AKMA

EverStaR Mobil Observatory

The Mobil Observatory project is an effort to realize another dream and satisfy my other love of astronomy, visual observation under dark skies.  The skies here at home base are rapidly deteriorating and it has become evident that my scientific work will be greatly hindered.

Its regrettable to say that the discovery days for Everstar are pretty much done here at the home observatory.  The new equipment has not quite panned out they way I imagined it would.  Truthfully this is more a result of my lack of knowledge than any failure on the equipment’s part.

With that in mind, sometime ago I purchased a trailer for our 16” scope.  It is a big white lanky beast and having a trailer has saved my back and made road trips as simple as hooking up and hitting the road..

If you have been reading the news section of the sight, you’ll know that the 16” is going into a Telkitt, and we have purchased a 24 inch scope.

The idea is that the trailer will be a  Mobil office where I can operate computers and equipment that will be setup outside of the trailer.  I have been slowly building up all the little things Ill need to make this a reality, Deep Cycle Batteries, and Extra Network hub, A table, a wedge for the 12”, extra power supply for the camera etc.

This page will serve as a display for the trailer as it evolves and also a jump page to share star party pictures with friends.  I hope you enjoy it and feel free to e-mail me questions

11/22/01

I spent my vacation modifying the trailer. I am not really all that skilled with wood so the project was a moderate undertaking for me.  The trailer is all fiberglass except for the inner floor.  This made my challenge considerably more difficult since I really could not latch on to the walls.

After a lot of thought, I opted for an inner cage of 2x4’s to give me the foundation I needed to build the rest upon.  This meant sacrificing the already small amount of valuable space I had.  All considered though, the current pack it all in and unpack it all upon arriving and leaving was time consuming and inefficient in space usage.

The overall net gain would be considerable if done right.  I originally wanted space to sleep and to have a built in bunk, but that did not pan out.  I could still sleep on the floor of it if I wanted though in my current design.

You’ll see by comparing the above picture to these new ones how much space we gained by the conversion.

Click on pictures to enlarge them, Warning, most pictures are  350kb to 450Kkb in size and may take a minute on a slow connection.

The rear was optimized so that the equipment could stack thus using the full height of the trailer.  On the bottom the mirror box and rocker box sit atop carpet, to the right is the 345 AMP Hour Deep Cycle power system and charger.  The power system feeds three inverters which control various outlets in the trailer.  The middle shelf holds the mirror box and top cage.  The top shelf, barely visible, houses the latter and truss polls.  The middle shelf doubles as a spacious observing table while view the stars.  Plenty of room for star charts, laptop etc.

Space conservation was the main game on this project.

Every effort was made to allow for minimal unpacking when arriving at a site.  Bungy straps were used to hold the radio printer, weather radio, external HD and Network Switch in place.  This leaves basically the laptops to be setup when arriving.  The built in network allows the computers to talk to each other and share prephials.  This setup also had CCD Work in mind and is why there are two computers featured in the setup.

I actually wound up with plenty of table space, room for charts and sketching etc.  The office compartment will have a blind which can be pulled down to block light escaping to the rear and to allow for privacy if changing clothes etc.  There is a heating unit to warm up on those cold night sessions! The front wall sports a star chart and there is a coffee maker in the corner for those late nights.  I plan on doing more work to hide wires and make the overall setup a little more comfortable.  There is plenty of storage space below the tables where tents and other camping gear can be stored.  The 16” might even fit in the office space for travel.

Overall, it is truly amazing what one can pack into a 5’ x 8’ space, especially considering the framing for all this consumed a lot of space in itself.  Overall I think I accomplished the goal of quicker observing when arriving to a site.  I hope to test it all soon!

Thanks for visiting!