8 November 2003
The micro-focuser arrived back from Meade UK yesterday. It's working now but they managed to bend one of the screws on it which holds the diagonal in place!. They also informed me that there is a backlog on the eyepiece offer and it could be up 14 weeks before I get them !!. Also got an email from Ken Milburn this week saying that my wedge should be ready by the end of the month. Dan at PierPlates also emailed to tell me that the pier top plate should be ready for delivery quite soon too. He is doing a new design to support the Deluxe Milburn Wedge and I will be the guinea pig. Today I also put in the underground pipe which will supply power to the observatory. Paddy got a friend of his who has a mini digger to do the excavation. We rented out a large angle grinder to cut the tarmac where it needs to cross. We used standard 4" black soil pipe for the pipe. It will carry a mains power cable, 2 Cat 5 network cables and a telephone line. We left a rope in it for the moment, so that the electrician can pull the wires through when he is wiring the observatory. The wires will go up a conduit on the outside wall of the house and into the main power distribution board, my home network hub and telephone distribution point.
2 December 2003
My electrician did the first fix for the wiring inside the shed today. The wiring layout is pretty much as per Chris Vedeler's observatory with 2 double power sockets on the north side, 3 internal lights, 1 external light with motion sensor, 2 CAT5 network points (which will connect up to my home network hub), a double power socket on the pier itself and a phone line. The observatory will also have its own distribution board meaning than any electrical problems in the observatory will not impact the wiring in my house.
4 December 2003
The pier plate arrived today. As mentioned before it includes a new layout to support the Deluxe Milburn Wedge. Also got an email from Ken Milburn that my wedge should be ready shortly. I will be ordering some 4" Fibreglass insulation and 1/2" MDF so that I can finish the inside walls in the observatory over the weekend.
13 December 2003
Installed the insulation in the wall studs.
17 December 2003
Re-laid and pointed up the curbs, which had to be pulled up to dig the trench for the cables for the observatory.
19 December 2003
Tidied up the track left on the lawn from digging for the cables for the observatory with some top soil from a local garden centre. When the temperature picks up in the New Year, putting down some lawn seed should complete the repair. Also checked the oil cable for leaks, which we managed to kink when we were digging the trench. Luckily there were no leaks.
Christmas 2003 and Early January 2004
Not much progress over the last few weeks due to the very wet weather we have had here in the "Sunny South East" corner of Ireland <g>. The ground around the observatory is very mucky, meaning that I will have to install a path down to it as well as a concrete step at the entrance when the weather picks up a bit, and the evenings get a bit longer. Also got an email from Ken informing me that my wedge has been dispatched. It's being delivered by surface mail so it will take a number of weeks to arrive.
14 January 2004
The electrician got back to me today and installed the wiring for a power socket which will be attached to the outside of the pier. This will help avoid the problem with trailing power cables from the scope which would occur otherwise. He ran a cable from the distribution board next to the observatory door, underneath the floor and up through the 2" ducting which we installed in the middle of the pier when we first poured the footing.
23 January 2004
I've had the telescope setup a few times now on the tripod in my driveway and it gets pretty cold and exposed very quickly and is not the most comfortable when you are trying to spot a faint fuzzy. Because of this, I have decided to build a warm room on the north side of the observatory. I've decided to do this now while the observatory is still not complete, as I can easily redirect the wiring while the MDF is still not attached, to what is currently the outside north wall where I will locate the power sockets and network points for the warm room. I will put a small door in the north east corner of the observatory and build a deck and walls between the north wall and first set of posts for the roll off roof. I am also thinking of putting a window between the two rooms so that I can keep an eye on the scope from the warm room as well as providing some natural lighting into the warm room. Depending on how things work out, I may also put an external window in the warm room. By providing this separate room in the observatory, I will be able to keep myself nice and warm with some electrical heating while the observatory and scope is exposed to the elements when the observatory is open. I have still to work out how the roof will be built for this so that any water run off from it will not drop onto exposed wood lower down. I'm sure Paddy will come up with some smart suggestion for this when he gets back to me to work out the materials required.
29 January 2004
The wedge arrived from Ken today. Can't wait to get it hooked up in the observatory.
29 January 2004