Monday, 28 December 2009

I don’t know what all the fuss was about…….

This is what all of Bizibilders hard work has been for!!  Finally a clear night and he was able to get the telescope out and do some proper observing.  The drawing here is of an area of the Moon with a couple of craters named.  North is at the BOTTOM – as all astronomical telescopes give an inverted image.
(Gassendi is about 67miles across.)
Gassendi Drawing 1
Went out later on and drew another Lunar feature, this time a crater called Schiller.  It was below zero!  Bizibilder’s telescope had ice all over it by the time he had finished this drawing.  Brrrrrrrrrr…….. Schiller Drawing 1

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Once I couldn’t spell injinear, Now I is one!

A few shots here to show progress on Bizibilders pier adaptor.  Firstly using a rotary table to get all the ‘oles in the right places.  Three to be tapped for bolts and one, slightly larger, for the “azimuth pin”. IMG_1414
IMG_1419 A useful tapping guide – just an odd end that has been faced both ends and drilled just clearance on the tap – keeps everything straight and true, which is important.
The finished adaptor resting on the upper plate. IMG_1421

Thursday, 24 December 2009

If you knows of a better ‘ole!

Roughing out the hole for the EQ5 mount.  60mm diameter and 20mm deep. IMG_1400
The almost finished adaptor sitting on the pier – just the mount bolt holes to drill and a post for the azimuth alignment screws to push against. IMG_1402

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The start of the end of the pier show!

The top of the pier has now had its corners rounded and has been drilled and bored with the necessary holes.  There is a second top plate that is identical except that the central hole is 10mm clear for the telescope attachment bolt. (Unfortunately that plate is a little camera shy!)

All the shaping work on the top and bottom plates was done with a hacksaw and files – not too difficult really.  The holes with a drill press.
Bizibilders pier – waiting for the snow to clear so that it can be taken for welding – (there are some bracing plates that are not shown). 1m tall x5” diameter.

Starting on the pier adaptor – a billet of 4” steel 1” thick – First operation - drilling the central 10mm clearance hole.

Second operation – facing both faces of the billet.
IMG_1388  IMG_1392

Monday, 21 December 2009

Every little (LED) Helps!!

Bizibilder has been skulking around Tesco’s these past few weeks looking at their LED Christmas lights with a view to using them as “red lighting” for the Observatory.  These have finally been reduced to £5 (from£10) for a twenty LED set. IMG_1369
IMG_1370 First he had to cut the petals and strange plastic retaining ring off the back, then remove the red “inner petals”.  This has left Bizibilder with a string of LED’s about 2m long that he intends to somehow “fix up” once the snow that currently has half buried the Observatory has finally thawed.
Bizibilder thinks that he may build a holder for about six or eight LED’s to use as a “reading light” and to just string the rest along the north side of the Observatory as general background light – mainly for finding eyepieces that have run away and hidden!  The whole lot runs off a couple of AA cells – but for how long?  Nobody knows!! IMG_1371

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

Snow Day

This mornings snow scene. IMG_1311
Four people, two dogs and a bicycle (I think!) IMG_1321

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Let there be (first) light!!

IMG_1300 Bizibilder has finally attached the doors to his Observatory – if you compare this picture with one a few posts back you can see that the doors are now no longer bowed.  For the time being the building can be considered “finished” in that is is now useable.  There is still plenty to do – as soon as the weather warms up!!  There needs to be an outside step – so Bizibilder doesn’t have to walk on a flowerbed to get to the doors!  as well as an interior, slightly raised, floor so that Bizibilder doesn’t have to stand for hours on cold concrete – All the comforts of home!!
Bizibilder has finally put the telescope and mount into the Observatory.  The tripod is deliberately set to the proposed height of the pier (still to be finished) so that Bizibilder can check on visibility – especially low to the south. IMG_1304
IMG_1308 As snug as a bug in a rug!!!

All closed up and locked – Bizibilder’s Observatory, phase one, completed.

(The padlocks are the only visible security on the building – for obvious reasons Bizibilder is not showing or describing any further measures taken)

Sunday, 6 December 2009


IMG_1296 Bizibilder has finished the construction and modification of the doors of his Observatory.  Here are a couple of pictures of the new lower “sliders” for the doors.  When hung the doors slide easily both ways and there is less than 1mm free play on the bottom door runner when the doors are closed – slightly more when the doors are open due to the design of the runners.
The “sliders” are tapered slightly so that they follow the taper of the folded steel that they run in.  They are made of Aluminium and simply bolted through from the top. IMG_1298
IMG_1299 The “posh” side of the doors with the two hasp and staples in place.  All Bizibilder needs to do now is redo the matt black paint on the insides of the doors – which will be done in the warmth of his workshop - and then hang the doors for good.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

It’s a game of two Hasps!

Fixing the door “hasp and staple” locks was the next job for Bizibilder.  Not as easy as it seemed when trying to get four pressed steel “countersinks” to lie flat on a very thin sheet steel door!
These were the tools for the job – a 90 deg cone made from a steel off-cut and a nice big hammer!
It worked – Bizibilder was worried about distortion of the door but this did not happen.
The inside of the hasp – with a metal backing plate for strength.  One down one to go! – Bizibilder said it was a game of two hasps!!! IMG_1295

Turning things round…

Bizibilder has spent the evenings this week getting the insides of the doors braced.  It has been a long and repetitive job!

As the original door fittings have been scrapped a few new parts have had to be made.  The upper runners will still function as designed but may need a washer or two to get the alignments right.  However the lower door runners will no longer fit so Bizibilder has had to make new parts.  Originally a plastic “angle” (held in place with one screw) that was at least 5mm too “narrow” for the lower runner was supplied – it was effectively useless.
Four neat “lower runner buttons” were turned up on the lathe this afternoon.  These will bolt to the lower angle bracing and are sized to fit within the lower runners with minimum clearance.

(Oops! Bizibilder has admitted having a lathe!! whilst extremely useful for this kind of job it is not essential – suitable parts could easily be filed to shape, in fact there is no reason that they should even be round!)