Jump to content


Photo

TamarackSkies Observatory build pics

  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#26 hm insulators

hm insulators

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4874
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2007

Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:25 AM

That's a big beautiful house! :jump: :bow: When it's finished, are you going to move permanently to Idaho or will you still winter in Arizona?

#27 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Don't quite understand relationship between sketch and dome height eg where scopes axes intersect relative to lowest portion of dome shutter. My dome sketch below for my 12"SCT LX200 shows axes intersect ON the lowest section of shutter and central on the vertical axis through the dome so the scope is 50% obstructed when aimed horizontally. I've a fork mount with scope a constant distance from the dome itself. A GEM will offset the scope and clearances must be allowed for.

I find it useful for daytime testing to aim scope horizontally on distant objects for cam focus, finder alignment, effect of Barlow and focal reducers on image scale etc and not waste night set-up time. Also even with partial obstruction of scope aperture very lowly objects like Mercury, a comet or nova etc can be observed, depending on your horizon. Alternatively if the scope[s] are set way below the shutter and horizon unobservable perhaps a well located window in the obsy walls could serve for daytime set-up. Hope these comments help. :grin:


Thanks for commenting Nytecam - and thanks for posting your sketch. I think your approach is correct - and mine is atypical. I believe it is common for the GEM RA/DEC axes intersection of one's mount to be positioned level with the lower dome opening. I confess I just couldn't get my brain past the idea of obstructing half of the OTA in the horizontal position so I "fudged" at the last minute and added the pier extension shown in my sketch. (If I ever realize I'm not a submarine commander trying to scan the horizon through a periscope I can lose the extension.). There is no science behind my decision. But I saw no downside to raising the height a bit.

And of course at the same I'm making these decisions many are imaging a comet near the horizon - so I envisioned trying to do that using a side-by-side mount of two scopes. It made my brain hurt less to just draw in a pier extension.

#28 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:01 PM

That's a big beautiful house! :jump: :bow: When it's finished, are you going to move permanently to Idaho or will you still winter in Arizona?


Thanks hm! We have a 12-year old in school in AZ. So this will be a vacation home until he leaves the nest. But the home is designed with all the features of a permanent residence - which improves the chances of wife and kid being happy if I want to bring them along on a trip with no other real purpose than for me to try for that once-in-a-lifetime astro pic :).

I'll cook up a web site for the obs soon. I can post details of the home there to keep things focused on astronomy here. I have registered the domain name. Link to come soon in my sig.

#29 nytecam

nytecam

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11512
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2005
  • Loc: London UK

Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:58 PM

....And of course at the same I'm making these decisions many are imaging a comet near the horizon....

What comet might that be I wonder :roflmao:

#30 TeleTex

TeleTex

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:57 PM

This is really awesome!

#31 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:27 PM

The concrete pier is now at its final height. The floor of the obs will be at the level of the upper brace you see in the pic. Curved steps will hug the outer wall to walk up that height.

Attached Files



#32 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:52 PM

Here are pics of recent progress. This a view from the warm room. You look across the stairwell that leads up from the bedroom level - and through the framing you see the dome's viewing platform.

Attached Files



#33 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:54 PM

And here is a view through the observatory doorway showing the stairs leading up to the viewing platform.

Attached Files



#34 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:57 PM

The area under the viewing platform will be used for general storage (probably holiday decorations - we have waaay to many). The opening will have a cabinet-style door.

Attached Files



#35 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

Here is a duct system designed to pull conditioned air into the dome space from the home. A thermostat in the dome will open a damper if the temp falls below 40-degrees (I'll have to experiment with the exact setting) and activate a fan. The idea is to prevent icing or snow accumulation on the dome. There is another duct like this with only a damper to return air into the home.

I will have a snow melt system on the roof area surrounding the dome that is activated by both a temperature sensor and a moisture sensor - and may be able to control the dampers/fan with that same control system.

Attached Files



#36 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

And here (lower right) is an exhaust duct. The idea is to open the dome to equalize temps inside and outside before observing. A fan in this duct is designed to pull ambient air down through dome opening and exhaust it out through an eave to speed the process.

Attached Files



#37 roscoe

roscoe

    curmudgeon

  • *****
  • Posts: 3480
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2009
  • Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT

Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:29 PM

James,

My compliments, Sir! I've been pounding nails for a lot of years, and yours is about the finest owner-builder work I've ever seen. Well done!

Russ

#38 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11443
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 05 June 2013 - 06:28 AM

Hi James:

Looks like it's coming along nicely! Just wondering ... you have some unique design elements in the house structure, framing, etc. Did you have any trouble getting any of it by the building inspector?

-Dan

#39 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 05 June 2013 - 11:06 AM

Looks like it's coming along nicely! Just wondering ... you have some unique design elements in the house structure, framing, etc. Did you have any trouble getting any of it by the building inspector?


That would be a yes :). The biggest issue was snow load, but I worked it out. The pier is signed off by a structural engineer. The observatory is now considered a mechanical space. The neighborhood has a 150 lb/ft snow load requirement and they take it very seriously. I researched and learned there are snow load deductions one can take for slope, slippery surface, and heated surface. That is why the 45 lb/ft dome with its sloping, slippery, thin metal skin qualifies if I heat the interior space. And the floor under the dome is rated for the 150 lb/ft snow load requirement so it can protect the living space below if the dome blows away. I will have an emergency generator that can ensure the heat supply in case of power failure. There is always a way to do it right :).

In my case the only thing I had to do differently from the original plan was add the duct/dampers/fan system. I will also add a snowmelt system under the roof shingles around the dome (from warmzone dot com) but that is not a requirement. The snowmelt system has an automated control that uses a temp sensor and moisture sensor. If I can use that same control to also activate the dampers/fans to supply the obs with warm air from the home when the snowmelt turns itself on - that will be sweet :).

#40 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:06 PM

My compliments, Sir! I've been pounding nails for a lot of years, and yours is about the finest owner-builder work I've ever seen. Well done!

Russ


Thanks Russ. It's really the work of many - I'm just the guy who writes the checks :)

#41 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11443
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:24 PM

The neighborhood has a 150 lb/ft snow load requirement


150 pound per square foot ??? :scared: Is that for real?

I live near Rochester, NY ... just across Lake Ontario from Canada ... and our snow load here is 40 pounds per square foot. You're in Arizona and it's 150? Doesn't make any sense. What gives?

-Dan

*** EDIT ***
Ah ... never mind. I just noticed the observatory is in Idaho. Still, 150 pounds per square foot ... wow!

-Dan

#42 dmdouglass

dmdouglass

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 759
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Tempe, AZ

Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:03 PM

Hey Midnight Dan...

I was thinking the same thing.
Snowload in Scottsdale ?? I was about to post the question, but saw the signature line....

Since I live in Tempe (down the street from Scottsdale), I was just a little concerned !!

James in Arizona....
Words are not adequate. Simply Beautiful !!!

#43 woodscavenger

woodscavenger

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Boise, ID

Posted 09 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

I saw Tamarack and was wondering if you were my neighbor. Can't wait to see the finished product.

#44 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 12 October 2013 - 12:14 PM

I saw Tamarack and was wondering if you were my neighbor. Can't wait to see the finished product.


If you are in Boise then I am 100 miles North in the Tamarack Resort. I'm expecting the dome to be delivered soon. It will be the last component of the exterior. (Still working to complete the interior of the home. That will still take a few months.). It will be fun to shop for equipment at the Arizona Astronomy Expo next month - I need everything :). I'll post pics when the dome arrives.

James

#45 woodscavenger

woodscavenger

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Boise, ID

Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

I guess you will let us know about the invites for your first Star PArty!!

#46 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

I guess you will let us know about the invites for your first Star PArty!!


Absolutely! And I have already been approached about doing outreach for at least one local school. I look forward to it.

#47 Aquarist

Aquarist

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1041
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:18 AM

Snow load??? I can see it in Buffalo. But otherwise, WOW!

#48 rlandsboro

rlandsboro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 122
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA

Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:25 PM

That 150 lb snow load requirement (for the West side of a particular mountain in Idaho) was a big surprise and tough to solve. The country people explained it well. The area gets 10 feet of snow. Water weighs 62 lbs per cubic foot. If I get 6 feet of snow on the roof and then it rains causing the snow to be 50% water - the resulting load is 186 lbs per square foot. I get that.

That example is for a flat roof. There are then deductions one can take for roof slope, type of surface, etc. To make the dome reach that spec I also had to heat the dome - that deduction brought me into compliance.

#49 Aquarist

Aquarist

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1041
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:13 AM

How did you heat the dome?

#50 BYoesle

BYoesle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4947
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Goldendale, Washington USA

Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:22 AM

What a very nice dream come true - often felt that the home & domed observatory would be so convenient...






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics