Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > DIY Observatories

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #101  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:29 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Scored some more foam but forgot to get move builders foam.., new dam completed, crucible made, pier underway ..the photo here is to give an idea of the stages..it is now past this but I needed to take a rest just now and drink maybe even eat something, and forgot another photo...best news coming back to the van and not looking forward to how hot it would be, I tried the genny and it started third pull so my carb pull down did the trick...and I never got around to the spark plug which is usually the first thing I look at...and better still the air conditioner started working so it must have shut down because the genny wasnt supplying power before I shut it down days ago..so happy as to me the air conditioner is new..I have not used it much..

The earth mover cut a track right to the dam so the girls are happy...the pier is consuming an extraordinary amount of concrete..Today I have put in three bags which I thought with additional rocks would have it to the level where I would fit the pipe mold..honestly you just cant see where the 3 bags have gone..anyways there is already a huge mass..9 star pickets a lot of rocks and 3 bags of concrete..might nip into Tabulam and get more and try and get some progress happening. I work and work and there is still so much to do.

Making the crucible was fun and I tell you I am a clever little devil...first I fashioned basically a bowl and could not get a beaker shape, which was odd because I have made them in the past..but I folded the bowl and stuck most of the edges together ending up with a pointy affair open at one end like those ancient vessles they carried wine and olive oil around i..I bet that is how they made them..so intuitive.. but then I filled it with sawdust and was able to fashion a neat unit..added a handle so as to put a brach thru when pouring the molten alluminium.. I will leave the sawdust moist to slow the drying which usually minimises cracks...only took a little over an hour.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201002084145_resize_11.jpg)
122.1 KB53 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201002090300_resize_28.jpg)
138.9 KB39 views
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201002_125107_resize_25.jpg)
123.5 KB46 views
Reply With Quote
  #102  
Old 02-10-2020, 03:43 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Star pickets for pier support in place and four bags of concrete in there somewhere around and below the rocks. Bought another six bags of concrete so see how far they go.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201002163331_resize_5.jpg)
152.2 KB48 views
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 03-10-2020, 03:26 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Had to take the advice Glen gave to have a rest day for today I did not feel well at all as I could hardley stand not because of legs but just seemed dizzy..anyways spent the time I was awake to think about the alluminium molding idea..first I looked on youtube and find folk melted in a tin can so making the crucible was unnecessary.
I worked late last night adding cement (another three bags) and rock at a modest pace and while resting openned up the new mount box and took a look at the tripod etc to figure out what to make..could be beyond my skill to be realistic...although I was rather tired so possibly a little negative..but it seems the same as my old eq6..I did not check...by this time I could not bring myself to open the small observatory and that was my first job today but I felt it prudent to lay down....however if I can use the pier attachment from the old mount I may just use it so I can finish the pier and start again on putting up the foam.

I am a little disappointed as I thought I could finish everything this weekend. Each job takes just so much more time when you start actually doing things..like the form work ..even though I made it up ready to go on the job I realised that if I did not rim a couple of inches I would not be able to remove it...and I ha e plans for that ply.
Maybe I can put in an hour or two after dark if I feel better.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 03-10-2020, 06:50 PM
glend (Glen)
Registered User

glend is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lake Macquarie
Posts: 6,031
Alex if your feeling dizzy that is a pretty good sign that your blood pressure maybe too low. Do you have a blood pressure monitor?
Or your oxygen saturation rate could be low. In either case it is grounds for seeing your GP to get assessed.
You may think your invincible, but working alone as you do, and given your age and leg problems, care needs to be taken.
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 04-10-2020, 08:13 AM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Thanks for the good advice Glen.
I feel so much better this morning. I feel relaxed. I think getting so many things done sent me into overdrive...I got many things done from a "business" point of view, got the park done, a new dam, new tracks, the road got sealed, the microscope arrived, the mount arrived, I bought stuff on the net, and I seemed to be able to work all day and night like once I could...and had time to really help someone with advice...so perhaps too much mental and physical demand and stimulation...however reading up on biology and how energy works at a cellular level (so interesting I just soak it up) I feel I have a new understanding that will enable me to do more than ever before and better manage things without as much effort and minimal risk to health or sanity..I don't like going to the doctor to be honest as he usually tells me things that interrupt my plans..but all is good...I feel lazy today which is always a good sign..that means I am thinking I find and being cunning to get more with less effort...a bit of thinking can save much physical effort...I had a glimmer of how the sort this mount to pier thing so I will make a cuppa grab the sketch pad and come up with something brilliant thereby justifying a lazy day.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Old 05-10-2020, 11:25 AM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
So to raise my blood pressure I thought damn it just make this alluminium thing for the pier ...that should send your blood pressure thru the roof.

Came up with a design that I am happy with so I made up heaps of good clay with saw dust which took ages as there were small rocks in the clay which I needed to remove... and after started building the mold...I think I can do it but sometimes I can get over confident...however I set up the forge and dug out a steel crucible with a handle , I dont like steel because of my sad experience of melting the bottom out of the other one I had...anyways I just need not to go overboard with the blower..I realised I have a petrol leaf blower at the main house which I should be able to use for the forge...

I filled the forge with just all the timber off cuts from various projects of late and topped it off with some cow manure that I had put on my mini garden...I have not decided if I will fire the mold before using it or not..if it is ruff I will so I can add material grind it etc...we shall see after it dries. I may fire the crucible I made and just keep it as an art object cause it looks cool ..melt some coloured glass over it would be nice.

Got the concrete and rocks to about floor level but I had to find a larger diameter tube...which happily I did...I bent the bolts so as to give the grip in the concrete and made up a template to position the bolts so I can finish off the pier with the bolts in place. All I need now is a drill bit a little larger than the bolts so I will pay a visit to the main house and see if I can find one...I suppose I could use a smaller drill and use a rat tail file to make the holes large enough...

It was a clear night last night but I did not have it in me to take photos so I sat on the little deck off the observatory with my binos and enjoyed visual for a long while...it is amazing what you can see with binos..I used my 20 x 50mm which are perfect although eye relief is not flash.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201005105257_resize_57.jpg)
54.9 KB35 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201005105208_resize_56.jpg)
59.7 KB42 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201005105511_resize_36.jpg)
176.9 KB49 views
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old 05-10-2020, 06:06 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Bolts in place with template and made hole to fill the rest of the pier with concrete tomorrow.
Mmmm the casting is going to have to be spot on....not the best way of going about things but I need to get it finished and out of the way...rounded up enough alluminium this afternoon so getting closer..plus I did have a weed blower...how to connect is next.
alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201005185039_resize_89.jpg)
69.8 KB49 views
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old 09-10-2020, 10:05 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Failure on the attempt to cast a base plate..worse still I decided to use the part of the tripod into which the mount fits and just add alluminium to extend it and make a base plate..took a long time to melt the alluminium and the mold was find having made some green sand rather than go with straight clay however the heat of the pour distorted the part from the tripod and I can't see it will be any good...so I don't know what to do ...However lots of fun it is just a pity that I did not attempt to cool it right after the pour as it would have been fine...anyways the pier is complete at least.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old 10-10-2020, 04:13 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
So the genny stopped, pulled down the carb and is was dirty again but would not start and no compression...real bad sign, but I thought look at the plug..I pulled the plug cap and out came the lead with the spark plug firmly fixed in it????? Never had that one before..the plug looked ok so I put it back in and made sure it was tight expecting to feel a stripped thread but no all ok..three pulls and away it went...that was last evening..nothing it the batteries at all and a clear night so very happy I had enough to get me thru...and had just enough power to process this morning...here are some photos of the smelting episode...it looked so nice before the pour...the problem is the stuffed unit is rather large and I will need to buy a sauspan to remelt it... Going to have to make the mold out of wood for next pour...or just make the unit out of wood and give it a good layering of fiber glass..
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201009132640_resize_39.jpg)
140.1 KB45 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201009132645_resize_88.jpg)
163.8 KB36 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201009181115_resize_25.jpg)
114.7 KB41 views
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old 11-10-2020, 06:26 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
I spent all day making another mold but this time using clay heavily impregnated with sawdust such that when hard you can form it with a file...tried to get everything perfect as I really want this to work without more attempts...my main problem is the failed casting which includes the distorted bit from the tripod is too large to fit in my crucible...I hope to just buy a large pot with a good handle ... I am out of cow manure so I will buy some charcoal...I fired that crucible I made and it looks like something historic and is super cool. Some aluminium melted down into the intake pipe so I hope I can get it out ..still if not the leaf blower from the top will still work.
I wish I had a path and a cylinder of alluminium as the design I ha e is very neat even if I give myself praise...hopefully I get it cast and all can see the simple way I have approached it..better than Starizonas product in my view.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old 11-10-2020, 09:13 PM
jahnpahwa (JP)
Registered User

jahnpahwa is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Canberra, AUS
Posts: 413
I'm over the moon that you decided to cast your own adapter plate, Alex. What a legend! Hope you get it naileddown soon
Reply With Quote
  #112  
Old 14-10-2020, 09:07 AM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Thanks JP I think more crazy would be the truth.
So pier is full of concrete and only needs sime cosmetic touch up.
This is the first mold, set up and the failure..it looked great when I openned it up but the bit from the tripod had melted such that it distorted making the hole off center.
I am still working on the next mold as I am trying real hard to make it work.
Alex x
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201014_100118_resize_6.jpg)
125.2 KB52 views
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201014_095901_resize_67.jpg)
119.8 KB34 views
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201014_095929_resize_37.jpg)
123.1 KB38 views
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201014_095950_resize_56.jpg)
153.4 KB37 views
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201014_100018_resize_11.jpg)
123.9 KB41 views

Last edited by xelasnave; 14-10-2020 at 09:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Old 18-10-2020, 09:37 AM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Report:
The leaf blower stopped as I tried to remelt all the alluminium I have to clean it up and test the large ppuring unit to see if it will hold together and work as designed...the spark plug is badly oiled up and I am soaking it in detergent in the unrealistic hope I can save it..I will then try some acetone ..but these days it seems when a plug is gone it is gone...anyways if I can save it I will clean up my alluminium later...maybe even do the main pour if I feel better.
The mold is finished ..the central parts (see photo white unit) are wood ..the rest clay although rather decent could not match the better precision achieved with the wood..will it burn..you bet but I hope not too much..the more it burns the more I will have to machine away...which reminds me I need to build a machine...mmm...at least start finding all the files on the place here...but there will be some stuff to tidy up for sure..I need to make a lathe.

To explain the photo.
The painted part is mainly clay save the circular sections in the center..the pegs.. four little ones are clay and for bolt holes...I have dowel but these were in place and not easy to replace...so I left them..dowel would have been better.
The concrete on the corners is to add strength to support the concrete item in the photo which is heavy and will go on top of the mainly clay unit..the concrete unit has a raised part where the molten alluminium will go and the idea is you stop pouring when the alluminium starts to come out of the smaller hole you should see on the concrete unit.
The concrete unit will sit on top of the clay unit but I plan to use a flour and water paste to provide a seal...so the process should smell like bread baking.
However if it all comes together I will be very happy..if not I will have on more try at casting but then make the unit out of resin and stainless steel pot scrubbers.
Now off to fix this damn genny and get some air conditioning..it was 100 f in the van yesterday which is real hard to take.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG_20201018_095203_resize_63.jpg)
77.7 KB41 views
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Old 21-10-2020, 03:17 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
The pour went relatively well but using wood was not the best idea as after a lot of burning I think the clay would have produced a closer result...however with a little work I think I can make it work...hopefully.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201021161002_resize_98.jpg)
140.0 KB36 views
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Old 22-10-2020, 06:32 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Lots of work..did you know that you can use a wood chisel on alluminium? Still a lot long way to go but I think it will work. Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201022192612_resize_92.jpg)
60.5 KB38 views
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Old 23-10-2020, 08:13 AM
JA
.....

JA is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,729
^ Well done Alex

Best
JA
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Old 23-10-2020, 06:35 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Quote:
Originally Posted by JA View Post
^ Well done Alex

Best
JA
Many thanks.

Today I had to go to Bunnings and buy a couple of new grinding bits as I wore out the ones I had..the new bits made it a lot easier so I tidied it up rather nice and gave it a coat of my special mix..black tile grout and resin, which filled a few holes and should make it look a little better...plus black is what you need right..maybe the pier is next..as I had some mix left over I used it to seal the top of the cement pier to minimise moisture that can come up.
The bad news..the bolt I thought would connect the mount to the new thingy ..pier cap..is too small so I need to go in again tomorrow ...I want to go to Sydney asap and sure would like to see the mount sitting on the pier before I go...down and back and it would be real nice to get back and actually use the new mount.
I still have to finish the foam fit out but all the materials are now on site and it is not a big job really..the main thing is just cleaning up the mess from building the pier and the fashioning of the pier cap...I wish I did not have to go to Sydney as two days driving will be a pain.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201023190857_resize_52.jpg)
87.4 KB28 views
Click for full-size image (IMG20201023191102_resize_46.jpg)
40.9 KB19 views
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Old 23-10-2020, 06:56 PM
glend (Glen)
Registered User

glend is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lake Macquarie
Posts: 6,031
Alex, look at the weather forecast, rain is coming and a likely east coast low. Might be worth it to just sit tight for a few days. And batten down the hatches, or your observatory roof.
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Old 23-10-2020, 08:31 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
Maybe your are right Glen I don't really have to go if I don't want to these days...plus I don't know if I mentioned it I bought a big bag a grass seed for the park..I put a little out but I really wanted a couple of days of steady rain to give the seeds a chance..We have had a bit of rain and the new dam in filling so all good....but I will try hard to get this thing finished tomorrow...it has taken way more time than I allowed for..however when I look back over the past year I have got all bit done and it should not be much longer one would hope...I am glad I did not get the 16 inch but just so happy with this roll off...the little observatory is great and I will still use it but it will be nice having the desktop in the new spot and a desk for astronomy and a desk for microscopes...and a bench to work on scopes and mounts..it should all fit..
I must go for a drive around the new tracks.I had done when the trees were moved...I put in an escape road from the van ( in case of fire or you know who turning up) and a track on the property going to the main house so now after the rain I can try them.

So good not to have the dust from the clearing so I can appreciate the new sealed road..flash eh.

Hmmmm next need to bring down the water tank and get started on a shower block...plus reinstall the fire pumps and rebuild the jetty...it would be nice to get it all done before Xmas.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Old 24-10-2020, 01:52 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,794
TvI cant believe it the bolt I went into town at 7am to purchase to connect the mount to my casting is about three centimetres too long...too early to think I guess...so I worked around it by cutting a ply disk that has become a large washer...actually works well...but in time I will install a bolt of correct size of course...but you could use the mount...if it was not raining etc.

One of the benefit from my racing days is you get an attitude to get to the starting line no matter what..

When putting the mold together it became apparent that it would be sensible to add the little peg which the azimuth controls reference later so I have yet to drill and tap a hole for it which I will do after I have satisfied myself that the mount is pointing South...so far it is level which is good ..there is plenty of adjustment in that department but it was so cool to find it was dead level when I put the mount on having kept an eye on how level the thing was during construction.
I did want to throw some seed around in the rain but I feel I can take the rest of the day off.
Alex
I am very happy with the design of the thing I made...I think it is a better approach than other stuff I have seen...in fact I may get some made to sell, create an astronomy business and offset income against expenditure.

Edit addition...the unit may look a little ruff but that is because I have sanded it before another coat of my magic mix...it works like car bog..dies not need a nice finish but I want to see how good I can get it.
Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (IMG20201024142423_resize_1.jpg)
148.8 KB49 views

Last edited by xelasnave; 24-10-2020 at 02:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 09:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
Limpet Controller
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement