After what seems like an eternity, my observatory build is finally under way.
The hole was dug shortly after my father's death in September when I took some time off work to grieve.
Since then, I've either been working overtime/oncall, away on 4WD trips, had prior engagements or the weather didn't play ball.
But, yesterday was the day. A good colleague of mine came to help me with the form work and mixing of concrete. He's just built a house (that will be featured on Grand Designs) and owed me a favour as I helped him out a few times. Also, he missed getting his hands dirty, so, what better way to get them dirty again than to build a pier?
The hole is about 830mm below ground, then, I decided to have a 500x500x95mm skirt/box for a little extra stability (and, to also keep my observatory computer and other power supply stuff on, and then the rest of the pier above ground. All in all, it's about 1300mm from bottom to top in one single monolithic structure. The pier is 300mm in diameter.
12 bags of concrete (our maths was bang on!) and a bunch of rebar later, I have what is presented in the images.
It's not much concrete compared to what others have built, but, it will be more than apt for what I intend to do with it (remote imaging). It'll only have a G-11/FSQ/STL on it for now (with a view to migrate to a Paramount of some description in the future). I will later build a 1.5mx1.5m wall structure around it and then bolt an Absco pool pump cover shed on top of that so that the roof clears the scope at the counterweight down position. The roof will be modified to slide on castors/rails. The whole thing will then be automated.
P.S. My body is aching today from mixing 240 kg of concrete. :O