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  #101  
Old 23-04-2020, 09:07 AM
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xelasnave
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Originally Posted by glend View Post
Geez Alex, a log cabin roll off roof, that sounds pretty heavy (The roof). What about putting an old caravan on blocks, with a pier up through the floor, and a slide off roof - might work ok and be less work than a log cabin, but probably ugly as hell.
The roof will not be logs only the walls. No windows one door. Only 8x8 internal or maybe 8x16 with a bunk and kitchen counter for making tea and snacks.
I have only done about half a dozen plans ..but it will be a while before I can start it.

I have often thought about a pier in a van approach but on my reckoning there is a great deal of work and perhaps more than is apparent on first consideration.

Anyways I am having the tree fella cut the fallen trees into 10 foot lengths mainly to make them easy to move...I have not counted but there may be as many as one hundred trees down so I need to use them somehow.

The young guy doing the work is a keen chap...I said that I could make a wild west fort and he says yeh we could do that easy...In the future I will dry hire a machine and have tree fella remove the stumps and level the cleared land.

The first reason for the clearing was to be able to see the CSP and more sky overall but I really needed to distance the van from the trees as a precaution for Bush fire...leveling the land is for that reason as fuel control will be easier..fence it and get some goats..maybe a couple of donkeys.

What I need is a way to "thickness" the logs ..
I have worked out a simple open end joint which should enable construction with green logs...And when I get the 16 inch it will live on a tripod on a nice cement floor for a long time before I go for a pier...no doubt trying to fit so much in a small space has caused my various issues with the latest observatory but I think running a tripod for a while avoids what I have just put myself thru.

I near went mad with the eq5...I completed the pier extention working all yesterday on it...bolted the mount on top and the dam thing wobbled, so I would take it off add or subtract a couple of washers but still a wobble..the bolt seemed a little too small and there definitely was some play..but I thought once it is tightened there should be no wobble as all the bolt has to do is tighten to hold the thing down...but no matter what I did ..wobble..I was ready to fibre glass the lot...but I noticed a thread in the plate from the tripod ( which I fix to the top of this ply wood pier) and I thought this has got be the problem ..it is causing a slight separation and is not tightening...so out with the rat tail file purchased to elongate the holes and removed the thread so the bolt did not bite any thread...crossed my fingers and thank goodness no wobbles.But the time wasted was unbelievable... And I was so self satisfied coming from absolute despair to knowing my patience gave me yet another victory.

The sad thing is I like finding objects manually but the observatory is too small to do that comfortably so I will have to use goto...not that I mind but I do like to peek thru the finder scope...usually I have a 70mm but the objective fell out and one of those many todos...
Anyways I got a perfect PA with unguided runs of 5 minutes tolerable but I opted for 60 seconds subs ..managed RBGHa and Lum and a few darks...only have had four hours sleep and need to motivate and do some lights.
Alex
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  #102  
Old 23-04-2020, 10:10 AM
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Probably to early but it shows the mess and finishing details yet to complete.
Alex
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  #103  
Old 15-05-2020, 10:57 AM
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xelasnave
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An uninteresting update.

I had problems with the roll off roof such that it was jumping the track..it seems the timber guides were able to move out just enough...so...anyways getting the observatory closed at 2 am with a crow bar is no fun ..I widened the running surface but thinking it thru it really needs to run in a u section track..I think I have some laying around so I will fix that so it just can not fail.

I invested in three 140 amp hour batteries (That gives me 420 amps at 12 volt only draining to 25% = more than enough) which replace the near useless batteries that came with this free van..what a disappointment the original batteries turned out to be..I was mentally valuing them at $800 I thought they were special but was a cheap fix for the previous owner..they were really no more than car batteries.

Anyways the new batteries (acid matt) fit into the nice battery boxes (not inexpensive but free to me) and no wiring had to be changed.

There are two solar panels on the roof which I estimate at 100 watts each and I replaced the regulator that I fried months ago...all is good and my fridge loves having sufficient power such that fridge matters are now somewhat normal...now why are these new batteries important to the actual observatory..well now the 120 amp battery borrowed from the astronomy department is now back in the observatory set up ..so..for the observatory it has...a 120 watt panel with regulator built in..a fantastic product..a 120 amp hour battery and a back up 750 watt genny...so it is now entirely separate from the van and visa versa...

I am so happy I got someone in to clear the trees..I was going to cut them myself which was not a good idea with crook legs..you need to be able to move real quick sometimes...and this guy really worked...nearly as hard as I would back in the day and only $200 a day..three days? Maybe four...and he tells me he can dry hire a machine so I plan turning it into a park..a place for archery like...he got some of the tree that fell in the dam out but with the machine we can make it beautiful...and although the petrol tank on the fire pump, which the tree fell on is tinted it looks ok..I have not tried to start it..I know slack.

I have more logs than I know what to do with and if anyone wants to build a log cabin I can supply the logs ...is 50 cents a foot ok? You select , cut and take away and pile up branches etc...serious folks...an opportunity to build that log cabin you always wanted.

Still so much more to do as it is all the small jobs that take time and although I thought originally expected that I would get this done in six weeks it is near one year.

I am rather happy with my achievement as it was far from easy and without sooking too much my legs pain almost prevented me carrying it to completion..so many times I was going to give up..in fact sell all my gear but here I am now with a dream set up...now my next project I am seriously thinking about a 16 inch and building a log cabin observatory.

It seems like a big job but if I do one log each day it seems manageable...I have cleared a patch just in case I don't back off and testing a couple of cutting methods to key the logs. I need a dolly to move them but I can use a ramp to put them in place.

There more you think it thru the easier it becomes and now that I will give up Sydney living I will be able to do this...it would look so cute...and I want to get my old yacht back and put it in the dam..or another boat....then my world will be perfect...

I need to do the logs in a way that they can shrink as I can't wait for them to season the right way..I don't have that time really...anyways I won't go for a pier first up ..I will leave a foundation but run the new scope just on its tripod eq8? And figure out just how high I want it all to be after long usage before I commit to a permanent set up...but put in a stove and bed desk etc.

I won't add photos because things are still a mess and I will leave them to much later when it is truly finished..garden on the outside and paint etc...if ever. Maybe I will cause these before shots will show work everywhere..in progress...well the whole place is in a terrible mess..dead gennys, uncompleted outside bench, the forge is laying on its side, the veggie garden is just a mulch pile, there are pile of logs off cuts and branches piled all over, rounds laying everywhere...but I only see how it will be...when I can walk out off the log cabin down the jetty onto the sail boat..It don't have to go anywhere...and great guest accommodation if any of the girls visit.

Alex

Last edited by xelasnave; 15-05-2020 at 11:08 AM.
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  #104  
Old 15-05-2020, 12:24 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex
Enjoy reading your update and progress
Your certainly producing some great images out of the Obs
I guess you would be under Bortle 2 skies up there at Tabby ?
Martin
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  #105  
Old 15-05-2020, 12:26 PM
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Get the picture
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  #106  
Old 15-05-2020, 12:46 PM
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xelasnave
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Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Alex
Enjoy reading your update and progress
Your certainly producing some great images out of the Obs
I guess you would be under Bortle 2 skies up there at Tabby ?
Martin
I am happy I bring some enjoyment to someone.
The images only reflect the quality of the gear and the sky.

I don't know the rating I have never worried about its rating but the reality is..to my Soulth there is nothing until you get to Grafton 120klms by road..to my East an hour's drive we have Casino...the only town that I know of any that does not have traffic lights lights..to my West is Tabulam with maybe ten street lights and to my North there is a little Town..Bonalbo 30minute drive...not much grid power so a lot of folk don't use much lighting..I only use a small led light as I see well in the dark..I don't really need it although a was given a battery so set up some flash led light strips . .you can see your way around at new Moon by star light...at the other place I can read newspaper head lines from star light.probably could here I expect...the reason I don't use Goto is you can see everything ..it is quicker for me to move the mount manually than wait for those slow motors.
Alex
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  #107  
Old 15-05-2020, 12:54 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Looking good Alex, amazing setup achieved with hardwork & improvisation..

Looks like a great spot to while away the hours.. are there any fish in the lake/dam?
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  #108  
Old 15-05-2020, 03:26 PM
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Looking good Alex, amazing setup achieved with hardwork & improvisation..

Looks like a great spot to while away the hours.. are there any fish in the lake/dam?
Thank you Calton.
No fish yet but I plan to put in some maquarie perch not only in that dam but in another dam on the place and in fact putting in another dam to bring together various fish farming techniques I have put together over the years to greatly reduce production costs..an experiment to test novel food production for fish. A fish costs a great deal to feed so the less money spent on buying food the better and the last time I looked production cost was around $10 a kilo which makes the price you get at the farm gate critical ..my method could reduce production costs by half perhaps even more..but I need to test it in three different dams..it's inexpensive, a few solar panels, small pumps, lights and wire netting a d Polly pipe..that it's beauty..inexpensive for hopefully high yield..also I developed a high yield yabbie system that strangley I can run in the same dam as fish...it is funny cause use of the system provides more food for the fish and protects big yabbies while providing some small ones for fish food...anyways aqua culture is one of my hobbies that I really dont talk about...but I could write a book..been into it for 25 years.
Alex
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  #109  
Old 24-09-2020, 04:10 PM
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xelasnave
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No progress on fish farming although I have the excavator here now but the girls have a list of things they want done so maybe I just have to forget fish farming.

Anyways..an update on this observatory.

I have the old eq6 working and the heq5 working in there as well.
Been using the eq6 for wide fields only and the heq5 to carry the 115mm..but it should have a new eq6 in the new place.

All the little things are completed and really all that remains is an external coat of paint ..to this end I purchased a spray gun from Bunnings which hopefully will make the job very easy..the clean up however sounds terrible..maybe line up every painting job do it all and throw the unit away..only cost $40. I have plenty of paint stored away and when the excavator is done will do the painting so I can say it is truly finished.

I have ordered another eq6 to go in the "new" roll off and may even get a second one so that will be three all up..the idea is..115 mm on a new eq6, the 8 inch on a new eq6 and the 80 mm on the eq5 and the Nikon with a decent wide field lens on the old eq6.
I need at least one more camera really two so maybe a narrow band and a one shot colour..now all this sounds expensive but I rationalized it this way..a while back I was happy to buy a 16 inch at around ten grand, a suitable mount in a similar price range and a seven grand camera..for just one set up..now I can get all I spoke about above for say eleven grand so I am saving maybe 15 grand also I won't need a real fancy computer...so I can use my ok desk top and another desktop coming as a gift that will do the job...

So the two new eq6 in the roll off..one on a pier the other on a tripod so I can maybe do a trip West, the eq5 and 80mm and Nikon wide field on the old eq6 in this small observatory...

Observations...the thing I built needed to be just a little bigger as the 115 mm could hit a wall ..ok for the way I do things..hands on always checking..but the roll off I want a remote set up and plenty of room around things to adjust stuff...I can do it in the small one but it is cramped and I don't do cramped that well this days.

For anyone thinking about the approach I took here I would suggest..just as long (8 ft) but a little wider maybe 5ft but think how you rig will fit...and perhaps just one mount..which gives room for a little desk one end...everything was built around the size of a sheet of ply hence 4 ft by 8 ft..just adding a foot changes the convenience of this approach. Four ft high works but you need to think it thru..again night was determined by the width of a sheet of ply...a tally it was the size of "fibro" sheets as well..the ply was a lining but both fitted size considerations.
Alex.
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  #110  
Old 30-09-2020, 09:01 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
No progress on fish farming although I have the excavator here now but the girls have a list of things they want done so maybe I just have to forget fish farming.

Anyways..an update on this observatory.

I have the old eq6 working and the heq5 working in there as well.
Been using the eq6 for wide fields only and the heq5 to carry the 115mm..but it should have a new eq6 in the new place.

All the little things are completed and really all that remains is an external coat of paint ..to this end I purchased a spray gun from Bunnings which hopefully will make the job very easy..the clean up however sounds terrible..maybe line up every painting job do it all and throw the unit away..only cost $40. I have plenty of paint stored away and when the excavator is done will do the painting so I can say it is truly finished.

I have ordered another eq6 to go in the "new" roll off and may even get a second one so that will be three all up..the idea is..115 mm on a new eq6, the 8 inch on a new eq6 and the 80 mm on the eq5 and the Nikon with a decent wide field lens on the old eq6.
I need at least one more camera really two so maybe a narrow band and a one shot colour..now all this sounds expensive but I rationalized it this way..a while back I was happy to buy a 16 inch at around ten grand, a suitable mount in a similar price range and a seven grand camera..for just one set up..now I can get all I spoke about above for say eleven grand so I am saving maybe 15 grand also I won't need a real fancy computer...so I can use my ok desk top and another desktop coming as a gift that will do the job...

So the two new eq6 in the roll off..one on a pier the other on a tripod so I can maybe do a trip West, the eq5 and 80mm and Nikon wide field on the old eq6 in this small observatory...

Observations...the thing I built needed to be just a little bigger as the 115 mm could hit a wall ..ok for the way I do things..hands on always checking..but the roll off I want a remote set up and plenty of room around things to adjust stuff...I can do it in the small one but it is cramped and I don't do cramped that well this days.

For anyone thinking about the approach I took here I would suggest..just as long (8 ft) but a little wider maybe 5ft but think how you rig will fit...and perhaps just one mount..which gives room for a little desk one end...everything was built around the size of a sheet of ply hence 4 ft by 8 ft..just adding a foot changes the convenience of this approach. Four ft high works but you need to think it thru..again night was determined by the width of a sheet of ply...a tally it was the size of "fibro" sheets as well..the ply was a lining but both fitted size considerations.
Alex.
Alex
Enjoying reading your progress , you have done so much work up there and looks like your on the home stretch
For your 8” scope I can personally recommend the ZWOASI2600MC OSC camera
You have seen most of my images with this camera so there’s no need to validate my recommendation on how well it performs
Keep well and clear skies
Martin
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