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  #181  
Old 01-11-2021, 09:48 AM
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I hope to get my hands on a Cutler Roll Top Desk which would be wonderful and make the observatory super flash...lots of problems setting it up getting it here etc but I now cant stop thinking about having it there.
Alex
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  #182  
Old 13-11-2021, 07:33 PM
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Well things are moving along very nicely.

The van has been relocated to get some shade and although today was not particularly hot ordinarily the van would heat up as mild as it was...however not in its new spot with the annex removed...and the really neat thing is when I stand looking out I look over the large park like area which feels real good before the annex spoilt the view.
I will need to still make a car port for the van and the car but also to set up guttering for a water supply...so still stuff to do I guess.

It is closer to the dam now and between the van and the dam it is overgrown but getting on top of that should see me end up with a nice little area where I can drag up my little boat..I bought oars so soon I will go for a float..cant go anywhere but to enjoy a float you really dont need to...

I now have everything I believe, scope, mount, filters, drawers, power ...I do need a 40 mtr 15 amp extention lead to get to the genny in the electrical shed..but that is it..at least until I put it all together...I hope I can..my feet and hands are blistering badly because of the medication but I stopped it a couple of days ago and already my hands I could use..I think...so the plan is to get everything set up and then resume the meds...it is a balancing act but I dont think I can do it any other way.

Soon I will move back into the van however at the moment it is a mess again cause of trying to find places for stuff to live.

OH a little humour..today I was working on the car port tightening ropes and fell over right on the ants nest ...I could not move for a while so just had to lay there but not one bite...they are really nice ants...finally I crawled to my car and was able to drag myself up by using the door handle...but it would have looked funny.

So after all this time I think I can say it is finished subject to adjustment and tidy ups...and a water supply..I did have one via the annex but it is no more..I do have a good tank so almost there.

Thanks to all who have followed my story.

By having this thread running it really helped me see my progress and helped keep me motivated under what I call rather difficult circumstances.

Alex
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  #183  
Old 13-11-2021, 08:09 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex,
Great progress, glad itís all coming together
I guess you were lucky with those ants, not all ants bite , Iíve had those big sugar ants down south and their not aggressive. Itís those big black bull ants that you donít want to mess with
Take care

Martin
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  #184  
Old 15-11-2021, 09:35 PM
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These ants are big and black. I always try not to step on them so maybe they treat me nice. I often put food out for them but have not given them names..well not all of them.

Last night I polar aligned the EQ8R and was happy to find I was very close such that I did not need to move the tripod . That would not be at all easy with the RASA on the mount and sixty pounds of counter weights..it seems one to many but I have yet to balance stuff...Sig.Octans was on screen when I looked thru Polemaster using Sharp cap..why Sharpcap? Because I thought I may need to do a long exposure to show trails and therefore the direction of Sig. Octans...I had to attach the camera using blue tack as there is no polar scope hole on the mount.

AND Martin the controls are much better than EQ6 very smooth.

I was able to test the repositioning of the winch motors ( expected to have better mechanical advantage..and they did) and the effect of grinding the tracks ( and painting them) to reduce rolling resistance...both made moving the roof much easier and much smoother...what I did not know but my Shipwright mate discovered was that raised BHP (letters) was on parts of the track so when the wheels hit caused that wheel to jam and the roof jump about somewhat...I think I have said all that before earlier or elsewhere...but I am dog tired..as this morning I worked around the place..filling the huge holes that the tractor left in the muddy soft soil, trying to cut up and dispose of the annex, lay out the 15 amp 40 mtr extention cord, and lay out some exceptionally heavy cable that I want to use on something..for the solar panels which now need to be a good distance away to get out of the shade..( these are the van ones not the observatory ones).the cable is heavy duty welders cable...I was given it by a house owner and she told me her late husband could connect that cable to his welder and weld even the rear gate..so no worries about voltage drop...

I worked rather hard, but slow, for probably three hours leaving me totally exhausted and unable to walk...

Tonight I am designing a set up to gather rain water off the roll off roof...because that is the only decent roof that can take a gutter..only one side will be enough... actually I could fill the tank with bought water..its only for cups of tea..I will use dam water for everything else.

I hoped to go down tonight and balance things and attach the camera and try a capture just using manual focus but as I said I cant really walk..well I can but the pain has me screaming with each step...probably better to rest and hope I am better tomorrow for blood test and doctors as I will have to take myself to town...not in the red car.
So the observatory is getting there still...the work seems never ending.
Alex
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  #185  
Old 15-11-2021, 10:37 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex,
Youíve done incredibly well considering some set backs and limitations
Yes, the EQ8-R needs a offset bracket or similar to hold a camera for Polemaster ( yet another accessory) I watched a YouTube of Trevor Jones ( Astrobackyard )who owns an EQ8-R and used a bracket
Wonít be too long now before your imaging , just need some consistent good weather. Sydney has been starved of clear nights for most of October and November to date, very frustrating
Well done , your almost there
Best always
Martin
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  #186  
Old 18-11-2021, 10:58 AM
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xelasnave
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I was going to get the correct unit, then I was going to make one then common sense took over and I realised it only has to been in place for a very short time to get it more or less close...and that was the main thrust as I did think I would be moving the tripod...and maybe by the time I get to image I will have bought or made a bracket or done away with polemaster entirely.

My shipwright friend was constantly saying that he would do things this way or that way, better maybe but given the huge to-do list I run things like blue tack move you forward.

Like instead of building the car port I have moved the van into shade and this morning covered the van with a huge tarp to stop any leaks..that tarp will last a year..I hope I am around to fit the new one..but today with rain promising to drop any second I dont want to be depending on a prefab car port delivery in March.

And that 400 mtrs of Telecom rope sure came in handy...

So much still to do so quiet a few things will get the blue tack approach...its great for so many things...I discovered coloured blue tack..but I have miss placed it..but that opens up possibilities ...cables..camera cable gets blue..heater red.. temporary things.. I like to run stuff temporary before I comit to permanent...and remember my whole existence is temporary so making something to last a couple of decades is stupid and pointless and time wasting.
Alex
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  #187  
Old 12-02-2022, 04:39 PM
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If you have not noticed I have not been here for a while ..I received a minor infraction but that was not the reason for not being here..moving the van resulted in no reception and so I organised my time to work rather than spend it on the internet.
I have been working very hard usually starting a seven am ..sometimes stopping at lunch time other days if I am doing ok continue until dark.

Although I put in the time the jobs are mostly small but include...painting all the inside of the van..inside cupboards and drawers to make it bright and well illuminated ( which made a vast improvement as it is bright and cheerful now) , created two work benches over the bench seats so I now have a large dedicated food preparation area where as before it was typical caravan space of two feet..not acceptable so I changed it and it now works brilliantly. The other bench desk is big enough to house my desk top computer and both microscopes and my printer..very practical and functional.

The areas under I have placed those plastic storage containers so I have plenty of space..my camper fridge also has a convenient position in the van.
Last week I purchased another camper fridge/freezer which I have placed in the observatory to take advantage of the abundant power there.( Van and observatory have independent system..the observatory having the best system). I was going to replace the old "van" fridge with a normal fridge but the old fridge makes a perfect pantry as mice, rats and ants can not get in..or snakes ...the set up just works so well.
I put in a new gas stove and it is wonderful and its oven actually is usable... I have my cigar box guitar and my electric guitar along with my guitar amp in one cupboard such that the amp stays there when I play..works great.

Simple but I dont know how I went without I built a ramp and a hand rail..before I added the rail it would look as if I was walking a tight rope with my arms outstretched going up or down without a stick...with crook legs and sore feet my balance is very poor...although I now mostly just use a walking stick and mainly using the walking frame to get to my cars..I get around the place on my ride on mower..it has a trailer so I can carry my tools, food, water and walking stick...so when I go from the van to the observatory I detour and cut some grass..and happily I have the grass under control.

I set up the large water tank with all the necessary plumbing (pipes from gutter, tarp, to two stroke pump, to van etc) and have a stationary gutter system to collect water off the slide off roof on the observatory..very clever even if I say that of my own design..also I set out a large tarpolin on higher ground to catch rain water and drain it to the large storage tank...again rather clever how that works and how I collect the water thru a 19 mm pipe with no skin fitting....little things that would take days to set up and make work..nothing to an observer but most satisfying to me getting around these challenges with limited resources in man power.

I rebuilt a drowned two stroke water pump to get water to the van from the big storage tank as they are some distance apart...that was just so satisfying..I had to chisle crud out of the float bowl, the tank was near unsavable...put it together pull it down over and over until finally it sort of ran then that gave me hope to persist ..now it runs perfectly...U should have just bought a new one but the challenge appealed to me.
The water tank for the van is just a plastic garbage bin and it has a small 12 vlt pressure pump to get water to the sink and shortly to a camp gas shower. I have a 44 gal with a bilge pump for washing hands etc by the ramp so its rather flash.

I put up a hamock overlooking the dam and happily there is a cool gentle brease from the dam thru the trees..it is nice as you can see the dam over your feet.

I demolished both piers in the small observatory as I am going to now use that structure for something else...a work shop spot I expect...that is the latest project.

I finally managed to get my little boat in the dam but have yet to work out how I can get in and out of it.. but its set up with oats, pump etc...

I have only this week got to doing stuff in the big observatory ..because of the rain there was little point putting astronomy first.

However I have set up three mounts ..HEQ 5 with 80mm, 115mm on EQ6R and RASA on EQ8R I have cleared the spot for the other EQ6 and the eight inch which I will most likely use for visual..but they all fit comfortably ( subject to seeing how it all works in practice.
Yesterday I trialed each of the zwo 2600 on the 80mm and have everything ready to go for the 80mm either in narrow band or OSC...
I have yet to fit the electric focuser to the RASA and make sure the cameras have correct spacings.
The old EQ6 is on a desk ready for a pull down but the eight inch is still in the van..it will need heaps of attention..I cant remember a thing about it..but I plan it for visual...something to do during exposures..although if I can get the three scopes all capturing at the same time it will be busy...mmm I will need another lap top.
I purchased an excellent little trolly desk for a lap top but I really should get one more .maybe two more

My two cancers in my right lung have stopped growing and one has possibly shrunk by a mm....anyways I am not dead although the side effects of the meds makes death an option...the worst is the pain in the rear part of my feet..at times it could make you cry but fortunately does not effect my driving..on that note the red car (MX5) is just getting better and better as I learn its capabilities and my limits.

My blood pressure went crazy high but we are getting on top of that...

There is heaps more that I have done or purchased but I think I have covered most of it.

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe..me up to jab three.
Alex
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  #188  
Old 12-02-2022, 05:34 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Hi Alex. Nice to hear from you and great to hear that you are doing ok. It seems you have been very busy and its admirable what you have been able to get done. I will have to shield your post from my wife. She would probably say if an old fellow fighting cancer (and winning) can get all that done what the hell have I been doing! Anyway, hope you start posting some images soon and welcome back. You have been missed.
Cheers, Richard
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  #189  
Old 12-02-2022, 06:27 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex,
Great to hear about your activities and progress. All positive news including your health at the moment.
Sounds like the big observatory is ready to start imaging once this dreadful cloudy weather eventually leaves us all
I took your advice ( donít put things off ) and will upgrade my rig in the NexDome on the South Coast by July. A new EQ8-R pro mount and a 10Ē f5 carbon fibre Newt.Maybe a 2600MM later in the year or early next year. The existing 2600MC is still serving me well.
Best always
Martin
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  #190  
Old 12-02-2022, 07:30 PM
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GTB_an_Owl (Geoff)
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good to hear from you Alex

geoff
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  #191  
Old 13-02-2022, 06:23 AM
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Well hello Alex, welcome back mate, I knew we would hear from you again.
Wow, you have been busy, and seem happy and content with your efforts, keep it up mate, talk to you soon.

Leon
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  #192  
Old 13-02-2022, 09:36 AM
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xelasnave
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Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Hi Alex. Nice to hear from you and great to hear that you are doing ok. It seems you have been very busy and its admirable what you have been able to get done. I will have to shield your post from my wife. She would probably say if an old fellow fighting cancer (and winning) can get all that done what the hell have I been doing! Anyway, hope you start posting some images soon and welcome back. You have been missed.
Cheers, Richard
To be honest Richard I look around me and wonder how I get so much done particularly as I recall the effort associated with each task..special thanks goes to my friend and assistant for just so much that when I was real crook was beyond me...particularly finishing the little electric shed and setting up the whole electric system professionally ( he is an electrical engineer) and he moved my van with his tractor to the new shaded spot near the dam..that would have been hard for me with just my Xtrail...the list he took care of is huge...but my secret is keeping a book that lists the job, the time it will take, if it can be done at night or when its raining, the tools required and materials and cost. With this book I can sit down and say I have 45 minutes to spare..look for a 45 minute job, assemble the tools check I have the materials etc or add stuff to my shopping list...planning is the most important part of the job and by allocating a specific duration that it will take you make it happen in that time..so often jobs that should take a couple of hours blow out to take the whole day if you dont watch out...also if you reach a point where things get stopped because you find you dont have something have another job that you can move to right away rather than sit out the rest of the day doing nothing.
I have been running into time consuming holdups ( I bogged the white car up to the doors ..insane was like quick sand...and that took three days digging jacking winching and building a road out of the mess) and I lost 2 weeks because my blood pressure went thru the roof and I needed to rest...but in those times you can plan and assemble stuff for when you get moving again.
When you are old or in poor health your biggest problem is making excuses as to why you cant do it...you can ..it make take longer and you now need a crane and a trailer when once you just picked the thing up ... I love the challenge of just getting a fire pump or generator out of the car..I need a ramp, a pulley and a star picket in the ground to attach the hauling rope...to move sheets of form ply to my work bench I attach g clamps, attach rope then drag them there with the ride on mower..once you would just pick it up...accepting that things will be harder but not impossible it the key...
Anyways although there is still heaps to do I am back on track and indeed further ahead from where the cancer took all that time away...again I thank my friend for helping clean up the rat crap etc from the months of no one being there to take care of things..it was just so heart breaking to see everything ruined...but a couple of days of hard work from my friend (I was still very crook and was no help) and I could see I could start again.

I am having a rest this morning but going down to start setting up the RASA later...I might take the red car for a spin to the river and back...just to relax...but it is so nice to be able to talk to folk again..here..
Anyways while I have been resting I watched youtube vids on installing the electric focuser ... But I need to get going as time is finite and precious.
Alex
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  #193  
Old 13-02-2022, 12:46 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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Good to see you back Alex
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  #194  
Old 13-02-2022, 07:26 PM
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Thanks Martin ..great to hear your plans..go for it
Hi Geoff
Hi Leon
Hi Nik
Nice to hear from you fellas.
Alex
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  #195  
Old 13-02-2022, 07:44 PM
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Pulled the cover off the RASA and found this huge green frog had made under there home..I put him outside and he looked ticked off...I am thinking he may be the same one I found when we moved the van.

I got the focuser fitted with a little trouble lining up the screws and twisting away with an allen key that came with it but it was too small..I thought it seems like a long thread but it wasn't turning..and putting it on so nothing rubs has things off centre... a little but
if perfect it would have metal on metal contact..havent run it yet as I ran out of time..need to cook my dinner..plus I want to check my work later so....

I may go down later to polar align the 80,mm set up and take some test shots to see if I have round stars... there is lots of cloud but it seems to clear I have noticed recently..not good enough for serious imaging as it may be clear but it is just too wet... but to test the things and do a polar align it could do...plus start organising things in general... but things are starting to look good.
Alex
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  #196  
Old 13-02-2022, 08:39 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
To be honest Richard I look around me and wonder how I get so much done particularly as I recall the effort associated with each task..special thanks goes to my friend and assistant for just so much that when I was real crook was beyond me...particularly finishing the little electric shed and setting up the whole electric system professionally ( he is an electrical engineer) and he moved my van with his tractor to the new shaded spot near the dam..that would have been hard for me with just my Xtrail...the list he took care of is huge...but my secret is keeping a book that lists the job, the time it will take, if it can be done at night or when its raining, the tools required and materials and cost. With this book I can sit down and say I have 45 minutes to spare..look for a 45 minute job, assemble the tools check I have the materials etc or add stuff to my shopping list...planning is the most important part of the job and by allocating a specific duration that it will take you make it happen in that time..so often jobs that should take a couple of hours blow out to take the whole day if you dont watch out...also if you reach a point where things get stopped because you find you dont have something have another job that you can move to right away rather than sit out the rest of the day doing nothing.
I have been running into time consuming holdups ( I bogged the white car up to the doors ..insane was like quick sand...and that took three days digging jacking winching and building a road out of the mess) and I lost 2 weeks because my blood pressure went thru the roof and I needed to rest...but in those times you can plan and assemble stuff for when you get moving again.
When you are old or in poor health your biggest problem is making excuses as to why you cant do it...you can ..it make take longer and you now need a crane and a trailer when once you just picked the thing up ... I love the challenge of just getting a fire pump or generator out of the car..I need a ramp, a pulley and a star picket in the ground to attach the hauling rope...to move sheets of form ply to my work bench I attach g clamps, attach rope then drag them there with the ride on mower..once you would just pick it up...accepting that things will be harder but not impossible it the key...
Anyways although there is still heaps to do I am back on track and indeed further ahead from where the cancer took all that time away...again I thank my friend for helping clean up the rat crap etc from the months of no one being there to take care of things..it was just so heart breaking to see everything ruined...but a couple of days of hard work from my friend (I was still very crook and was no help) and I could see I could start again.

I am having a rest this morning but going down to start setting up the RASA later...I might take the red car for a spin to the river and back...just to relax...but it is so nice to be able to talk to folk again..here..
Anyways while I have been resting I watched youtube vids on installing the electric focuser ... But I need to get going as time is finite and precious.
Alex
Good idea with the job book Alex. Great way to organise and prioritize your time. I would do it too but fear it would fill too quickly (if the wife gets hold of it) and it would become encyclopedic in size
I like your attitude that things that are awkward or hard for you become instead a challenge. You are following your signature statement to the letter.
Best to you, Richard

Last edited by croweater; 13-02-2022 at 08:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #197  
Old 13-02-2022, 11:35 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Welcome back Alex, glad to see you have things under
control even if a little slowly.
I look forward to hearing more of your progress.
Stay safe and as well as you can be.
Cheers
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  #198  
Old 14-02-2022, 07:52 AM
JA
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Hi Alex,

Nice to see you back champ.

Best
JA
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  #199  
Old 14-02-2022, 07:16 PM
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astronobob (Bob)
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Nice going Alex, they don't breed them like you anymore. Top Shelf stuff
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  #200  
Old 14-02-2022, 11:56 PM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
Woohoo it's clear

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Gee, you have been very busy Alex, any photos of any of the changes/work you have been doing?...that hammock over the dam with boat sounds cool

Mike
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