It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

Discuss your home observatory!
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#41

Post by JayTee »

Thank you @Gordon and @KathyNS This will be the basis for the design and fabrication of my top plate.

To make sure my understanding is thorough, the top plate will be affixed by J bolts coming out of the top of the concrete pedestal so it will have holes for the J bolts. Additionally, it will have holes for the metal pier for attachment to that plate. I hope my understanding is correct.
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#42

Post by Gordon »

As Kathy mentioned. If you are going to mount a pier on top of the concrete pier you will need to get the metal pier so you can locate the bolts for the concrete.

If you look closely at this photo you will see a wood plate with 4 bolts with nuts holding the bolts in position. This was the 'template' I made to locate the bolts in the top of the concrete.

https://theskysearchers.com/download/fi ... &mode=view
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI533mc-Pro, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#43

Post by JayTee »

Gordon wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:43 pm As Kathy mentioned. If you are going to mount a pier on top of the concrete pier you will need to get the metal pier so you can locate the bolts for the concrete.
@Gordon The iOptron pier has been ordered and shipped. It should arrive here either later this week or early next week. Once I have the pier, I will fabricate the plate and then pour the concrete pedestal (using a 10" Sonotube) on top of the footing using the plate or a wood facsimile to keep everything aligned. Coming out the bottom of the plate will be the "J" bolts that get submerged in the pedestal's concrete.

@KathyNS Next question, should I tap the holes in the plate that will be used to affix the iOptron pier, or should they just be "pass-through" holes that will need nuts for securing and locking?

Here is a picture of the iOptron pier.
iOptron Pier.jpg
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#44

Post by KathyNS »

JayTee wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:06 pm @KathyNS Next question, should I tap the holes in the plate that will be used to affix the iOptron pier, or should they just be "pass-through" holes that will need nuts for securing and locking?
Personally, I would use nuts and not tap the holes. If you do that, the plate will need to stand above the concrete so you can get at the nuts. Or the bolt heads, if you insert the bolts from below. That in turn means that you will need double nuts on the J-bolts, one below the plate and one above.

If you tap the holes, you can get away with snugging the plate down onto the concrete. One disadvantage is the danger of pulling the J-bolts out of the concrete if it is not yet firm enough. You have to make sure that the bolts holding the pier onto the plate are no longer than the thickness of the plate. And, consequently, the plate needs to be fairly thick.
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DSO AP: Orion 200mm f/4 Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,Oiii,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on HEQ5 pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome; iOptron CEM60 (pier); Hall's Harbour Observatory (H2O) Astrobin
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#45

Post by JayTee »

Well, a lot has been accomplished since my last post and I am crafting a progress report.

I do have one construction question that I need an answer to in regards to the adapter plate from the concrete pedestal to the metal Pier on which the mount will sit. My question is should the metal adapter plate sit flush to the concrete pedestal or should I put some spacers above above the concrete pedestal to leave about a 15 to 20 mm gap between the pedestal and the adapter plate?
This is the concrete side of the adapter plate
Pier concrete side.jpg
This is the pier side of the adapter plate
Plate pier side.jpg
This is the pier sitting on the plate.
20220701_115651.jpg
And these are pictures of the two different options.
20220630_164551.jpg
20220630_164857.jpg
Comments, questions, and critiques are welcome. Thanks.
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#46

Post by KathyNS »

I can't see any reason for a gap unless you need to get a wrench in there.
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DSO AP: Orion 200mm f/4 Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,Oiii,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on HEQ5 pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome; iOptron CEM60 (pier); Hall's Harbour Observatory (H2O) Astrobin
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#47

Post by JayTee »

Thank you @KathyNS

I can't think of a reason why I would want the gap there. I'm just making sure I didn't miss something. No wrenches are required on the underside of the adapter plate. So there's no reason not to put it flush on the concrete pedestal, assuming I can make that level which I will try diligently to do.
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3 (x2)
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∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
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I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#48

Post by AstroBee »

**EDIT** I just realized that what I thought was your last post was actually the last post on page 1 of 3... I now see you are moving right along with the project.

JT, when I originally saw your design I thought that you had come up with that unique design for some sort of space restrictions, i.e. not room for a traditional roll-off roof. But now that I see your last post, I see that space is one thing you have in abundance. With that in mind, I would recommend not trying to reinvent the wheel and going with a traditional roll-off design. Besides the fact that the type is tried and true, there are plenty of people out there that will easily be able to give you advice with a "standard" roll-off design, whereas your unique design might put you on your own when it comes to "fixing" issues that will inevitably arise.
Also, if I had that much space I'd make it considerably larger so you can have that star party INSIDE the roll-off! Of course, easy for me to say, spending someone else's money...
Greg M.~ "Ad Astra per Aspera"
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#49

Post by JayTee »

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your input. I do have a kind of space restriction. The obsy is going in the horse pasture and my wife asked that I use as small a footprint as possible. The superstructure of a ROR leaves vertical supports far enough away from the main building that they pose a potential risk to our horses. According to my wife, they see obstacles differently than we do. Besides the fact, and this is just my personal opinion, ROR's are hideously ugly.

All that being said, I am fully committed to make this Roll Up Roof (RUR) design functional, practical, and reproducible! Additionally, I do have a plan B and plan C already conceived just in case. So I'm not optionless.

Thanks,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3 (x2)
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#50

Post by SkyHiker »

JayTee wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:20 pm Besides the fact, and this is just my personal opinion, ROR's are hideously ugly.
Yes, they are, the usual ones. But if you put the tracks on the ground instead of on raised pillars with rails in the air, they are not. They will just look like a regular shed. I know you won't change your mind so good luck and may it work out for you without gotchas.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Barndoor trackers for 10" Dob and camera, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x Pi2b all running Astroberry, Toshiba Satellite 17"
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#51

Post by JayTee »

Finally, the latest progress report.

Last weekend, we engaged in the digging and pouring of the footing for the observatory. My youngest son and I laid out where the slab would go in the horse pasture. From there, we measured, based on my mock-up floor plan in my garage, where the footing and pedestal would be located on the slab. Once that was done now it was just a matter of digging a square hole 36” X 36” X 30” whole. 6 hours later we made it all the way down to 29” and called it quits before somebody had a coronary!

The wooden form was previously made and ready to be put in the hole. Once in the hole we staked all four sides for support and left it for the night.

The next day (Sunday) we made ready for a day of concrete mixing and dumping. My wheelbarrow could only hold 2 bags at a time which, in retrospect, made the "hole" experience a little easier. Ten bags of concrete later, we had a form filled with concrete, 2 metal support matrices, and vertical rebar for the sono tube. Another 8-hour day finished with positive results and two happy construction workers.

The following day I went out and removed the form boards. I used a small sledgehammer (5 pounder) to bust the form boards away from the concrete. It went as easily as I hoped.

I was quickly getting everything ready because the concrete slab contractor asked if he could come 2 days early to help his scheduling, I agreed to the earlier pouring date which moved the pouring up from last Friday to last Wednesday.

I now filled the gap between the sides of the dirt hole and the footing with some of the dirt we extracted from the hole. I watered it down to pack it in so there were no air gaps. Next came the placing of the sono tube centered over the rebar and “nearly” on the footing.

My handyman told me a week prior to use the expanding Styrofoam sealant in a can to hold the sono tube in place and seal the bottom so the concrete wouldn’t rush out the bottom. Once the foam was dry (it worked really well) I then used pea gravel on top of the footing and surrounding the sono tube.

I was now ready to pour the concrete into the sono tube to create the pedestal onto which the permanent metal pier would be placed. I could not pour that concrete until I had my steel adapter plate that allowed the metal pier to be fastened to the pedestal and it wasn’t ready yet.

I had no choice but to go ahead with the slab pour before the pedestal was complete. I was pretty sure the concrete guys could do this without impacting the placement of the sono tube.

So as of now, I have a 16’ X 16’ slab with a sono tube and steel adapter plate waiting for me to pour the last batch of concrete, which will happen tomorrow. Lastly, the garage door will be ordered this week with delivery at the end of this month. Then all I’m left with is awaiting my obsy which should be here mid to late August.

Time for pictures.
1 Pasture North View.jpg
This is a view looking north the "slab" will be poured near the gate (orange circle) and 30' inland from the wire fence, not the white fence.
2 Slab Site.jpg
This view is looking south across where the slab will be located.
3 Mock Up Sim.jpg
This is my "position simulator" laid out in my garage. It helped me figure out where exactly the footing/pedestal should be placed. Conveniently enough, the concrete expansion lines are 10' apart (my obsy viewing area is 10' X 10')
4 Slab and Footing.jpg
The slab corners were marked with orange spray paint to help the concrete guys. You can see where I will dig the hole for the footing. The slab's orientation will be accurate to the cardinal points (NSEW).
5 Footing Hole 1.jpg
6 hours of digging. My soil is very unkind! And the form box is already in place.
6 Reinforcement.jpg
This is a piece of deer fence cut to size. Because the footing is not structural pretty much anything would have worked for concrete reinforcement, even chicken wire. I used two of these fence pieces during the pour. One at the 1/3 level, the second at the 2/3 level.
7 Footing with Reinforcement.jpg
Reinforcement in place.
8 Footing with Straight Rebar.jpg
This is the template I used to make sure my pedestal rebar was space properly and vertical.
9 Footing Pour Complete.jpg
Footing poured. Yay!
10 Slab Forms Set.jpg
Fast forward to Wednesday of last week and you see that the concrete crew has set up the forms and is currently graveling the site.
11 Pedestal Conduit.jpg
This close-up shows the sono tube in place and the electrical conduit in place.
12 Slab Poured.jpg
The slab is poured and soon will be ready for a building.
13 Slab Looking North.jpg
These are the expansion joints showing the pedestal sono tube.
14 N For The Lost.jpg
I scratched a big "N" on the north edge for those who are directionally challenged.
14b Adapter with Pier.jpg
When the pedestal is poured it will have the adapter plate pushed into it so the metal pier has something to attach to. This operation needs to be kept very level and properly oriented to the north.
15 Sono Tube Ready.jpg
Ready for concrete.
16 My New Boxing Ring.jpg
It looks like a boxing ring, but this was put up to convince the horses to stay away from it. This needed to work for 48 hours and it did.

Well, you now know where I'm at for this project. Albeit, some back aggravating work but all in all it has progressed very smoothly. (hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

Cheers,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3 (x2)
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
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I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
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Re: It's Finally Time To Build My Observatory

#52

Post by Gordon »

Well, it looks like it’s moving right along!

Congratulations on your results so far. I’m looking forward to your next report!
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI533mc-Pro, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
Blog: http://ghswen.blogspot.com/
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