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  #61  
Old 10-04-2021, 07:25 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex
My wifeís happy for me , she helped me build it
As long as the grandkids can use it as a cubby house as well ( donít know about that )
She has some interest in the hobby , 2 weeks ago she went on a trip to Mudgee for 4 days with girlfriends and one of the friends sister runs the Observatory there with her husband. They stayed on the property near the Observatory but only had one night for an hour to observe, bit disappointed. John who runs it has been involved in Astronomy for nearly 50 years , a wealth of knowledge ( old school )
Martin
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  #62  
Old 10-04-2021, 09:17 AM
AdamJL
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Just noticed some water on the carpet there. I don't know much about these domes, but do they come with any sealing protection at the bottom?

I'm still really impressed with your cable management. That's the best part for me. I'm not a fan of clutter.
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  #63  
Old 10-04-2021, 10:32 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by AdamJL View Post
Just noticed some water on the carpet there. I don't know much about these domes, but do they come with any sealing protection at the bottom?

I'm still really impressed with your cable management. That's the best part for me. I'm not a fan of clutter.
Adam
No sheís water tight, thatís wet patch is when I opened the shutter up in the morning and water dripped down for a while after heavy rain that night
As the Dome just sits on the deck ( screwed down with 7 angle brackets ) I decided to silicon around the bottom inside and outside to avoid any residual water creeping in
My deck boards have 8 to 10mm gaps so they act as a bit of a drain to stop water lying around
If any water does happen to seep in under the floor after a deluge , I can just remove the carpet tile and dry it out
So far so good
Yes Iím a tidy guy , hate mess lying around , the whole dome and floor is clean no messy leads and cabling taped around everywhere or strung everywhere
Thanks
Martin
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  #64  
Old 12-04-2021, 03:56 PM
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xelasnave
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Martin I hope your wife is pulling your leg re cubby.
If I were you I would build a cubby for the grand kids ....
Alex
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  #65  
Old 12-04-2021, 07:57 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
Martin I hope your wife is pulling your leg re cubby.
If I were you I would build a cubby for the grand kids ....
Alex
Alex,
Itís on my list
Martin
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  #66  
Old 19-12-2021, 10:03 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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A bit late on reading this, but definitely looks to be a top looking job done there Martin.
Something to put on my wish list for latter on.
Any chance you have the dimensions of what size the deck you made was by any chance?
Looks to be around 4 meters X 4 meters.
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  #67  
Old 28-12-2021, 06:14 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Peter,
Found a photo of my NexDome floor plans for Deck on my phone
Length 3100mm
Width 2600mm
See attached
Cheers
Martin

PS: I did have to install an additional concrete footing and gal strut just behind the central pier as the deck had a slight sag in the middle. Fixed the problem. All 4 concrete piers now sit 10mm below the underside of the deck boards, plenty of clearance. I can image and jump up and down on the deck inside the Dome and PHD2 guiding doesn’t feel anything
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Last edited by Startrek; 28-12-2021 at 08:07 PM.
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  #68  
Old 29-12-2021, 07:48 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Thanks for the photo and the specs, appreciated.
That gives a good idea on the size required for these domes.
Very much appreciated.
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  #69  
Old 23-06-2022, 02:31 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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My new upgraded rig for the NexDome has finally been installed after 5 months from ordering the gear at the end of January this year.
New rig
10Ē f5 Klaus Helmerich Carbon Fibre Newt ( GSO mirrors and focuser) EAF focuser, Orion guide scope , ZWO 290MM guide camera.
Skywatcher EQ8-R pro mount with tripod pier

The upgrade couldnít have gone better , I just had to enlarge (jigsaw) the existing tripod feet cut outs from 100mm to 150mm diameter and the new tripod pier and mount fit perfectly on the under deck concrete piers.
The 10Ē f5 newt fits nicely in the NexDome with plenty of room to walk around and sit at my workstation ( I donít think a 12Ē newt would fit ) The Skywatcher EQ8 tripod pier actually gives you more space compared to my old EQ6-R tripod due to the low spread of the legs.

I carried out some testing 2 nights ago for the first time
Setting up EQMOD for the Synscan Auto Home Position function, Balancing ( so much easier than the EQ6-R , you can push the whole rig with just one finger )
Polar alignment adjustments were accurate and responsive
Focusing , Star centering and sync alignment etcÖ.
Setting up PHD2 and testing guiding ( I have some Dec backlash to adjust but guiding figures look promising ( 0.65 to 0.80 arc sec ) at 30 to 40 degrees Alt , average seeing

A bit more work to on the rig and testing , but so far so good

Cheers
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (1A821566-28B8-470F-BA01-196F910E07BC.jpg)
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  #70  
Old 23-06-2022, 02:43 PM
LonelySpoon (Neville)
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Looking really nice Martin.

Very impressive carbon fibre tube and I love the EQ8 mount. Beautifully stable with plenty of adjustment.

Neville
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  #71  
Old 23-06-2022, 04:52 PM
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AstroViking (Steve)
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Martin,

That looks great. I'll wager you're really happy to have it so close to completed and operational now.

Let's hope that the weather is kind to you.

Cheers,
V
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  #72  
Old 23-06-2022, 04:53 PM
AdamJL
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really please for you, Martin!

But rotate your pictures
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  #73  
Old 23-06-2022, 09:24 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks Gentlemen
Appreciate it
The NexDome and this final rig has been a 2 year project in planning , design , construction , installation, testing and commissioning
Just have to tune this big mount now as best as I can get it and enjoy the hobby for hopefully the next 10 to 15 years or longer ( pending good health ) I was a late starter into the hobby which coincided with retirement ( Iím 62 now )
Adam,
I reduced the 2.2MB photos to 500Kb and attached as normal ( must be the iPhone that changed orientation ?? )

Cheers
Martin
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  #74  
Old 24-06-2022, 10:39 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
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Wishing you lots of clear skies and many hours of photon collection Martone

Mike
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  #75  
Old 24-06-2022, 05:40 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Graet stuff Martin. Have been following your progress for a few years now as someone who started with an affordable setup that achieved great results and now evolved into one of the goto people on this site for helpful advice (and excellent tutorials that i believe should be stickies)and constructive comments. I've been using you to build my astrophoto knowledge for when I take a dive into it. It's hard now as i'm a shiftworker but retirement beckons in a year or two and then I'll be ready. Best of luck with your new rig.
Cheers, Richard
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  #76  
Old 27-06-2022, 08:37 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Wishing you lots of clear skies and many hours of photon collection Martone

Mike
Thanks Mike
Hope you get plenty of clear nights up there on top of the world
Cheers
Martin
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  #77  
Old 27-06-2022, 08:55 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Graet stuff Martin. Have been following your progress for a few years now as someone who started with an affordable setup that achieved great results and now evolved into one of the goto people on this site for helpful advice (and excellent tutorials that i believe should be stickies)and constructive comments. I've been using you to build my astrophoto knowledge for when I take a dive into it. It's hard now as i'm a shiftworker but retirement beckons in a year or two and then I'll be ready. Best of luck with your new rig.
Cheers, Richard
Thanks Richard
Very kind comments
I knew absolutely nothing about Astronomy prior to 2017 but having a business for 25 years and technical career for over 40 years certainly helped me on my Astro journey
I still consider myself a beginner as to me 5 years into this hobby is a short period of time.Quite a few folk on the forum have 10 to 40 years into the hobby.
The main reason I wrote procedures was mainly so I wouldnít forget how to do things , so much to remember , but on the same token I like to help people where I can ( itís not an easy hobby especially AP )
My next venture is Mono imaging but not until next year as the finance minister ( wife) has some travel plans in the budget.
Itís a time consuming hobby but very very rewarding plus it keep the old brain healthy too
Iím glad my experiences and limited knowledge has helped in some small way
Thanks Again

Cheers
Martin
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  #78  
Old 27-06-2022, 09:49 PM
RyanJones
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Hey Martin,

You’ve got to love the look of a carbon tube ! You must be stoked to have it all finally setup. Is that a dew band at the front of the OTA ?

Cheers

Ryan
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  #79  
Old 28-06-2022, 08:02 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks Ryan,
My prime concern was whether I could achieve focus and then whether the rig would fit ok into the NexDome and have sufficient clearance when maxed out in Ra and Dec as the tube is 1200mm long.All of the above worked perfectly and thereís still plenty of room to walk around and sit at my workstation ( Iím not in there long only to set up a nights imaging then I remote control it from inside the house in the study ) The rig does look cool in black rather than all white like my previous 8Ē rig and this helps with all those little led red and green pilot lights on equipment everywhere ( Less reflection)
As these Carbon fibre tubes are so damn light and the primary mirror is a ship anchor , I had to add weight to the front end as the tube would have been pushed all he way forward almost near the shell of the Dome, plus Dec balance would have near impossible, and in Ra the end of the scope would have hit the wall.So I bought a roll of pre painted 2.5mm lead flashing from Bunnings and wrapped it tight around the front of the OTA just behind the focuser and secured it with black cloth duct tape and Velcro strap. It added 3kg to the front and allow me to centre the OTA over the saddle ( only a 150mm offset now which worked perfect ) This counter weight matches the rig , it looks like a dew heater
Next mission is to get my guiding tighter which isnít easy on the EQ8-R mounts , they do have backlash issues which I knew about.Iím going to start of with better balance and see how we go on a stable night. If I can get down to 0.50 Iíll be stoked. I donít PEC train with EQMOD as it affects dithering in PHD2 so worse case is to adjust the worms which will be a last resort.

Cheers
Martin
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