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Old 13-09-2019, 01:14 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Bells Observatory 2.0

Nearly 2 years after moving from Grose Vale, on the outskirts of Sydney, to some acreage at Quialigo NSW, I've started rebuilding my Obs - Bells Observatory V2.0. The location has good visibility and dark, transparent skies (Bortle class 2). See daytime panorama taken from where the Obs will sit HERE.

My todo list is very long so it will be quite some time before I reach first light, but ya gotta start somewhere!!

So far I've:
  • Dug the pier footing hole
  • Built the form so I can do the footing and the pier column in a single pour (al la Mike S' Terroux obs)
  • Cut the formatube to size
  • Assembled the pier bolts in a jig ready for embedment into the concrete pier column
  • Determined the location of true south (so I can align the bolt pattern) using a post's shadow produced at the sun's meridian transit time
Only a few small things left before the concrete pour now.

I'll be getting a raised wooden deck build by a professional sometime in October I think - 4.2m square. My old Obs was only sitting on a 2.5m square deck and that wasn't enough to allow me to walk around the 2.3m diam Obs for cleaning and easy dome assembly. Getting in and out carrying heavy equipment was a little dodgy too.

You can see all progress pics with commentary HERE.
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Last edited by marc4darkskies; 26-09-2019 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 13-09-2019, 01:22 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Great news Marcus Had a good scan over your property a few times over the last couple'a years (pining and looking envious on each occasion of course ) and that's exactly where I thought you would site the observatory

That form work looks veeeery familiar, uncanny really

Good luck with it and let me know when the heavy lifting needs to be done aaaand I'll..try and...get someone else to help! ...kidding

Mike
That panorama killed me

Last edited by strongmanmike; 13-09-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 13-09-2019, 01:35 PM
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Great to see Markus. These things are always good to follow.



Josh
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Old 13-09-2019, 02:53 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Great news Marcus
Cheers Mike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
That form work looks veeeery familiar, uncanny really
Yeah, what are the chances we'd come up with exactly the same design eh? A single pour is certainly the way to go tho - cheaper too

Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Good luck with it and let me know when the heavy lifting needs to be done aaaand I'll..try and...get someone else to help! ...kidding
Thanks Mike! Once the deck goes in (October probably) I'll be reassembling the dome and could use some pro help. Some muscle to lift the scope onto the mount would be nice too. We'll be sure to ply you with beer and food in return!

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Great to see Markus. These things are always good to follow.

Josh
Cheers Josh
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Old 13-09-2019, 06:28 PM
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Excellent news, I looks forward to seeing the results
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Old 13-09-2019, 08:01 PM
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We'll be sure to supply you with beer and food in return!
...well of course! I'm like a mega drone when offered that...pick up heavy stuff...pick up heavy stuff...then Lasagne!

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Old 13-09-2019, 08:42 PM
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It looks like a wonderful site. I am sure you will have many clear nights and some excellent images to share in the near future.

Greg.
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Old 14-09-2019, 09:02 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Exciting times. Looking forward to first light with that monster scope of yours.
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Old 15-09-2019, 08:53 AM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Excellent news, I looks forward to seeing the results
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
It looks like a wonderful site. I am sure you will have many clear nights and some excellent images to share in the near future.

Greg.
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Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
Exciting times. Looking forward to first light with that monster scope of yours.
Thanks fellas! For the first time in a while I feel motivated so I'm looking forward to getting back into the fray!
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Old 15-09-2019, 08:57 AM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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...well of course! I'm like a mega drone when offered that...pick up heavy stuff...pick up heavy stuff...then Lasagne!

Gail's reluctant to make you a Lasagna! She's afraid of insulting your Italian heritage with her "American" Lasagna.
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Old 26-09-2019, 03:12 PM
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The weather since the last instalment hasn't been the best - 40mm of rain including a 100mm snowfall (the biggest fall in 60 years). Consequently my pier footing hole became a swimming pool even though it was covered!

I baled it out a few days ago and re-applied the formwork. I also secured the formwork to the ground so it doesn't lift during the pour. See HERE and HERE.

Concrete pour tomorrow!
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Old 26-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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Ah!...perfecto
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Old 26-09-2019, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc4darkskies View Post
The weather since the last instalment hasn't been the best - 40mm of rain including a 100mm snowfall (the biggest fall in 60 years). Consequently my pier footing hole became a swimming pool even though it was covered!

I baled it out a few days ago and re-applied the formwork. I also secured the formwork to the ground so it doesn't lift during the pour. See HERE and HERE.

Concrete pour tomorrow!
Water in the hole is good as the soil will not suck out the moisture from the cement mix and allow it to cure slower making for a stronger footing down the track.
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Old 27-09-2019, 01:13 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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You can stop pouring now!!!!

Concrete pour was done this morning. About 0.8m cube. At the end when I said "stop" it kept coming!!

The formwork didn't budge!

Other pictures HERE, HERE and HERE.
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Old 27-09-2019, 04:52 PM
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Marcus I am enjoying your progression here.I showed my better half but she was more impressed with the stonework on your house.
Cheers Derek
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  #16  
Old 29-09-2019, 12:39 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Marcus I am enjoying your progression here.I showed my better half but she was more impressed with the stonework on your house.
Cheers Derek
Thanks Derek! Yes, the house has that rustic country feel to it! Maybe I should've build the Obs out of stone!

Anyway, I stripped the formwork off today. I didn't have a concreter's vibration wand so the concrete didn't spread to the top inner edge of the form. I also pressed the bolt pattern jig down into the column which left a lip of concrete around the top - some of which broke away when removing the formatube. Oh well! See HERE

Tidied up (so you can't see the ragged edged footing). See HERE

Happy builder - stage 1 completed! See HERE.
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Old 29-09-2019, 04:24 PM
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Well done, looking good Marcus

Mike
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Old 30-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Well done, looking good Marcus

Mike
Thanks Mike ... and yes, I've been working out!
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Old 30-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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Thanks Mike ... and yes, I've been working out!
yes...with the chainsaw I believe!
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Old 30-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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That's a great start Marcus. Can I suggest a modification? Perhaps put in another pier and build a roll off shed. If you have two piers you can have two systems working at the same time. Scope dome are starting to build roll off kits and that might suit you.
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