Summer 2016

Summer 2016
Summer in Tsukahara

Spring in Tsukahara

gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bon Voyage!


The ScopeDome is scheduled to depart Poland on February 24th. The name of the cargo ship is the MOL Quest. I found this link and I'll be following it’s journey from the Port of Gdansk, Poland to the Port of Oita, Japan. At an average speed of 12 knots and a distance of 13973 nm, it should arrive in Tokyo in about 50 days. That would be around April 15th. That's easy to remember...that's tax day in the U.S.   Stay tuned...      The route it's taking is found here.     George

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cabinets and More

In between the raindrops, I framed the master bathroom sink area. I want to complete the lower master bedroom to provide a room for my mother in case she decides to move Japan. 

Additional supports were added to the platform for the observatory. I want to make sure the floor is capable of supporting 350kgs. 

I also added two power lines for the "obsy" (short for observatory). One is for 100VAC @ 20A and the other is for 200VAC @ 20A. 

50A circuit breaker panel

In addition to trenching for power lines, I also trenched for CAT6 cable to provide remote access of the obsy from the comfort of my warm living room on those freezing cold nights.

A coat of high quality stain was applied to protect the structure. The platform is almost ready for planking.      George 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ScopeDome...My New Observatory

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce my new observatory. I just received these photos from the ScopeDome factory in Poland. The observatory is in the production phase and will be outfitted with a fully automated system. I believe it will be at least another week before it’s wrapped up and shipped via ocean freight. It takes about 45 days before it reaches a port in Japan. From there it needs to clear customs and then it's placed onto a truck where it's delivered to my front door in Tsukahara. Delivery will not be an easy task as the observatory weighs 350kgs. 

I’ll be the first ScopeDome owner in Japan…more on that later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Change in Plans

This is how the observatory has looked for the past 18 months.

The original plan was to build a “roll off roof” observatory. What’s that? It’s an observatory that looks like a large shed, but the roof rolls off. The roof moves with the help of a garage door opener. Here’s a link of what I was going to build . Due to the lack of time and Erika becoming impatient with my slow progress on the remodel, my plans have changed.

Each block weighs close to 45kg

The first thing I needed to do was make the foundation larger and permanent. The new observatory is 3 meters in diameter. The old foundation is 2.5 meters by 3 meters. I needed to add pier blocks and additional joists to bring the foundation up to 3 meters by 4 meters. Here’s what I did.

First I installed eight pier blocks around the perimeter of the foundation. Each block required a hole and road base gravel. One hole is located near a tree stump. The old roots needed to be surgically removed before the block could be installed. The block installation took an entire day to complete.

The last block to be installed. Yeah!

Each block needed to be leveled and correctly spaced. The blocks will prevent the wind from blowing the structure away

The additional floor joists were installed.

Most of the additional supports are made from recycled wood. The wood came from the remodel.   

That's it for today. I'll add more supports tomorrow. The planking will arrive on March 1st. The planking is made from cedar and will be stained on both sides. An important feature of the planking is its thickness. It’s two and a half inches thick. That’s an inch thicker than a 2 x 4. The additional thickness is required to support the observatory which weighs 350 kg. What does the new observatory look like? Stay tuned…