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Well a lot has been happening over the last few weeks. Finishing the interior, lighting, solar power setup, batteries, telescope equipment. Phew. Still more painting to do and setup the internet and computer. We're almost ready!
It was a very exiting weekend. My friend Richard came down from NB one more time to finish the dome and fix the rotation issues we were having.
And that was an awesome day! Great job Richard and Dad. Thank you to everyone who is helping to make this project a success. Thank you LIla for being the photographer tonight. Well done!
Today Brian and Susan from Atlantic Photo Supply drove all the way from Halifax (3 hours) to deliver our telescope and help us set it up. Thank you both very much, it was much appreciated. I'm sure we will be seeing you again :)
I will be posting more setup pictures soon. Needless to say, this thing is heavy! 300lbs in 6 boxes. I'm not sure how they fit it all in the trunk. We set it up in the dome to make sure it would fit ok and to measure the required pier height for the machine shop. It is much too high standing on the tripod. We will be lowering it about a foot so most people will not have to stand on a step stool to view the stars.
Wow we sure lucked out this time. It turns out Department of Highways were ditching just down the road from the observatory. They were looking for somewhere close by to dump the fill. We could use that! So this is the result of 1,600 yards of fill! This was done in a day and a half. Now we have room :) Parking lot et all :) Thank you to the Dpt Highways and Aberdeen Paving Ltd, especially John on the dozer!
Finally the day has arrived to pour the concrete pier. This is what the telescope will be mounted on. It's separate from the floor so that no vibrations from the floor will affect the telescope.
We started by getting two loads of gravel and 5 bags of cement. We borrowed a cement mixer from our cousin Victor. This was a huge time savor. Thank you Vic! The process went like this. Dad and Steve would alternate shoveling gravel/cement into the mixer and Vic and Alex would add the water and handle the mixer. Alex and I would then carry boxes of the mixture up the stairs and pour it in the hole (about 50 loads, gonna be sore tomorrow). About 1/3 of the way we added re-bar.
The whole process only took about 2 hours. A huge thank you Dad, Steve, Victor, and Alex for your hard work. Things are so much easier when we work together. A special thanks to Alex's friend Caiah for taking pictures for us.
Now it's looking like an observatory! Great work Dad!
It's been a very busy summer. We've managed to get the stairs to the observing deck as we are having the concrete for the pier poured this week. Starting to look like an observatory :)
Just a quick update. We have finally rebuilt the floor about 1.5 feet higher. This makes a huge difference in the amount of head clearance for the stairs. Also no one will have to climb a ladder to get to the eyepiece. This is a must, especially if you have many visitors. This will also make some nice storage under the floor for a large dobsonian telescope ;) ;)
Well over the last couple of weeks there is has been a bit of re-design on the observatory project. We ran into some technical challenges that made us go back to the drawing board on certain things, such as the height of the floor, wall positioning and the staircase. Unfortunately this means the observatory will not be ready until probably October.
This weekend was time for the dome to be put on the observatory. Getting the dome up to the roof was easy, however we ran into some challenges once the dome was up there.
In order to fix this problem we are going to have to remove the dome and rebuild the ring. This will delay things a bit, but not too much. We still have a lot of work to do on the building itself. Thank you to everyone that is helping out with this project.
The last couple of weeks have been very busy. Unfortunately not so much on the observatory construction. We did make a few small steps in our spare time. The dome ring was completed and the finishing touches added to the dome. Painting was also completed on the ring and dome.
Wow, building a dome is much more involved than I originally thought. Sure glad one of us knew what he was doing (Richard). Thanks to my good friend Richard for driving from New Brunswick to build the dome for the observatory. It took two days to assemble and is not quite completed yet. Thanks to my Dad and Brother for helping out with this project. Still a lot of work to do...
Below is a timelapse video of the process.
Another busy week, finished the dome frame, started the stairs and finished the rafters. This weekend my friend Richard will be visiting and will be building the dome.