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Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:24 am
by TheChairMan
24th August 2013:

TAWPIA has been active midweek to great effect this week in that the top section of the steps have been re-pointed and edges repainted bright white. This benefits all visitors to the Society and is greatly appreciated by all members.

Another damp Saturday so exterior Dome restoration was postponed until next week or possibly Tuesday. Internal work consisted of assembling the telescope with GOTO equipment under Laptop control. Additional testing/commissioning work is required and when complete will make for a substantial upgrade to the observatory.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:04 am
by TheChairMan
Saturday 31st August 2013:

Mid week TAWPIA members have made great progress on the steps leading to the site. They are in the best condition they have ever been in. The painted and repointed steps together with the handrails have made the society more accessible than ever to all with the exception of wheel chairs users. Members and visitors alike will appreciate this work.

The weather allowed the Treasurer and his assistant to continue repairs to the Dome skin with glass fiber tape and associated epoxy.

A punnet of assorted broken biscuits (purchased from local pound shop) was generously provided by the Assistant, the Chair made the coffee and had most of them I think.

Basement work and consideration continues.

Thank you for reading this.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:02 pm
by TheChairMan
Saturday 14th September 2013:

Apologies I forgot to do few words on last weeks activities.

Thank you to the mid-week work party for completing step titivation, pointing and painting. The evenings are certainly getting darker now so the work is very much appreciated.

This week again work continued on the dome skin and box ring. The treasurer is now frequently commenting on the weather now and it's impact on resin setting times. It is starting to get cooler.

The GOTO system was run up on the observatory telescope and a good clear view of Venus was seen in daylight. The Chair was impressed.

Also, after a few weeks of deliberation an alternative plan will be presented to the Committee with regard to basement renovations. It is believed (subject to committee approval) there is a better way than that agreed at beginning of the year.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:33 am
by TheChairMan
21st September 2013:

Good weather today so dome skin seam repairs progressed satisfactorily. This was confirmed when the Treasure stated that the dome skin seam repairs had progressed satisfactorily. The outside ambient air temperature was 18degC which is 3degC above temp when setting time lengthens to inconvenient times available to TAWPIA on Saturday afternoons.

The Chair supervised the Assistant Treasurer in some concrete block splitting. Eight standard 440x215x100mm blocks were split in 2 to form quantity 16 220x215x100mm blocks to be used in basement (subject to committee approval). The splitting was acomplished by cutting a 1" approx deep groove around the block using a angle grinder with stone cutting disk attached. A bolster was then inserted into the groove and a sharp tap with a hammer completed the bisection. The history of the angle grinder is very interesting and dates back thousands of years. As far as can be ascertained they were first developed for use on the ancient Egyptian pyramids. They were available in the Pharaohs tool-stores but never booked out as the invention of electricity (and suitable wall outlets) was still some 3500 years away.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:03 am
by TheChairMan
Saturday 28th September 2013:

The Chair brought Quantity 19 440x215x100mm pre-loved building blocks (courtesy of assistant Chair) to the site using his personal Clarke CST11 - Sack Truck This device is ideally suited to block moving down flights of steps due to the cushioning effect of the large pneumatic tyres. Care was taken to check the natural tendency of the loaded sack truck to build up momentum due to Earth' s force of gravity. The manufactures instructions should be read in order to use sack truck within it's operating conditions envelope.

It was agreed at Finance Meeting on Tuesday evening that Plan 'B' is the new Plan 'A' with respect to the basement changes hence the requirement for additional blocks.

Other activity was carried out by the The Treasure and his able Assistant. Fine adjustment of the Observatory Telescope GOTO system was progressed in preparation for the forthcoming dark nights and group visits. Venus and Jupiter were both viewed with the sun below the horizon in Australia.

The Assistant Treasurer made a lovely cup of coffee.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:52 am
by TheChairMan
Saturday 5th October 2013:

In preparation for the imminent start of evening group visits effort was directed at coarse aligning the Observatory Telescope. This activity will improve reliability of the newly installed and effective GOTO system. The Societies top astroimager used a spirit level and spanner combined with an iterative procedure to carry out this function in the daylight. A GOTO and tracking check was planned by viewing Venus but it clouded over.

Down below in the basement further block work was carried out.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:52 am
by TheChairMan
Saturday 12th October 2013:

Weather conditions were overcast with prolonged rain showers so not conducive to exterior Dome repairs.

It was quickly observed that the Mid week work party had again made some excellent progress outside the lecture hall side door. A step has now been constructed to improve egress and entry to the building. This work is very much appreciated and is likely to be within budget (the Treasurer likes that).

The Treasurer and his Assistant continued to tweak the observatory alignment after Tuesday Night's observing session suggested that a large bolt securing the mount may need attention. In fact it did as it was devoid of threads and needed replacement.

It was commented by the aforementioned that a brief episode of moderately harsh language was audible coming from the observatory basement. Indeed they were correct; the Chair was briefly chastising a block of concrete. There was a divergent correlation between his competence and his objectives. Eventually however the block was positioned securely and progression, albeit slowly recommenced.

As an aside, airing forthright opinions to a half block (215x200x100mm approx) of concrete is better than issuing forth expletives to loved ones, colleagues or friends. Concrete blocks are good listeners, they do not judge, walk off in a strop, proffer opinions, interrupt or take things personally (to be proved).

The Assistant Treasurer made a nice cup of coffee enjoyed by all accompanied with Bourbon biscuits.

Despite the weather, a modest amount of progress was made.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:55 am
by TheChairMan
19th October 2013:

Another 16 pre-loved medium density building blocks were taken down steps using sack truck as described in previous TAWPIA.

TAWPIA was made up of 5 members this Saturday: 2.25 more than average TAWPIA Saturday attendance.

The Chair continued moderate progress in the basement. He was delivered a nice cup of coffee by the Assistant Treasurer.

The Assistant Treasurer displayed his block laying skills to good effect.

Back at ground level, it was noted that the dome had a couple of leaks that required addressing, they were subsequently addressed by the Treasurer.

The newly concreted step outside the lecture hall was unveiled do approving comments from those who saw it being uncovered.

The same sort of activities are planned for next Saturday.

If you are a LAS member, come along just after 1300hrs local time. You don't have to do any thing.

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:48 am
by TheChairMan
Saturday 26th October 2013:

Four Members arrived approximately 1300hrs for 3 hours of activity.

Activity included:

- Lecture hall external side door-stop construction, fitting and commissioning.

- Basement Block laying.

- Telescope tweaking activities.

- Cup of tea with accompanying jam donuts

- Discussion on Dark Matter in teapot

- Pruning of shrubs.

The weather is certainly getting autumnal now. The forecast predicts a storm over Sunday/Monday night. The Dome withstood the 1987 event. Will it survive the next one?

Tune-in this time next week to fine out....

Re: TAWPIA The Astronomical Work Party In Action

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:33 am
by TheChairMan
2nd November 2013:

TAWPIA consisted of five members today who dodged some heavy rain showers throughout the afternoons activities.

- Initially the Treasurer and the Chair engaged in some essential Society administration; the Chair countersigned a cheque for the Gas bill.

- Sometime was spent pre-positioning materials and block splitting for continuing basement modifications.
A few more blocks were set in position. The plan is slowly being realized.

- The rain presented a good opportunity to assess observing platform drainage systems

- Some long-overdue Lecture Hall cleaning activities were also tackled today. A welcome break for every ones immune systems.

- Jam Donuts and a nice cuppa.

It is great to see results posted (Deepfield - Lincoln style) on forum showing what can be done the Upgraded Observatory Telescope. In Spring 2014 the society is hoping to run a series of subsidiary lectures on astronomical imaging which will use results taken with the Society telescope over the winter period.

Stand by for some more TAWPIA fun next week.