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Reviving an old observatory or start over?

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#26 Greyhaven

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Madratter
I built an 8'X10' ROR 2 years ago this summer for just over $1300. I built it with 6' walls because of local lighting issues. I used garage door hardware to mount the roof and did not include a pier in the construction, I'm pretty much a lone observer and can manage visual and AP given the quality of the equipment I own. I guess if your rehab cost are anywhere near those figures and I'll bet they will be very near to that to get your equipment off the ground I vote for new construction.
Be Well
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#27 Wmacky

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. :smirk: Mike


Well, at least you didn't suggest possible termites this time..... :smirk:

#28 Madratter

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Aahh I was never much of one for throwing good money after bad. Start over and do it right. :smirk: Mike


Well, at least you didn't suggest possible termites this time..... :smirk:


Ouch!

#29 Madratter

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

I have decided to revive it. So far I have moved the door to the North end as suggested. I have also used the garage door weather stripping to seal along the tracks. The idea to move the door to the North end was a great one.

#30 csa/montana

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

:bow: Keep us posted with your progress; pictures are required! :grin:

#31 roscoe

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:54 PM

I think your cheapest floor upgrade would be to dig a couple inches of topsoil out of the interior, spread and rake flat an inch or two of sand, and put paving blocks down. If you wanted a more waterproof system, you could put plastic sheeting or a tarp under the sand.
A poured concrete floor would be the next option, but guessing your obs is 12x12, you'd need nearly 2 yards of concrete, about 50 1-cubic-foot bags of sakrete, if you have a portable mixer and a helper available.
Having a truck come in with premix is possible, but you'd have 6" deep ruts from the road to your obs, and many companies charge a premium for less than a full truckload (often 7 yards)
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#32 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:10 AM

I was looking into the concrete option the other day. It turns out for a 4" pad I would need roughly 56 bags of sakrete. At 5$+ a bag that is only about 250$ but a whole lot of work.

I can get pavers for 1.50$ a block. The observatory is 12x10 so I would need about 11x9 of them. So I am close to 150$ for pavers, + the sand. So money wise, there isn't a great deal of difference.

Time and effort, there is.

Another option would be 8x16 concrete blocks that are 4" thick. Those are about 1.25$ a block. I like the fact those are more durable than the pavers. I'm a little concerned they might be more tippy.

I kind of hate to pour a pad because if I ever want to rip it out of there, it is going to be a WHOLE lot more work at that time. And I'm not sure how I would want to configure it. I have multiple telescopes I like to use etc. With the pavers, it is easy to move things around.

I may end up using sakrete for a small pad for my Obsession, and use pavers or the blocks for everything else.

#33 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

Some more pictures. First a picture of the door relocated to the North and some flashing added to help keep water out. I would prefer to use a regular door, but I don't know how to get rid of the one beam on the roof without wrecking the structural integrity. At any rate, this is far superior to how things were with the door on the South side.

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#34 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

This is a picture showing the use of the garage door weatherstripping to help keep water coming in from the sides. I think this is going to help a whole lot. There is a gap here I need to cover with flashing or something.

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#35 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

This is a picture of a gap that is between the sides and the roof. I'm looking for ideas on the best way to seal this. Perhaps more garage door weather stripping. You can also seen some of the broken waffle boards, and a new board I inserted to help hold the roof up like it is supposed to be. The roof was much better in our recent snow. I still need to see how it does in the rain.

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#36 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.

#37 roscoe

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

To seal the edges of your roof, you can get at real lumber yards (or they can order for you) metal roofing parts called gable trim. They are more for the newer roofing with a ridge every 9", but will work on corrugated. They are made to cover about 4" of the roof, and hang down about 4". If you look at photos of observatories that BYO build, they normally use this edge trim.
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#38 Madratter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

To seal the edges of your roof, you can get at real lumber yards (or they can order for you) metal roofing parts called gable trim. They are more for the newer roofing with a ridge every 9", but will work on corrugated. They are made to cover about 4" of the roof, and hang down about 4". If you look at photos of observatories that BYO build, they normally use this edge trim.
R


Perfect. That was just what I needed to know. I looked it up. Thanks!

#39 stmguy

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:00 AM

a little more overhang on the gable ends might help also
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#40 DGB

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.

To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)

#41 Madratter

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.

To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)


Thanks for the idea! How about covering the primary. Do you think just the cover for the rocker box is sufficient or do you take additional measures?

#42 csa/montana

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

I never use the primary cover. Instead I have breathable end covers & then use a TeleGizmos cover, even though my dobservatory is very tight, & has never had moisture in it.

I would highly recommend a TeleGizmos cover for your dob, if you leave it in your shed, until you get it to where there's no leakage.

Telegizmos

#43 Madratter

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

I never use the primary cover. Instead I have breathable end covers & then use a TeleGizmos cover, even though my dobservatory is very tight, & has never had moisture in it.

I would highly recommend a TeleGizmos cover for your dob, if you leave it in your shed, until you get it to where there's no leakage.

Telegizmos


I'd been to their site before, but somehow missed the fact they actually had covers big enough for my Dob. Thanks for making me check again.

#44 csa/montana

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

You're welcome; you simply cannot go wrong with one of their covers. They have them in the verticle position, or the park position, also. Very good covers!

#45 DGB

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

I already feel confident enough with these changes to leave my C6-RGT out in the shed with a big garbage bag over it. I'm still reluctant to put the 20" out there during rain until I see how things go. It will probably be OK once I get a pad of some sort under where it goes.

I do have a question for you other Dob owners. How do you protect your secondary when you leave it in a observatory? I wasn't doing so but I really would rather have some kind of simple protection on it. But it has to come on and off easily, and I need to be sure I don't end up damaging the secondary doing so, or changing the collimation.

To cover the secondary... Why of course: a Crown Royal bag! (I actually go around to the ABC stores here in Virginia and gather them up to hand out to DOB owners at different astronomy gatherings. Yes, I show them pictures of my efforts!) I agree you will want to put down a solid concrete base for the 20". Additionally for the rest of the observatory, I would consider a pressure treated decking of sorts independent of the concrete base for the 20". Get's you sightly up off the ground and easier when you drop something on wood vs concrete. Have you priced decking materiel? (Of course, a 20" box fan and two hours head start blowing on the mirror is always good advice too.)


Thanks for the idea! How about covering the primary. Do you think just the cover for the rocker box is sufficient or do you take additional measures?


Within my observatory, I use an 11 watt light hooked to a timer (4am till 10am) inside of the mirror box, with the mirror box lid in place. No cover over the entire scope other than the Obsession shroud, however my Wife did make a nice 'dust cover' which I occasionally use between observing sessions. Commercial products are always nice, however I prefer a more 'personalized' approach.

#46 Madratter

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:19 PM

So here I am, sitting in my warm office, wishing I was out observing tonight. It is killing me because a) it is clear and B) I did about 4 hours work on the observatory today.

I got 20 8x16x4 blocks that weigh about 30 pounds a piece to make a temporary platform for my Dob to get it off the ground. Those had to be carried 1 by 1 from the car to the observatory. Each trip is probably about 100+ yards there and back. So I put in about well over 1 mile just walking the block to the observatory. Then I put up some plywood screens I can raise when the roof is rolled off so I can block two lights I find particularly egregious (a street light at a guys barn a couple hundred yards away, and a neighbors porch light).

Anyway, I can stand the cold; it is about 22 degrees outside. But the wind is more than I want to mess with.

#47 Madratter

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

Latest work is I added a 20"x36" shelf with some plywood and 3 brackets attached to studs. I made it primarily to hold a laptop computer. I built it high enough that I can use the computer standing up. I also built a small lip on the shelf so that it will help retain the computer and make it less likely to hit the floor.

#48 Madratter

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:47 PM

Yesterday, I finally got the last two of eight wheels rolling properly again for the roof. It is so nice having it roll easily again. Where before it was a strain with two hands, now it is much easier with just one. I just wish I had used much higher quality wheels the first time around. Retrofitting in new wheels would have been quite difficult so I'm really glad I don't have to, at least for now. It wasn't keeping me from using it, but it was doing a number on my shoulder.






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