Just some photo’s as I started to unpack the Dome. I wanted to get the manual and DVD out (referenced in previous post). The only problem I had was the two pallets where to close together. I was going to … Continue reading →
This time I designed up a holder for my Microtouch Focus Controller. This was the First Draft of the holder. The second draft has better corner support and slots to allow a strap to be used to secure the controller in place. While I designed it for a snug fit I image as it heats and cools it could come loose. I’ll attach a rendering of the new version shortly. my 3D printer is having it’s extrusion head cleaned up and tuned up so I’m not printing at the moment. BTW: it took 14 hours to print this one.
For the curious, the white PCV tube is my home made Daytime alignment tube. Pin hole plate in front and a white Plexiglas in back to project the sun. Made it really quick since I had to re-align the mount coarsely after removing it from the pier
This time I’ve been dealing with what I though was frost heave but turned out to be expansive clay.
My first sign I noticed was how raised my observatory was as seen here. But also you can see the pier foundation raised so I took a closer look
Here you can clearly see the foundation of the pier lifted as well as the footing of the building itself. This is not good
I using the trust level I removed the mount and checked and it has up to a 1.4 degree tilt now
But even more the entire pier is raised 3″ that white cover over the concrete used to just touch the floor
So I monitored the pier for shifting over a period of a month and contacted a foundation repair company to check out the situtuaion and they said yes it was expansive clay and it had raised and titled it. Expansive clay was common in my area (if I had known that I would have prepared the ground differently) The quoted roughly 3600 to stabilize the pier by driving two piers down to bed rock but they would tear up the observatory flooring and it would be up to me to replace it. Not having 3600 plus floor repairs I had a pass.
I posted on the bisque forum and got some good replies including this is not all that uncommon.
So first step was the re-level the pier which I did as seen here
The slight off center bubble is due to camera angle, it is dead on center bubble.
I then monitored that for a while and there have been minor shifts due to wet/dry times.
Based on that feedback what I will need to do is a full t-point calibration run (the more points the better). after than a normal calibration will account for any further changes to the level of the pier. Good news.
My next task is to redo my thru mount cabling which includes a 3D printed cover for the exit point of the cables to prevent another mouse attack on my Paramount.
I had multiple problems with my observatory since my last post
first I had my mount taken over by mice who proceeded to eat through cables, pooh all over the bearings and build nests inside the mount. after over 1K in repair cost. (could have been over 3K but due to Bisques customer service it cost me 1K instead)
I got the mount back in place and found all three of my power systems failed
electrical failed from the house
solar failed, inverter blew, which also took the charge controller with it, replaced and then the battery was bad. replaced then the new charge controller kept tripping breakers.
backup generator would not run consistently
got everything fixed within the last few weeks and all three power sources are again working
solar though is only working with 1 panel instead of 2
got 240v@60amp going to the Observatory now
warm room is actually warm and things are starting to come back online for me
Got the PC and network back up and going. used powerline adapters for network then put an access point in the observatory for wireless out there.
Updated all software
Clouds though tonight prevented any real work outside
I had ordered a SBIG STL Power Extension Cable to run power through the Paramount ME and UPS delivered it today.
Now I have to dismount the OTA and run this cable. While I am in I the mount I am planning on running an extra USB Cable and a RS232 Cable.