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RubberMaid Observatory - Concept

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#1 Phillip Easton

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

As for most people imaging time is partly limited due to the time it takes to setup the scope, polar align, etc. Some nights just don't feel like doing it particularly if it looks like rain later and so I have to take it down instead of leaving it up. I believe I would get more use out of the equipment if I had an observatory. However space is limited in the backyard for a full fledged roll off or dome. Plus living in a red-white zone going to that extent just doesn't seem worth it. I have seen other examples of people using sheds, Rubbermaid buildings, etc. so I am thinking this might be a good low cost way to go.

So I decided to use my 3D hobby to create some observatory concept renders. Modeled and rendered my scope (Orion 190mm Mak-Newt) and mount (iOptron iEQ45) on a concrete pier. Modeled and rendered in Luxology's Modo. Didn't spend a lot of time on the textures but everything is to scale.

So I built several versions of how a shed might fit around it and then open up. One was just flipping the whole thing over, another was just rolling it out of the way. You can see them here: http://www.the3dwiza...id-observato...

The one I am leaning towards I call the flip top. Would have to cut the building in half and place hinges on the back. Figure I could put latches on the side when it is closed. I believe lifting the top slightly in the front would allow one to take the doors off then flip the top back. This would allow me to store items like a battery on the floor. One issue is I would have to seal the cut edges somehow. Also thought I would put strips of wood on the inside bottom edge of the top half to help align the halves when they are together.

Thoughts or feedback welcome.

Cheers!
Phillip

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#2 Starhawk

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

The flip top isn't going to be so easy- the walls will be quite floppy if cut. Rolling the entire building off is definitely a possibility- and has been done successfully.

I'm not totally sold on the Rubbermaid buildings- all the ones out here seem to go all twisty and warped in the sun.

Have you looked at the little Arrow steel buildings? A few people have made a go of those.

-Rich

#3 StarWrangler

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Hi Philip,

Flip tops can and have been done.

Check out the link below my name to se a wide range
of Rubbermaid observatories.

Alan O.

#4 Phillip Easton

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

Rich,

Thanks I will take a look at those. Need it to not look permanent to avoid the ole HOA. ;)

Alan,

I am a member but couldn't find a Rubbermaid that was done this way. Maybe there is a reason, roll away would be easier.

Cheers!

#5 Starhawk

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

I need to take that Hitler rant video and put in subtitles for trying to put in an observatory and how HOAs are the only remains of the SS.

-Rich

#6 StarWrangler

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

That's a thought Rich,

Alan

#7 rimcrazy

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Should work but I bet trying to "burp" them when you put the lid on is a little difficult.


........ sorry..... I just could not resist. ;-)

#8 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

Does that size shed give you enough room to maneuver around the scope? I have a C11 in a POD on a pier mounted GEM, and in some mount orientations it's a bit of a squeeze to get to the eyepiece. Part of my issue is that I offset the pier from center - it's only a tight fit on the "narrow" side. But something to think about while you are "doodling".
I'd also think about how to weatherproof the cut, although in my mind's eye I can see a combination of weatherproofing joint/strengthening member along the cut edges- where the joint halves mate when the shed's closed to seal out the elements?
What defines permanent in the HOA bylaws? A used Pod isn't all that expensive when you factor in resale value, and in essence it's just an unusually shaped shed. My point is that it would be just as "temporary" as what you are describing, but would have the benefit of being designed for the task at hand.

Geoff

#9 Phillip Easton

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

Geoff,

There wouldn't be much room to maneuver but since I am mostly imaging it wasn't a big concern. I was going to offset the pier. However, just doing a roll away is probably the best solution. Actually the HOA isn't too much of a problem. I like that they keep my neighbors from painting their house pink :D

I was looking at a POD, figured if I move it could too. I have a small section of yard that I can use as the rest is taken up with a pool. So, not sure I can get it by the architectural committee (wife) LOL.

Cheers!

#10 crandallstarcat

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

As for the twistyness of the structure....sinking a pressure treated post a few feet at each of the four corners extending up to the split should strenghten the rigidity.

#11 StarWrangler

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hey Phillip,

You could put a pod on a platform with heavy duity wheels so you could move it around.

Alan O.






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