Observatory progress – Phase 7 – The last few bits

Posted by @ 7:59 pm on Thursday 18th June, 2009.

I've received a few emails from folk asking how much more needs doing to the astroshed, and indeed wondering why it doesn't fall to bits, go off the rails or just refuse to close due to misalignment. Hopefully the following pics and text will be sufficient to answer such probing questions:


In order to allow the scope to fit inside in the "parked" position, the roof sits a good three inches
above the shed walls to give sufficient clearance.The resulting gap has been covered with a couple of
rows of feather-edge timber, fixed to the roof. Regarding the other stuff in view, a neighbour kindly
donated some carpet and I dug around in the attic to find the 1960s coffee-table.
The plastic chair is just one of many that Chris wants me to take to the tip.

Another row of feather-edge timber creates an overlap twixt shed-walls and roof-frame on one of the long sides.
This setup is weatherproof but still allows good airflow to minimise condensation.

The wheels are cheap 40mm fixed castors, the channel is a strip of plastic conduit braced with some spare stripwood with chamfered ends.
The castor-wheels have sufficient sideplay to allow for a reasonable amount of flex/warp of the runner.

The leccy's all sorted out, with IP55 or better fittings throughout for anything mains-related,
and with power being supplied via an RCD-protected steel-armoured cable circuit...

... which means that the cheap Ikea low-voltage halogen lamps above the doors are now up and running.
Also visible above is the guide-wheel arrangement that ensures that the guide-rail fixed beneath the ridge of the roof
is always central when the roof is closed or in motion. The barrel-bolt serves an obvious purpose.

Here's a view of the guide-wheel arrangement at the other end of the shed.
The guide-rail is chamfered at the end to ensure that it always ends up between the wheels.

At the moment there isn't much wiring around the pier, but I'm sure that after a few weeks the thing will be festooned with all sorts of gadgetry.
I'm aiming to have just the one "in" cable (for power) and one "out" cable (for data (USB)).

The planned change to the window-wall has been completed - the windows have gone, to allow a better view to the south.
A "mock" panel has been fixed to the moving frame, the results are shown below:

This means that there's now no need to conform to the standard idea of having the upper section of the southern wall on a hinged flap.

As you can see, there's plenty of "gap" to look through.
I knocked up a small removable roof-panel (visible just behind the scope) which serves several purposes -
it's a draught-reducer, it provides shade from the night-lights at the old folks' home just up the way,
and it prevents the neighbours from peering over the fence to see what's going on.

So, it's about finished. The kettle and the beer-fridge will go in when I've put up shelves for them.
The only thing still needed is a small fire-extinguisher.
That, and some clear nights so that I can get on with some observing.

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7 Responses to “Observatory progress – Phase 7 – The last few bits”

  1. Alistair says:

    That's seriously impressive. I'm impressed Stef! Bet you can't wait for the long winter nights.

  2. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By Alistair
    Bet you can't wait for the long winter nights.

    Indeed. I've got so much gadgetry to install that I'll need until winter to sort out all the wires 😯

  3. You (we) need a shed party to celebrate this masterpiece!

  4. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By LotC
    You (we) need a shed party to celebrate this masterpiece!

    Sounds like a good idea. I'll consult the boss 😉

  5. scott says:

    Here - you know about these things!

    I was sitting out the back last night - well, this morning at about 1:30 to be accurate - watching the firepit dying down and generally soaking up the peace and quiet. Got a brilliant view of what I assume had to be the Space Station passing overhead. I was, I admit, fairly full of beer at the time but it was bright as anything, no flashing lights on it, and seemed to be travelling from the South - maybe south west.

    Would that be it do you think? Any other possibilities? Can I borrow your big telescope in case it's there again tonight?


  6. BG! says:

    @scott - The timing's right for it to have been the ISS - this morning it went over you between 01:33 and 01:37, and again between 03:07 and 03:12. I was out in the astroshed last night and saw both passes, sadly without the aid of beers.

    If you're sad enough to want to plan to see it, have a looksee at http://www.heavens-above.com/P.....038;tz=GMT or just go to http://www.heavens-above.com/ to find other stuff to see, such as the ISS Toolbag. Remember to set your location and timezone.

    If you want to call in and pick up the scope on the way to work, feel free!

  7. “Observatory progress – Phase 7 – The last few bits”

    Thanks for sharing thats great!

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