Building an observatory. Construction #79

I’m pleased to be able to relate that all the mains wiring in the observatory is now complete and it is connected up to the existing supply from the house. I no longer have extension leads and trailing sockets all over the place which is a big improvement, to say the least.

Yesterday I had quite a big tidy up to get rid of most of the stuff that’s been hanging about “in case I need it” which has also improved things by making much more space. I also refitted the desk (previously removed to make it easier for the cabling to be done) and got most of the trunking finished.

Today I made up a shelving unit to go under the desk so I’d have somewhere to put the 12V PSUs in the warm room and then cut up a discarded length of twin core cable with nice fat conductors (it was on a cement mixer until someone managed to break one end) to feed 12V from the PSUs to the cabling running under the floor. Once that was done I made up the connections at the pier ends. All this whilst repeatedly rolling the roof on and off due to random showers. I could have just left the roof closed, but it was unpleasantly humid here today (I think it was about 90% RH at one point) and I wanted all the ventilation I could get. After that I undertook a ridiculously paranoid level of testing as I was very keen not to feed the wrong polarity to a NEQ6, before powering a mount up and using the handset to point it at whatever objects I thought might be in the afternoon sky (all obscured by clouds, sadly). Apparently Mercury, Venus and the Moon were all there somewhere and Jupiter was just creeping above the eastern horizon.

Finally I took down one of the computers that I intend to use on the piers and connected it up inside the box on one of the piers. It’s all a bit scruffy at the moment, but it might allow me to do a bit of testing later in the week.

At this point I think all that remains in terms of cabling is finshing the network cables (putting the RJ45 plugs on, basically) and deciding on the final routing for the cabling for the power supply for the scope room lights. They’re powered from a 24V PSU that I intend plug into a standard 13A socket in the warm room. I just need to come to a decision about routing the cable between the two and get it sorted. There’s probably no major rush for that though, as I can feed them from one of the IP66 sockets on the warm room wall for the time being.

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