DSE 2.0-Test Trap Door, Solar Panels, Batteries. Paint

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!

DSE 2.0-Exciting Saturday!

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!

DSE 2.0-Telescope Arrival!

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.

Celestron C14 Edge HD on a CGE Pro Mount

Celestron C14 Edge HD on a CGE Pro Mount

DSE 2.0-1,600 Yards Later

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!

DSE 2.0-Concrete Pier

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.

DSE-2.0-A Door And A Floor

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 ;) ;)

Shiny new door :)

Shiny new door :)

DSE 2.0-Slight re-Design

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.

The small door will house a 16" dobsonian telescope to provide viewing from the patio on the back of the observatory..

The small door will house a 16" dobsonian telescope to provide viewing from the patio on the back of the observatory..

In order to allow for a better experience, we decided to raise the floor another 1 1/2 feet and build the staircase slightly differently so that no one hits their head on the wooden crossbeam. 

In order to allow for a better experience, we decided to raise the floor another 1 1/2 feet and build the staircase slightly differently so that no one hits their head on the wooden crossbeam. 

DSE 2.0-Dome Rising

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.

As you can see from this picture, the dome is not sitting on the track. This could have happened for many reasons.  Now to find a solution.

As you can see from this picture, the dome is not sitting on the track. This could have happened for many reasons.  Now to find a solution.

One thing we tried was to cut the dome to sit it flat on the ring. 

One thing we tried was to cut the dome to sit it flat on the ring. 

Installation of the track and wheels.  Sadly this did not fix the problem and dome is having some trouble following the track.

Installation of the track and wheels.  Sadly this did not fix the problem and dome is having some trouble following the track.

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.

DSE 2.0 - Dome Construction

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...

Richard showing Steve how to bend and assemble the metal strips that will give the dome a good looking professional finish.

Richard showing Steve how to bend and assemble the metal strips that will give the dome a good looking professional finish.

Nearly complete dome with working shutters.  Still needs a bit of paint to hide the wood and the metal finishing.

Nearly complete dome with working shutters.  Still needs a bit of paint to hide the wood and the metal finishing.

We had one bad day of rain on Sunday and it was cold. We pressed on.

We had one bad day of rain on Sunday and it was cold. We pressed on.

Below is a timelapse video of the process.