Re: AP1600 Down


Mike Dodd
 

On 11/15/2021 10:22 PM, W Hilmo wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions to build the pier now.
At the permanent location, it will be
far enough off that I will want wired networking to it.
OK, rent a trencher and dig a trench to the observatory location, and lay direct-burial Ethernet cable. Bring it out of the ground with a short length of PVC conduit and a service (weather) head. Leave plenty of cable to run inside the observatory to an Ethernet switch or wi-fi router.

My observatory is 300 feet from the house, and I control everything via Windows Pro Remote Desktop over CAT5e cable. I also buried #8 underground feeder cable in the same trench for 120V house power. A switch in the basement turns the observatory power on and off, and I send commands via Ethernet to two DLI Ethernet power switches that switch power to individual pieces of equipment.
Also, right now in our area, concrete pours are super expensive.If the
pier was going to be near the house, I'd do that now, but I'm not
quite ready to deal with the observatory pad yet.
Pad? I definitely would not build an observatory on a concrete pad. I built both mine on 4x4 pressure-treated posts. My 10'x14'observatory has 12 of them spaced about 58" apart. Here's the plan: <http://house.mdodd.com/proj_obs_foundation.html>

You can dig holes for the foundation posts with a post hole digger or a rented power auger. We dumped 3" of crushed stone in each hole, set the post and plumbed it, then shoveled in dry concrete from an 80-pound bag. We added water, and let it soak into the dry concrete. No mixing needed, and very inexpensive.

The entire 12 foundation posts took 4-5 bags of concrete from Lowe's, and the 12" pier took 5-6, if I remember correctly.

I see absolutely no benefit to building an observatory on a concrete slab. It retains heat which radiates at night. A wood floor on posts allows air to circulate under it and up through the observatory when the roof is closed (I have gable vents and a clearance hole in the floor around the pier).

--- Mike

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