Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Dome Rotation

Only had a few hours for the observatory today,
so I focused on installing the dome's rotation motor and controller. It went great and here is a short video of a test run using the key fob to operate, later it will be controlled by computer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Installed Dome and Unusual Visitor

Woke Tuesday morning to find the boys glued to the window, which in itself is not unusual. They seem to get a lot of visitors including bunnies, red squirrels, deer, mink and pileated woodpeckers, they see it all.

Much to my surprise, todays visitor was a very large beaver.
Not only was this a new animal for the boys but this one hung around for quite some time. Then, with the cats stretching to watch his every move, the beaver slowly turned down the path toward the lake, reached the shoreline and just disappeared under the water.
I left for work an hour later and they were still at the window wondering what the hell that was and where did it go.

And now for some Observatory news

Lester and I got the dome mounted today, it took a bit of Rube Goldberg engineering, luck and some brute force, but it went up surprisingly well with no death or serous injury! Sorry no photo's Lester didn't think he could hold it by himself for a quick snap shot (what a puss)
I had painted the trim yesterday and installed it today before Lester showed up, I'm very happy with Hun's color choices, now all we need is to install and paint the door.
I'll take inside photo's tomorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Paint Job and Unpacking the Telescope

This is how it sat for the past 2 weeks of bad weather, which included snow! I did my best to keep it dry so at the first break in the sky I could paint.
Inside the shop I did some work on the dome, mounting ring and wheel kit, it now rotates smoothly and is ready for final installation after painting.

Also unpacked the scope because I needed some measurements from the unit to continue with pier building. It's fun to see it out of the box and nice getting it mounted to the tripod without dropping it.

How's this for a lens?

Finally I caught the break I've been waiting for, it was sunny and mid to upper 50's so the paint went on both inside and out.
The color is Canton Jade, I like it.
I hope to put together a crew this week to install the dome on top of the building, so the weather is no longer a problem.