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Observatory for under $500

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#26 RGWOOD

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

Perry, how do you plan on dealing with heat build up on those hot DFW summer days? I live south of Houston and would like to do something similar but the heat and humidity is a worry for me. Humidity can wreck havoc with the electronics.

#27 Patrick

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 07:38 AM

I'm not Perry, so he can reply for himself.

However, I'd try a Telegizmo 365 cover, or similar, with an ample supply of desiccant material placed inside (the cover).

Patrick

#28 Raginar

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 07:57 AM

They make heat lamps to 'cook' the humidity out. They seem fairly popular with people dealing with that particular problem.

#29 csa/montana

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

I'd also suggest the TeleGizmos 365 cover with this from ScopeStuff, for the humidity:

Heat rod

For heat buildup; would it be possible to install one of those "whirly" fans on top of the shed? Along with a vent down low, this might suck enough heat out.

#30 Raginar

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

Carol,

You totally could. That's a really good idea :)

#31 obin robinson

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:16 AM

Neat idea! For what it's worth I have a workshop behind our house in Virginia. Because I have expensive equipment back there I put a motion sensor alarm in it that is tied into our home alarm. I would seriously consider an alarm for your observatory shed. All you would need is a simple motion sensor. We have never had a problem with any false alarms either.

obin ;)

#32 rigelsys

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:08 PM

There are small 12V DC de-humidifiers, under $100 that might help with the humidity.

http://www.google.co...soft:en-us&a...,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45107431,d.cGE&fp=f4d8adb0047aa78e&biw=1638&bih=911

On my roll-out observatory I've stretched a white outdoors tarp over the roof to reduce insolation (considered it an easier and non-destructive solution vs painting the roof white) and added a muffin-fan - theromostat combination to pull air through. This combination works well at keeping the temperature inside the shed not too much higher than outside during the heat of the day.

http://www.cloudynig...5769908/page...




Perry, how do you plan on dealing with heat build up on those hot DFW summer days? I live south of Houston and would like to do something similar but the heat and humidity is a worry for me. Humidity can wreck havoc with the electronics.



#33 PWP

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:11 AM

Perry, how do you plan on dealing with heat build up on those hot DFW summer days? I live south of Houston and would like to do something similar but the heat and humidity is a worry for me. Humidity can wreck havoc with the electronics.


Interesting you should ask that. I am already using a telegizmo cover...which I used for the last two years when the scope was in my garage and have had no problems and this Texas heat can really heat up my garage. To address the ventilation, I already have plans for it. Notice the two built in gable vents in the pictures..one front..one back. My plan to install a thermostatically controlled crawl space fan across the face of the back gable vent. I will most likely install a plug to the unit in instead of hard wire. This will keep the air moving sufficently by kicking on when it gets to hot in the shed and I won't have to cut holes in the shed anywhere which would only invite leaks. One fan handles a 20x20x4 area...plenty. :)

http://www.northernt...9?cm_mmc=Goo...

#34 snowcrow

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 03:48 PM

Great job, and it gives me a few ideas of my own.

#35 yonkrz

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

Thats pretty sweet,Perry.Not real big but big enough to do the job. :grin:

#36 PWP

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:19 PM

Thanks all. Updated link on the crawl space fan to keep air moving on hot or moist days. I posted the wrong link before. This one has the built-in dehumidistat
and thermostat along with pigtail installed.

http://www.northernt...27483_200327483

#37 Patrick

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:23 PM

Well, I picked up the 6x3 model at Sears today. They had one for $379 and it looks nearly dentical to the Keter units. We will see how it goes!

Patrick

#38 rigelsys

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

I believe I have the 6 x 5 version of that. Here's my commentary on it. Note, doors will probably be bowed, slightly.

http://www.cloudynig...5769908/page...

#39 PWP

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:15 AM

Well, I picked up the 6x3 model at Sears today. They had one for $379 and it looks nearly dentical to the Keter units. We will see how it goes!

Patrick


Sounds good Patrick. Feel free to post your progress on this thread since it will be a roll away and it was under $500 so this thread makes a good fit for your posts if you want. Would love to see it in progress.

Perry :)

#40 Patrick

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

Hi Perry,

I'm looking for alternatives to the Northern Machinery Skates. Although it looks like they'd get the job done, $220 for 4 seems a little pricey. Are there any less expensive options out there? BTW, I will not be doing mine with rails because I will need to walk around the area and I don't want to be tripping over rails in the dark. :smirk:

Patrick

#41 Bart

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:44 PM

Great job, give inspiration to us all....

#42 gmartin02

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

Thanks all. Updated link on the crawl space fan to keep air moving on hot or moist days. I posted the wrong link before. This one has the built-in dehumidistat
and thermostat along with pigtail installed.

http://www.northernt...27483_200327483


That's pretty nice, but it looks like you can only control the fan operation based on humidity, not temperature. The description say that there is a freeze protection thermostat, but doesn't mention a "full featured" (adjustable) thermostat.

#43 PWP

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:55 AM

Thanks all. Updated link on the crawl space fan to keep air moving on hot or moist days. I posted the wrong link before. This one has the built-in dehumidistat
and thermostat along with pigtail installed.

http://www.northernt...27483_200327483


That's pretty nice, but it looks like you can only control the fan operation based on humidity, not temperature. The description say that there is a freeze protection thermostat, but doesn't mention a "full featured" (adjustable) thermostat.


I had the same concerns since it said a range of what appears to be up to 50 degrees but after purchasing it and running it set a 30% humidity, it does trigger to come on in the heat of the day. As we know, heat is usually accompanied by building humidity which is why there are afternoon thunderstorms. After all, it is really the humidity that is the concern for the electronics and I do have a telegizmo heat reflective cover which I keep on the scope even in a stored position. If anyone is that worried about airflow.. does have an option to set it to "ON"..to run continuously. If you want to do that, I would think a simple timer is in order for the evening to go off unless you want it running day and night. Then again, if it rains overnight you don't want the power to be off when the humidity is up. It appears to be well built...perhaps running it 24/7 at least in the summer is not a bad idea.

#44 PWP

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:20 AM

Hi Perry,

I'm looking for alternatives to the Northern Machinery Skates. Although it looks like they'd get the job done, $220 for 4 seems a little pricey. Are there any less expensive options out there? BTW, I will not be doing mine with rails because I will need to walk around the area and I don't want to be tripping over rails in the dark. :smirk:

Patrick


Patrick,

I got lucky and when I purchased mine they were on sale for half off...around $28 a piece I think. However, if your not worried about keeping them on a track...you can use the link below for some a great alternative and much cheaper. They have a 1000lb capacity and you would probably only need 4 but at that price why not use 6? Even if you plan to climb in as I do to use the shed as a warm room once rolled off 4 or more of these will hold you plenty! Hope this helps. :)

http://www.northernt...uct_40246_40246

P.S. Excellent point about tripping over the rails in the dark once the shed is rolled back as I have done that twice now. Thinking of painting them with glow in the dark paint which should give them just enough luminance without causing any light polution.

#45 Patrick

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

I got lucky and when I purchased mine they were on sale for half off...around $28 a piece I think. However, if your not worried about keeping them on a track...you can use the link below for some a great alternative and much cheaper. They have a 1000lb capacity and you would probably only need 4 but at that price why not use 6? Even if you plan to climb in as I do to use the shed as a warm room once rolled off 4 or more of these will hold you plenty! Hope this helps.



Thanks for the link. I found a set from Grizzly with brakes on them, HERE. I'm not sure how I'm going to engage the brake part yet, but it would be nice for the shed to be locked down when either not in use or when standing to the side.

I have an advantage in that I will not be using the shed as a warm room or be sitting in it. My deck is right outside of my morning room which I have set up as a control/warm room. ;) :waytogo: I just need the shed to cover the scope and lock it up when not in use.

Regards,

Patrick

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#46 PWP

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:35 PM

I got lucky and when I purchased mine they were on sale for half off...around $28 a piece I think. However, if your not worried about keeping them on a track...you can use the link below for some a great alternative and much cheaper. They have a 1000lb capacity and you would probably only need 4 but at that price why not use 6? Even if you plan to climb in as I do to use the shed as a warm room once rolled off 4 or more of these will hold you plenty! Hope this helps.



Thanks for the link. I found a set from Grizzly with brakes on them, HERE. I'm not sure how I'm going to engage the brake part yet, but it would be nice for the shed to be locked down when either not in use or when standing to the side.

I have an advantage in that I will not be using the shed as a warm room or be sitting in it. My deck is right outside of my morning room which I have set up as a control/warm room. ;) :waytogo: I just need the shed to cover the scope and lock it up when not in use.

Regards,

Patrick


That will work fine since you have no plans to use it as a warm room. Nice choice with the 3 inch as that will keep it as low to the deck as possible. Since the wheels don't swivel once you have them bolted to the 4x4's and have the floor lag bolted to the 4x4's I would simply drill about a 1/3 inch hole or so directly through the floor and the 4x4 directly lined up with the brake pedal. You may need to invest in a 8 inch plus wood drill bit but harborfreight.com usually have them cheap. You could then install a metal dowel rod and afix it to the brake. You could then bend the top end to make a handle which you would want running close to the wall on the inside of the shed. You could simply push it down to lock it and pull it up to unlock. You probably only need it on the front casters on each side of your doors so they are easy to lock and unlock from the outside by simply reaching in. Just a thought.

Nice HD BTW! :)

#47 Patrick

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

They're actually 4" wheels, but the same concept. I didn't want to go too small due to the gaps in the deck floorboards.

I like your suggestion for the brake actuator arm. I'll probably need to weld or bolt something on to push/pull on it from above.

Thanks!

Patrick

#48 Patrick

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

Did your Keter model come with a window or did you add it in?

#49 PWP

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:25 PM

Did your Keter model come with a window or did you add it in?


The Apex model I bought did come with the window. It looks nice from the outside but I ended up taping some white posterboard to the inside to reflect the sun and provide shade. The window side faces west and I noticed late in the afternoon when the sun shines through it it tends to add a lot of uneccesary heat to the interior. May be just as well if you don't have one. I would invest in the ventilation fan I posted a few threads up. I have found these sheds do tend to be 20 degrees hotter than the outside temp. With temps up to 107 or so here in the heart of the summer...I will keep mine on 24/7. I have had the scope in our garage for the past 2 years and it has been fine and it gets pretty hot in there as well. Honestly I am more concerned about moisture than I am the heat. I have a remote temp/humidity sensor in the shed and keep an eye on it from inside the house and it seems to be doing fine.

#50 audioaficionado

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:24 PM

Would foil covered rigid insulation panels attached to the interior surfaces help with the heat issues?






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