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  #21  
Old 05-09-2020, 10:25 PM
Astronovice (Calvin)
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Hi everyone,

Latest update -
Paving has been laid out and elec cables being roughed in as we speak.
If the rainbow is any indication then my dream is starting to come true...

Happy days,
Anth

PS now I have to dig this Pier Footing. Not looking forward to this - I have been avoiding it to say the least...
I used a rotary post hole digger to bore a circular hole and then squared it off with a long handled spade, much easier than trying to hack it all out with the spade.
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  #22  
Old 07-09-2020, 08:35 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Cal,
Your suggestion was considered and I was fortunate enough to have a plumber lend me his jack hammer to do the heavy work. I'm feeling a bit tingly in the arms and hands from using it though - it really bounces around!
Made short work of digging a 1m deep X600 square hole that's for sure.

The actual footing was 500m deep and the 1.3 m tall gal steel pillar sits also 500m below the paving level leaving it standing at 800mm above the floor to take my Neq6 mount and scope. I poured the template holding the four 300mm M12 bolts in-situ and aligned it square to fit the base plate of the pillar and once the concrete went almost off I was able (with the help of my Son) to drop the pillar in place over the bolts and propped it level and plumb using the ladder and some blocks of timber to set it in place.

Was a big job but was satisfying to rest on Fathers Day and soak up the achievement along with all the pampering from my fam.

Look forward to spray painting the pillar and fitting out the walls internally...

Anth
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  #23  
Old 24-09-2020, 03:16 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Hi all,
Well the front doors are on and its time to get started setting up.
I was keen to try out the obs with a test setup (using the tripod) to see what it was like and I was very pleased. The fact that the walls surround you gives a whole new feel to astronomy - a bit of comfort from the outdoor chill I guess and sheltered from the ambient light and shifting air. Having a desk right by is very convenient to have all the astro gear off the ground and the computer setup. This will all be wired in soon with cables tucked under the paving to keep it neat and tidy. I'm now over the hard work with this build and the rain this weekend will give it a good test (its been water tight so far so I'm confident it'll hold up) The last touches will be the internal wall finishes and some shed stuff to hang up and to bring it to life (the beer fridge mainly).

In case you are wondering what the survey gear is setup for is because I am going to establish a meridian line (Greenwich inspired) out the front of the obs for a point of interest while marking out the anelemma pattern to work as a sundial (I've done the computations for my location - I have one already out the front garden I made 5 or so years ago . Watch this space...
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  #24  
Old 25-09-2020, 03:31 PM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Hi everyone on this snowy cold Sep day!

Today was a milestone moment having rigged up the mount and scope on the awaiting pier. Unbolted the Neq6 Pro mount from its tripod legs and re-bolted it using the central locking bolt to the pier. Here it is...

I have to say its worked out just as I thought it would with enough clearance from the rafters as planned. I have also rigged up a block and tackle my father gave me and attached a rope connecting the front beam of the ROR. It's made things smooth and simple enough to slide off now. I like it.

Now, Question : If anybody would care to suggest - Is it bad to leave the scope fully assembled with all the counter weights on the extention rod for lengthy periods or is it better to take it all down after each session leaving just the mount on the pier?
The reason I ask is I'm not sure if it is good to have all that weight straining the damn thing and would flexure creep in over time in the OTA. Also would the mirror suffer from being in the Parked home position? Up until now I have always stood my Newtonian up straight to keep its shape...

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated.

Cheers,
Anthony
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  #25  
Old 25-09-2020, 05:55 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anth10 View Post
Hi everyone on this snowy cold Sep day!

Today was a milestone moment having rigged up the mount and scope on the awaiting pier. Unbolted the Neq6 Pro mount from its tripod legs and re-bolted it using the central locking bolt to the pier. Here it is...

I have to say its worked out just as I thought it would with enough clearance from the rafters as planned. I have also rigged up a block and tackle my father gave me and attached a rope connecting the front beam of the ROR. It's made things smooth and simple enough to slide off now. I like it.

Now, Question : If anybody would care to suggest - Is it bad to leave the scope fully assembled with all the counter weights on the extention rod for lengthy periods or is it better to take it all down after each session leaving just the mount on the pier?
The reason I ask is I'm not sure if it is good to have all that weight straining the damn thing and would flexure creep in over time in the OTA. Also would the mirror suffer from being in the Parked home position? Up until now I have always stood my Newtonian up straight to keep its shape...

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated.

Cheers,
Anthony
Personally I don't have a permanent observatory so all my gear is stored indoors most of the time.

I store my scopes vertically, so the primaries are facing up or down. Mainly easier to store this way but also heavy mirrors sit flat with gravity. No long term sagging or flexure.

The mount I treat it like a precision instrument not a work horse. So I dry it after each session, I never have a load out of balance on it (e.g counter weights on shaft without scope on) and I service it every 12 months. Strip it, clean it, regrease it and fix or change what needs to be like bearings or shaft wear marks needing sanding, worms, couplings, gearboxes, clutches, etc... It's now over 20 years old.

If a had a permanent set up and ceiling room I'd park the scope vertically up or down and work out some kind of rig to take the weight off the mount to support. If it's for long periods of time I'd take everything apart and put in dry storage.
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  #26  
Old 27-09-2020, 10:32 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Practical advice given Marc.
Iíve given it much thought and although itís nice to have it setup at the ready I do tend to believe itís far wiser to take it down(my Son has echoed your idea too). This way the nephew and nieces arenít tempted to hang off it it too!
As for your comment on the workhorse well Iíd like to one day be able to take up the challenge of servicing the mount. It looks like a daunting task but hats off to you for maintaining it. The belt mod is something I have on the things to do list one of these days.

Cheers.
Anthony
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  #27  
Old 27-09-2020, 12:21 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Originally Posted by Anth10 View Post
Practical advice given Marc.
Iíve given it much thought and although itís nice to have it setup at the ready I do tend to believe itís far wiser to take it down(my Son has echoed your idea too). This way the nephew and nieces arenít tempted to hang off it it too!
As for your comment on the workhorse well Iíd like to one day be able to take up the challenge of servicing the mount. It looks like a daunting task but hats off to you for maintaining it. The belt mod is something I have on the things to do list one of these days.

Cheers.
Anthony
The Losmandy mounts have very few moving parts so are easy to strip and maintain. I believe skywatchers EQs are more of a challenge but when you've done it once I think it gets easier. Understanding what's under the hood with your mount also helps greatly in tuning it and get results.
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  #28  
Old 30-09-2020, 06:48 AM
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Anth10 (Anthony M)
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Hi all,

Here are a few pics with the gal pillar painted in stark white with the scope all setup. I've had a test run or two in the observatory and enjoying it very much - well worth the hard yakka.
Anth
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  #29  
Old 30-09-2020, 08:51 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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That looks so good mate. Green with envy.
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  #30  
Old 30-09-2020, 09:45 AM
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It has been a real pleasure seeing this get done and very motivating for me to keep at my project.
Alex
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