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Materials for ROR design

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#1 MRNUTTY

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:08 PM

So, I've designed on the ROR design. It will be a 12x20 foot shed with a 12x14 foot roll off, the remaining 6 feet will probably be a warm/cold room; I'm a weather wimp :-)

Can someone recommend a supplier of the rollers and track for a ROR design? Fr a 12x14 foot roof Rhere would be 2x28ft continuous track and associated rollers.

Also, would like motor driven, so a motor supplier.

And suggest metal columner Pier suppliers.

I have my contractor looking at preliminary box designs and I have to supply "my parts" for the puzzle; roller design, pier, etc... For his wood box and footings. I'm on an incline at one corner of the warm/cold room is up hill. The portion with the Pier is on a flat area, and will be raised about 2-3 feet.

I'll post some pictures of the area...

#2 MRNUTTY

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:35 PM

A will be the ROR part with Pier. B is the Warm/Cold room. I need a concrete slab for my Dob adjacent to the shed, or change the size of the ROR section to get my eyeballs out.

Here is the site:

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Here are two views of the view:

Polar:

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Panorama:

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So, as you can see, luckily I have a view of Polaris and a lowest extent toward the South. Sadly, there is a city there with a not so subtle light dome, but it's better than trees. Just SW there are two very high pine trees on my property that I can cut the tops off of eventually. But to the NNE the even taller pine trees there are on my neighbors property. I don't' need to remove those as it doesn't improve the view, only the timing of the view. The house blocks the Western sky to about 45ยบ. It's a very workable situation once you get past the lack of Western alignment stars.

#3 Raginar

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

Start calling garage door companies in your area. I called a couple and found them. Some people have reported really good deals (aka Free) others (like me) paid quite a bit for them (~300 bucks for 48 ft + rollers). Just depends on the company.

Good luck!

#4 MRNUTTY

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

Great idea Chris! I'll call the guys that did my garage :-)

Someone posted a pier company on the pier thread about putting material between the pier and the anchor block in the last month or so, but I can't find it.

What books do you folks recommend?

#5 dobsoscope

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:15 AM

Totally out of topic.. but how did you shoot that aerial photo?

#6 MRNUTTY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:17 AM

Still a fun topic! Thanks!

It's isn't really an aerial, it's a panorama mapped into a flattened polar coordinate system. I used an app called 360 Panorama by Occipital Although there are quite a few apps that do this for iPad and iPhone. The coolest examples are done with a real camera and a program like Hugin. Check out the Gallery here. Defiantly fun to use at places like Disney World for instance. This time is presented an concise why of describing the visibility of my site. Of yeah, the app produced both the polar flat map, and the flat panorama without any special settings. You can even load them back in to the app and use an 'augmented visualization' to see the 360 space on your iPad the way it looked when you took it. Great for 'just being there again'. It's such a cool age for for technology; ludicrous development rate with little limits on expansion. So many incredible advances in commoditizing my favorite tech made my dreams come true; recording studio, observatory, iPad & iPhone!

Thanks for going off topic with me :-)

#7 Orion58

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:29 AM

First of all, good luck on your project!

I am in the final phase of my observatory construction and got a LOT of my materials from McMaster-Carr

http://www.mcmaster.com/#

and the drive motor (for my 12' x 20' roll off) was from Harbor Freight

http://www.harborfre...hoist-2954.html

I don't know exactly what your design is, but these suppliers would have pretty much anything you needed.

Again, good luck with your project! :grin:

#8 Starhawk

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:17 AM

For piers, try looking at a few local metal salvage yards. A pier shape with a welded base, a stout column, and top plate is a form needed in lots of industrial roles, but is just scrap afterwards. I was able to buy a 43" column with beautifully welded top and bottom for $46. If you find one you like, you can have it modified if needed, then have it sandblasted and powder coated to finish the job.

-Rich

#9 MRNUTTY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

Bruce - oh yes. McMasters, it's been so long since I've looked at one of those catalogs. We used to have them at work when we did a ton of hardware engineering. Now that it's mostly software and architecture, catalogs are a thing of the past. Time to warm up the time machine!

Rich - I've seen people go that way successfully. I have very little in the way of experience with metal work and scraps. Looks like you made out terrifically! I was able to find those urls for prefab "engineered piers" :-) I don't mind spending a couple hundred on it. This isn't a DYI budget project.

#10 rwiederrich

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:46 PM

Bruce - oh yes. McMasters, it's been so long since I've looked at one of those catalogs. We used to have them at work when we did a ton of hardware engineering. Now that it's mostly software and architecture, catalogs are a thing of the past. Time to warm up the time machine!

Rich - I've seen people go that way successfully. I have very little in the way of experience with metal work and scraps. Looks like you made out terrifically! I was able to find those urls for prefab "engineered piers" :-) I don't mind spending a couple hundred on it. This isn't a DYI budget project.


It's good to know your economy can offord the best. Try checking into pipe companies that carry steal underground pipe that have prefabbed end flanges. I have such a place right down the road and they even have surplus stuff that came out of the ground for cheep. Clean it up have it painted/powder coated anf you have a great steal pier ready made. I'm one of those DIYers and I saved so much money building my 18x18 ROR OB by myself I was able to buy much supplies for making the scope and pier too. The engineered trusses alone would have cost me $1000.. I build the same for $300 myself, using the same engineered drawings. Save that kind of money again and again..and you can buy more astro gear.... :jump:

Well anyway...looks like you're onto a good start.

Good luck.

Rob

#11 MRNUTTY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Rob, I just don't have the mileage left on my back to do any of this stuff myself. I certainly don't have the best, and while it's not the worst either, I have to use off the shelf parts as much as possible.

#12 Raginar

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:17 PM

Sky shed is my recommendation. The plans are easy enough for any carpenter to build :).

#13 MCinAZ

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:22 AM

If you haven't purchased rollers yet, I recommend V-groove wheels. Tom Polakis and I used 4" wheels from Grainger for his 8' x 10' building earlier this year. They're rated at 900 pounds each, so four of them are more than adequate for his roof. There are several advantages to this type of wheel. First, the roof tracks very precisely, so you can minimize the gaps at the edges. Second, the inverted angle iron used for tracks is readily available, relatively inexpensive and self-cleaning. 1" x 1" x 1/4" angle works well.

I cut 3" lengths of 1/4 x 1 hot-rolled steel, drilled 3/16" holes on each end of them, then we had them welded to the angle iron every foot or so. We set the tracks up on the sills, lowered the roof onto them, rolled the roof a couple of times to get everything aligned, then ran #10 x 1-1/2" S.S. pan head screws with washers into the sills to hold everything in place. A few shims here and there to accommodate slight irregularities in the walls, and we were good to go.

Tom's roof is small enough that it can be rolled manually without too much effort, so we didn't motorize it. If I were to do so, I'd probably start with a chain drive garage opener. Lots of adjustment range, and some built-in safety features. You need to consider the need to keep the roof from lifting off in the wind if you go this route.

Grainger doesn't sell to individuals, but it's easy to set up an account with them. Mine is in the name of my backyard observatory. The one I don't even have.

-- Mike --

#14 MRNUTTY

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:46 PM

Thanks Mike! I have a a guy with an Grainger account to used in my last project. Great source :-) what you describe ,ay be a little too much fab for the folks I generally use - I don't know a good welder.

Chris - i'll check out skyshed!

#15 Raginar

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:08 PM

John,

I like my skyshed's ROR design. The tracks and roof were simple enough to do on my own and the track helps anchor the roof permanently to the structure. The tracks are easily found @ a local garage door supplier and can be cut with a regular saw-z-all (metal blade of course).

Good luck :)

#16 MRNUTTY

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:36 PM

I bought a set of Backyard Observatory's plans to help guide my contractor over the holes in my plans :-) the plans are well done, worth the money. I've also picked out their Omega II pier, it's got some nice features. When I inquired into mating it with a CGEM-DX and an iEQ45, they said they hadn't heard of them. I was looking into Dan's pier plates. Since they have adapters for both these mounts, should I get the pier plate and adapters, or just the adapters and have BYO mate with those common bolts patterns (based on Dan's pier plate).

#17 MRNUTTY

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

BYO sending j-bolts and template for Omega II to concrete pier. Hope to pour all piers for OBS and Pier this week :-)

#18 MRNUTTY

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:48 PM

Today we broke ground on the Observatory site. A few changes from previous concept:

1) region marked A and B in the photos at the beginning of the thread are now reversed. The roof construction is easier, and more weather proof if it is a single 20 foot roll off roof instead of a 16 foot roll of roof, and a 4 foot stationary roof.

2) The hot/cold roof is positioned at the other end of the shed to facilitate the change in rolling off the roof. The hot/cold room will probably be 4 feet deep, just enough for a desk, some storage and a comfortable chair. The other option is to scotch the room and use it for free form storage. This would help stowage of the Discovery and setup since I would only have to move it a couple of feet. If I do forgo the room it is only because access to the finished basement in my house is only 2-30 feet away.

Several Utility PVC pipes would connect the Observatory and the house. Where it enters the house is conveniently right in the area of my workbench for Astro-projects. Inhospitable weather conditions would find me safely ensconced in the comfort and safety.

Here's the condition of the site after about 1/2 of the footing were dug.

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Here's my contractor aligning the Sonotube footing. Our footing go down 40" to avoid frost heaves.

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Naturally, it' supposed to rain a bit tonight.

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Once the footings and Pier is poured and set we'll begin the framing.

#19 roscoe

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:19 PM

Grainger needs an account, McMaster-Carr doesn't.....comparable amounts and types of stuff.....
Russ

#20 MRNUTTY

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:03 AM

Thanks Russ!

#21 MRNUTTY

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

picture updates. footings are poured. six footings for a 12x20 shed. we carved out a piece of the hill.

the concrete pier is 12 inches in diameter. i'm using a backyard observatory Omega II pier.

Posted Image

#22 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:08 PM

Why did you pour the footings level with the ground rather than having them stand proud of the ground?

dan k.

#23 roscoe

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:40 PM

Mine are also at ground level (actually, about an inch below), with long threaded rods sticking up, and 6x6 PT blocks on them to get up to deck height, so if the obs ever goes away, I will only have to jackhammer one lump of concrete, not 5...... also, it looks a bit nicer with wood posts than with concrete.
Russ
R

#24 MRNUTTY

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:04 PM

A matter of taste I guess, Dan. My thinking is along Russ's. The overall building would be too imposing if I hoisted it on tall footings. The shed will sit on a gravel covered plastic sheet. The cut in to the slope will be faced with those retaining wall bricks. Had a lot of progress this week, the picture is a bit dated. I'll post more ASAP.

#25 MRNUTTY

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

Next, gravel bed and retaining wall; the cement Pier base will extend up into the shed now. I'll redetermine the length of the Omega II Pier once all the walls are up. Not going to try to estimate this one again!

I've re-scoped the size of the roll off; out of the total 20 ft length, 15 ft will roll off over the top of the 5x12 ft warm/cold room. This allows me have a complete weather proof roof, and seal up the warm/cold room as much as possible.

I'm still debating where to stow the Dob. I considered building out the base of the shed to accommodate a deck level with the floor of the shed to place the dob outside the shed, but there isn't enough room to swing it about to make it worth it. Using it inside the shed also has it's share of complications.

This weeks picture.

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