Part four of our adventures in Stargazing:

Our own home observatory...

star This idea came from an article in the BBC 'Sky at Night' magazine, Oct 2006 star

This link is to the website of Dennis Gavin, who built one in his back garden. There are many pictures of what it SHOULD be like, and hopefully how ours will turn out. We've had to make a few changes due to circumstances, but the basic idea remains the same...

This is the part of our garden where we plan to put the observatory. As there are trees at the bottom and side of the garden, this gives us the best spot for observing, as well as providing some cover from the winds that we get at the top of our hill. Also, it makes sure it is not in the way of our being able to use the rest of the garden. (18/10/06) Garden space
We got the shed from B&Q - ex display for £20.00!!

B&Q no longer sell this product, but Argos does - for £279.99...

and we already have the slabs....
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After a couple of weeks, at last a dry afternoon. We cleared the ground, placed the slabs - it still needs levelling - made the doors, and drilled the holes in the roof to take the revised hinges (so that the doors can be removed) (28/10/06) {short description of image}
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It might not look like much has happened, but we had a long day today - the slabs were put down properly, which involved removing a lot of soil and laying 11 bags of sand...

We now are suffering with foot, leg, back & neckache!

And the two pieces of the base have been fixed together, so we are getting there...
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{short description of image} The end of a long day! (04/11/06)
And finally, for this weekend, we put the bottom half together...


Gareth put the bottom windows in place, before starting on the 'adaptations' needed for the top half.....
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We also had a visitor: {short description of image}
And we put the two parts together, to see what it looked like - they're not fixed, as we have much still to do...


I'm also beginning to think of other uses for this, apart from observatory...

(05/11/06)
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We're getting there... Very cold day today, but we managed to get the posts in place to carry the channel - we're using timber, as it's easier to work on and obtain than the metal. Having shown Gareth how to use the jigsaw, he decided to try other uses... This picture was taken by Ann - she didn't attempt to stop him... (11/11/06)
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Also today, Beccy took the following three pictures - there seems to be a common link... {short description of image}
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This afternoon we put the support posts in position - went easier than we anticipated - and fixed the angle in place: {short description of image}
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And we built the top half, and placed it in position. (12/11/06)

We should only need to lift it by a few millimeters to allow it to run back properly - hopefully in the next week!
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A windy night last night, but everything stayed in place!

This is our method of anchoring the top to the bottom. These black pieces were supplied as shelf supports, which we had to cut down in order to allow the shelf to fit on the lower section.
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We also found a light socket - and now have illumination!

Gareth had the idea of putting the cable through the channel on the side. (13/11/06)
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This weekend we were able to attach the wheels - took a bit of work, but we eventually got there.

Once the top rolled back Ok, we could start putting the waterproofing arond the edge....
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And we're about there!! (19/11/06)

Before we install the telescope, we want a few downpours - to see if there is any water ingress....
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In between the showers, we placed the telescope in the observatory.... (13/11/06)

The shelf is big enough for the laptop, and the small TV - it can show pictures direct from the digital camera.

All we need now is a dry day to check the position so that it is easily accessible & useable!
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(26/11/06) A dry afternoon at laast - we opened the observatory and checked the alignment of the finder scope - at the moment viewing Caerphilly Mountain...

Gareth did a good impression of falling asleep....
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And this is in the evening - unfortunately totally cloudy...

But practice for opening on a good night!
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Well, just about there - got a couple of new gadgets today: Camera mount and a "red dot finder"

Got home tonight at 8:30pm, reasonable conditions - and when we got out it clouded over and began to rain!! (28/11/06)

When we are successful, we'll put our efforts on the following pages.....
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