Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A matter of Balance

After a number of weeks procrastinating I finally got round to drilling and tapping the holes that I need to do in order to mount the LX200R OTA on to the dovetail for the EQ6 Pro mount. However having done this and mounted it all up I discovered that when I tried to balance the mount I could not achieve balance with the existing counterweight bar.
What I needed was a longer bar, the question is
where on the island could I find a cheap solution?

I finally found what I needed in one of the local DIY stores, an 18mm threaded rod about a meter long. In order to fit the retaining ring from the original counterweight bar I would need to cut down the end of the bar in order to make a M10 thread or the other option which Helen came up with was to drill and tap a M10 hole in the end and us a M10 bolt cut down to join the two pieces together.

Below is a photographic explanation of the modification. Enjoy :

The first step was to mark the center of the bar by using a square to draw lines across

Then having worked out the center this is then punched with a centre ready for drilling

Drilling downwards with the hand drill trying carefuly to keep the drill streight. The hole is only about 1/2 inch deep.

Moveing up to a bigger drill meant moving on to a different clamping method

The Hold drilled out to 8.5mm and ready for tapping

Helen tapping the hole to M10 thread

The hole tapped and ready to take the bolt

The M10 Bolt inserted

And cut to the required length ready to take the retaning ring from the original counterweight bar

The retaning ring in place

The new counterweight bar fitted to the EQ6 pro mount

The mount fully assembled and balanced. On the whole the system works very well with the longer bar. The only down side is that after a slew it can take a secound or to for the mount to settle due to vibrations in the counterweight bar.

Tried to do some observing this night but with lots of fast moving clouds and bad seeing ( very unusal for La Palma, but the weather has been funny here for a few weeks) it was almost impossible to get aligned and when I did it was very hard to see much anyway. But it was enough to convince me that the scope and mount combination would work quite well.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A YES for the Roof and a Bad Back

YES we have finally got the permission for the roof on the water tank so now all we have to do is get the builder in, its going to cost €2000 just for the roof and to get the door cut in the wall but once that is done we can start work on converting it to a bathroom. The main problem will be running all the wast pipes. I have not found out where they have to end up yet! It's not like the UK where all you have to do is connect the pipes to the nearest main drain, Some ware near the old loo in the back garden is a very big home covered with concrete, and this is ware all the waste from the loo mysteriously disappears....!!!!
We have not been sitting around ether this week, the steps are progressing onward and upward, we only have one small step to do, it seems that all we are doing at the moment is poring concrete, and this is where the bad back comes in. Thursday It seems that while we were working on the steps Theresa pulled a mussel in her back and she has been in a lot of pain, but still manage to help me today to get another step cast.
I am hopping to get the steps finished next week, and then its just the 10m of ramp that needs doing, but a lot of that is just one large amount of concrete.
We also manage to get the first of the vines pruned, only the ones at the front of the house but as these are in the way of the work on the new roof, I felt that these needed to be done.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I Feel a Rant Comming On

I think the local postman is nuts, and does not like foreigners. In the past I gave him the benefit of the doubt as it was possible that he left the mail at the bottom of the road and someone on the pista brought it up as they walked up. But know I know that he comes up the pista on his scooter. So why does he want US to put a mailbox at the bottom of the pista and not everyone else! He says that it is because our drive is dangerous for him to park his bike. Well I would agree with him there - its not flat! But the drive for next door is only a yard away and that is flat! There is another house that has had to do the same thing and they are Dutch... So I think he just does not like foreigners.. (though from what I hear he is not that popular as he is from the mainland)
The other problem is that I don't have enough Spanish to tell him what I think of him.. Oh well I think we will end up giving in - maybe with a little not on the box, like:
This box has been placed at the bottom of this hill as the postman can not walk 5 yards....
End of Rant... I think I may feel a little better...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Finaly We Have a New Room

The Library is now finished (OK there are still a few things to do, the odd fitted cupboard etc but it is usable). For the next few weeks it will be the temporary dining and computer room while we are working on the dinning room and turning it into the temporary kitchen so that we can actually start work on the kitchen.. Complicated isn't it..
We have to get it sorted out for the middle of Feb as One of the kids is due out to stay for a week and he will need somewhere to sleep.
Work has also been progressing on the steps and ramp (though the ramp is starting to look like a minor road). I would like to get the steps and ramp all done in the next few weeks, It would be nice to just be able to tick it of the list of things that we are doing.