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Old 03-02-2023, 07:25 PM
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gregbradley
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New observatory build

This will be the 3rd observatory I have built. I have moved out of the Sydney
area down to the south coast of NSW (very beautiful).

The seeing here can be exceptional being so close to the ocean and thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean.

Slab poured today. I start construction in about 2 weeks or less.

Getting excited. It's been a while since I've done a serious image.

Greg.
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:36 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Gee, that was a tease Greg

Still, I look forward to seeing and hearing about all the progress

Mike
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:41 PM
TrevorW
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All the best Greg
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Old 04-02-2023, 12:09 PM
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g__day (Matthew)
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Good luck Greg - will be interested to see your designs? Are you far enough from the coast so that sea spray and salt deposits won't be a huge problem?
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Old 05-02-2023, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
Gee, that was a tease Greg

Still, I look forward to seeing and hearing about all the progress

Mike
Hehe. It will probably be another 6 weeks.

I am also planning to build a 2nd observatory at my dark site. I have a mount ready for that.

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Originally Posted by TrevorW View Post
All the best Greg
Cheers Trev.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g__day View Post
Good luck Greg - will be interested to see your designs? Are you far enough from the coast so that sea spray and salt deposits won't be a huge problem?
Thanks. I haven't noticed salt spray and deposits on anything and am about 2kms from a large basin and about around 3kms from the ocean. Something like that.

Design will be something simple and that fits in with the house. A slab with a pier anchor bolted to it. Then something like a 3 x 3.5 metre shed with colorbond or Hardiplank walls. The roof will be an A frame possibly using aluminium roofing to keep the weight down. Sliding gate rails from Bunnings with concave wheels for the roll off. Not sure if the whole roof will roll off or only 2 metres of the roof as trees mean I only image from the zenith down to low in the west. It would make the roll off frame more compact. Probably will use aluminium sections to build the frame of the roof and the roll off frame to prevent wood warping and rot over time like my last observatory.

I put a PVC pipe and conduit in the slab to run cables through from the pier to where I will put a desk, so no cables on the floor.

I will do the A frame roof in a direction that will protect from prevailing winds when opened and the A frame will be steep enough to direct the wind over the top of a telescope rig.

Greg.
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Old 05-02-2023, 07:46 AM
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Ryderscope (Rodney)
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Congratulations on the new project Greg. I’m looking forward to the updates.
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Old 27-04-2023, 01:41 PM
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marc4darkskies (Marcus)
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Any progress Greg? Pictures would be noice!
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Old 29-04-2023, 08:37 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Congratulations Greg
Welcome to the South Coast !!
Iím 150m from the beach , up at 50m above sea level on a hill and so far I havenít had any issues with equipment in regard to salt , rust , mould etcÖ The mirrors on my Newts are still in good shape
Only one of my unplugged USB cables sitting on my NexDome workstation desk has signs of fine rust spots appearing but thatís after 2 years.
Plus we had the deluge this time last year as well and apart from some mould on the inside walls of the Dome , everything survived that miserable weather. Just a rag and spray and cleaned up nicely

Good luck and hope everything goes well ( photos of your progress would be great )

Cheers
Martin
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Old 06-05-2023, 08:51 AM
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Thanks Martin.

I finally finished upgrading the interior of the new house with timber flooring, wainscoting, VJ board feature walls and other work. All very time consuming but it came out great.

I have had a slab out the back ready for the new observatory for some time.
I just added a walkway slab to where the front door will be for easier access.

In the meantime, I set up a pier I have had for some time made for me by a guy in WA. It was a prototype and extremely well made. I set that up over the last 2 days and made an adapter plate to mount an iOptron CEM 70 with ipolar on it. I finished that yesterday and installed the mount. I got out my CFF 105 F6 last night and mounted it and did a small amount of visual on the moon. Lots of holes drilled and tapped.

Its a smallish mount, quite portable and somewhat light and it seems well made. It has Paramount MX type locks on the 2 axes which I like. Its centre weighted and may give it an advantage. It came with a PE graph which is very low, around 4 arc secs and quite smooth. The remaining PE may PEC out. Time will tell.

I intend to get the portable pier for it so I can do a small slab at my dark site observatory so I can have 2 imaging rigs going at the same time (3 rigs if I setup my mirrorless camera gear). I will use ir for my refractors the CFF 105 F6 and AP 130 GT F6 with its quad TCC reducer/flattener making it F4.5. I have a Riccardi reducer for the CFF but I still need to tune that.

My dark site I will mount my AP Riccardi Honders 305mm F3.8 astrograph. I need something large aperture and fast as my dark site in the last few years has mostly been cloudy and in a 4 day trip perhaps only one or two clear nights so you've got to have a setup that is fast.

The new observatory at my house I am planning to be about 2.8 to 3 metres x the same or close to it. I back onto a golf course so I need to plan out the roll off roof carefully for maximum protection from wayward golf balls (a solar panel has been smashed and I got 2 dents in the ceilings of my alrefresco. Fortunately they don't play at night or early morning so its more a matter of setting up the best park position.

I am thinking simpla colorbond cladding on a light timber or metal frame with a door and a roll off roof frame hidden with some decorative cutout panels. Sliding gate metal tracks (Bunnings) and a lightweight roof perhaps just flat or maybe pitched for extra clearance and perhaps better protection.

In the meantime I have my temporary setup and a Telegizmo cover. I want to get that setup and working in the next week or so. AP130 at F4.5 and QHY600m for that. CFF 105 F6 and FLI Proline 16803 for the other widefield setup. CCD is not gone yet.

Also a Canon EOSRa on a Vixen tripod and Fornax Lightrack 11 with a QHY Polemaster for polar alignment. There are tons of super scenic spots to do Milky Way nightscapes around here.

Seeing here at times can be great. Other times just average but I think overall its better seeing than at my last home which was at 170 metres. This one is at 20 metres or so but close to the ocean - around 2kms away
So not a lot of landscape to cause local poor seeing.

Greg.
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Old 06-05-2023, 11:51 AM
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All sounds like a great plan Greg, one to watch with interest

Mike
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Old 15-05-2023, 11:52 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Greg,
Itís going to be great set up and location
If you back onto the old Sussex golf course , I first played there in 1976 , a real dog track back then , a tin shed as a club house , no toilets and the greens were full of weeds. I imagine itís a real golf course nowadays.
Your a zillion miles away from the ocean compared to me , Iím only 150m or so up on the lee side of a hill but protected by a reserve with large gums which donít impede my view at all , my view is 360deg from 20 deg up
You will have no issue with salt etc.., even when a noríeaster blows
Canít wait to see photos of your set up
Good luck with everything
Cheers
Martin
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Old 18-05-2023, 08:22 AM
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The golf course is very well maintained and quite scenic really.

I am looking at different design possibiiities. Currently I am thinking of using a horizontal roof roll off shutter. I don't want the backyard observatory rising above the fence line if I can avoid it.

So about 2.8 metres square with a roll off roof shutter being a bit wider and around 2.4 metres tall.

I notice the seeing is superior looking to the north than towards the east.

I plan on building it in the next month.
Greg.
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Old 18-05-2023, 11:51 PM
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Well if you can build it in a month you'll beat my record
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Old 19-05-2023, 07:09 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
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Well if you can build it in a month you'll beat my record
I think that stat might just stand right next to the famous 99.94....

Mike
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Old 20-05-2023, 09:12 AM
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The last observatory I built took me a 10 days.

Greg.

Last edited by gregbradley; 26-05-2023 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 20-05-2023, 04:11 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Quote:
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The last observatory I built took me a week.

Greg.
I once just got a tarpaulin and some hockey straps from Bunnings..bingo, observatory!



Mike
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  #17  
Old 21-05-2023, 09:34 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
I once just got a tarpaulin and some hockey straps from Bunnings..bingo, observatory!



Mike
Mike,
In my surfing days mid to late 70ís we called em Occy straps as they came with either a single strap , quad or eight bungy tentacles with hooks
But no prob with Hockey straps

Retired Surf bum now avid Amateur Astronomer
Cheers
M
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Old 04-08-2023, 07:06 PM
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SimmoW (SIMON)
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So, how did the build go Greg? 😂 Following your build closely, as it matches our own plans closely. Iíve been away from Astro far too long, largely due to other farm and life priorities taking over, but I feel things are balancing off a bit so have decided to think long term and get going on my own RoR shed, along with another buddy. We will certainly take more than a month! Might be finished before the Westgate tunnelÖ
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Old 19-08-2023, 08:26 AM
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Hi Simo,

Just about to start.
I had other work to do first like laying
marble floor tiles which I have now finished.

So observatory construction starts in about a week.

Iíll mark out the size of it first then lay a colorbond flashing
fixed and sealed to the slab ti make it vermin proof
and water tight.

Then Iíll build a frame. I would like to do that in true core
like my house.
That makes it fireproof.

Roof frame Iíll use 50 x 50mm x 3mm thick aluminium
square section to keep it light yet strong.
Bunnings sells sliding gate tracks so Iíll be using them as well.

More later with photos as I start.

Greg
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Old 19-08-2023, 08:30 AM
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As far as the roll off roof I am leaning towards a split in the middle so half rolls off one way and half the other. That way I minimise the ugly roll off roof frame.

I olan to put some garden stainless steel cable system and some vines to soften
the look of that frame.

I also plan to use Hardie Plank cladding and paint it shale grey to blend in with the house.

That might mean I have to use timber framing but I should be able to screw the planks down?

Greg
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