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Old 03-01-2020, 01:47 AM
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Joshua Bunn (Joshua)
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new observatory build

Hi everyone.


Its been about a year in the planning and testing to make sure all the software and communications are working for my new remote observatory, which is situated in the dark skies of the WA wheatbelt some 200km inland from the south coast. I will operate it from my home in Albany.


Now I have started the structure build. I had read evidence that a portion of the seeing effects in our images come from within 10 or so meters above the ground. I had also seen another observatory that was elevated and spoke with the gentleman who operates it and he confirmed the extra height improved his seeing conditions.



So I have decided to try it out, the telescope will observe from about 8 - 8.5m above the ground in an elevated 3.6 x 3.6m observatory. The surrounding Roll off roof observatory is built on a structure with 8 concrete piles going into the ground, while the telescope sits atop a "quadpod" pier that goes through the observatory floor and is also held down with 5 similar concrete piles that go into the ground, yet to be built.



I may get some comments saying it wont make a difference, and it may not to be honest, but I'm interested to find out


from the initial photos, the frame is 6m high, and the observatory platform sits on top of that and extends the floor to 7m high. The frame will have a ladder to climb up on, which then goes into the cage that can be seen welded to the side of the platform. This also serves as a walkway to the observatory door, and on the way, access to things like Cell reception aerials and allsky cameras and security cameras. the walls of the observatory will be made from 100mm sandwich panel.

I hope you enjoy the progress.


To power the observatory i will use a bank of solar panels and either lead carbon or Lithium batteries in a 48Volt bank.


Thankyou to Troypiggo, Steven Mohr and Terry Robison who have all helped me out along the way. Thanks Guys


Josh

Last edited by Joshua Bunn; 03-01-2020 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:05 AM
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some pictures
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:06 AM
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3 more
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:55 AM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Wow!
Looks like it will be amazing...put in a runway and it could double as a control tower!
Iím curious to read more about your quad pier design...
Also, perhaps think some more about staircase v ladder - Lugging expensive/heavy equipment up a ladder sounds challenging. I guess you wonít have to do it very often, but thereís always a bit of changing, trouble-shooting and upgrading that goes on, particularly during establishment.
Given the skill you put into your adapters, Iím sure Iíll enjoy watching your obs build.
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Old 03-01-2020, 06:34 AM
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Thanks Jason.
My original plan was to use a staircase, but that was more work than I wanted. So instead I went for the ladder, and I will use a winch mounted on the structure to get my mount and scope up there. I'm not hauling them up there on my back
The gear I have now will last me for some time, but I have built this to house a 24 inch scope if I ever have one in my future.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:54 AM
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wow...looks and sounds awesome Josh

Any drawings/plans you could show? I am thinking it will be something like at Farm Tivoli in Namibia..?

Mike
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:29 AM
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8 meters in the air? Have you got structural engineering approval for that nearly three story structure Josh? Holy crap, that is a massive project. I'll be very interested to see how you go with it. What are you doing regarding wind loads? The wind in your area can be pretty high at times and 8 meters up is going to be a nice sail. It will be an interesting experiment.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:19 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Very cool and interesting! Hats off to you Joshua for taking on such a project! It'll need some pretty serious engineering to keep the structure and pier stable though! I'd be interested to see some drawings/plans too.

I'm looking forward to following your journey!
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:23 PM
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Stairs versus ladder, I reckon you are on the right idea Josh, I have worked in air traffic control towers and on RADAR systems, both involving equipment at height. The best way to get it up and down is a winch on a rail with a half door (Top half) that the rail protrudes through. To get gear in you open up the top door, push the winch out and drop a basket down, then winch the basket back up over the fixed bottom of the door and pull it back inside.

Any other way the temptation is going to be there to carry something heavy or awkward up the stairs or ladder.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:44 PM
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Hi Mike.
Yeah, similar to the Trivoli farm, that was one place where I got inspiration from. No plans to share, sorry, the real thing won't be far away . Most of it is on my head except for some small detail drawings.

Hi Paul,
8 meters in the air...
Yes, I did seek the advice of a structural engineer. The wind can be pretty constant where I'm putting it, but usually by night, it's calm. At it's highest point, the telescope will be a good distance below the top of the wall height as well.

Thanks Marc.
I do like the challenge, and working in a workshop as my day job, I've built a few big projects in recent times. Again, no drawings to share of any significance, but I did draw some for the engineer, which now have other scribbled plans on them


Hi Paul,
Yeah, a winch with a ladder is the way to go I reckon.

Last edited by Joshua Bunn; 10-01-2020 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 10-01-2020, 12:24 AM
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I have the pier done, except for welding on the top base plates for the mount. welded on 4 base-plates for the endless thread at the bottom. also made 4 reo bar cages to sink into the concrete footings for the pier, now to make 8 more for the observatory structure.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:17 PM
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Awesome , very interesting build project
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:09 PM
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The Eiffel Telescope

Mike
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:02 PM
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Thanks FireCat.


Quite fitting Mike
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:25 PM
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The most impressive looking amateur telescope pier I have seen. Pretty sure I'm not alone in saying, I can't wait to see the finished obsevatory

Mike
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:29 PM
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Thanks for following Mike, not to long now till I try it out and test it. I have a few Arduino sensors that I will be using in the observatory. One of which is a vibration sensor. I will mount it on the top of the pier to see if it can detect any vibration. I don't know how sensitive the sensors are...
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Old 17-01-2020, 05:34 AM
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I made up the pier that the mount sits on and that which goes through the observatory floor. Overkill, yes, but if i have a 24" one day on a equatorial fork, this will handle it.
Also made up some frames for my bolt hole pattern so that the reo bar cages will line up with the baseplates after concreting in the ground.
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Old 17-01-2020, 04:13 PM
Pepper (Steve)
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this thing is gonna be insane when your done. im looking forward to seeing the pics of it standing in a paddock.
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Old 18-01-2020, 11:20 AM
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.....

I'm no expert but when I compare the overall height and expected top mass of the overall pier, with the surface mounting flanges and bolt patterns at the bottom of each leg, they just seem a little under engineered to me..? Also what metal type is the pier made of?

Looking bloody amazing, t'is sure to become one of those amateur facilities I'd love to visit one day

Mike
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Old 18-01-2020, 11:31 AM
Pepper (Steve)
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ive climbed many towers 3 or 4 times the height that look a lot less engineered than this.
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