Now that I'm getting older I have decided to make a permanent home for my telescope. As having to lug my heavy Meade 10" Schmit Newtonian out side every time I use it is not going to get any easier in the future.

So here I'll be blogging all the trials, tribulations, successes and failures (of which there will be many I'm sure) of building an astronomical observatory from scratch.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Don't get excited folks, not that type of hardcore but this type-

Had a very busy day today moving and smashing up old pattio slabs to lay as the hardcore for the shed base, but I must admit my wife once again did most of the smashing. I did ask at one point do you want me to do that? but the look on her face as she swung the sledge hammer made me scared so I didn't ask again.
It is done now thank God, next week end it'll be time for the concreting. A friend of mine has offered to lend me a cement mixer just need to find a way of getting it here now.

Once we had finished the grab and smash I decided to have a rethink of the pier head as the bolt I planned to use would make it a little difficult to attach the mount due to the small space between the pier and head, just a 5 minute job (so I thought) to swap the bolts for threaded bar like so!

That was until I tried to fit the mount and for some reason it would not fit in between the locking nuts time for a redesign think again. So back outside with the workbench and drill.

I extended the bolt hole outward to there maximum to allow for the mount to fit in snugly, (in other words there was just enough space on the brake disc)! Which it did and moved freely to allow for azimuth adjustment. "I'll just check that I get a good view though the polar scope" I thought to myself at this point, good job I did to. As yes I could see through it but not comfortably as my cheek was resting on the braking surface of the brake disc. THINK THINK THINK?????? Back out to the workbench this time armed with the angle grinder. So much for that 5 minutes this is now 2 hours later!

 I ground a flat off of the south facing side of the disc taking away as much as I dared without the disc losing the majority of its strength or cracking.
Here is the end result, it may not be pretty but hey. I'm not going to be hanging it on the wall am I?
It works it allows me to get a good polar alignment, which is always a bit of a neck beaker here at 57.3N.

Now for the fixings, a bonus for extending the bolt holes was that rubber mount I wanted to use now fits into the gap between the threaded bar. This rubber mount is an old front MacPherson strut top mount off the same car that the brake disc came from. I'm starting to get the name of magpie at work as I see something shinning pick it up and take it home! I wanted to use this rubber mount as I'm hopeing it will dampen down any vibration coming from the pier.The bolt is the original one from the LXD mount.

Here it is in situe, once tight the EQ mount is as solid as a rock  and does not budge a millimeter.

TADAAAAA, here's the finished arrtical, well it will be when the disc is painted, as you can see it very well balanced sitting nicely on the four pieces of threaded bar. Just out of interest sake I weighed it, the total weight of the plate and EQ mount came in at 10.8Kg with the weight of the plate at 5Kg. The next time you see this will be when it's cemented into the pier, wish me luck with that one!

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