It appears I haven’t posted in a while so let me start back up by talking about my latest money pit – a new hand made (or it will be when I finish) camper to take on the road to star annual parties like OkieTex. The project has been delayed for almost a year by knee surgeries, weather, and funding issues but it is started now.
At first it was an idle day dream while recovering from knee surgery. I wanted to take my 16″ dob Molly out west. Then in August, 2017 we came across an old worn out pop-up tent camper for $350. It was water damaged and would cost a fortune to rehab back to a pop-up tent camper but at $350 for a trailer it was a decent deal. Especially after I tore it down to the trailer and sold some appliances I had no need of. In the end, it was a net $220 trailer capable of at least 2000 lbs, the weight of the original camper.
Then we pretty much marked time for months while we planned and I had a second surgery on the knee. Plans were considered and discarded, internet research done while winter raged.
Now, finally in May, we’re moving again. Last weekend I bought several sheets of plywood and rigid foam. Enough plywood and foam for the floor and enough plywood for the lifting roof. I think forgot about the foam in the roof.
Yesterday, I cut the 11/32″ plywood for the bottom of the floor and then glued remnants in place to hold it together. The next step is to paint the bottom and then placing on the trailer. Then foam and thinner plywood for the rest of the floor.
Overlapping in time I will work on the roof which will lift. The walls will be no more than 5 foot tall and maybe less so that the camper can fit in the garage. The lifting roof will allow me to stand up inside. This roof has ha me concerned, it would be easy for it to leak but I built a telescope last year. I bet i can build this roof.
The rest will be straightforward, walls, doors, etc. but I am spending most of the tax refund on these early purchases so progress may be incremental.
The trailer after the tear down and pricey paint from Tractor Supply.I added lights in November.The bottom of the floor flipped over with several boards gluing in place to hold it together.
It was more of a sprint if you will forgive the pun. Friday, the 16th was to be a clear mild night while Saturday cloudy and rainy. So I took Molly, the 16″ dob, to the RRO to see what I could do.
First, I spent perhaps 30 minutes getting my new Rigel QuickFinder lined up. This was very annoying and makes me wonder if I should put an emergency site tube on the base or perhaps something to hold a laser pointer.
It started slowly but I found the first object at 8:15. Two, actually, M42 and M43 then M45. M77 at 8:25, by this time I’m trying to follow the plan to give best efficiency. M33, M31, M32, M110 were low but fell to Molly. M103 and M76 were found as the clock changed to 9 PM.
About this time I started using my binoculars more and not just for studying the area. Binoculars are not just for the big bright objects but smaller open clusters too. All I need to do is see the object and be sure which it is.
M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, M50, M46, M47, M48, M44, M67 all fell to my 42mm binoculars.
M79, M78, M93, M81 and M82 all were no challenge for Molly but dew fell hard right afterward so I called it a night with 27 objects. Only a couple objects – M74 and M52 – from the list up to that point were not found.