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Old 08-12-2021, 09:02 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Eagleview Observatory - Construction of Australia's Highest Observatory

In the general discussion section, there is an ongoing thread about the location, acquisition and astronomical conditions of Eagleview, as a site, but for those interested in the observatory build project, I thought the detailing of the actual construction process was probably best held in the DIY Observatories section of the forum, so....

After a few delays, construction has finally started on Eagleview Observatory, which once completed, will see it sit just shy of 1450m AMSL, making it Australia's highest observatory.

So, thus far, I have completed the substantial site cut and fill (done on Tues 7 Dec), leaving a nice elevated pad measuring 12m X 12m, ready to take the Observatory, control room/shed and open visual observing area. A path, from our existing driveway circle, out to the observatory site and a 75-100 mm layer of road base over the lot, will be added in the next week.

The site cut required a large 15 Ton excavator, which had to be delivered on a semi trailer with low loader trailer. Reminiscent of scenes of old trucks carrying large heavy observatory parts, slowly winding their way up Mt Wilson or Mt Palomar, back in the day, it made a slow crawl up the relatively steep, narrow and windy Tinderry mountain road. Then once at our property there is a last tricky bit comprising a steep approx 250m section (see attached photo) that takes you from 1350m up to 1435m, in a straight line, so, this had to be scheduled for dry weather, something hard to pin point at the El Nina moment! . The delivery driver actually said that had he not had the excavator on the back of the truck he may not have made it up this section, due to lack of weight which is needed to provide enough down force traction!

For those interested, I will be posting progress photos at the link below...lots of work ahead buuuuut with a bit of luck, I should be ready for first light by next winter Milky Way season :

Eagleview - Australia's Highest Observatory

Mike
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Last edited by strongmanmike; 15-12-2021 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 09-12-2021, 01:26 AM
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astroron (Ron)
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Great news Mike.
I will follow your progress
with interest.
Cheers
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Old 09-12-2021, 03:05 PM
m11 (Mel)
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Awesome - the Observatory build is progressing.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing.
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Old 09-12-2021, 03:14 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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The observatory build shall be known as the La Sidonio phase.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2021, 04:18 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroron View Post
Great news Mike.
I will follow your progress
with interest.
Cheers
Cool to know Ron

Quote:
Originally Posted by m11 View Post
Awesome - the Observatory build is progressing.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing.
No worries Mel

Quote:
Originally Posted by h0ughy View Post
The observatory build shall be known as the La Sidonio phase.
ie constant torrential rain everyday for 3 months....
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Old 10-12-2021, 09:03 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
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Awesome - the Observatory build is progressing.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing.
BTW Mel...pleeeenty of space on the observing pad to set up a 24" Dob!

Mike
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Old 10-12-2021, 09:59 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Hey Mike,

Haha sounds like a plan buddy and you are too kind.

It would be an amazing life experience to view from a pristine Bortle 1 for sure.

I think you need to get yourself an 18+ sized scope to do the place justice Mike.

I need to negotiate with the wife to let me go.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2021, 10:32 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m11 View Post
I think you need to get yourself an 18+ sized scope to do the place justice Mike.

I need to negotiate with the wife to let me go.
I agree!...and given my wife only recently commented "hmmm?..we are hemorrhaging money at the moment on Eagleview.."...I'm not toooo confident of having my own large Dob anytime soon ....hence my excitement about yours!

Mike
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:58 AM
m11 (Mel)
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Haha, I know that "hmmm" - definitely a warning sign.

Yah, I understand buddy.

Many thanks. I have the opposite problems of trying to get a country place to get some darker skies - It won't be as awesome and pristine as yours though- your place is next level x100!
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Old 10-12-2021, 04:19 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Mike,
It must be so rewarding finally commencing work at your site after securing the property not too long ago.
Looking forward to watching progress over the coming months
Hopefully the weather stays clear for both construction and of course some imaging and observing
Good luck with everything
Cheers
From the lowest observatory on the South Coast NSW
Martin
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Old 11-12-2021, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
I agree!...and given my wife only recently commented "hmmm?..we are hemorrhaging money at the moment on Eagleview.."...I'm not toooo confident of having my own large Dob anytime soon ....hence my excitement about yours!

Mike
It's not a cheap business building observatories in remote locations. We have spent a fortune at Swan Reach Imaging, and there is still more to follow. You'll haemorrhage more money yet by the looks, but in the end it will be worth it. Though, perhaps your wife will see things differently.
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Old 11-12-2021, 01:52 PM
Sooby (John)
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I'm not jealous, not one little bit.
Well, maybe a little bit.
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Old 13-12-2021, 09:59 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Mike,
It must be so rewarding finally commencing work at your site after securing the property not too long ago.
Looking forward to watching progress over the coming months
Hopefully the weather stays clear for both construction and of course some imaging and observing
Good luck with everything
Cheers
From the lowest observatory on the South Coast NSW
Martin
Thanks Martin, at least you can go surfing during the day and observing at night!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Haese View Post
It's not a cheap business building observatories in remote locations. We have spent a fortune at Swan Reach Imaging, and there is still more to follow. You'll haemorrhage more money yet by the looks, but in the end it will be worth it. Though, perhaps your wife will see things differently.
That haemorrhaging includes on the rest of the property and house too of course, ie. a new trailer, a large rural gate and some fencing, 3 X security screen doors for the house, 250m of new access drive, a new chainsaw, brush cutter, lawn mower, workshop and garden tools, 3 acres of slashing etc etc... ... if it was just going on the obso, hey, it wouldn't be so bad but all good

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I'm not jealous, not one little bit.
Well, maybe a little bit.
He he, heck, I'm still pinching myself too John

Mike
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Old 13-12-2021, 07:05 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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congrats Mike, must be a good feeling to be getting some progress happening!
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Old 14-12-2021, 07:50 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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congrats Mike, must be a good feeling to be getting some progress happening!
It is Russ, but with The current weather patterns and supply chain disruptions, I think this is going to be a challenging project requiring plenty of patience

Mike
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Old 19-12-2021, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
It is Russ, but with The current weather patterns and supply chain disruptions, I think this is going to be a challenging project requiring plenty of patience

Mike
At least the delays aren't happening during a clear skies period.

Its been cloudy virtually every night in my area for several months.

Greg.
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Old 19-12-2021, 02:31 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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At least the delays aren't happening during a clear skies period.

Its been cloudy virtually every night in my area for several months.

Greg.
The change since winter ended has been incredible, from lots of clear steady super dark nights from late May to late Sept... to essential none since....feels like we have moved 20deg north!..into wet season/dry season territory

Mike
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Old 19-12-2021, 02:45 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Had some road base delivered on Friday and formed up the pier footing hole, ended up about 750x750x750mm and the screwed wooden frame is screwed and secured to star pickets driven deep in the ground, so it won't move or lift during the concrete pour. I have designed the rebar cage and will construct a "cap" from wood, to go on top of the form work, with a 750mm length of forma-tube attached and that will allow a single pour monolithic pier and footing, you can see my previous (and very similar) support pier construction here and here.

Another load of road base is due and a bobcat is booked for 4 Jan to scrape a path up from the house and spread the road base over the whole site. I can then move the site shed from my current observatory, on the other side of Canberra, up to its new and 850m higher, home at Eagleview

I also positioned an alignment stake about 60m from the pier footing hole to facilitate true south alignment in the future. I used binoculars to sight the SCP (whose location I know with a high degree of accuracy) at night and traced up and down, moving the distant stake East and West until it lined up with the SCP and the stake in the middle of the footing hole, easy. I am confident (err?..as long as no one moves the stake! ) this will allow me to point my bolt pattern and align my deck, with a +/- 1 deg pointing accuracy..maybe even better!?

Photos also here

Mike
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Last edited by strongmanmike; 20-12-2021 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 20-12-2021, 04:35 PM
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Looking good Mike.
Thanks for updating us all.


Allan
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Old 20-12-2021, 06:07 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Looking good Mike.
Thanks for updating us all.


Allan
Oh Man!...everytime I stand on that site cut and look south I really can't believe it, I want it to all happen yesterday!

Mike
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