstatic about. Since I did 5x4 min thats at least 2 worm cycles and thus the hypertune was great and worth doing - but purchasing the kit was definately not worth the money.
Al, wireless is really great and I spent a few moments tidying up my cables (are you listening David?????) to that they are all on the pier with nothing loose or trailing. I also made sure that there was no cross-interference to the guidescope camera or imaging camera cables and now everything is out of sight and tucked away. I'll post photos later.
01-03-2010, 12:57 PM
i sense you don't like the free spirited system of connecting things Allan:lol:
01-03-2010, 01:17 PM
I guess its a fetish of mine and being inherently clumsy I have to remove all impediments from the area. I dont know how many times the Losmandy counterweight has hit me in the head - you would thing it would have learnt by now not the swing while I'm in the way. Stupid thing.
I once did have an absolute spaghetti fest around the Losmandy while I was running the ST7 on it and I wound up with cables ripping out when I slewed to another object and the night just degenerated into one of those brain-fart evenings where I tore everything off the scope and just did visual for the rest of the night. Computer played up constantly, I bumped into everything around me and I got grumpy.
01-03-2010, 07:14 PM
Ive added my first light shot of M66 taken with the new pier and hypertuned EQ6. With only 5x4 min shots its nothing to hang on the wall but was taken at a fl of 2500mm 10"SCT with a DSI II which is the most severe test that I could put hte system through. What I was interested was in the guiding and how round the stars were. Seems OK to me.
01-03-2010, 07:48 PM
I love that flooring Alan. Where did you get it from?
01-03-2010, 08:05 PM
Actually it's quite cheap but extremely practical. I got it frm Kmart. It comes in a pack of six with Borders as well. It costs about $20. Bunnings sells the same material but you only get four for the same money. I put a layer of insect screening (actually shadecloth) between the boarding and the foam matting. It's soft on the feet and helps muffle any thups that may be transmitted to the pier. Make sure that you get all at the one time as they sometimes reverse the cutting pattern and they won't fit except upside down. Obviously a new trainee on the job.
01-03-2010, 08:20 PM
cheers, I'll look into that. How spongy is it Allan? How would it go as an underlay to outdoor carpet? I like the idea of having those holes to allow the floor to breath and not build up damp over time. I'd hate to drop a screw of something in the middle of the night though could be fun finding it with all those holes
01-03-2010, 08:35 PM
You'll probably see it advertised as camping mats Paul. Same stuff as I have in my obs. Its great!:thumbsup: Lovely and soft on the old knees if you have to kneel down!:lol:
I find it's great on the concrete slab I have... it keeps my toes both comfy and warm:D, and protects anything I'm clumsy enough to drop. I have dropped a few little screws and things from time to time and have had no problem finding them. The holes make it easier if anything on a concrete slab:)... I wouldn't guarantee that's the case if its over a darker timber floor though.
I'm not sure how it would go as an underlay for outdoor carpet:shrug:. It might be a bit too soft maybe underneath say chair legs and things. It might cause the carpet to deform around the chair legs or any other concentrated load. But just to walk to stand on I imagine it would be great. If you have a small section of carpet and can get a mat (or a closed cell foam sleeping mat doubled over), I'd suggest a test with a chair:thumbsup:. Without the carpet I find my observing chair depresses maybe 3-5mm into the foam when "fully loaded" but it quickly recovers;).
01-03-2010, 08:41 PM
Good thinkin' about furniture legs Al. :thumbsup:
01-03-2010, 09:00 PM
There is another option, Paul.
When I was looking around, I found Clark Rubber had some great looking foam mat/tiles without the holes. From memory they were bigger (say 1m x 1m) but the price put me off:sadeyes:. I had the camping mats with the holes in it anyway and decided to try them first, and I really like them:thumbsup:. They work well in my obs!:)
With a bit of luck, if you look around a bit you'll find some without the holes if that would be preferable and avoid the carpet perhaps:shrug:... but then I suppose the floor won't breathe...:rolleyes:... just a thought.
01-03-2010, 09:12 PM
so many options lol
01-03-2010, 10:26 PM
I agree with Al. The mats are great as a top flooring but as an underlay they may be just a tad too soft. I think in one of the photos you can see a small stool that I cut down to use in the bay. The legs have plastic covers/protectors but they do dent the matting about 5 mm from my weight. It does recover well but I'm thinking of putting spreaders on the legs to distribute the weight better. That's the only down side that I have seen. Things bounce well on it and it's very easy to clean. Al was right you can get it at camping stores but Kmart has the cheapest deal.
Hope that helps
02-03-2010, 09:15 AM
Paul, thinking about your problem. Maybe under the chair region you could place tougher matting (cut your own holes) or even rubber and under the rest put the camping tiles with the carpet on top. That would make a good floor for an observatory.
02-03-2010, 09:19 AM
I was thinking just that last night Allan. Its definitely given me some options to think about
02-03-2010, 11:36 AM
Allan, that's a great-looking setup. I'm with Paul on that flooring. Is it the kind of stuff that you buy for camping etc, fits together like a crossword puzzle. I've got a dozen or so sheets somewhere but didn't use it because I kinda pictured it turning up at the edges and making a tripping hazard. Any such problems?
02-03-2010, 11:55 AM
It fits together like a jigsaw puzzle and the edges do stay flat. The cut edges have straight edges which make it all neat and tidy. I originally bought it for astrofest but never used it and had it in storage until now - so it does last a while without decomposing. I think it would work well outdoors and Ive not had any problems even tracking wet/rain from outside onto it. Its cheap flooring and very easy to replace if it were damaged.
18-03-2010, 12:54 PM
The weather will not co-operate with the new aptly named Tempest Observatory, but as I mentioned elsewhere I did manage to get 24x4 min shots of M65 with the DSI II guided at fl2500mm. I was very happy with the resulting photo as the stars are round and the galaxy was starting to show good detail. Just love the observatory but have not been able to use it since this shot was taken and so have not been able to add to the subs that I have got.
However due to the cyclones messing around in Qld, I have decided that before the weekend I will have to get the storm cleats installed. Ive made them but just wondering where to place them for maximum effect. Any suggestions?
18-03-2010, 09:44 PM
Looks like an awesome setup Allan! Shame all its done is attract cyclones.. You know what they say though.. If an astro purchase causes months of rain and clouds, you know it was a good buy! :)
I was looking at the Sirius domes today.. Their base of operations is about 15kms from my house... I want one dearly, however I can't really justify the cost... They have a fully automated "Maxdome" model sitting in there at the moment.. $12750 or there abouts.. Sure looks like the perfect home for your scope/mount... Just wish I had the money! :)
I'm looking more at a small garden shed for my back yard... Just big enough to surround the mount/scope... Doing a roll away shed setup I think.. It won't be able to house the computer full time, or all the gear, but should be big enough for scope/mount/cameras to all stay set up. just carry the laptop out, roll the shed away and plug in the wiring loom...
19-03-2010, 09:08 AM
Your right Alex. I got worried about high winds from these cyclones so I manufactured my storm cleats and installed them last night. Thanks to David and the others where I saw the idea. So simple that they really should be part of the original design and setup. You would have to rip out the deck and all to get the roof to lift now. I feel a lot happier that the dome isnt going to wind up down the road.
It doesnt matter what sort of observatory you have , its the convenience of it all and the protection of the equipment. I decided early on that I wouldnt leave the optics and computer outside for protracted periods unless I was going to do a long observing run and I think that is what Ill stick to - just to be on the safe side. The two best additions to the obs were the storm cleats and the croc lock. Really makes you feel that the observatory is safe.
Ive attached photos of the two storm cleats so that you can figure out how they attach.
19-03-2010, 09:35 AM
While I am not a big fan of domes (they look like an observatory and have all sorts of nasty thermal currents which acts against planetary imaging), yours is a tidy setup Allan. You might like to add a third hold down bot and have each of them at 120 degrees apart from each other.
The galaxy shows heaps of detail in the arms on my screen. Would like to see a colour version when you get some clear sky.
19-03-2010, 09:42 AM
looking good Allan - and its thanks to Phil the original dome owner who made the brackets in the first place - i just upped the size of the bolts
19-03-2010, 10:04 AM
I thought about a third bolt at 120 degrees apart but I was reluctant to drill into the dome structure itself as there are no strong anchor points except where the two halves come together. I would have one cleat on the join of the two halves which would be a strong connection but the other two would just be attached to the skin of the dome and relatively weak. Understand your idea but decided two strong ones were better than nothing.
I really want to get more subs for M65 just to see how far I can push the DSI (mainly as an exercise) and for something to play with until the QSI arrives. Looks as if tonight could be my first opportunity.
Dave thanks for the comments and for good ideas to steal/imitate
19-03-2010, 02:19 PM
I found that a small fan in the observatory, blowing air out of the dome shutter, seems to pull air from under the flooring very quickly to equalise any thermal differences before I start doing any observing/photography.
Seems to work for me and the dome really insulates the scope from any wind buffeting that may occur, unlike when I imaged outside previously.
I really am chuffed with the whole setup now and cant wait until my new camera comes and I can start NB imaging.
06-05-2010, 01:18 PM
I have made a recent modification to my observatory as I found that with the lower temperatures and high humidity that we are experiencing that dew was condensing out onto the aluminium surfaces of my mount etc and this would eventually cause problems.
I lined over the top of the decking with very thick plastic, folloed by a layer of insect screening, followed by the rubberised camping matting that I have on my floor. This has cured the excess dew or condensation problem that I was having.
I must say that the rubber matting with the holes is really excellent as I have now routed all of my cabling down the pier, under this matting, to the PC. No tangles and certainly nothing to trip me up while moving around at night. I have placed a sucession of mounted touch on/off ccd lights all over the observatory as well as solar powered lighting. Its now almost exactly how I need it to be.
Just need some decent weather.
07-05-2010, 07:54 AM
Hi Alan, I'm curious about those on/off CCD lights you describe. Can you tell me any more about them? Are they AAA battery, solar, 12VDC , how do they mount, make, model, source.
07-05-2010, 12:17 PM
The on/off lights I bought from supercheap auto. You get 3 in a pack and run on AAA batteries. They are made by SCA and have LEDs in them so batteries last a really long time. About $10 for three lights. They have 4 leds in them and Ive put them all around the observatory where I might need them. They just attach with a sticky pad on the back of the light - very easy. Have proven very handy and usefull. The other lighting I have is solar led light from Mitre 10. Cost ~$20 but very soft light. Have several of these too. The solar panel just sits on the outside of the observatory attached with velcro.
Lastly I mentioned the flooring in the observatory and how all the cables run underneath this so no tripping over cables in the dark so Ive included a shot of that. The pier also has those little open/shut clips that any cables not in use are wound up and held to the pier with these. No hassles at all now from cables.
09-05-2010, 05:07 PM
Final update on this observatory as I have finally been able to get something to beat those damned mossies without a fan blowing on me and freezing my focal reducer off.
I picked up a small solar powered mozzie zapper that has a UVlight and a zapping wire in it from Bunnies for $17. I'll try it out tonight and as a final little bit of home comfort I purchased an 800W oil heater so that as Im finishing up at night I can give the observatory a blast with that and then put everything to bed. Hopefully this will decrease the amount of water vapour etc and thus reduce any condensation I may get on these cold nights.
26-05-2010, 06:43 PM
One last modification that Ive made to the observatory is to connect mains power to it. Ive dug all the trenches and its up to the sparkies that arrive tomorrow to connect it all up. As you can see from the phots it isn't easy digging through rock, cement and building rubble but I had two enthusiastic helpers :D
26-05-2010, 07:49 PM
ahh nothing like 240V - like the invention of the wheel and fire - revolutionary LOL.
you wont know yourself Allan
26-05-2010, 09:50 PM
If you want to open a can of worms Allan, there are many threads, especially on Cloudy Nights (and I think some here) talking about lightening protection for an obs wired up for 240V.
Interesting reading, but confuses the hell out of me...
27-05-2010, 09:52 AM
how deep did you dig that trench ? ALLAN
i think there is a required depth if it is 240 volt
27-05-2010, 11:34 AM
600mm with a cover tape :thumbsup:
27-05-2010, 11:52 AM
and bury another (2") conduit on top of it before you fill the hole in
(put a few inches of dirt over the electrical conduit and tape first)
YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED IT
27-05-2010, 12:49 PM
Isn't that requirement more for high voltage lines?
27-05-2010, 01:07 PM
orange conduit - 2 feet under - can't remember if then some dirt and warning Tape
27-05-2010, 05:07 PM
There is new legislation here in qld in that - get this - it only has to be 100mm down if covered with cement. I checked and this is correct and it doesn't even have to be taped or have orange conduit. Grey is ok if cemented in. So I went for 300 mm down/deep trenches and 100 mm cement covering. All legit as I had an electrician do to observatory as well as putting power to the garage. All done now and filled in and all works excellently. Some may say I could have done it myself but I felt it better to have a sparkie do it. Therefore no comeback on me.
25-09-2010, 12:46 PM
Made some additional "improvements" to the observatory.
I took out the EQ6 mount that I was using and installed my Losmandy-Gemini system. This is a great improvement as with the EQ6 and 10" scope I had to add an extension bar to the mount to balance the weight. This took up valuable real estate in the observatory, but with the Losmandy's thicker and more rigid bar I can add more concentrated weights on a shorter bar which really mproves moving around.
The next two things were just some general insurance. I had bought a solar extractor fan but needed a level surface to mount it on and I was reluctant to cut a hole in the top of the observatory and bog up the hole with silicon so instead I mounted it on one of the bay surfaces. Works just as well as tested using some smoke to see air flow. Anyway there is venting in the roof so I just wanted to improve the airflow. The next thing I did was; Clark rubber had some cheap ($20/m - 2000mm wide ) rubber-backed flooring on sale so I got 3 meters and used this on top of the plastic and insect proof screening already in place but mounted it below the rubber matting. Just wanded extra moisture protection, even if its a "pretty" blue colour.
Now I have absolutely no moisture in the dome and have been able to get the humidity to the same point as the outside air. Also installed silica gel holders for the 2" eyepiece holders in each scope just to help also as I dont want fungus inside my scopes.
25-09-2010, 02:05 PM
looks good Allan, though the holes might trap the dirt? THe G11 looks nice in there ;)
25-09-2010, 04:19 PM
Hope you are getting better and that the antibiotics are starting to work. Funny thing about the holes is that yes they do trap the dirt but because it falls into them its not at the surface getting ground into the top layer of material. If it were carpet it would just get ground in, but because of the holes its very easy to clean up any grass or dirt that I track in.
The G11 with the new ascom driver is a real snort.
27-09-2010, 01:00 PM
Just curious, in the photo with the trench, it looks like the lower shutter will over hang the fence to the right.
27-09-2010, 09:12 PM
Optical illusion as i have about 1m clearance at back and sides with dome open. thought of that when i put the pad in.
15-12-2010, 09:32 PM
Well after seeing Hough'ies post about his Maxdome II i phoned up Sirius Observatories and laid down the money for automising my dome.
I'll let David have all the problems first and learn from his mistakes.
Hopefully his goes easily and he posts many photos - hint, hint.
Mine will arrive in the 3rd week of January - cant wait.
15-12-2010, 09:54 PM
lol crash test dummy:P
15-12-2010, 10:03 PM
What did it cost allan/dave? I know the lions share will be that maxdome stuff. Did they break the costs down for you?
15-12-2010, 11:17 PM
I only purchased the dome rotation/Maxdome setup as I couldnt go the whole hog with automating the shutter. Its normally about the $3100 mark but I got a "pensioner" discount as Ive just retired and blow me down there they were in the list of companies that give "seniors" a discount. Couldnt believe my eyes and so it became my retirement/Xmas gift to me.
SWMBO thought it was a great idea!!!!!!!!!!!
15-12-2010, 11:19 PM
I will have to contact a few people in the BrisVegas area that have the automated domes (there are a few) and see how they go together so I have a good heads up prior to installation.
16-12-2010, 12:48 AM
$3K eeek ... I'm pretty sure the dome has to come off to fit the toothed ring.
17-12-2010, 09:52 AM
hopefully the instructions will answer this for you
17-12-2010, 10:18 AM
Thanks for that David. At least one of us will read the instructions before attempting the installation.
By the way I'm thinking of changing the name of my observatory to something like "calm, dry and serene with clear skies" observatory. Holy crap the weather we have had over the last few days sure made the observatory live up to it's present name. High powered winds, incredible rain fall and who knows what else has been thrown at it. Thank heavens I installs those storm cleats - no leakage or anything.
17-12-2010, 10:45 AM
thats good news Allan that everything is safe
17-12-2010, 02:49 PM
Had a quick read over the instruction sheets for the installation and it appears that you dont have to take the dome off etc. Was there any information in relation to slaving the dome and the scope?
Thanks again, Allan
17-12-2010, 03:22 PM
Allan, i knew you didnt have to take the dome off, but i wasnt sure if i had to lift it slightly - i dont. I have yet to read the manual fully fo the install, but as to maxdome - have not looked at that yet - baby steps:lol:
17-12-2010, 03:48 PM
That looks pretty easy. So the motor runs off the battery and it is charged by the solar cell? Excellent.
17-12-2010, 03:51 PM
your guessing right
17-12-2010, 06:08 PM
But you know im a bigg bbaby and i want to know NOW.
Want to know what software etc needed.......WAHHHHHH
17-12-2010, 08:00 PM
Brett posted this in the starshed thread.
I'd guess you just swap lesvedome dome driver for maxdome driver.
17-12-2010, 09:58 PM
Robin thanks for the info and David the Maxdome II driver has just been updated. See http://www.cyanogen.com/maxdome_dl.php
31-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Well after all the rain here in SE Queensland over the last week or so I thought that I should go over the observatory with a fine tooth comb and do some minor maintenance. Little did I know that a colony oof very small ants had taken over and infested the floor beneath my plastic lining (put there in case some insects wanted to house inspect). Luckily they didn't come into the rest of the observatory so I took out the rubber matting and carpet flooring. Threw away the plastic but kept the insect screen and terminated all the ants. After that I siloconised all the gaps in the floor, replaced the insect screen, carpet and rubber matting. So hopefully no more ants. After doing some general tidying I noticed that there were small black smudges on some of the surfaces. MOULD. So o then wiped put the whole of the dome with exit mould and I hope this will keep that on check. I guess I will do a 6 monthly spring clean to make sure all works well. I greased and lubed it all. So that it will be ready for the Maxdome automisation qhich will arrive sometime in January. Can't wait.
Anyone else having troubles with mould and how to combat it?
31-12-2010, 06:11 PM
thats not good getting mould and you cant help the weather?
16-01-2011, 05:52 PM
Finally recieved the Maxdome II kit from Sirius onservatories. After a lot of visual help from Dave Hough and practical from Peter Bester, I managed to install it and finally test it all out. Since I didnt do all the proper dome measurements etc the slaving of the dome to the scope was a bit out but I managed to trial it on M42 last night and some other objects and all appeared to work.
Anyway today I went back and measured everything and put that in the ascom dome control program - measured the home offset from true North plugged in all the data, and it works like a dream. Very sattisfying.
But I must admit that the instructions were poor or non existant in some critical places for the installation. Could have been a lot better in my opinion.
But checks on the internet and reading the bad and confusing manual a few times (the installation CD was a joke and all that was pertinent on it as the maxdome driver - the rest wouldnt install) it now works a dream.
Happy at last and all I need is some clear skies.
19-01-2011, 12:02 AM
After installing the Maxdone II control for the dome I twisted Peter Besters arm and he graciously helped me to install remote desktop on my observatory laptop and an indoor laptop. How great it is to have one going in the observatory and the other inside away from the mozzies. Peter also made a good suggestion and I installed a small webcam in the observatory so that o can also monitor the scope and it's environs remotely. Could comein handy. Thanks Peter for all your assistance. Much appreciated.
19-01-2011, 08:29 AM
I believe "Oil of Cloves" should keep your mould at bay.
19-01-2011, 01:09 PM
Yes have used that and it works quite well. If it hadn't then "exit mold" would be next
31-01-2011, 03:39 PM
Thought I would do an update on the observatory with a few pictures. The first shows a modest amount of landscaping - eventually some of the shrubs will grow up.
Next are two interior shots of the dome remote control which is working beautifully under Ascom control. It also shows the storm cleats that I fitted as well as the dome track that the motor turns.
Then a shot of the scope and cable control around the scopes so that I dont trip over cables.
Whats not shown are the webcams around the dome to show scope attitude so that when remote desking I can see if the mount is getting close to the cameras etc.
10-03-2011, 04:36 PM
All you need to do now is get rid of all those neighbors trees & roof tops that are in your way.:lol:
10-03-2011, 09:58 PM
Only one tree really in the way to any extent. Any lower and then you get atmospheric disturbance in the photos. Been fairly lucky with the placement of the observatory as light pollution is the main bugbear.
20-06-2011, 11:05 PM
I've now been able to automate the dome to the extent that all I have to do now is open up the shutters and then walk inside and control the whole box and dice from inside using Team Viewer. Once I replaced the laptop with one having a real rs232 port I found I was not getting interupts on the dome rotation using a serial2USB converter. One other thing I have noticed is that the scopes are well equilibrated to the outside temperature and that they are holding focus extremely well. Indeed the refractors last night were exactly in focus from the previous nights efforts. I'm thinking of automating the setup now using CCD Comander so that I can get into Sn patrols.
13-12-2012, 09:34 AM
Have been using several modes of lighting within the observatory recently from touch lights to small led lights placed around the observatory. I found that in the end this is expensive due to batteries and so on a whim I've installed "fairy" or Xmas led lights around the rim of the observatory. These can be in different colours but I've found that since I do astrophotography rather than visual the white LEDs are the choice for me and really give a good light around the whole of the observatory. Highly recommended but make sure you don't get the ones with a blinking format.
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