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In the process of Building my Observatory.

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#526 tim57064

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:21 PM

Terry Glad to see that you are going for the cladding of plywood around your pier as I did. An Octagon shape looks so much better than the concrete.If you pay close attention to getting a tight fit,you will not have to use Tapcon screws to attach it to the pier. Otherwise they work great and you can just cover the screws with wood putty.
After cutting all the pieces on my table saw,I glued and pin nailed them together around the pier and used band clamps to hold them while they dried.

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#527 csa/montana

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

It looks like the little birdies are waiting to look thru your scope. :grin:

#528 tim57064

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 12:08 AM

Appreciate your reply Carol,Yet way too many Sparrows around when we first put out the bird seed.
I haven't been doing much with the OBS lately since it has gotten so cold. Just hangin' out in there.
I have started building a Truss Tube Scope for a friend,ninosr, who is on here also.
I am showing/doing a write up,on the build of the scope in the "ATM,Optics and DIY" forum under "constructing a dob for a friend." If you get a chance,check it out.

#529 Aquarist

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

Tim, while a bit off topic (in a way), what kind of scope (size) and what floor plan space is required to house it in an observatory?

#530 tim57064

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 08:42 PM

Steve,Thanks for your reply.
As far as a Truss tube Dob scope the size that I am constructing right now?,I am unsure of the size of the OBS. The original scope tube was slightly longer/ than 9 feet so I would think that the OBS would have to be much larger than what I have in order to house and use it,if I still wanted to have everything that is in there now.

If you wanted to keep the scope in the center of the Obs so you would not have to move the entire scope around when closing the roof,then I would think that the minimum size would probably be in the range of 18' long and 12 or 14 feet wide on the Obs.
Then I would think you would still have to point the scope into a corner when closing the roof.
Now,If the obs is for a normal size dob,say a 12 or 14" f/5 or faster, then an Obs the size I have would work nicely.The vaulted ceiling I have would allow the scope to stand straight up to zenith after the roof is closed.
The walls height of course has to be taken into consideration then also.
I have 82" tall walls,if I remember correctly. I built a 12 1/2" f/5.6 truss tube Dob many years ago. If you wanted to view near M81 or M82 with that particular scope in my Obs now,it would not be possible.Walls too tall.

To tell you the truth,I could not imagine having to build an Obs for a Dob the size I am currently building.This is a crazy big scope in my opinion for a 16".

#531 Aquarist

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 10:12 PM

Thanks Tim. The reason I was asking is that I may wish to have a dob later on (12-15 inch) but I am not sure I have enough room.

#532 tim57064

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:15 PM

Steve,Is your AP mount attached to a concrete pier or steel that comes up from the floor?If steel pier is being used,Just remove it when you want to use the dob.I don't recall yet do you have any pic's of the interior of your 15 foot Tech innovations OBS. If I remember right,You had said something to the effect that "if you want to see images of my OBS ,check out the manufacturers site."
It would help in this instance,to see what you have personally,the way you set it up.
I realize that moving your AP mount would be a pain,yet a 15 inch dob would be fun to view with inside the dome.

#533 Aquarist

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:20 PM

The AP mount is on an ATS pier (10 inches) which is afixed on concrete. I would not have to have the dob in the center of the dome, but I am not keen about undoing the AP mount and ATS pier. It may not really be feasible.

I have not taken pictures of the outside or inside of the observatory. My wife took the camera to Europe and by the time she returned it was completed. Some day I will get around to pictures. (he says)

#534 tim57064

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:02 PM

Steve if you could make both work in Your domed OBS,go for it. I could actually use 2 in mine,yet would not have the entire sky with the second scope.
I like to compare views thru 2 or more scopes at the same time.Or if 1 is set up for imaging,view thru the other. Much more fun that way.

#535 tim57064

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 08:17 PM

For the past week or so,maybe 2 weeks,I have been dealing with frost inside the OBS.
Yes,frost and some ice build up on the vinyl floor near the door.
I actually had frost on my scope cases and also on my desktop computer that is underneath the desk.
The heater has been running the whole time and am finding that propane ,as I already knew yet did not think would be that bad,puts quite a bit of humidity in the air.

Well, I knew what the problem was since I had not taken care of it before it actually got cold outside.

There has been no insulation in the floor! :foreheadslap: :applause:
Way to go right?
Well,my reason for not insulating before installing the plywood was all the rain we were suppose to have before I would have gotten the roof on.
Then I just kept putting it off and putting it off in hopes it would have to be done til' next year.
Duh! Cold outside air and and warm air inside means frost build up on the surface.

Well now I took care of it.
Thursday,it was warm enough outside that I got busy and insulated the floor.
There was plenty of room so that I could crawl underneath to install the insulation.

The frost is all gone now,Everything is thawed out and computer and everything else is fine.
I can even be inside in my sock feet and not be cold.

You know,A person might think that with all the experience I have had over the years,I would have averted this possible disaster and taken care of this way before now.
Guess I am what you might call a procrastonist.
Well no more,when something needs to be done,it will be.
Guess this will be my New Years Resolution.
No more putting off for tomorrow which should be done today.
Almost a hard lesson learned.

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#536 Mary B

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:24 PM

Mice are going to love you! I hope you cover that insulation with something

#537 Raginar

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:49 PM

Or get some cats :)

#538 tim57064

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:41 PM

Mary ,Thank you for your reply.Yes I am covering the insulation to protect it from the elements and from vermin.Just waiting for slightly warmer temps as it will be for the next 4 days to get it done.

Chris,we do have 2 cats around here.One that just hangs around and is outside all the time,stays under my woodworking shop. I do see that one go under OBS once in a while.
They both just showed up last year and decided to stay after feeding them.

#539 tim57064

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:33 PM

Okay ya all.It's been a while since posting anything.

This spring I plan to add a garage door opener to the Observatory.
Now I know there have been others that have added an opener to their Roll Off Roof OBS so I would appreciate any and all help here.
I have seen some images of what people have here yet not in detail how it was installed.
I plan to get a 3/4 horse model yet not sure which one to get so that I can operate it remotely. Thanks.

#540 Raginar

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

Go check out my build thread and you can see all the pictures and trials and tribulations. My work isn't anywhere near your level of detail but I think you'll get the idea.

Two options are garage door opener and a tracked system like you'd see on a gate. The gate opener is more expensive but usually significantly more powerful. The only problem I've had is the 'truck' on my Genie went bad and I had to replace it ($25 bucks). I think it was from when I first installed it and things weren't working smoothly.

As for controllers, there are a few options. Do you want to automate your imaging or do you just want to click a button to open the shed? You can just use the 'clicker' if that's all you need. Otherwise, I have my Foster Systems roof controller plugged into the 'wall controller' for my Genie.

I like the screw drive; it's powerful enough that I don't have any problems with the roof wanting to move in the wind. Are you on angle iron? You're going to need some way to automate locking it down each night or figure out some type of track to keep the roof on. A benefit of using garage door track I guess.



If you need any amplifying pictures, just let me know with a PM.

#541 FOUNTAIN1

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:14 PM

Tim, are you still planning to automate your roof? If so, I would love to see some pictures. :grin:

#542 tim57064

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

Glen,I am still planning to install a garage door opener for remote operation. I have yet to get it though and am thinking a 3/4 hp will do the trick,although will be needing extra extensions and am not quite sure about installation yet.
Have 13 feet of roof,including the overhangs, to move completely off the building.
There was no way I was going to be able to move the roof manually by hand without some help as the ceiling is vaulted,so I installed, 2 hand winches temporarily til' I get the opener and install it.

#543 FOUNTAIN1

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:36 PM

Do you not like the hand winches? While that does not make it available to roll off remotely, I considered this option as well. BTW, I enjoyed going through your build thread and seeing all of the pictures. Excellent job! :cool:

#544 tim57064

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

Do you not like the hand winches? While that does not make it available to roll off remotely, I considered this option as well. BTW, I enjoyed going through your build thread and seeing all of the pictures. Excellent job! :cool:

Glen,I built an OBS for a friend and the winches work very well for him. While with my OBS having vaulted ceilings, it just takes a little more work to close the roof. Opening is a breeze though.
You can save your back tremendously by installing the winches for now,they are quite inexpensive.Although you can get a garage door opener for less that $200.00,plus the extension pieces and longer chain if using a chain drive.
I haven't figured it all out yet. The chain will of course be exposed to the elements so I haven't figured that out yet either.
I have had fun on the build and am continually thinking of different things to change/upgrade.Just recently purchased and now installed my Orion EQG mount and if the weather holds,will be giving it a first time full run tonight.

#545 FOUNTAIN1

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 05:30 PM

I'm still considering a winch, but I will have to figure out how I would implement it. Good luck Tim with your new mount! Let us know how it performed.

#546 FOUNTAIN1

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

Just recently purchased and now installed my Orion EQG mount and if the weather holds,will be giving it a first time full run tonight.


How did the EQG mount perform? :grin:

#547 Raginar

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

Hey Tim,

Honestly, I'd skip the garage door opener for your setup and go with the 'gate opener'. They're about 350 bucks, but they're about twice as powerful and the track is significantly easier to setup.

#548 hm insulators

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

Were you able to test the mount or did the weather not cooperate?

#549 tim57064

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Glen and Jim,It took a little while yet I was able to get the mount up and running.I had trouble with my StarShoot Autoguider as for some reason I could not get a single star to appear on it. So I was unable to guide last night.
I tried to do a three star alignment and was unsuccessful with that yet the 2 star worked fine.I had to center everything I looked at yet was in the field of view thru the 25mm eyepiece. Seeing wasn't the greatest as the stars twinkled at about 40 degrees.
I used The Sky 6 for controlling the mount and it worked great.
If the Auto Guider had worked it would have been a productive evening,although it felt good to be viewing thru an eyepiece again. My Grandson,13 yoa, got a kick out of it as well,as it was his first time looking thru a scope.He stayed up with me til' 12:30 this morning. I stayed out til' 4 trying to image the Leo Triplets. That didn't turn out as well as I had wished yet good experience.

Chris,I thought about that,I may go ahead and get that instead. Yeah,I think would be easier to set up also and a lot more quiet than the garage opener or the winches I have.
Man those things were noisy at 4 in the morning.

#550 Raginar

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

Tim,

I always had to center my CGEM. Just make sure you're doing up and right and once you get a 2+4, do a motor calibration. That should tighten it up.






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