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Garage Door Openers?

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#1 Raginar

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:27 PM

Can you guys post how ya'll have your garage door openers arranged? I'm sure there are more people that do it, but it seems like no one wants to share :). I'm not interested in the custom setups that some people have done; they're cool, but well beyond my technical capabilities.

So, pictures?! :)

#2 LoveChina61

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:41 PM

I did mine exactly like the example shown on SkyShed's Yahoo group site. You can sign up to become a member of the site quite easily right HERE and then click on Files in the left hand column to download the 4mg file "MotorizationofaSkyShedRollOff.pdf".

#3 Raginar

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:56 AM

I've seen theirs. I built a sky shed too :). I was assuming this was where I had to go with it but wasn't quite sure if there were other ways I was missing.

Based on the response, I'm guessing people either don't do this or prefer the 'custom' option.

#4 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

I mounted a 1/2 HP mounted in the roof itself. The motor pulls itself as it opens the roof. Advantage: keeps the entire assembly out of the elements when open. Disadvantage: You need to leave a path for the power cable to move as the roof opens and closes (I mounted mine about 8" away from the side and has not been a problem).

I got a Foster Systems controller and their at park monitor to control it and to make sure the scope is parked and out of the way before the roof opens or closes - works great. I can now image thru the night unattended when I go to sleep and have the mount parked and roof closed when it is done.

John D

#5 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:53 AM

Photo 1:

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#6 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:58 AM

photo 2:

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#7 Nemesis79

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

I use a SEARS/Chamberlin garage door opener in a push-pull arrangment. Pictures of it can be seen in himesa Obs photo album at the Roll_Off_Roof site at Yahoo.com (http://groups.yahoo....yguid=511699642).

#8 Raginar

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:16 PM

John,

OK, you're is very unique. I haven't seen one that was mounted on the inside before. How do you handle the torque that is applied to one side as you open it? What I can get from your picture is that the garage door opener actually moves and the 'bar' attachment is what stays in place? Is that correct? I actually like it 'inside'. I live in the great white north and I'm dreading the maintenance associated with a track being 24/7 outdoors.

Can you take a picture of it with the roof off? It's interesting!

Nemesis,

I tried joining this group last year and could never get approved. I think your admins are dead or something :). I will PM you my email address if you'd email me the photos.

Chris

#9 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:42 PM

John,

OK, you're is very unique. I haven't seen one that was mounted on the inside before. How do you handle the torque that is applied to one side as you open it? What I can get from your picture is that the garage door opener actually moves and the 'bar' attachment is what stays in place? Is that correct? I actually like it 'inside'. I live in the great white north and I'm dreading the maintenance associated with a track being 24/7 outdoors.

Can you take a picture of it with the roof off? It's interesting!

Chris


Chris,

I too was originally worried about the torque issue when I put it in, but the roof structure proved sufficiently stiff that it is not an issue. I pulls closed and pushes open square on both ends of the roof. There is a tension adjustment on the unit which allows you to adjust the tension on the chain independently on both sides of the rail. I had to tighten the chain on the side closest to the wall slightly to get it to go smoothly.

The whole unit (rail and all) moves with the roof - pushes and pulls against the wall. Credit Stan from Foster Systems for the idea.

JD

Photo 3 open from the outside:

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#10 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:43 PM

Photo 4 open inside:

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#11 Raginar

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:24 PM

OK, that is.. awesome :). Do you have like a sketch of how this is mounted? I'm still not seeing it... The motor and the rail are attached to the roof right? And the chain looks like it's attached to the outside?

Where did you come up with the idea? :) One request, can you do a shot straight down the rail from the genie to the mounting point?


Thanks John,

Chris

#12 jaddbd

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:44 PM

OK, that is.. awesome :). Do you have like a sketch of how this is mounted? I'm still not seeing it... The motor and the rail are attached to the roof right? And the chain looks like it's attached to the outside?

Where did you come up with the idea? :) One request, can you do a shot straight down the rail from the genie to the mounting point?


Thanks John,

Chris


Hey Chris,

It's counter intuitive but it is actually pretty simple... The whole garage door assembly is mounted in the roof. You attach the part that normally pulls the garage door up to the stationary wall. Since the roof moves (in a roll-off) and the wall is fixed, it moves the roof instead of the would be door (the stationary wall). So all you have to do (after you get the rail extensions necessary) is build a scaffolding support into the roof to support the motor, put the garage door assembly rail and all together, attach the rail end first to the roof, then swing the motor end up and attach it to the scaffolding support just like you would in your garage. Then attach the arm to the wall making sure the chain catch is in the right place and engaged, and you are in business.

Check out the pictures in the manual for the door opener to get a clearer picture on how it goes together.

http://www.manualowl...0/Manual/324942

I was told you want a chain drive model (not belt or screw). They are quiet and can handle the torque. I think any good brand would do. Measure how far you need your roof to move. Most door openers do 7ft by default and offer 1ft rail extensions. I needed 8ft - with the extension the entire rail assembly with motor ended up about 11.5ft long. The hardest part is figuring out how to mount the scaffolding type rails into the angled roof for the motor support.

I can do a youtube video to show how it works when the sun comes up.

JD

#13 Raginar

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

Yea, I'm just not following it in my head. I think the skyshed plans have me stuck in thinking how this has to move.

I'll wait for the video!

Thanks again,

#14 jaddbd

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:27 AM

Chris,

Sorry, it's raining pretty good here today so no video yet...

Here is the view the motor end under the rail:

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#15 jaddbd

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:28 AM

And above the rail from the same end:

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#16 jaddbd

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 01:56 PM

Chris,

We had a break in the weather so I was able to get a video of the roof... does not close until 1:17 (delay is CCDcommander executing a park command) so skip ahead if you want to see the closing action.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=tzFA0wXar1s

John D

#17 Raginar

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:48 PM

John,

Wow! That is the craziest thing I've seen yet. It makes perfect sense, I just had to see it to believe it.

Is your pier offset?

Very cool.

#18 jaddbd

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

John,

Wow! That is the craziest thing I've seen yet. It makes perfect sense, I just had to see it to believe it.

Is your pier offset?

Very cool.


I am surprised that more people don't take this approach... maybe they do.

What do you mean by offset? :question: :

It's a raised pressure treated wood floor and it's an independent 12" reinforced concrete pier which makes no contact with the structure.

JD

#19 Raginar

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:01 AM

Offset in regards to its position in the 'square' of your observatory. Your roof doesn't roll completely off so I'm assuming that you offset your pier to allow greater access.

The only issue for your setup is that the roof doesn't roll completely off the shed. For instance, on my shed, if I did what you did, I'd end up with my view of the north being severely curtailed.

I did contemplate it though :). It is the only one I've seen like this. Most people put the rail outside and either put the motor outside or 'just' inside the wall. It requires a longer track though.

I have a belt drive setup that I purchased on Craigslist. I managed to get the track hung and the motor mounted. My biggest problem is the closing. The garage door opener 'thinks' it hit an object when it closes and opens the roof back up :D. Not quite what i was looking for.

I also figured out I need an extension to fully retract the roof... still. the belt drive is pretty effective. The amount of force it puts out as a 1/2 hp motor is amazing. I think this will be a great deal once I get it finished.

Thanks again for the ideas. Apparently no one else does this ;).

#20 jaddbd

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 01:05 PM

Offset in regards to its position in the 'square' of your observatory. Your roof doesn't roll completely off so I'm assuming that you offset your pier to allow greater access.

The only issue for your setup is that the roof doesn't roll completely off the shed. For instance, on my shed, if I did what you did, I'd end up with my view of the north being severely curtailed.

I did contemplate it though :). It is the only one I've seen like this. Most people put the rail outside and either put the motor outside or 'just' inside the wall. It requires a longer track though.

I have a belt drive setup that I purchased on Craigslist. I managed to get the track hung and the motor mounted. My biggest problem is the closing. The garage door opener 'thinks' it hit an object when it closes and opens the roof back up :D. Not quite what i was looking for.

I also figured out I need an extension to fully retract the roof... still. the belt drive is pretty effective. The amount of force it puts out as a 1/2 hp motor is amazing. I think this will be a great deal once I get it finished.

Thanks again for the ideas. Apparently no one else does this ;).


Hi Chris,

Yes I am offset. 4 feet from the SE and NE wall, 10 feet from the SW wall and 4 feet from where the roof ends up when it is open to the NW (mostly North). The view towards the roof side NW is not really impeded since the roof opens with the sloped side towards scope. This was by design so I could keep the computer and other stuff under cover. The down side to this is the dew has a tendency to drip onto the floor (not a big problem, on heavy dew nights I throw a couple of beach towels up).



Belt Drive should be fine. I was advised that they have a tendency to wear out over quicker over time but I doubt it is that much of an issue. You can replace the belts anyway.

I was skeptical also that 1/2 horses was going to move my large fully built roof. It handles it no problem.

An other advantage to the under the roof mounting is that the safety stop (auto backup when it hits something) on the garage door only happens when the door is moving in the traditional closed direction. The traditional closed position is actually open in this arrangement so it never physically hits anything when it opens the roof and ends up at its virtual stop position.

I am using an "ATPARK" sensor from Foster that shines a beam from the wall mounted sensor to a reflector velcroed on the back of the scope. If the scope is not in it's park position, their is no reflection back to the sensor and the circuit is left open and the roof will not move in either direction.

JD

#21 Raginar

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:34 PM

That's good. I think I could rig something up like that with the regular reflectors I bet. That's an excellent idea.

So, I have a new 'technical challenge' I need to figure out. I bought a belt drive that had a 10' track not realizing that it had a 11-13" 'safety zone' that it can't travel into. That places it just a tad too close. I still can see the majority of the sky, but anything to North (it was already bad due to the roof) is eliminated from view.

Any ideas on how I could place something on my peak that would allow it to pull it the remaining 18"? I was thinking something like a 'V" facing away with the required distance. It would have to be rigid of course.. Can you think of any other idea?

Chris

#22 jaddbd

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:09 PM

That's good. I think I could rig something up like that with the regular reflectors I bet. That's an excellent idea.

So, I have a new 'technical challenge' I need to figure out. I bought a belt drive that had a 10' track not realizing that it had a 11-13" 'safety zone' that it can't travel into. That places it just a tad too close. I still can see the majority of the sky, but anything to North (it was already bad due to the roof) is eliminated from view.

Any ideas on how I could place something on my peak that would allow it to pull it the remaining 18"? I was thinking something like a 'V" facing away with the required distance. It would have to be rigid of course.. Can you think of any other idea?

Chris


Mine needed the full 11.5 feet that I have inside to get the 8 feet of movement that I needed... I would think a little extension cubby hole on the wall that would allow you to mount the arm farther out might give you the ability to move the roof all the way? I believe you can add more than one extension to the rail.

In reference to using the stock electric eyes - they only protect in one direction....(standard garage door closing direction).

JD

#23 Raginar

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:37 AM

I think I might just get the screw drive sky shed recommends. Looks like they were onto something when they went that route. I wanted to do this on the cheap and failed it looks like :).

#24 jaddbd

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:35 AM

On mine, if I want to open the roof 100% which I typically do not need to do, I can pop the safety, disengage the arm and roll it by hand the last 3 ft.

You might want to check out the sliding gate solutions also...

JD

#25 Raginar

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:40 AM

Yup :) thanks for the pictures. Apparently no one else does this :)

Yours was pretty unique.






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