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Author Topic: Potential Observatory Project  (Read 6218 times)

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Offline peterr

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Potential Observatory Project
« on: 14:04:25, 16 August, 2015 »
Hi Folks,

I have been authorised by the powers that be (i.e. the wife) to get a garden shed and adapt as I wanted for an Observatory as she got fed up with me leaving doors open in winter moving the kit in and out, the only condition being that I dismantle and dispose of the kids no longer used trampoline.
However upon taking it apart I realised I have a perfectly formed 8 foot diameter metal frame and began thinking this could be the base of a dome.  As I mentioned this to my wife the look was priceless, more work involved but I think it's workable.  In the pic is 6" diameter tube from our old chimney flue which I was thinking could be the pier.

Do you think this is workable?, idea's on approach?.   I'm thinking of looking for a hexagonal style shed and adding some runners, adapting the base as necessary to accommodate the pier/foundations.

Thanks
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #1 on: 09:07:32, 17 August, 2015 »
That's not such a silly idea. My recent obs renovation project started with a very similar lump of metal.
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Offline PaulB

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #2 on: 10:44:14, 17 August, 2015 »
I think that should be feasible.
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Offline peterr

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #3 on: 14:38:28, 17 August, 2015 »
That's not such a silly idea. My recent obs renovation project started with a very similar lump of metal.

I have been watching the update posts and video's with interest!
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #4 on: 20:58:02, 17 August, 2015 »
Don't underestimate how much work that took - in retrospect a part of me slightly regrets starting it!
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Offline Ian Straton

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #5 on: 00:21:19, 20 August, 2015 »
looks like a pretty good idea to me!  I would just say though that following my own recent experience with a dodecahedral (spelling?) base I would suggest an octagonal base rather than hexagonal or dodo.. reason being you have two sets of parallel faces at 90 degrees to each other which simplifies the construction of the suspended floor (build your self a model out of match sticks to help visualise!)

Offline peterr

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #6 on: 08:39:28, 20 August, 2015 »
Thanks Ian that's a really good tip!.  As this was a trampoline frame I reviewed the brackets and support poles last night and looks like I can re-use them and use the poles to support the load of the dome rather than resting on top of the frame as I have read a few obsy projects where worn rollers were an issue.  I'm thinking a slightly wider base/frame then skirt underneath the dome connecting to the top frame if that makes sense
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Offline mechanoid

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #7 on: 19:16:09, 30 August, 2015 »
I don't know if you're planning a concrete base, but if you do its essential to isolate the pillar concrete from the concrete you stand on.  I put in a Pulsar observatory. They recommend isolating the pillar, but someone told me that I probably didn't need to bother too much, so I didn't !  Bad advice.  I have three tons of concrete as a base, and my 'scope moves several arc seconds as I move around it.

As far as I can see, it actually doesn't matter how much concrete you put down, 3 tons, 30 tons, won't make much difference.  Unless you pile drive down into the rock, its think its actually the elasticity of the subsoil on which the concrete rests that matters, and of course how much you weigh.  Mine actually rests on clay that I believe goes far deeper than I felt like excavating.

So if you concrete in a pillar, make sure that the floor you walk on isn't rigidly connected to it.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  Ignore this advice if your garden happens to be built on solid rock ...
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #8 on: 18:23:15, 31 August, 2015 »
One of the best solutions I have seen (functional and aesthetically) is to put in a concrete pier and then build a deck around it, like Greg does at the New Forest Observatory

http://www.newforestobservatory.com/wordpress/wp-content/gallery/equipment/Observatory_open_NFO.jpg

Looks bloody smart as well!!

Inside the dome is a rubber matting floor covered in carpet.


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Online chris.bailey

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #9 on: 18:39:37, 31 August, 2015 »
I poured all mine as one lump, 300mm thick slab with 1.5m deep "lump" for the pier (several cubic metres of concrete at 2.4 Te/Cu.m). It does not move even if I jump up and down! My logic was I wanted the pier bolted down to as much mass as possible in contact with as much ground as possible. 250mm diam steel pier is filled with 50kg of play sand and barely rings if thumped hard with a rubber mallet. I can lean laterally on the pier top or smack it with a fist when guiding and there isn't a murmur.
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #10 on: 20:09:49, 31 August, 2015 »
... or smack it with a fist when guiding and there isn't a murmur.

I can relate to that :) :)
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Offline peterr

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #11 on: 20:06:58, 12 September, 2015 »
And so we break ground, I have 2 helpers as per the photo and it was such an easy sell.  "Ok boys, do you want dig a big hole in the garden...".
The first foot was cleared with ease though now we just hit the damp clay layer so that will slow us down tomorrow.

Also need to work out why my images are the correct way up on my Mac (like in Photoshop) but uploading a JPG here the image always gets rotated so apologies if you are now turning your laptops or monitors to view the image...
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Offline Uplooker

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #12 on: 20:23:31, 12 September, 2015 »
Cool, look forward to seeing the progress.
We have recently moved house and I have staked my claim on where I am going to build an obsey
Not be ages til I start - too many jobs in the new house to sort first and have to finalise the design. Certainly a roll on / off roof and probably limited to 8 x 6 ft.

Keep up the good work and enjoy the "free" labour

Ian
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #13 on: 15:59:12, 13 September, 2015 »
Good to see a start! I like the pink spade :)
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

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Offline peterr

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Re: Potential Observatory Project
« Reply #14 on: 17:33:37, 13 September, 2015 »
Only managed another 10 inches today so nearly at 2 ft, didn't have much time on it today and really slowed down by keep hitting big stones in the clay.  I'm amazed at home much soil/clay is volume wise when it's not compacted!.  Based on research I think I am going below 2ft down maybe down to nearly 3ft but from 2ft down I will flare out the bottom so it's like a chemical flask which now mean I am thinking of getting a small skip. This will help get rid of some old fence panels which need to be cleared to be able to get a cement mixer in for a day.  Was going to mix it manually but looking at the volume going in I think 40 quid for a weekend hire would be money well spent.





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