Sunday, 28 March 2010

The end is nigh…But not yet it seems!!

A couple of shots here of the completely boarded floor after the membrane had been trimmed away. IMG_0189
It now makes a “step up” as you go through the door. IMG_0190
The first mat cut to fit the pier – Bizibilder was able to persuade this to go over the EQ5 mount without further cutting. IMG_0192
Three…. IMG_0193
Six…. IMG_0194
Nine…. All done and neat and tidy. IMG_0195
The finished floor with the walls white. IMG_0197
The finished job with the walls blackened with matt black paint (not quite dry in the photo!).  This is to minimise reflections off the walls from neighbours lights – quite a problem sometimes! IMG_0199

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Bizibilder floors it!!

Bizibilder has finally got round to installing the false floor of his Observatory.  He intends to make it from 18mm OSB.  The timber merchant cut a sheet of 8x4 for him, as well as a further off-cut to make up the needed bits.  The joists were 50mm x 50mm treated fence posts.  The whole lot cost just under £20. IMG_0143
There are two main boards 24” wide.  Each has two “joists” one just in from the edge and the other overlapping to take the two central boards (see later).  The cut outs in the corners are for the corner posts.  Bizibilder was concerned with the boards sagging at this distance between the joists but a “jump up and down on it” test showed that he need have no fears – 18mm board is pretty strong!! IMG_0158
First a polythene membrane was put down this is to prevent any problems with moisture finding its way through the concrete base. IMG_0146
The two main boards in place – you can see the overlapped joists ready for the two filler boards. IMG_0171
The coping saw in use to cut the hole for the pier.  The blade is at 90 deg to the frame and is cutting sideways.  (This saw is designed to cut on the “pull” stroke so the blade is inserted with the teeth pointing towards the handle – many people put the blade in the other way and wonder why the blades snap with incredible regularity!!) IMG_0174
The first filler board in place – about 1cm gap all around the pier. IMG_0176
Progress so far today!! IMG_0178

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Ann asked how does Bizibilder do sketches of the Moon?

Well this is a scan of his original sketch for the crater Aristoteles.  It was done in 15mins at the eyepiece of the telescope using an HB pencil.  Once done the dates, times and orientation of the drawing were added along with the crater identification in ink (this is because he always files the original sketch along with the finished “polished” drawing.
Bizibilder then goes to his desk and makes a start on the final drawing.  He initially draws the main features very lightly in HB pencil.
Then the black shadows are added with a fine nibbed fibre tip pen.  After that the various shades of grey shadow are added using 3B, 4B, HB and H pencils, a putty eraser, a regular eraser and blending stumps ( these are commercial, artists, paper “sticks” with pointed ends that are used to “pick up” pencil lead and “smudge” or “blend” it where needed.  They are kept clean with sandpaper)
Finally any further details are added along with the scientific data about the Moon (longitude of the terminator, time since last new moon, percentage phase etc)

The diagram is filed and Bizibilders master map of the moon gets another feature coloured in – his aim is to draw the entire visible surface of the Moon – a task that will probably take decades!!!
I hope this answers your question.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Aristoteles crater

A drawing from last night of the crater Aristoteles.  It is around 53 miles across.  The drawing is “south at the top” which is the way you see an image in Bizibilder’s telescope.

Sunday 21-3-10 at 20.45-21.00.  200mm reflecting telescope x200

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Adding a little weight to the proceedings…

A couple of pictures to show the extra counterbalance weights in position on the declination shaft.  These were needed due to the addition of the small telescope to the set-up.  Bizibilder reckons that he is now at the maximum design weight allowed on the EQ5 type mount.
These two are enough weight – the small one may be moved a little to account for extra’s like a camera (if Bizibilder ever saves up enough for a decent one!)
A close up of the new weights in situ.
As it was a nice day today Bizibilder also spent some time caulking around the inside of the base of the observatory – the next stage is to install the wooden floor and comfy matting – concrete is very hard and cold to stand on for any length of time, nor is it a very good surface for dropped eyepieces to land on!!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Overcooked doughnuts anybody?

Two new mini-weights, one is 2Kg and one 1.25kg – we’ll have to see whether they do the job! IMG_0107

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Putting on a little weight!

In counterbalancing the system, with two telescopes attached, Bizibilder had to put the counterweights at the very end of the counterweight bar to achieve balance.  This leaves no further room for adjustments.  So, to compensate, Bizibilder has turned up a couple of extra small counterweights from off-cuts lying around (i.e. free!!).  One is shown here.  The clamp nut is a levelling foot from his old fridge and the brass “insert” is to prevent burrs being made on the weight bar (leading to the weights being impossible to move or remove!). IMG_0100

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bizibilder’s Tiddlyscope!

Bizibilder bought a Tiddlyscope a while back to use as a guide or finder scope or simply as a small wide-field scope. 
Anyway, he spent the morning making a mounting bar to attach said scope to his main one.  He thinks it looks quite neat!
Nothing more than a strip of aluminium bar across the tube rings of the larger scope.  The main problem was that Bizibilder had to re-balance the whole contraption!! IMG_0095
IMG_0097  IMG_0098

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Let the observations begin!

Bizibilder is finally Bizi!!  The observatory is in an operable state and as you can see from some of last weeks observations he can now use it properly.  IMG_0089
It still needs a floor (to be made from wood and covered with comfortable matting), painting on the inside and a 12v DC power supply so that Bizibilder can drive the telescope with motors and not have to keep adjusting the scope manually in order to track the stars across the sky. IMG_0092A

Friday, 5 March 2010

More Mars…..

Another Mars sketch, a day after the last.  A few features of the Martian surface were JUST visible – the picture is a bit”enhanced”!!  It was difficult to see any detail again, just the occasional glimpse during moments of good “seeing”.  The features are the same as the last sketch – Mars rotates once in about 24hr 40min so features observed on consecutive nights at around the same “earth” time will appear to have moved slightly. Mars 2010.03.04

Thursday, 4 March 2010

More Mars – but still no Martians!

Another observation of Mars by Bizibilder.  The difference this time is that he has redrawn the original eyepiece sketch and notes using a program called GIMP (Free picture editing software with LOADS of functionality!).
In his (never) humble opinion this gives a very close approximation to the actual “view” and colours seen through the eyepiece – certainly a closer reproduction than a pencil sketch can give.
Mars 2010.03