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After deliberating for many months, I finally decided to build my observatory. Deciding the best location for it was the hardest part. The best location is in the middle of the drive for the car, but that was quickly eliminated. Anyway I eventually found a spot with a good view West, North and East, South is a no go in my garden, too many tall trees.

 

The 3 views below are my prototype, but I have no doubt things will change as I progress. The obsy will be located on a 300mm bed of concrete, I'm not worried about isolating the pier, as I will be remotely controlling the mount from the house, so vibration won't be an issue. I decided on a flat top design, with a 3° slope away from the door opening. The size is 2m x 2m, although that might change. The overall height is just shy of 2m, but the side wall when the roof is retracted is 1.65m. The height was based on a 1m pier and my mount which is 450mm. This gives me an angle of 25°  from my scope to the top of the walls.

 

It will be powered, I have a power souce close by, so that won't be a problem. I will hard wire an internet connection in the obsy for remote control of the mount. The obsy roof will be automated at some point, just deciding which route to take. I can make my own using a gate opener with the associated track, controlled by an Arduino through ASCOM, or buy a ready made solution from Talon. The project will probably start next year as I already have building work going on at the moment, and I don't think my builder would be too happy if I dumped a 2.2m x 2.2m x 300mm concrete base in his lap. 😁

 

Top image is the obsy roof closed. 2nd image is the roof open, and the last image is looking down on the obsy. The big white block you can see on the pier is a representation of my mount, just to make sure I have no height issues.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

2061486713_HomemadeObsy.thumb.jpg.eb74593e4d59626ccfc4c04957424a29.jpg

 

1293193149_HomemadeObsy1.thumb.jpg.48b2fe346d54b6a49dcb78698244577e.jpg

 

1875254393_HomemadeObsy2.thumb.jpg.34cc073ba1da6846b05ce7a7a07e7dc4.jpg

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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1 hour ago, TerryMcK said:

I look forward to seeing your progress on this one Brian. Any idea of timescale?

Thanks Terry. Once I have a final design drawn up, I can start building the obsy itself in panels. I have plenty of storage space undercover, so no problems there. The base won't be a big job either, I will making the base level with an existing concrete base we have laid down, but it will probably be Spring before I get started on that. The winters here almost assure no outside work is possible between November and April.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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19 minutes ago, Padraic M said:

Good luck with that project. We may be jealous!

Thanks Padraic. Lugging a 20kg mount loaded with 12kg of counterweights is no fun, even though I can be set up in 5 minutes. Tear down is the same. The weather can be unpredictable here, so I need to be to cover and uncover the scope quickly without turning power off. I got caught out once when it rained on my equipment, luckily no damage was done.

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1 hour ago, DaveS said:

At the risk of getting slapped down for linking to another forum this is my obsy build thread that has similarities to yours.

 

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/342562-davess-obsy-build-thread/

Looks great. There are a few minor differences between yours and mine. I will be using rubberized wheels in a C profile track, instead of steel wheels on top of the track. Not made my mind up about the sides and top yet. Was thinking about using marine ply for the sides, I have a few options for the roof, either roofing sheets which are very light, or some bitumen based material.

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Marine ply will still need a lot of maintenance Brian regular varnishing etc. I would be inclined to use grade 3 OSB and clad it with western red cedar either as shingles or planks. You don’t need anything on cedar as it has its own rot resistance built in. Good for at least 100 years. It is also very light weight.

Use stainless steel annular nails or screws and no corrosion is guaranteed.

As you may know one of my other hobbies is high end woodwork, furniture and stringed instrument making. I clad my workshop with WRC and it greys down beautifully.

 

@DaveSit may be an idea to reproduce your observatory build on this forum too rather than directing people away. You could do a blog or new thread. It would be a great read and maybe incorporate any recent changes into it.

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Grade 3 OSB is readily available here, unfortunately, WRC is not available here. Imported timber is very expensive, and none of the native timber is suitable for external cladding. We do though, have a wide variety of plastic cladding which is 100% waterproof, and it looks good, our whole house is covered with it. It uses standoffs to connect to an external wall, which means insulation can be placed between the wall and the cladding, good for a telescope that's going to be in -20 temp throughout winter.

 

One of my hobbies is also woodworking, just finished an interesting project for my workshop, a wooden vice. You can see a tape on top of it for comparison.

 

 

Vice.jpg

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Wow that is a vice and a half! Looks like oak with all those ray flecks. Have you turned the screw thread? Nice looking shop too.

The plastic cladding sounds like a great idea. Absolutely no rot in that and the insulation will be fantastic.

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1 hour ago, TerryMcK said:

Wow that is a vice and a half! Looks like oak with all those ray flecks. Have you turned the screw thread? Nice looking shop too.

The plastic cladding sounds like a great idea. Absolutely no rot in that and the insulation will be fantastic.

Thanks Terry. Yeah it's all solid oak, and it was made from offcuts from previous jobs, so cost next to nothing. I was tempted to cut a wooden screw thread, but forking out 50 euro for something I might use once was not appealing, so I bought a 1 metre length of 25mm threaded rod for 30 euro.

 

This is what I'm thinking of using. It is 3.85m long and 250 wide, which is perfect, when cut in half with the added corner connectors it takes the length to exactly two metres, and is only 4 euro a piece. This works out roughly 40 euro to cover my obsy.

 

 

451067_1.jpeg

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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23 hours ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Grade 3 OSB is readily available here, unfortunately, WRC is not available here. Imported timber is very expensive, and none of the native timber is suitable for external cladding. We do though, have a wide variety of plastic cladding which is 100% waterproof, and it looks good, our whole house is covered with it. It uses standoffs to connect to an external wall, which means insulation can be placed between the wall and the cladding, good for a telescope that's going to be in -20 temp throughout winter.

 

One of my hobbies is also woodworking, just finished an interesting project for my workshop, a wooden vice. You can see a tape on top of it for comparison.

 

 

Vice.jpg

I know it’s not Astro related, but I have to say that you’re vice is a work of art! I have always had an appreciation for engineering and items that perform a function, but rarely are they as beautiful as your vice.

if you build your observatory to the same high standards it will truly be something to behold!

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41 minutes ago, Marmot said:

I know it’s not Astro related, but I have to say that you’re vice is a work of art! I have always had an appreciation for engineering and items that perform a function, but rarely are they as beautiful as your vice.

if you build your observatory to the same high standards it will truly be something to behold!

Thanks. It performs great, has plenty of holding power too. It has around a 10" opening jaws, and to buy one that size out of steel, or cast iron would cost a fortune. I don't need one to stand up to heavy use working metal, so this one is perfect. I'm hoping to start the obsy soon, but I think the earliest will be next spring before I get started, unless the weather holds up for a few months.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Phase one completed!

 

Managed to get the concrete base for my new observatory poured yesterday. We've had an unseasonal spell of warm weather here, so I took advantage of it. The base is 2.2m x 2.2m and 300mm thick. The pipe on the L/H side has my power and internet cables running through it. I will be hardwiring into my home network, then I don't have to rely on wifi.

 

 

DSC_0283.jpg

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Hi Brian, just a little pointer but it might be too late, I had to isolate my pier because the vibrational from the dome rotating caused bad guiding.

 

Whilst the concrete is not at its max yet it might be worth with a cutter, cutting a 1" channel around it and filling with polystyrene.

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34 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Hi Brian, just a little pointer but it might be too late, I had to isolate my pier because the vibrational from the dome rotating caused bad guiding.

 

Whilst the concrete is not at its max yet it might be worth with a cutter, cutting a 1" channel around it and filling with polystyrene.

Hi John. I won't be using a dome. Going to have a ro/ro roof, and I will be remotely controlling the scope from inside the house. So hopefully will never need to go inside the obsy, except for initial polar alignment.

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