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Got the deck taken out, and my buddy and his small crew put in an 18 inch round pier with a T base 5 feet deep. The dirt in my hill is super strong and solid, and I'm guessing that pier base isn't moving at all if much at all. Just levelled the J bolts (except he used screws with flat square 3 inch plates on the end. It'll be solid. So, that part is done. Monday they install the actual deck, should be done my tuesday. Wed. my observatory shows up. Can't wait.

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Comment by Charles Dunlop on July 14, 2012 at 6:52pm

So everything is hookd up and working. Programmed in everything and set it up, looking good. Was going to align on bright stars through the clouds, but had an issue with the dome not rotating. There's a reed switch (magnetic switch) that figures if the dome door is open or closed, if the door is open it doesn't rotate in the program. Well, my door is closed and it doesn't rotate. So I took a small wire and bypassed the reed switch, still not registering. Jerry at Technical Innovations is sending me a new relay board monday, so middle of next week hopefully i plug it in simply and boom, it's working no issues. I'm pretty excited.

Fog is still here though. It left for about a week, and now it's come back, with a vengeance. Global warming sucks.

So anyway, I picked this season to do all this work to change things, build the new observatory, the new mount, etc, so that I would fix all these issues when bad weather is here. So now that everything is about to be working and all ready to roll, I'm hoping that the weather begins to clear up.

Oh yeah, need to set my network up, IT guy from work has volunteered to do it, which will help.

Also got the new camera and filters. took the Baader filters from my existing SBIG and installed them on the QSI 683-wsg-c-8 and also purchased some narrowband. Halpha, OIII, Hbeta. Read a lot about it here. Good explanation, very simple. Reminded me of physics lessons from undergrad. Makes me question though why other materials aren't used for filters but that's another question, Crisp would know that answer I bet.

Anyway, here's where i'm at.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on July 6, 2012 at 9:55pm

the SQM from my deck is 19.61, better than anticipated. STOKED. Hope the FWHD is as good.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on July 4, 2012 at 3:14pm

Had an issue with the latch opening, it was sticking, and it even jammed. so I dissasembled today and found the problem and fixed it. So i'm 100% working and just waiting on the pier from paramount.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on July 3, 2012 at 6:05pm

software Bisque sent me the wrong pier!!! OMG. they sent me a pier for a paramount MX not a Paramount ME, so I'm down at least another several days. Unreal!!!!

Comment by Charles Dunlop on June 30, 2012 at 8:51am

It works!!!! The dome is fully operational, now I just need my pier and new CCD and It's GAME ON.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on June 27, 2012 at 8:16am

Circuit board was i fact friend, I friend it apparently. All good, on way back, will have it monday. And my camera, hopefully it's here today becuase I drove into work (instead of rode the bike) and could drive down and grab it in oceanside. And hopefully they ship the pier today.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on June 25, 2012 at 6:54pm

Ordered my pier a little low, half the size as pictured. Have a 38 inches long and 22 inches in diameter OTA coming in on top of my Paramount ME against 38 inch walls, so I sacrificed southern extreme exposures as the thing is slewed to the side. So 38" (walls) - 19" (ME at half variable distance) = 19. They have an 18 and 24 in house, think 24 is too high and the 18 is slightly too low, but that's too low to see the horizon not too low. useful sky is what, 40 degrees from horizon, so I should be good, just eliminating the extrme southern shots. Needs to be up to use effectively. Anyone see issues with this rational?

Comment by Marc Basti on June 21, 2012 at 11:09am

Charles, maybe I missed it on an earlier post, but it looks like your going w/the 17"(?). That will be great, I was hoping you were going to go big big not just big. Cool, Marc

Comment by Charles Dunlop on June 20, 2012 at 7:05pm

So my DDW box, which controls the observtory motion, had a rotation chip burnt out. think I might have done it, but can't be sure. the directions to hook it all up were so confusing it's hard to really know. But they are going to put another one on and I should be good to go.

also sent back the pier, going a foot lower so that my new OTA will fit when it arrives. Be a little low, but won't hit the deck so I'll be fine. Can't wait too, fitting a 17 inch corrected Dall-Kirkham into into this dome, it's going to be a little tight but really awesome. Should have it all nailed out in a few weeks, just around the time the coastal fog is clearing. Should be really awesome. Can't wait for the super clear season about to come up.

BTW every day basically has been super clear, and then the coastal cover shows up at dusk, really sucks. No coastal cover I would have had like 45 days of nonstop shooting.

Comment by Charles Dunlop on June 9, 2012 at 4:56pm

Just put the electronic shutter electronics together, but need another foot of cable for the motors, so i'm off to swim in the ocean and get the dust off me, and then go to home depot. Hopefully have it all working tonight.

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