Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Just a pretty video that came out earlier this month, but figured it was a good Christmas "ornament" type thing with the cool graphics.  Can never go wrong with Carl Sagan anyway.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunny day - primed and painted. paint

Coat of primer.
After the cold spell of weather the last couple weeks, then a windstorm, we got a somewhat warm and sunny day that was in the mid-50s.  Warm enough to put some paint on the pier.
The thing is a beast to drag out of the hangar, but managed to "walk" it out and put on a tarp to paint.
First a layer of primer - the pain said it wasn't needed, but couldn't hurt anyway.  Then I sprayed it with a 'textured' black paint that gives it a smooth but bumpy texture.  It turned out nice!  The second photo doesn't show the color too well since the sun was behind a tree and was getting dark.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Motors installed and pier constructed.

Power supply (right)
Dome control (with open door)
Now that there is power to the observatory the motors for rotating the dome were installed.   The two motors were mounted as well as the power supply box and the dome control circuit.   I put the to electrical boxes in the same orientation as they were in the old observatory - mainly since the wires were already cut to right length to reach both motors from that location.
One of the motors. 
Last weekend one of our neighbors that I met in the local EAA group helped me weld together the parts for the pier.   He had some good ideas also that he contributed to the construction.   He had some scrap metal with a 90 degree bend in it that was a very nice fit (after cutting to shape) which worked out very nicely for a support on the top of the pier.  This will easily allow a wrench in under the mount to tighten wedge onto the top of the pier and make needed adjustments if needed later.   I should add that a plasma cutter is one of the coolest tools. Ever.  I got a chance to try his out, and it was amazing how easily it cut through solid steel.  It's like "lightning in a hose"!
I bought some primer and paint for the pie
r, so next thing is to paint the thing to keep it from getting rusty.

Very solid pier.  I don't think vibration should
be a problem - just dragging it out will!  (ready to paint).