Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is it a pig pen or an observatory

After about 2 years work has finally started on what is going to be the observatory. The location as to where we were going to put it has hopped around that garden quite a bit, but finally it has settled down to what was once the pig pen....
The good thing about this location is that at least parts of the 4 walls are standing, which will reduce the amount of construction required and as it is an existing building we are just repairing we wont have any issues with planning permissions.
The down side is that some of the walls we knocked through as some point in the past so needed to be patched.

Starting to put the boards in

One layer of concrete later

A happy Theresa

That layer done

Time to move things up

The wall remade back to the point it was in 1950 when it was built (we know it was 1950 it is written on the top of the wall at the front)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Patching up walls

One small job that was needed was to patch the wall in the kitchen where we removed the old fire place hood.. This needed doing as we will be putting a beam in to hold the chimney up.

Now I don't know if this beam is needed but we have noticed some cracks on the roof that seem to lead from the base of the chimney. so as I don't want it coming crashing down on my head one day when I am cooking we decided to put a bean in to support it... we even decided to cast the beam ourselves...

I just realised that we never took any photos of the casting of the beam ... oops

Patching wall

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A new home for the weather station

The old location for the weather station temperature and humidity sensor used to be the front of the house. The only down side of this location was that at certain times of the year It would get direct sunlight which would upset the readings and not give a true reflection of the current ambient conditions. So once the sensor had come back from repair (having given up after 2 years the replacement only last 3 months so we sent it back under warranty) we decided to construct an new home to protect it from the sun. But it still needs airflow in order to get a correct reading. So what we needed was a Stevenson Screen.

So here it is. In fact it is made from the plastic bases that sit under plant pots. Construction details can be found here

Finaly the battery house has a roof

About a year ago we started to build the housing for the solar power electronics and batteries, See the post Work in Progress. But after the electronics housing was done, we just never got around to working on the battery housing. Well we have finally put the roof on the battery housing...

First I wanted to improve the access to the kitchen roof, by cutting the parapet wall to create a step on to the roof. you can see the new access below, the funny block on the roof to the right of the opening is the cover for what I assume was supposed to be a chimney but as this is now above the entrance to the kitchen we will probably not use it as that ... but it will be useful to get the water piping on to the roof for the solar hot water heater.

New battery house and access to kitchen roof

Now we have the structures for the solar power electronics and batteries all I need to do is put the tiles on the top and render the outsides, add the doors and wire it all up... Lets hope that it will not be another year before the next bit gets done.

Solar power housings.