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Rotating Building Observatory

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#1 Starhawk

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:56 PM

Has anyone seen such a thing? I am imagining just having a sliding door continue up to become a slot. The whole building would rotate, so it would be non-obvious as an observatory when closed.

-Rich

#2 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

I can't remember where but YES I have seen such an animal. IIRC, he had a seat mounted to the wall that would rotate also.

#3 StarWrangler

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:25 PM

Yes,

Do a Google search for Merry Go Round Observatories.


Alan

#4 gravitino

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:22 AM

Try the June 1991 "Gleanings for ATM" column in Sky and Telescope. Bill Volna describes a little shed observatory that seats two, with an exterior 6" f/10 achromat. The whole building rotated; the article had nice outlined plans, as well as a concept for a much larger scale building based on the same concept.

Clear skies,
-- shane

#5 StarWrangler

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:22 AM

Hey Shane and all,

Yes Bill Volna's Set up is one of the best I've ever seen.

And heated too!!!!!!!!!!

Alan

#6 THEPLOUGH

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:13 PM

Post deleted by THEPLOUGH

#7 gravitino

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:55 PM

I just did a quick Google search on Bill Volna, and turned up a site with a few pictures (at "Volna Engineering"). The observatory is portable, and looks like it has been taken to the SOUTH POLE! :-)

http://www.volnaengi...g.com/obser.php

Clear skies,
-- Shane

#8 THEPLOUGH

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:33 PM

Has anyone seen such a thing? I am imagining just having a sliding door continue up to become a slot. The whole building would rotate, so it would be non-obvious as an observatory when closed.

-Rich




See here..... linky........ Hope this helps.... :bow:

#9 Starhawk

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:57 AM

No, these are very different from what I was proposing. I'm not suggesting a ride-on alt-az mount.

I am talking about an alternative to both a roll-off roof and fixed buildings with domes on top; sort of an extension to the concept where the scope is still mounted on an equatorial mount, but the entire building rotates to put the slot in front of it. To think of it another way, the dome goes all the way to the ground, and I am imagining doesn't look very different from a small storage building. Unlike a roll off roof, it doesn't need an overhang area as big as the building. Unlike a dome, it doesn't stick up and say, "Hey! This is unusual. Maybe there is something to steal, here!"

-Rich

#10 Starhawk

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:06 AM

This is funny- Google this subject and you get THIS THREAD as one of the top results.

-Rich

#11 Mary B

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 08:51 PM

I have seen several pictures up in the picture thread with square buildings with roofs that rotate.

#12 Starhawk

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:00 AM

Yeah- what I am thinking is not having the roof move would be nice. The floor of an all- rotating observatory gets to be a little peculiar with rotating and having a non-rotating center. This is a little bit like what surrounds the MMT or the LBT observatories, but on small scale.

-Rich

#13 astroelliottuk

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:16 AM

Bit of an old thread i know

But a total rotator observatory construction is described in reg spry's book make your own telescope .But using my own design.
I intend to construct one to house my 16 inch fork mounted newtonian .Easier to construct than a dome uses a full size walk in door and will have more wind protection than a roll off roof i don't need full sky access either as i am a visual obser of moon and planets .

#14 1965healy

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:26 AM

Rotating a square building can lead to some interesting challenges. Do you build a rotating platform that the building sits on? If so you need a very stable platform and a very rigid structure. You'll also need a means to rotate it, bearings or wheels and a circular race or track for them to ride on/in. How are you going to turn it? By hand, a motor? Wood is heavy, light weight metal or plastic may not be rigid enough. Since it will probably be at ground level you need to keep debris out of the mechanism and keep the building from being entered by either bugs or the elements like water, dirt or wind. The concept would demand an interesting solution. Keep us posted please!

#15 tim57064

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:37 AM

I could not imagine trying to rotate the entire building,unless it was fairly small.
I can see that if you were using a chain drive with geared motor of some sort,it might work.
Yet the central cog would have to be fairly substantial would it not and have a fairly large bearing for smooth operation.
It would be an interesting build yet I do not think easier than a Roll Off Roof OBS.

#16 Starhawk

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:34 PM

I got to see the Large Binocular Telescope 2 weeks ago- it's a large rotating square building. I can at least report on this thread what I have learned:

Wheels- I've found general purpose wheels which would be better for this than V-groove because you can use them on parallel tracks without overconstraining one: Garden raiway wheels:

http://www.cannonbal...trucks_cat.html

http://www.cannonbal...img/pt43206.jpg

The track bolts down flat for straight applications (like roll off roofs), so the need to learn welding is eliminated. It's aluminum so it won't rust or react with wood:

http://www.cannonbal...img/pt43206.jpg

However, it can't be bent into as tight a radius as a small building would need, so it sounds like what is needed is 1/2" flat stock to bend in a circle with a three point jig.

The small building I am imagining would have a door which was also the lower shutter, with a sliding roof panel. The power for the building would come up through the circular non-moving center floor with the mount, and it would be controlled like a dome.

-Rich

#17 ScottW

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:24 PM

Rich,
Sky & Telescope, Sept. 98

It's a round building with a walk through door/slot that rotates on a brick circle.
Looks straight forward as far as construction.
I can get a copy of the article if you can't fine it in a week or two, just let me know.

Scott

#18 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:19 AM

Argh, that would be one which went after the local book exchange passed on first dibs.

I've been interested in something square, with the idea being to make as much of it as possible in multiples of the standard stock dimensions for the raw materials. For example, walls in multiples of 4' so sheet materials could be used without trimming and the math would work out- something folks could build without a kit or lots of difficulty.

-Rich

#19 billybird

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 02:41 AM

Hello all,

 

I've enjoyed sitting here "reading the mail" as we used to say in my ham radio days. I haven't checked in on this forum for a couple of years and thought you might enjoy a little update on my observatory. It's been 26 years since I finished it. I wrote a description for Sky/Tel that was published in the June 1991 edition, page 647. I took it to Stellafane in 1988. NSF borrowed it for two winters at the South Pole where it performed well at -100F. It came home in 1995 and has been set up in my driveway ever since. I keep the thermostat set at 55F and it's up and running as soon as I turn the key. When not used the scope is pointed down for storage with no lens cover. The plain vanilla Jaegers 6 inch F10 objective is very rugged and indifferent to the elements.

 

On Halloween night, it's been a real hit with little Goblins. Better than candy. Their dad's hand three year old kids up to me where they stand on the seat and hang on the eyepiece. I mean that literally. A viewer can push up, down or sideways as hard as he wishes and the image will not move. Just like sitting in the prime focus cage at Palomar. ( I had that pleasure once). If you're on board only inertial forces, e.g., wiggling can be a problem.

 

A few years ago I shared pictures of this observatory on the CN forum but I can't find them anymore. If you have this same problem you can view it on my web site: volnaengineering.com and scroll down to "Invitation to visit Bill's retirement sand box" or email me at: bill.volna@gmail.com.  



#20 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 12:38 AM

Hello all,

 

I've enjoyed sitting here "reading the mail" as we used to say in my ham radio days. I haven't checked in on this forum for a couple of years and thought you might enjoy a little update on my observatory. It's been 26 years since I finished it. I wrote a description for Sky/Tel that was published in the June 1991 edition, page 647. I took it to Stellafane in 1988. NSF borrowed it for two winters at the South Pole where it performed well at -100F. It came home in 1995 and has been set up in my driveway ever since. I keep the thermostat set at 55F and it's up and running as soon as I turn the key. When not used the scope is pointed down for storage with no lens cover. The plain vanilla Jaegers 6 inch F10 objective is very rugged and indifferent to the elements.

 

On Halloween night, it's been a real hit with little Goblins. Better than candy. Their dad's hand three year old kids up to me where they stand on the seat and hang on the eyepiece. I mean that literally. A viewer can push up, down or sideways as hard as he wishes and the image will not move. Just like sitting in the prime focus cage at Palomar. ( I had that pleasure once). If you're on board only inertial forces, e.g., wiggling can be a problem.

 

A few years ago I shared pictures of this observatory on the CN forum but I can't find them anymore. If you have this same problem you can view it on my web site: volnaengineering.com and scroll down to "Invitation to visit Bill's retirement sand box" or email me at: bill.volna@gmail.com.  

 

Great job!



#21 netwolf

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 08:15 AM

Not exactly what you want with door and hatch as one but a full rotating dome.

 

 https://sites.google...ia.com/www/home

 

 http://picasaweb.goo...feat=directlink



#22 TCW

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 04:48 PM

Rotating the entire building around a central pier could be done. You could mount the building on wheels that run on a track and then drive the rotation of the building with some sort of gear arraignment attached to the pier and building or you could use an electric motor set up to drive the whole thing with the control attached to the central pier. 

 

But Why? :confused:



#23 Tom and Beth

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 11:09 PM

Rich,

 

  I read your post and thought of "The ONLY Observatory that ever hit a car"  just down the road from us

 

http://en.wikipedia....MMT_Observatory

 

It probably scales down ;)



#24 DuncanM

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 01:44 PM

I've been thinking of a rotating structure as well.

 

One thought was building the observatory as a rotating cylinder, with the top of the cylinder cut off at a slight angle and then fitted with a flat roof, which would then have a slight slope (just enough to allow rain/snow to run off).  The observatory shutter would begin on the vertical wall of the cylinder and terminate just past the centre-line of the flat roof, thus allowing full access to the sky by rotating the entire structure.

 

A variation on the above would be a hexagonal or octagonal walled structure, again fitted with a flat roof that has a slight slope. The shutter would begin on one wall of the observatory and terminate just past the centre-line of the roof.








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