Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rick the Builder

Met Mom's contractor Rick. She invited him over to meet me and to have a group discussion about her studio / observatory plans.

One design I was proposing had the telescope permanently mounted inside the loft within the gabled roof. Then, to view the sky, you'd open the roof flaps or doors. Rick expressed his immediate dislike of this idea. There would difficulties with the seals. There was a potential for leaks and, down the road, water damage. True, these are challenges. But I like the idea of the 'scope base being fixed and aligned and less need for regular collimation. I would think this would make it more attractive for Mom to use.

Rick suggested a porch or deck off the gable from the loft. Ironic, in that I had considered this idea. One version I proposed was to store the 'scope (assembled) inside the studio loft but wheel it out. I remarked how I had seen "rail systems" for easing the movement of the 'scope but keeping it aligned.

A disadvantage to both of these designs is that vibration will come up from the structure and the floor.

I proposed another idea, still using the porch / deck. Mount the 'scope on an independent pier. It might use neighbour Chuck's old satellite dish pier (if tall enough). Or a concrete pier in sonotube could be poured... They both seemed to like this idea. Disadvantage, you have move the telescope OTA and mount in and out! That will then require more frequent collimation.

So, we need to make some big decisions very soon... They are pouring the concrete pad next weekend. When the hurricane weather stops.

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