View Full Version here: : Starry Night Observatory
25-03-2011, 03:57 PM
one day to go:rofl:
26-03-2011, 04:28 PM
She has arrived, Starry Night Observatory.
IceInSpace's loved member jjjnettie has donated her old observatory to a good home.
With much bartering and millions of emails later I finally got it transported from Kilcoy to Hattonvale.. a 1.5hour trip that took nerly 2.5 hours on the day.
It was transported by Warren from Zenith Transport. He was legendary!, we had to balance it on its roof to be under size, it took forever but was worth it in the end. I highly recommend Warren, he was very professional yet a nice easy going bloke. His rates were very decent as well.
Now starts the work, this old observatory has seen its fair share of weather but with a bit of work, in a year or so it will be as good as new.
Stay tuned as I will post updates as I go.. when complete, some members, make sure you have an empty belly because I will officially "open" it with a bbq and campout.
attached are some pics.
Again many thanks to jjjnettie and Warren from Zenith.
26-03-2011, 04:51 PM
Fantastic news. Glad you got it there in 3 pieces. :)
I'm looking forward to watching the rebuild.
So happy it's gone to a good home. :D
26-03-2011, 06:37 PM
Congratulations. That took courage and determination. Ironically, I was driving up that road just 2 days ago and noted that the old observatory was still sitting there with a jungle growing out of it. While you'll certainly have plenty of work to do, you can be sure it will reward your effort many times over.
26-03-2011, 07:12 PM
Well done to have got it there in Three pieces:eyepop:
I too will be watching the rebuild as I have been involved with this Dome from the start:thumbsup:
26-03-2011, 07:43 PM
yep 3 pieces plus the door piece for measurements., it was so nerve wracking the entire way untlll we got off Brisbane valley highway i would watch it every bump rock side by side. it moved to the right a bit.
I did it upside down to keep under or near legal limit because pilots cost more then the truck!
unfortunately the left hand side of the top door/lid support collapsed a bit.. no big deal, 90% of it is ok, easy fix.
I gave it a good inspection this arvo, new rollers, very minimal structural, some steel bashing, the rest is cosmetic wash, paint, some patching etc.. all achievable. ohh and a new door something thick and tough maybe a dead lock or 2.
Peter, Funny you drove past it 2 days ago :P, strange how the world works.
Ron im sure I will have many questions
Does anyone have any pics of it when it was in operation at the astro club? i found an old website but it was empty
26-03-2011, 10:52 PM
Hi Steve, here is a short history of the dome :)
Built by a friend at Morayfield about 1988.
Sold to the Sunshine Coast Astronomical Society (SCAS) about 1996
and moved to a property in Mapleton ,but never assembled:(
Bought by the president of the club about 1998 and assembled at Beerburrum and used for a few years .
Dismantled and moved to Kilcoy about 2005
Obtained by Jeanette a couple or so years later:)
And now you have it:D
Jeanette may want to put in some dates as well;)
I hope you get some good use out of it :thumbsup:
I maybe even tempted to travel to the opening when you have it;)
PS No pics as it was never assembled when owned by the club.
27-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Oh wow! what a history. Jeanette said from 2007 till a few days ago she had it i think. but that is really fantastic even more motivation for me to get it pristine and working again.
Any other pics of it throughout history? maybe from your friend?
27-03-2011, 10:10 PM
I also forgot, We had an extra passenger that day.
take a look at the attachment. I nearly got him in a pic with a fly but just missed it.
That piece of steel is about 40mm wide
02-04-2011, 04:45 PM
i have uploaded a part 1 of 2 of the video of the delivery .
02-04-2011, 06:47 PM
Nice to have captured the recent history. Good luck with the project.
02-04-2011, 10:33 PM
Part 2 uploaded
02-04-2011, 10:42 PM
Cool, thanks for that.
03-04-2011, 12:26 AM
great to see things coming together
Awww good on ya Steve :thumbsup: cant wait to see her all done up :P
03-04-2011, 11:47 AM
Steve,I showed the original builder the video of the truck unloading the dome last night :)
He is happy it has gone to start another chapter in its hopefully long life:thumbsup:
Unfortunatly he has no pics of the construction or when it was in use,as he is not much into taking photographs :(
Jeanette may be ble to ask the owner before if he has any pictures of it set upin his place :question:
Best of luck with the reconstruction:thumbsup:
04-04-2011, 11:35 AM
That's great Ron, thanks for that, glad to get his approval.
Progress might be slow as its at mums and im short on cash.
I have gotten the steel for the pier, but i need to get 2 plates replaced as they were cut wrong.
I have also sorted out the electronics.
I will have a solar panel outside on a frame so its off the ground about 1m. The panel will be mounted in a way that will allow it to track the sun, a little circuit from ebay and a low rpm motor will allow tracking. I will also have the back of the frame notched with a pin so I can adjust the tracker assembly up and down to follow the approximate height of the sun.
Deg's Mon actual deg mon actual deg
40 jul 38 jun 40
45 aug 44 may 47
55 sep 53 apr 58
65 oct 65
70 mar 70
75 nov 75
80 Feb 80 dec 82
85 Jan 85
This array via a charger will recharge a 50-80 Ah deep cycle battery.
this will provide power to LED lighting as well as a DC-DC adapter for my eee, 12v cigarette sockets for my scope and usb hub as well as a dc regulator to step down 12v to 7.4 v to power my DSLR, the sockets will be installed in the center of the pier. I will run conduit under the concrete up the center of the pier to keep all cables hidden and away from tripping over.
I will have RED on the floor lighting (attached is what someone else did)
as well as other red lights for stuff. and maybe a bright white light setup of some sort for other purposes.. I like LED's and have 1000's :P
24-04-2011, 07:42 PM
I have taken some pics of the damage that needs repair.
Attached are 5 pics
1 Wide view of the obs on a beautiful easter sunday morning.
2 pics of the hinge joining the lower, what id call the pivit. This piece will need to be replaced along with maybe some repair of the lower door
1 pic of the inner roof door support. i recken remove the panel, cut the damaged out, get replacement ply and shape it to match, then reattach.
1 pic of the roller mounts.. not sure on this, i was thinking of casters as its hard 2 find bearings that are wide. or in steel pipe
26-04-2011, 05:19 AM
Steve, I have 8 roller blade wheels here I bought but didn't use in mine. They are about 80mm in diameter, come to a taper point and have bearings installed with a 9mm I/D. PM if interested.
26-04-2011, 11:17 AM
Thanks heaps for the offer. unfortunatly i dont think they will work. the guides are about the size of skateboard bearings and the rollers are about 50mm dia by 80mm wide. they are weird
26-04-2011, 12:01 PM
Steve, I'll have a look in the shed next time I'm at the other house.
There was a bucket full of bits and pieces, and I'm pretty sure there was some spare rollers.
I think that they originally came out of starter motors
27-04-2011, 10:02 AM
Hey, i grabbed that bucket but there was only 1-2 in there.
I think its going to need about 6-8 or something. Next time im at mums I will take a trip out to the local wreckers and see what they say.
They look like larger bearings that have been inserted in a peice of pipe or similar.
27-04-2011, 11:27 AM
I think I have found my rollers...
32mm wide 40mm long Linear Bearing
Attach a 20mm shaft and we good 2 go
20-06-2011, 10:17 AM
This past weekend was an amazing day under the QLD sun!
I got stuck in and cleared about 1/2 the garden for the observatory.
It was sooo good being out in the sun in the warmth.
Images included :
A 360 Panorama. I used Panorama Factory to do this, FANTASTIC SOFTWARE!
What i cleared saturday
the sun and sky
the KILLER blackbean tree!!!. those nuts are huge and hurt when they fall on your head.
what i cleared sunday, inc my kingcat, gotta love that thing.
what i removed. so many bricks as well.
03-11-2011, 12:54 PM
Gday all, just a quick update.
I finally got around to getting some plate steel for the top of my pier design. I ended up with 4x 10mm x 200 x 200 which i intend on welding 2 pieces together to make 20mm thickness pieces. i also may bore out the holes in the corners from 14mm to 19mm for 18mm bolts.
Also I picked up some pipe which might make good rollers, 2 cheap bearings jammed into the pipe to make longer rollers.
Progress is slow as money is extremely short at the moment.. but its getting there.
Thanks all for your support, I expect to be up and running late 2013
21-11-2011, 10:02 AM
Thought I would upload the 1st and possibly final Pier design.
some measurements are not on the PDF, thos measurements are "wildcards" meaning the bolt diameter for example can change.
The plates i mentioned in an earlier post, the center of the hole are actually 25mm in rater than 20mm in the pdf.
The pier consists of 7 pieces.
The base 300x300x20mm
The Pier 165mm pipe 5mm walls
Top and Bottom plates 2x 200x200x10mm welded together to make 20mm thickness. (all i could get)
Bolts either M12 but up to M20 depending on what drill bit I can get, I need to modify my press as it runs a little fast for a 20mm bit.
Adapter plate, 150mm aluminium turned and machined on a lathe by a fellow ISS memeber, the plate is fantastic and fits the EQ6 perfectly.
Similar design to http://www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16169&cat=0&page=1
Mine is just a little larger and not anodized
I also have comming from ebay some bearings in various sizes to trial making my own rollers for the dome. The plan is 2 bearings inserted in the ends of some pipe.
I have also attached an almost to scale 12" scope to get an idea of what it will look like.. remember its almost to scale, it was a quick "I wonder what it will look like if I do this".
On a side note, I have also started constructing an electric hacksaw. Recent projects have made me relise i hate cutting steel with an angle grider or hacksaw. I dont have the money to spend on a drop saw... yet..
the 1st version will be made using wood, with a 1450rpm 1/2 hp motor. I will use the motor and its pulleys to turn 2 pulleys out of MDF. the end result will be a electric hacksaw that cuts around 60-90 cuts per minute. Meaning slow but perfect cut of metals.
Version 1 will cut the steel to make version 2, a steel version of version 1.
Small things getting done but it is all getting there, completion is just within sight (through a 12' newt with a 5x barlow and a 4mm eyepiece)
21-11-2011, 10:21 PM
I like your clear drawings, but the drawing of the scope makes the pier and mount look pretty small - maybe it's just the perspective. Do you know how heavy your scope and mount will be?
I am thinking that you might want (or need) to beef-up the pipe diameter a little. I used a very similar design with 250 mm bolt spacing on the square plates and found that I needed to use 19 mm bolts (actually threaded rod) rather than 12 mm which resulted in too much flex with my set up. Each threaded rod was 250 mm long, and I had a 8" SCT on a wedge. This arrangement provides a steady platform. http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/attachment_browse.php?a=76330
22-11-2011, 09:59 AM
Hi Chris, thanks for the reply. Unfortunatly the pipe diameter is all I have, I'm limited on time so I cant easily go looking in scrap yards for larger diameter so I grabbed the largest I could from Direct Steel. I hope it will do however I have always had a plan to build a larger pier If I did come accross a larger diameter pipe. I would use this one for my 6" scope. I agree about the 19mm thread.
I only have a basic drill press which in my opinion runs too fast for that size. I will try some oil when drilling, hope fully that will work. If not im sure i can make a new pulley system and slow things down.
22-11-2011, 01:28 PM
Just thought ide drop a little bit of knowledge in on this.
A little while ago i ran basic analysis on the best sections to use for perm piers, and contrary to popular beleif a circular section isn't the best at all. Great in torsion but in bending not so.
If you can get your hands on 200 x 5 SHS which should be readily avalible from your local steel merchant, it will proform better. As for bolts and threads, i woudln't have gone anything less than M16 as M12 like has already been said will move a bit.
here (http://brendanmitchell.net/?p=410) is the link to my blog talking about it
22-11-2011, 04:27 PM
Perhaps you could do a dedicated post on ISS, there is little information regarding scientific tests of the deflection of steel piers.
Im presuming the program you used is a simulator, you didnt actually go out and get some massive pieces of steel and weld a 50kg weight on the end and get a deflector meter (i know wrong name) and measure it.
If that is correct and if its reasonably easy, could you do a simulation for me? my tube size is 500x165x4.9mm. 50kg is accurate.
In the meantime I will send direct an email bout the SHS cause they do have that in stock.
22-11-2011, 08:23 PM
If you haven't got any cutting oil try WD40 or CRC 5-56. And start your hole drilling with a small drill size first then take it up in easy steps so you don't overload the cutting edge. You can also take small bites at it by lifting the drill up and down quickly and just letting it cut a few turns each time it goes down. Keeps the heat down and clears the swarf. ( Old engineering trick when you didn't want to be bothered changing the drill speed )
23-11-2011, 12:31 AM
... There was a very heated debate about it ;) hence the general tone of the blog... see ARM CHAIR EXPERTS.... S
The program I used in that analysis is Multiframe which is a structrual analysis program I use programs like that on a daily basis but understand how to actually do all the calcs manually, that would put the fear into most mortal men some of the calcs.
As for 50 KG if you are in a obs youll never get that kind of loading on it not in a blue fit as your scope is balanced and the weight is dragging though the center of gravity or the centroid of you equipment. Thats what makes me laugh most of the time when people talk about the whole pier deflecting or the vibration when you hit it or filling it with sand. Sand will only dampen the high frequency vibration (the ringing sound) itll do squat for anything else, unless somebody can bring to the table scientifically peer reviewed testing ill stand by what I have said.
Unless you are putting a massive telescope up on top. eg Paramount ME + 14"+ the deflection willl never move more than your guiding can handle and even then it will still handle it.
At the end of the day ide be more concerned about the soil that your putting your pier footing in. No bigger isn't best as soil will lift a building! if you have reactive clay be prepared to either stabilize alot of soil or just tweak your polar alignment every now and then.
One of the piers that i constructed for a friend of mine who runs a RC has it standing clear of the ground on 4x M24 threaded rod and bolts with 250 SHS. the footing measures 400 x 400 x 500 and is rock solid, the images he produces are amazing!
Ill flip the analysis though in the morning before i start work and tell you what you can expect in any case with your current section
29-04-2012, 12:10 AM
Its been a while since I last posted. I havent given up the idea of the observatory:P
I whipped up on google sketchup some rough plans for what I intend on doing. Its pretty much the right size.
Total foot print 4.8m by around 6.2m.
Observatory is 3.7m dia.
Room on the side houses PC and a bed and electronics etc. This also allows double door access to the dome for better security.
The original sketchup file can be found here http://steve000.dyndns.org/files/observatory.zip . take a look. Any suggestions are welcome.
I need to redo the dome door to a sliding sideways type instead of a sliding upwards type.
29-04-2012, 06:58 PM
If you haven't already fabricated the permanent pier, consider eliminating the rat cage at the top.
29-04-2012, 09:01 PM
haha, I have not made it yet and yes I have considered getting rid of it. From what I read it does not need to be perfectly level to achieve good alignment. Id prefer proper level...
If i do use the rat cage design I will limit the bolt space between the plates to the thickness of a nut and whatever washers I need to get level. See I also have to access the bolt to attach the head to the plate. I would need space to get in a spanner. I cant imagine 15mm of threaded rod would have much movement considering how much force is clamping the plates together.
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