|We blasted through a milestone this week. We
got a Bobcat out on the land and cleaned up a bunch of trash and spread a
double belly loader of gravel in the road and parking area. We also,
and this if the biggy, got the dome framed and ready to dry in. I am
really hoping to have our first star party on Thanksgiving. Richard
Henerie helped me put up the flag pole in addition to all the other help
he has provided. Darrel Bernett came out and made it possible to finish
framing the dome. These guys are Diamonds.
I contacted Kelly Wood at Beaver High. He is the wood shop teacher and is going to help me get some of the wood fabrication done.
This month is almost a washout with the Deer Hunt, people visiting and Gail going on a Tiger Cruise. We did get the shutter opening cut and the fertilizer tank is starting to look like a telescope dome. We also bought 2 deep cycle 12 volt batteries to power the equipment. Wal Mart bought us one of the batteries. (With out a little help, this wouldn't get done.)
Finished the Dog House and started installing some equipment. We are learning as we go. So far we have a weather station, CB radio, and a security camera. The Dog House needs trim and paint and the drywall inside needs to be mudded. The mudding will wait till Spring. Installed the Dome. It will need some adjustment after the Shutter and door are installed. It is now bolted to the the carousel. A plywood floor needs to go down.
Bought materials and started construction of a 6'X6' control room, storage shed. Rollins Machine fabricated rings for the Carousel. Bought wheels at Harbor Freight. Got the carousel welded together using bed frame for spokes. Adjusters are telescoping and roll around the hub made from a tractor rim. Nothing runs like a Deer. Changed adjuster wheels from cheap castors to roller blade wheels after had problems with binding with the cheaper wheels. The roller blade wheels don't ride up on the hub. I found a damaged fertilizer tank at IFA. The damage makes it unusable as a container, but no problem for a Dome. It needs to be cleaned.
Set up telescope on the mount to try a pre first light run. Got Jupiter in the eyepiece, but found that there was a long way to go before real "First Light". If we want this to work like a real observatory, we will need a dog house/control room and a dome. It was a very useful yet frustrating run.
Decided to build a real working Observatory and name it after my father. He was a very service oriented man and would be proud to have his name attached to something like this.
Hand mixed and poured concrete for telescope mount. After mount was installed, decided to pour a slab around the mount. Later decided to pour a little more of a slab for tables and chairs. Local ready mix company brought out 5 yards of cement to complete the pour. Used left over cement to pour a flag pole mount. We also had a road graded to the site. Went broke and stalled over the winter.
Bought 10" LX200 Mead Telescope. and decided to construct a concrete pier and mount on our land. Fabricated a mount out of 4" drill pipe and had welding done at Rollins Machine.