LAST UPDATE : From POC at home to what you will control, take a look at Part 3
In the introduction article, we explained that our goal was to build an astronomical observatory. We will adopt a try/error approach. This means that will go from a prototype to a final concept. As we as are not willing to reinvent the wheel, we will try to use as much as possible of available materials from internet and manufacturers. Of course, this will be true as long as the price and estimated quality goes for it.
So, let's start: Step 1 some mechanics.
The purpose: Get something out of the ground, steady but not yet functional. Just some hardware.
The picture of this article shows 3 main parts:
- The pier: It is home made from steel, plasma cutting, arc welding and black paint. Very fun to make … and hot. I think I shrank 1cm in the operation. The pier must support the weight of all the others elements we will place on it. The base plates are 1cm thick and the pipe is 6mm.
On the left, the fusion 360 model.
There are 3 base plates and you will notice that there is a black layer between the 2 plates on top. It is made of rubber. Its purpose is to absorb vibrations. It is not yet on the final pier as seen in the full mounted picture, but it will be soon. I need to perform some tests to see if really, it's a good idea.
The base plate from the bottom has four 10mm holes to fix it on the ground. It is weld to the pipe on its center.
The top plate under the rubber is weld to the pipe on its center. It has six 10mm holes. The 4 holes on the corner are meant to fix the upper plate to the pier. The two other holes on the middle are used to fix the mount to the plates.
On the right picture you can see the assembled pier.
The middle hole was supposed to be used for cables etc... completely useless. Once I choose the mount, it appeared to be a waste of time.
- The mount: We choose an EQ-8 from SkyWatcher. Nothing special to say about it. Except that I'm in love with this wonderful mount.
- The main optical tube: It's an XT10 from ORION. It's a Dobsonian telescope originally. It is not the best choice for astrophotography because optics means more than size in astrophotography. But, it gave me a lot of satisfaction in my journey to discover astronomy. So, let's use it on this project for now. Later we plan to change it to a Richey-Chretien 300mm.
With this post, you can see where we are aiming to. Of course, this is just the beginning. we have a promising device but we miss the electronics, software and cameras that will take the best of it. The assembly requires someone to help. The mirror on the tube does not appreciate to be handled without care.
This is it for the first assembly. Next time we will give some power for the telescope.