Building an observatory. Construction #72

The last week has mostly been one of flooring. I finished off the foam tiles around the last pier, taking a huge amount of time just to make sure I didn’t get things wrong and varnished the floor in the warm room.

A used pier adapter arrived for the HEQ5, so I set that up on the last pier, but it doesn’t come with a suitable alt-az pin (the HEQ5 mount has the pin cast as part of the tripod). I’ve not yet found a solution for this that I like, so that requires more thought. I have tried a threaded rod with flats filed on for the adjustment bolts to bear on, but it really needs a locknut and there’s just not space — any nut seems to foul the body of the mount.

I also ordered a pull strap to allow me to lift and lower the flap.

Once the warm room floor was dry I laid most of the carpet tiles. The only ones left now are those around the ducts for carrying cables to the mount where they come through the floor, and a small area I’m going to have carpeted immediately inside the external door. I’ve decided to put a box around the ducts to make the carpeting easier because it’s quite hard to cut. It will have to be removable, but that’s hardly the end of the world.

Finally, I cut the ply to line the flap and fixed it in place only to find that the flap is such a snug fit that it fouled the roof with the ply on. I had to remove it all and trim a little off the edge. With that done and the ply fixed back in place again I painted it the same colour as the walls and fitted the pull strap.

I’m not entirely happy with the pull strap, actually. As the flap folds down at about shoulder height and is not particularly light, it’s hard to control as it is lowered and difficult to get moving to lift. I’m going to look at other ideas that might help with this. In the long run, it will probably involve counterweights.

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