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Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > DIY Observatories

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  #1  
Old 23-07-2017, 09:25 AM
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A Plan before the main plan.

I have never bothered to set up a scope at the place in Sydney mainly because there are so many trees you have maybe 20 degrees field of view and that is on a cement patio that retains the heat of the day.

However to get ready for when I get back North full time I have decided to set up anyways.

There is no South view as the house excludes it so getting aligned although doable should be fun.

I may bolt a pier to the patio or if I retain the three legged at least cement it in place...you can do that when there are no women about.
And make a roll off box...thinking about it the box does not have to be big or strong it only has to keep out the rain.

And rather than buy a new camera have a go at modding my cannon 400d.
Also experiment with auto guiding and generally start to relearn..getting a good image of anything is sort of not relevant..
And best of all give me something to do in Sydney.
Being up here and getting out if only with binos has really sparked me up...and I have been researching astro stuff rather than wasting time in front of the TV.
And if I bolt a pier to the deck I can reduce the height of the rig and the roll off box.

Alex
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  #2  
Old 23-07-2017, 09:48 AM
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You have heard of tiny houses this is the start of tiny observatories...if I only used 80mm refractors and a short pier ....it would be a.very small box...why do we build such big roll off structures... maybe need a mini shed for other stuff.
Alex
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2017, 09:18 AM
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I went with a box style approach (a four foot cube) and it is now nearly finished. Its not roll off and will have a roof "lid" style that hopefully I will motorise so as to be able to opperate remotely.

All panels assembled and painted, supports glued and screwed. Just have to bring it all up from the garage which for me is a big job but I figure one panel a day should do it.

Constructed short pier in concrete with steel reo but the grout I thought was black was not so I left the pier cement colour.

The box is ready to go together however the scope sits higher than the measurements suggested So I need to redesign the roof now to fit the 8 inch scope in park poss but an 80 mm or 100 mm will fit.

However so far my approach to only house the scope and mount holds promise.

I can imagine this approach could work well for a remote situation, which I hope finally to use this cube for.

I will put up fotos when complete.

alex
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:59 AM
glend (Glen)
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Sounds good Alex. Why motorise such a small roof, ok i could see it if remote ops required but for now, in development, i would not worry. I would suggest giving some thought to ventilation, heat and humidity can build up quickly in a small box structure. Natural convection is best, with ground level vents and some sort of vent at the roof peak. As your an old boatie, consider the range of affordable cabin ventilation devices available through Whitworths online, like this small solar powered vent:

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_i...AbsolutePage=1

Do you have any photos yet?
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2017, 11:04 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=126403
Alex,
Around message #10 there's some images of my "proposed" 4'x 4' x 4' observing box - may give you some ideas...
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2017, 12:47 PM
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Hi Alex,

You said the box only has to keep out the rain, but also make sure it can't blow away in a storm. So you will need some method of tying it down when the weather turns bad.
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2017, 01:32 PM
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Alex,
Have you seen my "temporary solution"?
It's been 6 years already....
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Sounds good Alex. Why motorise such a small roof, ok i could see it if remote ops required but for now, in development, i would not worry. I would suggest giving some thought to ventilation, heat and humidity can build up quickly in a small box structure. Natural convection is best, with ground level vents and some sort of vent at the roof peak. As your an old boatie, consider the range of affordable cabin ventilation devices available through Whitworths online, like this small solar powered vent:

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_i...AbsolutePage=1

Do you have any photos yet?
On my previous observatory I used a couple of small computer fans and a solar panel and I will do that with this arrangement.

As to photos I only have my fone which is complaining it has no storage space and I must put in a card..I have wiped out photos cleared everything I can but it says no space...so I need to get a card.

But when its working, unless I use the new camera no photos at the moment.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=126403
Alex,
Around message #10 there's some images of my "proposed" 4'x 4' x 4' observing box - may give you some ideas...
Thanks I have had one look but I will study it more when I have more time later tonight.

Its seems you beat me to the idea but its great someone else sees the virtue.

alex
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdan View Post
Hi Alex,

You said the box only has to keep out the rain, but also make sure it can't blow away in a storm. So you will need some method of tying it down when the weather turns bad.
Its will by held fast with bolts into the patio which will never move but thank you for the caution because it is easy not to take into account how these things behave in a storm.

alex
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
Alex,
Have you seen my "temporary solution"?
It's been 6 years already....
I have now

I now have the scope sitting on the new pier and I am going to align it before I put the box together.
The floor will have a hole for the pier and I want to make sure when I cut a hole it will be correct...
Getting alignment is probably the bigest thing to do..it took me near a week last time cause there is so little sky also I lost my reference points which were placed so I would not need to align...small set back.

Alex
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:23 PM
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And Glen..the idea to motorise is for eventual, maybe, setting it up as a remote ob up North.
Also the weight of the roof is probably something I would prefer to avoid lifting.
I think for a while it will just have a cover whilst I build a different roof..I had it all worked out but now that the scope is sitting higher than I meant it to do a roof variation is necessary and it will be heavier than my first idea.

Motorising wont be a problem for me I enjoy designing these sort of things.
alex
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  #13  
Old 03-10-2017, 02:49 PM
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photo of pier etc
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2017, 03:00 PM
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I cant get a photo of the box parts as they are in the garage and the new camera only has a 50 to 200 mm lens so getting close is a problem.
alex
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  #15  
Old 03-10-2017, 04:02 PM
glend (Glen)
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Alex, are you planning on storing the scope with the mount laid over 90 degrees to get the profile down? If your going to store upright, then a skillion roof is a good choice, then you only need to lay it over when you slide the top off. If your flipping the roof i guess it doesn't matter.
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2017, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Alex, are you planning on storing the scope with the mount laid over 90 degrees to get the profile down? If your going to store upright, then a skillion roof is a good choice, then you only need to lay it over when you slide the top off. If your flipping the roof i guess it doesn't matter.
My options are ... rebuild the pier which is not really on given the work under the surface..I have wire and more wire all wired up with even more wire..it would support the scope and mount even before the cement.

I could cut a section out of the thing on top of the pier but I dont have a welder so I probably would have to have it done..unless I buy a welder.

So I think going for a skillion style roof is the way to proceed.

It is only about another 8 inches so its not a big deal and frankly a roof with some sort of slope is miles better than just a flat box top which was the original plan.

I have a few ideas for a roof all of which are simple.

There will be more weight but that wont matter as the roof will be counter balanced so as to take small motors... maybe the motors off my motorised walking frame ..it is ready to go but stranegly the little height it needs for the standing platform makes me feel unstable... I can pirate the gears and chain... as to a motorised get around I am working towards getting a van that I can run one of the little electric chairs up and into.. the ones you see the old folk driving in the shopping centers... also hopefully my legs will get better..they seem stronger even if the burning wont let up.

I have had a terrible past week on a personal level I could not get to see my daughter for the holidays and a bit of a health scare with a family member but I am putting all that aside and throwing myself into getting this project complete.

I have painted camo on the exterior of the box as it could possibly be seen from the street and around here a neighbour could put me in for not lodging a DA so I want it not to be noticed.

I have already roped a tree and dragged it into place for cover and also growing a passionfruit for cover..all is good.

Have not tunned the scope yet but so far have...
Purchased the lap top, got on the internet via a nice little box, got a plan rather than just use the pre paid phone, purchased the camera based on your advice, purchased electric focuser and installed it notwithstanding that the mounting stuff that came with it was not usable, purchased the finder guider and a little ZWO, got it working with help and guidence from the forum, got a flash coma corrector, added additional tube rings and a alluminum brace for strength and a place to mount the new camera and give the 50 - 200 mm lens a go, should be fun, pulled the mount down now four times, got most of the software to start things, deep sky stacker, PHD, trial of Star Tools, Registax, Smartcap, and some others and the free camera control and near completed all the work to do with the pier and box...plus installed an air conditioner for my bedroom and started some box vegies on the patio. All of which sure beats laying on my back all day... my legs are not happy but itis not real bad pain and could be worse.

The scope needs internal support as the seam is giving away under the four clamps...and I want to baffle it when I strengthen it internally plus build my "stray light extention tube" to fit the new scope.

I have managed some sky shots to get a feel for the city light and must sau it is way better than I thought it would be...but not being able to see all the sky has me feeling lost..strange but most of the sky I cant see and what I can see is not familar.

alex
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