Monday, June 9, 2014

Astro-shack ver. 2.0 (Crest Airpark Astro-shack)

It's been a while since I posted anything here.  Just been extremely busy buying a new house, fixing up the old house, moving, moving more stuff, then moving even more stuff.  Eleven years can really make a big pile of crap!
Pile 'o dome parts.
It was a bittersweet afternoon when I pulled the dome off the Highlands Astro-shack and loaded the parts in the truck to move. The new location is about 14 miles southeast and has much better skies.  Still not super dark, but a big improvement.
First task was to clean up the dome parts.  I had 2 years of Renton "fallout" on the dome and had to give it a good scrubbing.  Also, there was some tar gunk on it that I never was able to remove before.  I worked on that some more with a heat gun, Goof Off, oven cleaner and lot of scraping.  It came off ok finally, but left a brown stain on the flange.  I cleaned it up well, put some primer and paint on the parts and it looks as good as new now.
Painting the parts to make them pretty. 
I have done a little observing with the 17.5 inch "clown cannon" Dob.  It's so much easier to move around on the pavement than rolling it around the old and very lumpy backyard lawn!   I took a moon shot with my iPhone.
Scrubbing the dome. 
I then assembled (just finger tight) the dome parts in the hangar to line up all the holes.  I met some new neighbors across the taxiway who were finally able to ask "what is that?!" after seeing it sitting there for a while.
Open the pod bay doors Hal.
The next thing to do is to figure out where to put the observatory.  I already picked out a part of the backyard where it will go.  Light from neighbors isn't much of a problem her, so I don't have to worry about that again.  I just have to watch out for visiting Cessnas that may have wings swinging over the fence when pivoting around on the ramp.  I measured 6.5 feet from the fence which seems about right.
"Catadioptric" telecope mount?
I'm planning on a
smaller, lower, and more efficient observatory this time where I'll avoid all  (or most?) of the mistakes I did before on the old Astro-shack.  This one will be 10x10 feet, walls about 5 feet high with the dome on top.  I'll have a lower cement pier just under floor level, and then have a metal pipe/pier type of thing on top for the scope.  I'm still looking into how to do that.  
Next....drawings of ideas.

Not bad for a cell phone!

No comments: