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The Sting Of The Scorpion Observatory [TSO]2


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So far, 2020 will be resembled for me by 2 things, first, due to COVID-19, it is the year experiencing my 2nd pandemic working in molecular virology testing, which is a lot more work, and stress compared to the Flu pandemic of 2009/2010. In dealing with part of these workloads and associated stress, I picked up my astrophotography hobby again after being dorment due to various reasons for about 4 years.

When I stopped imaging back in 2016, I had the joy of having my equipment set up in a micro observatory located on my 2nd floor balcony, having nearly clear views from East - South - West.


I loved to be able to come home after a day of hard work looking up and seeing a clear winter sky, and realising that I did not have to drag 60kg of equipment into the garden, and setting it up with freezing cold fingers. Just power everything up and open the flip top and I would be imaging within minutes.


So when I decided to get back into imaging, I imediately knew that I had to get myself another observatory. Sadly, my new garden has lesser views compared to the old balcony, but I guess I will just have to live with that.


South = Zuid, West = West, North = Noord, East = Oost.


Next image shows the garden pre-build, the obsy will be placed on the right had side


So the build started with clearing out the vegetation and part of the tiles, and then digging the hole for the pier foundation, which ended up 50x50 cm and 75 cm deep.


After digging the hole and placing M12 rods and rebar, it took 355 kg of concrete to fill.


Next I started making the floor frame, which will be held in place by 12 fence pole holders in concrete.


After that, the wall frames were constructed and placed and the rool-off roof frame and roof were made.


The roof locking, was recycled from my old obsy. Walls were fixed with vapor barrier, and shiplap and roofing sheet was applied.


The walls, floor and roof are insulated and covered with a nice ply-hardwood finish.


Edges were smoothed with some nice shiny aluminium profiles, as well as some hard wood profiles.


As I want to be able to reach my equipment without removing most of it from the pier, I opted to put in a raised floor, half of which is removable when not in use for visual observing.


Guttering was attached to the roof.


The pier was fabricated from a 1.60 meter long 17x17 cm and 6 mm thick steel section. Pier adapter was recycled form my old obsy and made from an old break disk. In addition a center console was fabricated to hold some the electrical sockets, the control PC, and PSU.


Lighting was put in place in the form of RGB LED strips giving it a modern Sci-Fi look.


After that, all of the equipment was placed and connected.


And [TSO]2 is ready for action.

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This week I had to take care of some needed repairs to my observatory roofing, as one of the original plates had aquired a full length fracture, which may have been caused by a breakline put in during production process, as the fracture seems too perfectly straight. Also the back end of the roof, which was constructed of a different type of plate, which was prone to deform due to the sunny heat of summer. So I removed all the roofing and replaced it by some nice and tidy roof shingles. Everthing looks great again, and more important WATERPROOF again.



Edited by timastrovirus
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Fantastic obsy, well done.

Only suggestion I couldn't spot but if not already sorted is to add something to stop moisture coming up from ground into obsy, if theres a gap between pillar. Mine suffered from this till I put some lino down and gaffa taped the sides which sorted it.

Edited by Demon
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Not shown in the images, but I have already mostly closed the area around the peer with the cut out floor board. If you look carefully in the attached image you can spot it around the peer (it is a bit hard to spot thru the stairs). In addition, I have set up a temperature and moisture sensor in the obsy to keep track of any humidity issues, and have a small electric heater for that to make sure humidity levels are down to 80% at least during prolonged periods of rainy weather.IMG_1740.JPG.b8a9a35d07db045abd8f6b45ec6beaed.JPG

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Yes, my observatory sits on 12 pilars that are fixed in concrete, and the sides of the obsy have a small opening allowing air flow underneath the obsy floor.


I did have to seal the floor of my previous micro observatory, that was situated on the second floor balcony. Since all the rainwater flowed freely underneath that observatory, I had sealed the floor completely to prevent any moisture from rising into the obsy back then. See the attached image of that sealed floor.



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Very cute, love the idea of a micro obsy, especially for a micro wide field setup. Maybe one of these days once I've worked out a bit more so can fully automate it and setup in a remote corner of a friend's 100acre farm. 

Edited by Demon
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